The most eccentric minds of the century had some weird habits and quirks to get their creative juices flowing. Were these odd personality traits a part of their mind-blowing contributions? We will never know. All we can do is study these genius minds and ponder over their habits.
10. YOSHIRO NAKAMATSU
Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu is a Nobel prize winner and the inventor of the floppy disk, he has more than 3000 patents to his name in 74 years of his life. He believes that most of his amazing ideas come to him when he is close to drowning.
“To starve the brain of oxygen,” says the man, “you must dive deep and allow the water pressure to deprive the brain of blood. Zero-point-five seconds before death, I visualize an invention.” He then jots his idea in an underwater notepad. Another key to Nakamatsu’s success? Brainstorming in a “calm room.” That’s a bathroom tiled in 24-karat gold.
9. SALVADOR DALI
‘I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.’ ring some bells yet? This Spanish surrealist painter had a bizarre looking mustache and an even bizarre life. Dali believed he was the reincarnation of his dead brother. He hung out with most famous people in the industry like Elvis Presley, David Bowie, John Lennon and even Sigmund Freud.
He is said to have been a sadist since his childhood. Once he found a wounded bat, he took care of him for a few days but one day he saw a line of ants feeding on the bat and what did he do? He bit into the bat himself with ants still running through it.
8. T. S ELIOT
T.S Eliot one of the most prolific writers of the contemporary times. This one had some strange quirks too. Eliot usually painted his face with green-tinted powder to look cadaverous for the visitors.
He often ran away from his home and stayed in Hideaway to avoid people and if anyone ever did meet him, he made them address him as “Captain Eliot” or “The Captain”.
7. LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
The one who gave some of the most amazing compositions. Beethoven is said to be a fairly dirty person by his contemporaries. He wore dirty clothes and left out food to rot. The smell of rotten food must have had his mind churning some greatest symphonies.
He was a short-tempered person and fought with almost everybody from friends and family to maids as well. His temper tantrums were so nasty that he’d throw things often and accused his associated of stealing. Probably this was the reason he never married.
6. NIKOLA TESLA
Another genius who was not a fan of sleep. If it were not for Tesla’s contribution of electricity it would be so many years until we could enjoy this privilege.His work started from 3.00 A.M and continued till late night with little or no breaks.This habit resulted in him having a mental breakdown at the age of 25.
Tesla is said to have some weird aversions to overweight women, pearls, human hair and sex, but he loved numbers especially the ones which were divisible by three. His love for numbers was so great that he went to a point to make sure he got hotel rooms in numbers divisible by three. He also had a need to dine alone as he cleaned his plates for about 18 times (also divisible by three). He was celibate for most of his life.
5. SIGMUND FREUD
Another pioneer in the history of neuroscience, Freud is said to have given a wonderful insight into a human’s mind. What was his addiction you may ask? Nicotine and cocaine.
Freud had given in his addiction of smoking cigars and injecting cocaine in his body. Even after being told by many doctors that he needed to give up on smoking because it gave him cardiac arrhythmia. He couldn’t give it up and had many surgeries for mouth cancer. Once when he tried to give it up he went swirling into depression and hallucinated images of dead people bidding farewell. His ultimate product from self-mediating cocaine was called ‘cocaine papers- a “song of praise to this magical substance.”
4. LEONARDO DA VINCI
Vinci was one of the most talented people to have walked on this earth. He was a prolific painter, scientist, inventor, architect, botanist, and mathematician, and also pursued numerous other fields of study. He is said to be a weird blend of perfectionist and procrastinator. Another fan of the polyphasic sleep cycle, he worked for 22 hours a day.
Da Vinci had a lot on his plate, his creation from the Monalisa to The Vitruvian Man, all were marvelous. He would work for a large amount of his time on one minuscule detail leaving the rest of the project untouched. What is this genius’s disdain for sleep? I certainly do not understand.
3. THOMAS ALVA EDISON
Edison adopted another cheeky sleep pattern called the polyphasic sleep cycle. He believed that sleeping more than two hours a day makes a man unproductive. This genius decided to divide his sleep into tiny power naps spread across his day for maximum productivity. He would sleep upright in his armchair with a hand full of marbles, whenever he started to go into a deep sleep the marbles would automatically fall out of his hand and awaken him with the noise. He then wrote whatever was on his mind from creative solution to daily chores that he had to complete.
Another method he developed was a quirky way of interviewing his associates before hiring them. He made them eat soup under his eye, the point being if people seasoned their soups or not. People who added salt or pepper to their soup before eating it were immediately dismissed for having too many assumptions.
2. CHARLES DICKENS
Dickens went patrolling policemen in the streets of Victorian London and is yet claimed to be the greatest social reformers of the century. Other than being an amazing writer he was also one obsessive human. He could never stand a hair out of its place and so kept combing them hundreds of times in a day.
He is said to be a victim of obsessive compulsive disorder and even mild epilepsy. He laid out some really specific work requirements and dictated his thoughts to an assistant while pacing in his study. Dickens believed in the movements of the earth and other celestial bodies have an effect on our lives, hence had a strong urge to sleep towards the northern direction as it aligned him better to the electrical currents of the Earth.
1. ALBERT EINSTEIN
The genius of the century was a slow speaker as a child and struggled to speak even in day to day life. Due to being a slow developer Einstein claimed that he got more time to understand the basic elements of life. Although there are myths of him failing university exams, in reality, he never failed all his exams. Einstein was homeschooled as a child due to his odd behavior in school. When applying for the university he failed exams of social sciences, not maths and science.
A young Albert Einstein was a ladies man, he married young with his college sweetheart. But the couple split due to Einstein odd behavior changes and infidelity in marriage.He also drew up a strange marriage contract with his first wife mentioning conditions under which their marriage would progress, which included “personal aspects must be reduced to a tiny remnant.” And he vowed, “In return, I assure you of proper comportment on my part, such as I would exercise to any woman as a stranger.”Later he is said to remarry to his second cousin Elsa when he failed at wooing Elsa’s daughter.