The Upshot

Man’s name in sand visible from space

The Upshot

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Here's a big idea: Writing your name in the sand so large that it can be seen from space. Of course, you're much better position to carry off this sort of vanity project if you're Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Ahyan, a super-rich Arab sheikh who is the president of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. He also happens to own an island--an ideal canvas for what is essentially the world's largest self-referential graffiti tag.

The letters were crafted by a crew who worked for weeks to create them. The inscription measures half a mile high and two miles long--and the letters are dug so deep that they form waterways. The writing won't be immediately washed away, but even Hamad--whose fortune is only surpassed by his monarchial rival in the region, Saudi King Abdullah--can only defy the elements for so long.

Did we mention his name can be seen from outer space?

Hamad, according to Forbes, is a guy who lives large. A member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, the man known as the Rainbow Sheikh owns 200 cars that are stored in a giant pyramid. (What, you use a garage?) Forbes also noted that Hamad also hand-built a motor home in the shape of a giant globe "one-millionth the size of the Earth."

It should also be noted that the 63-year-old sheikh also has deep pockets when it comes to philanthropy. But don't worry about thanking him -- it seems he's come up with a perfectly good way to give himself a shout-out.

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