Elon Musk turns 50 with memes galore, space money and a life-sized statue

The life-sized statue is being sold on Ebay to benefit a charity teaching investing to children.
The life-sized statue is being sold on Ebay to benefit a charity teaching investing to children Photo credit: public.com/YouTube

Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, potential Mars colonist and cryptocurrency enthusiast, is never far from the headlines - so his 50th birthday this week was never going to slip by quietly.

Musk, who was born and raised in South Africa, posted a thank you to his 57.6 million Twitter followers for their birthday wishes, which included a tweet from his mum with a picture of him as a baby.

But, as is fitting for someone who has attracted both a huge number of fans and detractors - including hacking group Anonymous - there were some strange choices of celebrations.

Memes calling Musk 'the Dogefather' were common, a reference to his support of cryptocurrency dogecoin in preference to the environmentally unfriendly bitcoin.

But there were two who took it further than most.

Twitter user Reid Williamson sent an actual dogecoin to space using a weather balloon, documenting it on his YouTube channel.

He even included a cheeky offer to Musk in the video's description, writing "Elon, if you need any launch tips for getting Doge to the moon my DM's are always open."

But, arguably, no-one went further than Public.com, a New York-based investing app.

They commissioned one hundred 14-inch bronze statues of Musk to give away to their Twitter followers and, as if that wasn't enough, then placed a life-sized statue of him on display in the city.

The six-feet tall, 68kg statue is made from polyester resin and is now being auctioned on Ebay with all proceeds going to First Generation Investors, a non-profit organisation that teaches investing to high school students.

With the tagline "Maybe you love him. Maybe you think he should tweet less. What you do with the statue is up to you," bidding has reached US$2,550 with eight days still left on the listing.

Unfortunately for Kiwi Musk fans, Ebay notes that the statue may not be able to be shipped to Aotearoa and suggests contacting the seller for options.