Trump backer and Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel has taken New Zealand citizenship.

A long-time fan of New Zealand and an investor in software company Xero, the 49-year-old also owns a Wanaka estate, the Herald revealed yesterday.

Here are three of the stranger facts about one of the country's wealthiest citizens.

Fighting death is one of his hobbies

It was reported last year that the venture capitalist was interested in injecting himself with young people's blood as a way of warding off death.
In 2006 he also gave US$3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation and controversial academic Aubrey de Grey to support longevity and research.
Thiel has invested in biotech start-ups focused on anti-aging and curing diseases and is a supporter of regenerative medicine research. While PayPal - the online payments firm he co-founded- he was said to have proposed making cryogenic storage an employee perk

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He bankrolled Hulk Holgan's lawsuit against Gawker

In December 2007 Gawker.com published a story with the headline "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people."

Many felt the story was a public outing of Thiel, but Gawker said Thiel had come out to close friends in the past.

In October 2012 Gawker published video clips of wrestler Hulk Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, having sex with the wife of a friend.

Peter Thiel spent roughly US$10 million bankrolling lawsuits against Gawker, including one launched by Hulk Hogan after the website published his leaked sex video.
Peter Thiel spent roughly US$10 million bankrolling lawsuits against Gawker, including one launched by Hulk Hogan after the website published his leaked sex video.

Hogan's lawyer Charles Harder filed a lawsuit against Gawker in a Florida court the same month. The case dragged on for four years until in March 2016 when a jury awarded Hulk Hogan US$115 million judgment after finding Gawker breached his privacy.

It's not known when Peter Thiel began funding the litigation, but in May 2016 he gave an interview with the New York Times saying he funded the case against Gawker.

Thiel referred to the funding of the litigation as "one of my greater philanthropic things that I've done." He said he spent roughly US$10m bankrolling lawsuits against Gawker. In August 2016 Gawker announced it would shut down after 13 years in business.

He dreamed of building Waterworld-style cities in the middle of the ocean

"There are no truly free places left in our world I have focused my efforts on new technologies that may create a new space for freedom," he wrote in 2009.

Thiel imagined these pockets of freedom would prosper in cyberspace, an area where he has already invested considerable time and effort, but also in outerspace and "seasteading".

Seasteading involves "settling the oceans" with floating self-governing micro-nations that would be outside the realm of current jurisdictions.

He invested more than US$1m in the idea but had cooled on it by 2015.

He reportedly told gave a speech at a Virginia's George Mason University and said: "I'm not exactly sure that I'm going to succeed in building a libertarian utopia any time soon...you need to have a version where you could get started with a budget of less than US$50 billion."