When Elon Musk appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” he couldn’t answer if he was a superhero or a supervillain.
Answering that he’d like to nuke Mars to make it warmer and more hospitable to humans wasn’t a great answer to convince Colbert that he was on the superhero side.
Here’s a selection of Musk’s craziest quotes and his futuristic dreams.
On how to warm Mars up to make it hospitable for humans: “The fast way is to drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles.”
On why Tesla’s office needs a roller coaster: “Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it.”
- Asa Mathat | D: All Things Digital
On what he told Ford when they blocked Tesla’s Model E: “Like why did you go steal Tesla’s E? Like you’re some sort of fascist army marching across the alphabet, some sort of Sesame Street robber?”
- REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
On deciding how he should go to space: “So next I went to Russia three times, in late 2001 and 2002, to see if I could negotiate the purchase of two ICBMs [missiles]. Without the nukes, obviously.”
- REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
On how he held balloons in his hands and between his legs at one of his birthday parties, and let a knife thrower pop the balloons: “I’d seen him before but did worry that maybe he could have an off day. Still, I thought, he would maybe hit one gonad but not both.”
- Getty Images/ Scott Olson
On Egyptians and aliens: “Seems like an opportune moment to bring up the Fermi Paradox, aka ‘where are the aliens?’ Really odd that we see no sign of them. Btw, please don’t mention the pyramids. Stacking stone blocks is not evidence of an advanced civilization. The rumor that I’m building a spaceship to get back to my home planet Mars is totally untrue. The ancient Egyptians were amazing, but if aliens built the pyramids, they would’ve left behind a computer or something.”
On the time he almost died from malaria while on holiday: “That’s my lesson for taking a vacation: Vacation will kill you.”
- REUTERS/Noah Berger
On one way he could die: “My family fears that the Russians will assassinate me.”
On how he’d rather die: “I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”
Source: Space.com 2014
On women: “I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.”
He is now back together with his wife, Talulah Riley.
On the future of cars: “In the distant future, people may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.”
He later clarified that he obviously wants people to keep driving cars because of Tesla.
On flying cars: “I’ve thought about it quite a lot … We could definitely make a flying car – but that’s not the hard part … The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy.”
Source: Business Insider 2014
On why they don’t have patents: “We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China — if we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.”
- Bill Pugliano / Getty
Source: Wired 2012
Bonus: It should be noted that this crazy idea from Elon Musk is becoming a reality. Meet the Hyperloop: “Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super-fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment.”
- Tesla Motors/Screenshot