Geniuses that Changed the Modern World

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Geniuses, as we are made to believe, are those who have never made a fool out of themselves and had always kept their poise. We are inclined to think that they didn’t do anything that would showcase any flaw or clumsiness on their part. This, however, is the exact opposite. Even if they did change and modernize the world we live in today, here are some crazy facts about crazy geniuses that changed the world! From wearing wooden wings to jumping off buildings, and yes we believe any list would fall short unless a crazy scientist holds their pee, here are 25 geniuses that changed the modern world.


1. Pythagoras

Besides the Pythagorean Theorum one of his great ideas was that beans were so bad for you that they should not be eaten or touched. Legend has it that he was chased from his house by attackers and after coming to a bean field he chose to face his death rather than cross it.

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2. Thomas Edison

Inventor of a lot of stuff…that Tesla actually invented. Anyway, he is still considered one famous person for modernizing the world. But how did he fare well in the crazy scale? Well, let’s just say he electrocuted an elephant to death just to prove how dangerous Tesla’s AC current was. Or so they say. While it may just be a myth about his electrocuting-escapade, Edison hated sleep and he was, ultimately, crazy. But, yep, anyone who hated sleep at the time, considering insomnia wasn’t a thing yet, was crazy.

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3. Nikolai Tesla

After building a high frequency oscillator he invited Mark Twain over because Mark was having digestive issues. He told Mark to stand on the machine and about 90 seconds later Mark ran for the bathroom. Nikolai later remarked that he had shook the poop out of Mark Twain.

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4. Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov

This Russian biologist was famous for creating animal hybrids. His madness came to a peak when Stalin ordered him to create a race of slave ape men who would serve communist Russia. He ended up inseminating several monkeys with human semen although none of them became pregnant. Or so they say.

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5. Tycho Brahe

This Danish astronomer is famous for staying at the table during a banquet in Prague even though he needed to pee. Unfortunately he ended up developing a kidney stone and dying.

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6. Sidney Gottlieb

An American military psychiatrist with a Ph.D. in chemistry, Sidney had some crazy ideas in his days. He was the man responsible for the idea to fill Castro’s shoes with thallium to make his beard fall out.

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7. Henry Cavendish

Although he basically discovered hydrogen, Henry had notoriously bad social skills and sat at home all day. His discoveries weren’t found out until nearly 100 years after his death by James Maxwell and by that time other people had made pretty much all of his discoveries and received the credit.

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8. Robert Chesebrough

Some inventors try out their products, you know, to know exactly what’s wrong with it. Chefs, on the other hand, taste their product to know what’s missing. Mix both together and you end up with an inventor tasting his own invention- every single day. Robert Chesebrough did not only invent Vaseline, he also ate it every single day. So much for a taste-test.

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9. Oliver Heaviside

The British mathematician was known as an eccentric who placed huge granite blocks around his house and went for long periods of time consuming nothing but milk.

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10. Paul Erdős

This Hungarian mathematician was so devoted to his work that he never married and lived out of a suitcase. At the end of his life he had published about 1,500 papers.

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11. Yoshiro Nakamatsu

The Japanese inventor responsible for the CD, DVD, and digital watch documents every single thing he eats in order to fulfill his passion of living to be exactly 144 years old and apparently not a second more.

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12. Alexander Bogdanov

This Russian doctor was so obsessed with finding the secret of eternal youth (typically through blood transfusions) that one day he unknowingly injected himself with the blood of a student who was suffering from malaria. Alexander died, but ironically enough, the student survived.

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13. Richard Feynman

Known for his work on the Manhattan Project, Richard was also a notorious prankster. He would spend his free time picking locks and cracking safes around the premises to show how easy it would be to break in somewhere (ironic considering he worked in such a secure environment). He also became fluent in Mayan and learned how to throat sing.

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14. Henry Winstanley

An English engineer famous for designing the first lighthouse of Eddystone, he was so confident in his work that he decided to stay in the lighthouse whenever there was a storm. In November of 1703 England witnessed just how misplaced his confidence was as the lighthouse crashed to the ground during a storm with the eccentric inventor inside.

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15. William Chester Minor

An American surgeon who was responsible for adding most of the example quotations to the original Oxford Dictionary. The crazy part? He did this while in an insane asylum because he had killed somebody in a bout of paranoia. His incarceration gave him plenty of time to think of example sentences though.

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16. Franz Reichelt

Known as the “flying taylor” this Frenchman was an early paratrooper pioneer who dedicated himself to finding a way for soldiers to survive falls from airplanes. After a few test flights with dummies being thrown out of windows he decided to go all out and jumped off the Eiffel Tower wearing his invention. Unfortunately the results were not life sustaining.

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17. Rudolf Diesel

After inventing the diesel engine he committed suicide because he thought his invention wouldn’t be successful.

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18. Buckminster Fuller

The architect famous for creating the geodesic dome only slept 2 hours a night and wore three watches so he could keep track of time in different time zones.

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19. Samuel Morse

In spite of developing Morse Code, Samuel was a bit crazy. He came to the conclusion that Blacks, Jews, Catholics, and the entire country of Austria were out to destroy America. Ironically, his invention facilitated global interconnectivity and therefore immigration as well.

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20. Leo Fender

While he invented the telecaster and stratocaster guitars he allegedly couldn’t play a single chord.

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21. Sergei Bryukhonenko

Responsible for creating the first life support machine, Sergei is known for keeping a severed dog’s head alive for several minutes. Why? He needed to test his machine and even back then humans were generally off limits for such things.

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22. Robert Oppenheimer

A brilliant physicist who was fluent in eight languages and had trouble understanding the limitations of others, Robert apparently once asked a colleague, Leo Nedelsky, to prepare a lecture for him out of a textbook. Leo came back confused and told him the book was in Dutch to which Robert replied, “But it’s such easy Dutch!”

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23. Werner Heisenberg

The famous German theoretical physicist basically invented the famous uncertainty equations of quantum mechanics but when he was asked during his doctoral dissertation about how a battery works, he had no idea.

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24. Abu Nasr Isma’il ibn Hammad Al-Jawhari

Apart from the crazy name, this guy authored an Arabic dictionary that contained 40,000 words. His real claim to fame, however, came when he jumped off a building with wooden wings. There were no survivors.

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25. Andrew Jackson

Besides his tactical genius on the battlefield, this American president was a bit off his rocker. He was known to get in so many duels and gunfights that some friends claimed he would cough up blood on a regular basis.

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