Aristotle once said, “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness”. If you’ve ever heard someone say to you: “What are you doing, that’s insane!” or “That’s just crazy, I can’t believe you did that!”, don’t mind those rude people because there’s a good chance you can be a genius. Many of those who were gifted scientists, artists, and writers, were somewhat strange people with really weird habits. Some of them most likely had mental disorders, the others just were extremely eccentric individuals. Nevertheless, the correlation between genius and madness is no longer a theoretical one as it’s been proven by research. Even though all of those odd things the geniuses of the past did can now be scientifically explained, they still seem to be too confusing to us – ordinary people. So, were they more crazy or more genius? Let’s see…
Pythagoras, Greek Mathematician
|The creator of the famous Pythagorean theorem was the first man to call himself a philosopher. He loved knowledge and was fond of making new discoveries of the amazing world around us. He started the Pythagorean school of thought and his teachings had a great influence on Plato who then became a very important figure in the philosophical movement of the Western Civilization. He contributed to the knowledge of the ancient mathematics and tried to find the hidden bond within different natural phenomena.
|The contribution Pythagoras made to the understanding of geometry laws is indisputable. However, he himself received the basic math knowledge under very strange circumstances. He decided to leave his home and study in Egypt. He joined the temple of Diospolis, learned geometry and astronomy along with permanent trainings that included fasting and breathing. The brotherhood of the temple had strange rules Pythagoras had to abide – no personal possessions were allowed and everybody was forbidden to eat beans. When he developed his own beliefs and started his own brotherhood, the dietary restriction of eating beans remained to be one of the most important commandments of Pythagoreanism. According to some sources, beans were supposed to represent evil (or reincarnated souls).
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
|Probably, this is the first name that instantly comes to mind as a synonym to the word “genius”. Einstein made a huge contribution to the way we see the Universe and understand its processes. He’s best known for the Special and General Theory of Relativity. We also have all studied the mass-energy equivalence equation (E=mc2). The modern physicists can’t imagine their work without Einstein’s discoveries and predictions in terms of quantum physics. In a word, he was way ahead of his time.
|We can fairly say that having invented the General Theory of Relativity, Einstein was relatively crazy himself. He never wore socks and married his cousin (his second marriage). The story of his relationships with the first wife was also pretty strange given that Albert was also considering marrying his cousin’s older daughter, but she refused. When he and his cousin couldn’t find a way to stay together and coexist with each other, Einstein proposed an odd contract. According to it, his wife’s duties were to keep the house clean, cook food (three meals daily), stop talking to her husband upon his request, and “renounce all personal relations” with him.
Nikola Tesla, Physicist & Engineer
|There’s no point in describing all of his brilliant inventions in this article because there are too many of them. If you want to find out more about the kind of a genius Tesla was, read some of the books dedicated to the topic. We’ll just name some of his incredibly innovative ideas:
|The great inventor and the god of electricity had some odd habits too. The person who made the invention of the radio and computers possible was a real maniac in terms of cleanliness. He was a germophobe and would prefer to disinfect everything around him. He also couldn’t touch anything round for some reason. Furthermore, Tesla was obsessed with number 3. He would walk around the block for 3 times before entering a building and his hotel room had to be divisible by 3. Oh, and also he didn’t sleep for more than two hours a day, hated overweight women, and jewelry.
Isaac Newton, Physicist & Mathematician
|Newton is considered to be one of the greatest scientists in history and there are numerous reasons for that. Being the man who developed the idea of calculus, gave a wide explanation of gravity, invented a telescope with indisputable contributions to optics, his influence on the modern science as we know it can’t be underestimated.
|According to the multiple records, researchers tend to think that Newton might have had a bipolar disorder, suffered from autism and even schizophrenia. He wrote strange letters of delusions and couldn’t connect with the people who surrounded him.
Kurt Gödel, Mathematician, Logician & Philosopher
|Being Einstein’s friend, Gödel is considered to be one of the most significant logicians of all time. He’s known for his Incompleteness and Completeness theorems and Continuum Hypothesis.
|Gödel was convinced that someone was out there to poison him. He ate only the meal cooked by his wife and made her taste everything first to make sure she had no bad intentions. After his wife was hospitalized and spent 6 months in a hospital, he didn’t eat anything and starved to death.
Oliver Heaviside, Engineer & Mathematician
|This is the man who made it possible for us to solve the differential equations, adapted Maxwell’s field equations to apply them to electric and magnetic circuits, and made us look at telecommunications from a different point of view.
|At times when he wasn’t busy solving the differential equations, Heaviside painted his nails in bright pink color. He drank just milk during the day and was obsessed with writing.
Thomas Edison, Inventor
|Edison is well-renowned for giving us the following inventions:
– light bulb
|The man was a genius, but he had rather a strange interview scenario for his associates. He gave them a bowl of soup and watched if they would season it before tasting it. If they did, he dismissed them immediately. Edison didn’t need those with too many assumptions in his team. He, like Tesla, also wanted to spend less time sleeping and adopted a polyphasic sleep cycle.