Everyone knows that many intelligent people are a little eccentric. Some have some interesting behavioral quirks, or are recluses or just don't seem to have any social skills. We accept that has been a quirk of extreme intelligence. But what about intelligent people who have gone nuts, by nuts we mean people who have had complete breakdowns and done something truly crazy. This list contains four people who have really gone insane, we're not just talking your run of the mill crazy, we're talking bona fide nuts. So, read on, and find out that even some of the most famous intelligent people of all time have gone completely insane.


 article about crazy intelligent people
You've probably heard of his theorem, which has become one of the most important pillars of trigonometry, all to do with the figuring out the hypotenuse of a triangle. He was also in some ways the father of Physics, discovering that natural phenomena can be explained by mathematics. He is one of the most influential scientists of all time, leading the way for many of the discoveries that we take for granted today. Unfortunately, he also went a little bit crazy.

  He decided, at some point during his life, to invent a religion. It was called Pythagoreanism. OK, that is a little crazy I hear you say, but unfortunately it gets worse. Some of the rules of Pythagoreanism were relatively normal, it believed in reincarnation, vegetarianism and pacifism. Unfortunately, one of the central tenants of the religion was that beans are evil. Real beans, like baked beans, completely evil and you should never eat them. What exactly made one of the greatest scientific minds go so nuts that he formed a religion mostly based on the evilness of beans is unknown, but Pythagoras was a bon-fide nutbag.


 article about crazy intelligent people
A name that almost everyone on earth have heard, the artistic genius behind the Sistine Chapel, David and countless other magnificent artistic works. Why, you must be wondering, does this legend make it onto the list. Because, in addition to being a genius artist, he was also crazy.

  Michelangelo did not believe in personal hygiene. He rarely changed his clothes, he never bathed. In fact his assistant once said that he had left his shoes on for so long that when he took them off, the skin came with it. He didn't cut his toe nails so they were long and disgusting and he avoided pretty much all social interaction.

It has been speculated that he had Autism, but he was certainly crazy. The type of crazy that allows you to produce some of the best art in the history of the world though.

Interested in street art instead?


 article about crazy intelligent people
Another Greek scientist, Empedocles contributed countless insights into the world of science, changing the way we look at the world for ever. Among other things he discovered that the Earth was a sphere and that light travels at a certain speed. He literally changed the world in terms of thinking.

  So good, in fact, was Empedocles at Science, that he truly bought into his intelligence in a nuts way. Not only did he believe he was a great scientist, he also believed he was God. Literally God. So convinced was he, that he was the Almighty, that he declared that he would jump into Mount Etna and jump back out with no injury. Unfortunately it turned out that he wasn't a god, just crazy, and he died quite quickly once he entered the Volcano.

Yukio Mishima

 article about crazy intelligent people
You might not have heard of him but Yukio Mishima is one of the most fantastic geniuses of all time. A writer, he is best known as the publisher of 'Confessions Of A Mask', widely regarded as one of the best works of fiction ever published, and he published it at just 24. Over the subsequent years he published 20 more books, he was nominated for three Nobel prizes and was generally regarded as literary genius.

Unfortunately, all that fame went to his head, and in 1968 he went insane. He founded a cult called Tatenokai. The cults members consisted of teenage boys with great bodies (and himself), the cult devoted its time to getting fit by lifting weights and martial arts. This might not sound too crazy, but it gets worse.

In 1970, he became the driver of the crazy train and decided to overthrow the Japanese government. He stormed into the Japanese Defense Headquarters and attempted a coup, his 'army' consisting of himself and four of his fit young boys from the cult. He quickly realized that this may not be enough and took to a balcony and began yelling at people passing by to join the fight. He was unsuccessful in his recruitment drive.

After a short while he went back into the building and committed Seppuku, a suicide ritual that involves disemboweling yourself. A rather unfortunate end for this genius.

Does Everyone Intelligent Go Nuts?
Fortunately not, but if the people above have proven one thing, it is that there is a fine line between crazy and genius and the three people have above fairly spectacularly stepped over that line. They weren't the first and they won't be the last. While todays geniuses tend to do a little less ritualistic suicide, there are still some total wack-jobs out there, who are pretty highly respected in their fields.