Nicolas Cage Spent Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Buy the Skull of a 67-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur

Whether you know him from his movies or the memes about him, chances are you recognize Nicolas Cage‘s face when you see it. From his wild eyes to his penchant to portray characters that fly off the handle, there’s something special about how animated and intense he comes off. His eccentricity is one of the things that people love about this legendary actor and it extends to his personal life, too. In fact, he’s so intense that most recently he’s even been rumored to be the perfect choice to play Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic!

Nicolas Cage has been a Hollywood fixture since 1982

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage | Robert Marquardt/Getty Images

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Did you know that Cage made his big-screen debut way back in 1982 with a small part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High? After that, he went on to star in such beloved films as Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Con Air, and National Treasure.

He even won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas. Cage is not solely an actor, either, since he also directed a film starring James Franco called Sonny back in 2002.

One thing a lot of people don’t know about Cage is that he comes from Hollywood royalty. See, Nicolas Cage isn’t his given name — it’s actually Nicolas Coppola.

Yeah, like the Coppolas, as in the famous family that also includes legendary directors Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola as well as actors like Jason Schwartzman. Cage’s father is actually August Coppola, brother of Francis Ford. So you could say he has Hollywood in his blood!

Fun fact: Cage’s stage name is a tribute to Luke Cage, the comic-book hero. I wonder if he was mad that he never got a call from Netflix about it when they made their adaptation of it back in 2016? His intensity would have definitely changed that show’s vibe!

Nicolas Cage loves to splurge

When you come from a famous family and then get your own fame on top of it, the money goes to your head and makes you want to buy everything. At least, that’s our working theory behind why Cage has made so many peculiar purchases over the years.

One of the most talked-about is the time he spent $276,000 to purchase the 67-million-year-old skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, when Cage later found out the skull rightfully belonged to the Mongolian government, he returned it, so at least we know he purchases with an ethical code in mind.

That’s not the only weird thing he has purchased, either. Apparently he has also dropped some serious coin on bizarre items like a burial tomb that was nearly ten feet tall, shrunken pygmy heads, a live octopus, and rare comics including an edition of Superman worth over $150,000. This is on top of his love of more standard luxury goods like sports cars.

At one point, Cage’s spending was actually a serious problem

Cage once talked to The New York Times about the kind of spending that caused him financial turmoil. Long story short: It wasn’t so much the bizarre stuff as getting over-invested in real estate.

“What is an octopus, $80? You’re not going to go into dire straits buying an octopus,” he was quoted saying, explaining that he had simply purchased too many properties across the world. He had as many as 15 residences at one point.

Cage said he was really into meditation and mythology at the time, so it became kind of like a quest for the holy grail perfect place. He even owned a castle or two!

Luckily, Cage was able to keep enough steady work and got affairs in order enough to not go completely destitute and seems to have learned from the experience.