Why Elon Musk IS Tony Stark. An Investigation

"Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist." - Tony Stark

The Marvel Universe may have Tony Stark, but the real world has Elon Musk.

In fact, when Musk was named in Time Magazine's 2010 Time 100, Iron Man director Jon Favreau admitted Tony Stark had been based off Elon Musk.

"When I was trying to bring the character of genius billionaire Tony Stark to the big screen in Iron Man, I had no idea how to make him seem real. Robert Downey Jr. said, 'We need to sit down with Elon Musk.' He was right," he said.

The entrepreneur and philanthropist is worth nearly $20 billion, and is known for spending his fortune in outlandish and bizarre ways.

The Tesla billionaire was just in Thailand, testing a mini-submarine to help with the cave rescue mission -- but this isn't the first time he has lent his technology and expertise.

Elon Musk Is At The Thai Caves
Founded The Musk Foundation

Musk and his brother, Kimbal, began the Musk Foundation in 2002 with the intention of giving grants to research into renewable energy.

Not one to brag about how much they give away, the Foundation is very tight-lipped about how much they donate, and their website reflects their low-key approach.

The Musk Foundation web page is hilariously low-key in comparison to the scientific wonder's Musk's companies makes.
South Australia Energy Crisis

Musk and Tesla saved South Australia from an energy crisis, after they suffered a debilitating power blackout due to an unprecedented storm.

The inventor made a bet with the SA Government, that he would build a $65.5 million battery before a 100 day deadline -- or it would be free. The lithium ion battery was built nearly two weeks before the deadline.

The Tesla Powerpack battery was built near Jamestown in the state's mid-north, and is capable of powering thousands of homes during periods of blackouts caused by excess demand on the ageing SA power system.

The Tesla Powerpack battery is powered by a nearby wind farm, operated by French energy company Neoen.

Launched A Car Into Space

Earlier this year, Musk's SpaceX company became the first privately-owned company to launch a car into space -- because  he could.

The Falcon Heavy -- the most powerful rocket ever --  launched the vehicle, naturally a Tesla Roadster, into orbit. Complete with a passenger aptly named Starman.

While it was a great way of testing his own rockets, there wasn't a scientific purpose behind sending the car, but we did get some cool photos.

Image: Elon Musk Instagram
Philanthropy During Times Of Natural Disasters

After the 2011 tsunami that devastated the Fukushima region of Japan, Musk donated $250,000 for a solar power plant to be built in Soma City.

Musk sent Tesla teams to Puerto Rico after the devastating Hurricane Maria last year, with Powerwall storage batteries that could be connected to solar panels, in an effort to reinstate electricity. He also donated $250,000 for relief aid.

Solar panels set up by Tesla at the San Juan Children's Hospital after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Image: Reuter
What's Next For Musk?

The billionaire has plans for a colony on Mars, believing humans could be living on the red planet within decades.

He has also signed up to Bill Gate's The Giving Pledge, which is an agreement for the wealthiest people in the world to donate half of their estates when they die.

Is there really even a question about it? He really is Tony Stark.