25 Super Smart Prodigies Struggling with Everyday Tasks

Posted by , Updated on March 21, 2024

Often times really, exceptionally good at one specific cognitive skill (like math or music), prodigies are not always very functional in society and might not even be able to tie their own shoes. These are 25 super smart prodigies who have trouble doing everyday things.



Derek Paravicini

amazing savants

Possibly one of the most technically talented musicians to ever play a piano, he can barely button his own shirt.


Temple Grandin

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A professor at Colorado State University, her superhuman eye for detail allows her to get inside animal’s heads to help do things like create better livestock handling equipment.


Tommy McHugh

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After having a brain aneurysm this Irish ex-con acquired an insane desire to paint. It’s all he does these days and has covered every inch of his house with it.


Thristan Mendoza

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Born in the Philippines and nicknamed Tum-Tum, Thristan was better than most professional marimba players by the age of 3.


Jerry and Mary Newport

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The couple whose lives were the basis for the 2005 film “Mozart and the Whale” they are both highly functional savants living with Asperger’s Syndrome. Jerry has been labeled the world’s “most versatile calculator” and Mary has a talent for art and piano.


Rüdiger Gamm

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His insane math skills didn’t develop until his twenties so he is also slightly more functional than most of the people on this list and as a bonus he can speak backwards fluently.


Orlando Serrell

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After being hit in the head with a baseball at the age of 10 Orlando realized he could perform extremely complicated calendar calculations and can remember the weather of every day since the incident.


Leslie Lemke

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Although his eye’s had to be removed at birth and it took him about 15 years to learn to walk, he learned Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in less than 15 minutes after hearing it on TV one night.


Henrietta Seth F.

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Only about 6 percent of savants are female so this Hungarian poet and artist already stands out. Her life was featured in the documentary “Freedom of Speech”.


James Henry Pullen

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Although he never managed to speak or write more than one syllable, his talent for creating things out of wood was unbelievable.


Matt Savage

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Another musical wunderkind, Matt never received any classical training but he is the only child to ever sign a contract with Bösendorfer pianos.


Gottfried Mind

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This Swiss savant could draw. More specifically, he could draw cats. And draw them he did. He even came to be fondly known as the “Raphael of Cats” due to his peculiar ability.


James Charles Castle

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Born in Idaho, James spent most of his days making incredible art out of random trash. For pencils he used sharpened sticks, soot, and saliva.


Ellen Boudreaux

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Without looking at a clock she can tell you the time down to the second, she’s memorized almost every song ever written, and because she’s blind she get around using echolocation by making chirping noises.


George Widener

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He grew up in a homeless shelter due to a lack of understanding of autism. Eventually, however, he found a release for his incredible mathematical mind through art.


Jason Padgett

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Another savant that acquired his abilities after being struck in the head, Jason has supposedly come up with an accurate visual explanation for e=mc2.


Richard Wawro

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While most of us eventually put down our crayons, Richard never did. He’s drawn some amazing masterpieces using nothing more than Crayola.


Stephen Wiltshire

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Called the “human camera”, he can draw entire cityscapes perfectly after just taking a glance at a bird’s eye photo.


Alonzo Clemons

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Although he has an IQ of only 45, like Stephen he can recreate things perfectly through sculpting after only catching a glimpse of them.


Tony Deblois

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He began performing on the piano at the age of 2. Since then he has mastered over 20 instruments and memorized thousands of songs.


Gilles Trehin

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As a savant, he learned to draw almost before he could walk. He then began creating society he called “Urville”. Today he has written and drawn numerous books on his fictional society.


Flo and Kay Lyman

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Another set of twins with unbelievable calendar counting abilities, they can name the day on which any date falls.


Jedediah Buxton

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Although he had no formal schooling he was a mathematical monster. He could deal with such large numbers in his head that he had to invent names for them.


Daniel Tammet

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In spite of being able to learn Icelandic in less than 1 week, if you ever meet Daniel more than once he won’t be able to remember your face.


Kim Peek

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Known as a “megasavant”, he can recall the complete contents of over 12,000 books from memory.