6 weird signs you're a genius (other than being incredibly intelligent)

There are many signs you're a genius. Your grades are a pretty good place to start, or people constantly calling you "poindexter" when you're on your way to a chess tournament.

But then there are some stranger things that science has found make you a genius...

6) You overthink

overthinking genius sign

It's no surprise that people renowned for their thinking are overthinkers. What's surprising is what they're over thinking about.

According to a recent study, there is a big connection between being massively anxious and having a creative mind and having a strong imagination.

Researchers at King's College, London, found that anxiety is a huge indicator of intelligence:

“It occurred to me that if you happen to have a preponderance of negatively hued self-generated thoughts, due to high levels of spontaneous activity in the parts of the medial prefrontal cortex that govern conscious perception of threat and you also have a tendency to switch to panic sooner than average people, due to possessing especially high reactivity in the basolateral nuclei of the amygdale, then that means you can experience intense negative emotions even when there’s no threat present."

Said Dr. Adam Perkins, an expert in Neurobiology of Personality.

"This could mean that for specific neural reasons, high scorers on neuroticism have a highly active imagination, which acts as a built-in threat generator.”

If you're a brooding worrier, you're much more likely to make breakthroughs and think creatively. Dr. Perkins said:

“Cheerful, happy-go-lucky people by definition do not brood about problems and so must be at a disadvantage when problem-solving compared to a more neurotic person.

We have a useful sanity check for our theory because it is easy to observe that many geniuses seem to have a brooding, unhappy tendency that hints they are fairly high on the neuroticism spectrum. For example, think of the life stories of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, etc. Perhaps the link between creativity and neuroticism was summed up most succinctly of all by John Lennon when he said: ‘Genius is pain.’"

5) You overdrink

overdrinking is sign of genius

Let's be clear about this. Getting drunk will not turn you into a genius. If you think that could happen, and try it, you're probably towards the lower end of the intelligence spectrum. Getting w*nkered on vodka will not make you the next Einstein.

But studies have often shown a link between drinking and intelligence. A recent study by the National Child Development Study found that the more intelligent you are as a child, the more alcohol you consume as an adult.

alcohol consumption intelligence correlation

Socioeconomic factors were taken into account.

Drinking was found to be a sign of high intelligence, and the researchers suggested:

"More intelligent individuals are more likely to engage in evolutionarily novel behavior. Since the consumption of modern alcoholic beverages - including binge drinking and getting drunk - is evolutionarily novel, the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to engage in it, and the empirical data from the UK and the US confirm it."

Once again; necking tequila will not turn you into Stephen Hawking, and quaffing pint after pint of beer will not magically help you pass your degree. But if you already do these things, it could be because you're a goddamn genius.


Before you ask: yes it applies to drugs as well. Researchers have also found that those with higher IQs are more likely to experiment with illegal drugs. Conventional wisdom would dictate that smarter people would be aware of the inherent dangers involved with drug use and the potential life altering effects. What they discovered, however, was that higher-IQ subjects were more likely to experiment with drugs.

The men were 50 percent more likely to take amphetamines and 65 percent more likely to experiment with ecstasy.


4) You're an incredibly hairy man

very hairy intelligence

A study of male medical students found that 45% of them were ranked “very hairy”, compared to the general population, where only 10% of men are in this category. It also found that the hairier the man, the better the grades.

These findings aren’t a one-off anomaly either. A study conducted on Mensa members found that the most intelligent men had magnificently hairy backs and chests.

So far the link has only been found in men.

3) You lie your ass off

liers are geniuses

Lying is obviously a sign of creativity. It takes a creative mind to blame the dog, or lie and say you have an incredibly high IQ.

New research has even shown that lying about performance on one task may increase creativity on a subsequent task by making people feel less bound by conventional rules. In short - lying makes you more creative (and possibly smarter).

Studies have also found that toddlers who lie more will go on to be much more intelligent in adulthood. So if you lied your ass off as a toddler and blamed your smaller siblings when you broke stuff as a child, that's a good indication you're some kind of super-genius.

2) You stay up late, or barely sleep at all

sleep deprivation

Can't sleep? Reading this at 3am? You Einstein, buddy?

A recent study by the London School of Economics has shown that insomnia is a natural tendency of the highly intelligent. They found that the rates of sleep achieved in hours per night declines as the average IQ level raises. In short - if you're smart, you don't sleep.

Whilst many speculate that this is because a busy mind will find it more difficult to sleep, or having more time to think will eventually lead to being more intelligent, the studies suggests that intelligent people stay up late because it's novel:

"The Savanna–IQ Interaction Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals are more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals, but general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar values and preferences. Individuals can often choose their values and preferences even in the face of genetic predisposition. One example of such choice within genetic constraint is circadian rhythms. Survey of ethnographies of traditional societies suggests that nocturnal activities were probably rare in the ancestral environment, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be nocturnal than less intelligent individuals."

In other words, intelligent people just want to be different, and so make a point of staying up late and sleeping less than a gazelle on crack.

1) You have blue eyes

blue eyes high IQ

Sorry, everyone (including me) who doesn't have blue eyes. Scientists have found a big link between having blue eyes and having a high IQ.

This doesn't mean that if you have brown eyes you should give up your dream of curing cancer, or invest in some blue contacts. But they have found a tendency for blue-eyed people to excel at strategic and self-paced activities (such as academic sciences) and point out that a disproportionate amount of top-level scientists, such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, have dreamy blue eyes.

Like this? Check out 5 things you didn't know were lowering your grades...