This article is an oxymoron. Ideally, writing a list about the smartest people to ever live may not be the most genius thing to do as intelligence varies in a number of ways. Normally, people would think that being smart refers to the notion involving IQ tests, grades, and the like––however, some bet their money on emotions.
To add to that, there’s also this expectancy of people to relate being intelligent to the works that a genius has done like an invention of some sort that could rapidly change the course of the world. I don’t know if that matters to you at all, but we’re still bringing you the smartest people of all time!
Do note that IQ testing was developed in the 1900s. However, there have been studies that estimated the IQs of those geniuses before the 1900s.
10. Thomas Young (IQ: 185-200)
Note that anything above 140 is extravagant––but adding an easy 45-60 points to it? Incredible. An English polymath by the name of Thomas Young made various discoveries in human anatomy and optics. He discovered that the eye changes shape in order to focus on objects from range. He also helped in deciphering the Rosetta Stone––a rigorous task in itself.
9. William Sidis (IQ: 200-300)
A prodigy since he was a child, William Sidis is said to be the inspiration for Good Will Hunting––a very good movie, might I add. At the age of just nine years old, he was already accepted into Harvard. However, he grew up not wanting to interact with anyone. What were you doing when you were nine years old, huh?
8. Gottfried Leibniz (IQ: 182-205)
The German philosopher devised new discoveries in the fields of both physics and language with a new formulation of laws. Including that, he also founded the binary numeral system which is what we find in modern computers and devices.
7. Nicolaus Copernicus (IQ: 160-200)
If you think the solar system revolves around our Earth, then blame the Polish mathematician and astronomer for concluding that the sun is at the center of the solar system.
6. Rudolf Clausius (IQ: 190-205)
The German physicist got to the bottom of the second law of thermodynamics and was one of the first people to fight for molecules being made up of interchangeable atoms. You just wonder, at such an olden age of technology, how people like Clausius get to discover these things.
5. James Maxwell (IQ: 190-205)
If there wasn’t a Maxwell, there wouldn’t be an Einstein. The mathematical physicist founded the theory of electromagnetic radiation––paving the way for Einstein and his coveted field of quantum theory.
4. Isaac Newton (IQ: 190-200)
How is it a list of the smartest people and not have Newton in it? The English physicist and mathematician discovered the theory of gravitation alongside its laws of motion. He also developed calculus. The previous sentence was the shortest yet most impactful sentence I’ve written my whole life.
3. Leonardo da Vinci (IQ: 180-220)
da Vinci was, to say the least, a handful of things in his time. Being a Renaissance painter, architect, musician, mathematician, inventor, and writer––the Italian polymath painted the beautiful Mona Lisa.
2. Albert Einstein (IQ: 160-225)
Thought he was the smartest of the list? Well, think again. The German physicist is known for his principle of relativity––eventually leading to the final ideals of the atomic bomb. This man was too dangerously smart for his own sake.
1. Johann Goethe (IQ: 180-225)
The German polymath boasted many notable achievements in sciences and will forever be responsible for uplifting Western literature as he is one of the greatest talents to ever grace it by penning “Faust” and others.