There’s a thin line between genius and insanity. For some people, the line is especially thin. Like Calista Flockhart thin. But, sometimes, the crazy ones end up having a few revolutionary tricks up their sleeves, which may or may not be made of human flesh. Here are 5 certifiable nutterbutters that made the world a better place.
1. Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe is widely considered the godfather of modern astronomy. He catalogued an incredible amount of dead-on observations regarding the positions of the planets and stars. Most impressively, he did it all without the aid of a telescope.
This guy raised the bar pretty high for wealthy and eccentric nutjobs. At one point, he had a net worth of about one percent of the entire wealth of the country of Denmark. He wore a prosthetic nose made of silver and gold. His real nose got cut off in a sword duel that inexplicably took place in absolute darkness. It’s like his whole life was some elaborate audition to be the next Bond villain.
But wait, it gets crazier. Brahe kept a pet moose in his home that died after drinking too much booze and falling down a flight of stairs. Brahe was also known for employing a dwarf who dressed as a jester and supposedly had psychic powers. Basically, Brahe was the 16th century Danish Willy Wonka with mind-reading oompa loompas running around his demented observatory.
2. Yoshiro Nakamatsu
Yoshiro Nakamatsu has more patents to his name than any other person ever; he has 2,000 more than Thomas Edison. Nakamatsu invented the floppy disk, the CD, the DVD, and the digital watch just to name a few of his contributions to mankind.
Nakamatsu is determined to live to the exact age of 144. He sleeps only four hours a night as he thinks any more sleep is hazardous to his health. He only eats what he calls his “Yummy Nutri brain food” which consists of an unholy combination of seaweed, cheese, yogurt, beef, and chicken liver.
The cherry on top of this crazy cake is that in order to come up with his inventions, Nakamatsu submerges himself under water until he’s on the verge of death. Then, half a second before he buys the farm, the Japanese mad scientist apparently has a flash of inspiration and voila! A technological breakthrough! Seriously, there’s got to be an easier way. Floppy disks are not worth having your lungs flooded with water until you see blinding Christ light.
3. Dr. John Kellogg
John Kellogg invented cereal. Granted, it was just plain old corn flakes but before that, all people ate for breakfast was porridge and eggs. I know Walt Jr. and the entire breakfast eating world is grateful for his contributions.
As it turns out, Kellogg was more than just cuckoo for corn flakes. He was honey bunches of totally f*cking crazy. Kellogg believed that corn flakes, as part of a low sugar diet, would help prevent kids from masturbating. This Fruit loop thought that masturbation was more dangerous than the plague and that it caused insanity, epilepsy, and cancer.
Kellogg was so anti-jerking that in his sanitarium, (Hint: you know a guy is insane when he runs his own sanitarium) he carried out circumcisions, without anesthetics, on young boys as punishment for beating it. He also applied pure carbolic acid to females’ clitorises in order to “dull” their sexual excitement. You know what I always say: Nothing helps fend off all those sexually rabid nymphos quite like a searing dose of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris.
Another fun fact: Kellogg was a proponent of yogurt enemas, which is exactly what it sounds like. Somehow, shoving yogurt up someone’s ass was one of the tamer things this cereal-peddling looney tune did to his patients.
4. Sergei Bryukhoneko
Sergei Bryukhoneko was a Soviet scientist who had an enormous impact on medicine when he invented the world’s first life-support machine called the Autojector.
Naturally, comrade Sergei needed subjects on whom he could test his machine. Fortunately, he didn’t use people to test out his Autojector. Unfortunately, he used dogs. Tons and tons of cute and cuddly dogs. What kind of psycho murders puppies, even in the name of science? Use mice or gerbils or literally any other small animal for God’s sake. Just not dogs. Yes, he would bring the dogs back to life but they would be irreparably brain damaged at that point. The sickest part is that, eventually, Sergei tested his machine on just severed dogs’ heads. Not the whole dog, just its decapitated head. Come on guy. Dog heads. Jesus.
Basically, Sergei Bryukhonenko was dog Frankenstein. He was like Michael Vick with a PhD. I gotta say, it doesn’t get much lower than puppy executioner. Sarah McLachlan would have a sh*tfit if she heard about this one.
Pythagoras is one of the founding fathers of mathematics. He came up with the Pythagorean Theorem and discovered the golden ratio. Many of his ideas form the basis of the math we still use to this very day.
Math is boring. What’s not boring is the fact that Pythagoras was actually the leader of a cult. Pythagoras’ cult was, unsurprisingly, based around the worship of numbers. To Pythagoras and his followers, numbers were divine and could be found everywhere in nature. His cult also had strange rules such as don’t have sex in the summer and never eat beans because they’re evil.
Like any good cult leader, Pythagoras commanded his followers to kidnap and murder those who did not share their beliefs. Exhibit A: Hippasus. A fellow mathematician, Hippasus brought up the possibility of irrational numbers, which Pythagoras categorically rejected. For his insolence, Hippasus was tied up, placed on a boat in the middle of a lake, and the boat was lit on fire. I think we can all agree that burning a guy alive because of a disagreement over decimals is a completely rational and tempered reaction. What’s that? We can’t all agree on that? Pythagoras was actually the Charlie Manson of math? Right. Got it.