12 Outstanding People Who Prove There’s a Fine Line Between Genius and Madness
Have you ever noticed that geniuses often behave strangely? For example, Victor Hugo shaved off half of his hair and beard to deter himself from going outside and distracting himself from writing his novel. Charles Dickens liked to visit the Paris morgue and Sarah Bernhardt used to sleep in a coffin.
Bright Side recently got acquainted with some prominent people’s biographies and thinks you should also read these impressive stories.
The famous naturalist and traveler had really weird food preferences. During his trip around the world, Charles Darwin not only studied the faunal diversity, but also ate every single creature he met, including insects.
He really liked armadillo and an unnamed chocolate-colored rodent, but was disappointed with a puma stew. Darwin was even a member of The Glutton Club: they met each week and discussed which exotic dishes they’d tried.
The writer forced himself to work using some weird methods. He made his servants take all his clothes away, so that he wasn’t able to leave his house. And when he worked on The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, he cut off half of his beard and hair and threw the scissors away.
Gabrielle Coco Chanel
The famous fashion designer always carried scissors around her neck. Once she noticed one of her models came wearing a dress created by another designer. Chanel cut her garment and said it looked more elegant that way.
Once Johann Goethe was waiting for Friedrich Schiller in his office. Suddenly he noticed an unpleasant smell. Trying to find where it came from, he opened a desk drawer, and found a pile of rotten apples. It turned out that the smell inspired the writer and helped him work.
Charles Dickens’ favorite entertainment was to visit the Paris morgue. He admitted, “When I’m Paris, an unknown force makes me visit the morgue. I don’t want to go there, but I go.” The writer also used to follow a champagne diet prescribed by a doctor.
The American inventor liked to eat weeds. Ford went into the fields, picked the grass under his feet, and made sandwiches, salads, and soups out of it. He thought of the body as a machine and that the stomach was like a boiler and needed the proper fuel to run efficiently.
George Gordon Byron
Lord Byron was a really eccentric person who loved animals. When he entered Cambridge, he tried to carry his dog with him though pet dogs were banned.
When he was prohibited, the poet bought a bear and took it to his room. He argued that since bears weren’t specifically mentioned in their statutes, the college had no legal grounds for complaint. Byron won the argument against the college and the bear stayed with him in his room.
Oscar Wilde also liked exotic animals. He loved to walk with his pet lobster and used to go with a white rat to the theatre.
The actor was obsessed with cleanliness. He always changed his clothes, took a shower several times a day, but avoided using a bath (in Gable’s mansion, there were no baths at all.) He was disgusted by the thought of sitting in dirty water.
The inventor had an unusual method of hiring new research scientists. He invited them for dinner, offered them a bowl of soup, and watched. Those who added salt before trying a dish were ruled out. Edison didn’t want to work with people who drew conclusions before carrying out an experiment.
This French “theatre queen” was also really eccentric. She had a coffin that she always took with her when she moved around. She slept, read, and learned her roles by heart in there.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
The composer had many different oddities. For example, he rarely shaved, since he thought shaving was bad for creativity. He also didn’t pay attention to his looks. His clothes were usually dirty and ragged and his gray hair stood on end. What’s more, he requested coffee made of exactly 60 beans only.
Bonus: David Bowie
Do you remember David’s famous look when he had no eyebrows and red hair? People used to think he shaved his eyebrows on purpose. But in fact, they fell out as a result of a nervous breakdown that occurred when his song Drive-In Saturday was rejected.
Do you think we’ve forgotten to add anyone to this list?
Preview photo credit LFI / Avalon.red / REPORTER