Oil (US$114.52)

#85 Going to Market

In February 2012, an Iranian oil tanker bound for Greece turned back halfway due to doubts that the delivery would be paid for. Iran had…

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

#85 Going to Market

Every day at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in India, about 10,000 people sit cross-legged on the floor of the tonsuring room and let…

Anti-balding powder (US $140)

#85 Going to Market

One African child under the age of five dies of malaria every minute; one third of men under 45 worldwide are going bald. The human…

Akodessewa Fetish Market

#85 Going to Market

One year ago, you noticed that your left hand felt stiff and tender. Over months, the pain worsened and would not go away. A doctor at…

Kilogram (US$90,514)

#85 Going to Market

Every kilo you’ve ever encountered is based on a little piece of metal in the town of Sèvres, France. In 1799, one kilogram was defined…

Water (US$55.99)

#85 Going to Market

Holy water from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France, comes in jerrycans, five-liter plastic bottles, hollowed…

Bluefin (US$34.89/kg)

#85 Going to Market

In the 1970s, a Japanese entrepreneur began importing cheap Atlantic bluefin tuna. The fish’s belly meat soon became a prized cut called…

RPG (US$200+)

#85 Going to Market

The pirate stock exchange in Harardheere, Somalia, started small. In 2009, only 15 pirate gangs offered shares of their booty in return…

Damadola Village

#85 Going to Market

The arms trade: Where to get guns


Saab Bofors AT4-CS

The most expensive handheld rocket launcher on the market, an AT4-CS costs…

Kashmir’s Line of Control

#85 Going to Market

Thirty-eight trucks leave Uri, a town in India-controlled Kashmir, carrying fresh fruit and seeds to Chakoti, another town in…