Some people are truly extraordinary and show it from an early age. In the fields of science, art, and sports, child prodigies stand out because they manage to reach impossible goals for someone their age. These accomplishments are usually related to their superior intelligence which allowed them to maturely approach a discipline that interests them. These children have surprised us with their fantastic work capacity and dedication to their passions.
Bright Side wants to share stories of 9 child prodigies who managed to excel in different branches of art, research, and sports from a very young age. Their feats have led us to conclude that they are genuinely gifted beings.
The child prodigy
History has given us hundreds of examples of child prodigies. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed musical pieces from the age of 5, and at that same age, he achieved notoriety as a musical performer. At the age of 5, Lope de Vega could read both in Spanish and Latin. At 12, he wrote his first comedy (over the course of his life, he would write about 1,500). There are many more examples (like Arthur Rimbaud, Blaise Pascal, and Gustav Mahler) but in this article, we will focus on cases closer to our time.
In this list, we included children who are contemporary to our time. Some are already adults, others are still adolescents, and some of them are still children. However, they all have one thing in common: they’re extraordinary beings and true geniuses.
1. Jacob Barnett
The case of Jacob Barnett (born in 1998) is unique because his genius coexists with his autism. At the age of 2, the doctors told his parents that he may never read or talk again. But instead, when he spoke again, he was able to speak 4 languages. Jacob started auditing physics classes at Indiana University at 8. A year later he expanded Einstein’s field of relativity, which was noted by experts as ground-breaking. At 12 he wrote his first physics paper and became the youngest researcher to be accepted to Waterloo, Ont.’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics at the age of 15.
2. Akrit Jaswal
Akrit Jaswal (born in 1993) was an exceptionally gifted child on all levels. Only 10 months after being born, he was already taking his first steps. Shortly after, at age 2, he could read and write. At 5, he was reading Shakespeare’s plays in English. However, the most fantastic thing about him is his passion for medicine which led him to perform his first surgical intervention at the age of 7 without receiving any academic training. His case became known within his community and soon after, at age 11, he began studying at a university. His estimated IQ is 146.
3. Onafujiri Remet
Onafujiri Remet(2010) is a child prodigy in the field of the arts. He was born in Nigeria and was only 3 years old when he began taking photographs of the streets of Lagos. He managed to make his first photographic exhibition before turning 4. The boy comes from a family of artists. His father is also a photographer, a graphic designer, and has been a great promoter of Onafujiri’s artistic development.
4. Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning is recognized worldwide as an actress and model. But her career started early on. She was really mature as a child and was able to hold full conversations at age 5. Her mother enrolled her in a drama course. And she was not mistaken. At age 7, Dakota was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in My Name is Sam, making her the youngest actress to receive a nomination in that category.
At only 25, Dakota has already garnered dozens of awards and nominations for her work. She has starred in over 30 movies and television shows (including a Friends episode and Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).
5. Judit Polgár
Judit Polgár is a Hungarian chess player. She is considered one of the world’s best chess players in history. At age 15, she received the title of Grand Master, making her the youngest person to earn the distinction. In 2002, she defeated the famous chess player Garry Kaspárov. Now a mother of 2 children, she retired from chess competitions in 2014.
6. Taylor Wilson
Taylor Wilson was born in 1994. His passion for nuclear physics led him to build his first nuclear fusion reactor at age 14. He is the youngest person in history to accomplish such a feat. With that project, he won first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
7. B-Girl Terra
B-Girl Terra was born in 2007 in the United Kingdom. From a very young age, she showed great talent for dancing and was part of the UK break dancing troupe Soul Mavericks. At age 6, she achieved world recognition by participating in the breakdance competition known as “Chelles Battle Pro” on the outskirts of Paris. She won an award as the best dancer in her category, and the videos of her performance in the competition went viral, turning her into a celebrity.
8. Quvenzhané Wallis
Quvenzhané Wallis was born in 2003 in the USA. In 2012, at just 9 years of age, she starred in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild. Her performance was so spectacular that she won several film awards and set a record as the youngest actress to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category. She also participated in other significant films such as 12 Years a Slave and Fathers and Daughters.
9. Alma Deutscher
Alma Deutscher was born in 2005 in England and is a pianist, a violinist, and a songwriter. She started playing the piano at age 2 and the violin at age 3. At 4, she composed her first musical pieces. At the age of 6, she could already write them by hand, and at 7, she produced her first significant work, an opera called The Sweeper of Dreams.
Since then, she has created sonatas, operas, and concerts, and also stands out as a performer. Because of her young age and talent for acting and composition, she has been compared to Mozart, though she is not comfortable with that comparison. She doesn’t want to be compared to anyone. She wants to be known as Alma or Little Soul.
Which of these children amazed you the most? Have you ever come across a genius child? How did you dream of standing out during your childhood? Please tell us in the comment section.
Preview photo credit Álvaro / Wikimedia Commons