10 little-known stories about the oddities of the great physicist Isaac Newton

When it came to Isaac Newton, the first thing that comes to mind is a fallen apple and the law of universal gravity discovered by him. This scientist discovered the fundamental laws of gravity and physics. But, unfortunately, from genius to insanity half a step. And over time the mind of the scientist began to malfunction, and the circle of interests smoothly shifted from physics to mysticism. Most of this work was devoted to alchemy, mysticism and prophecy, and this is not the greatest strangeness of the great scientist.
1. Isaac Newton threatened to burn his mother

Portrait of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Artist Barrington Brumley

Isaac Newton was very religious. He studied the Bible with no less passion than science. At a young age of 20, when his mind was still intact, Newton made a list of his 57 most serious sins. He considered it a kind of remorse. Some of them are minor offenses. So, the scientist admitted that somehow at work in church ate an apple. But other confessions clearly were precursors of mental instability, which overtook Newton in many years.

An ingenious scientist asked God for forgiveness for having struck his sister and beat a man named Arthur Storr. It turns out his mother and his stepfather, Barnabas Smith, also did not escape Newton’s wrath. The future genius threatened his stepfather and mother to burn them together with the house.

2. Isaac Newton and the Philosopher’s Stone

Newton himself copied the text of the American alchemist George Starkey.

In the last years of his life, Isaac Newton began to actively seek the philosopher’s stone. As some people believed at the time, it was a mystical substance capable of turning one metal into another (for example, lead into gold) and giving eternal drink to everyone who drank it.

For Newton this was not superstition, in his opinion, alchemy was a real science. He believed that the philosopher’s stone is real. He studied every article on alchemy that he could find, and conducted constant experiments in his own laboratory, trying to create an elixir that would give him eternal life. Most likely, in the creation of such a Newton believed mercury.

For many years, he inhaled in the laboratory during the experiments toxic fumes from mercury and even drank it. Some think that this was the beginning of his insanity, that mercury damaged the brain of the scientist and led him to madness. In the 1970s, tests of a sample of his hair showed a mercury content of 40 times the normal level.
3. 2060 – the end of the world
The end of the world will come in 2060 – so said Isaac Newton in his treatise. This year, supposedly, an angel must fly across the sky, declaring to all that the empire of Babylon will fall, and Christ will return, marking a new era of the God-fearing and spiritualized world. And, interestingly, Newton did not think that there would be some metaphorical angel, he insisted that in 2060 a real angel would appear in the sky, and he was quite sure of his rightness.

Newton was sure that he knew the exact date of the apocalypse.

In the end, he even wrote a complex mathematical proof of this, based mainly on the Book of Daniel and Revelation. In fact, Newton provided the world with a more rational, carefully calculated forecasting of the end of the world.
4. The Catholic Church and the Beast of the Apocalypse

The beginning of the end, according to Newton, has already come. The famous scientist in a long treatise on the apocalypse claimed that some prophecies of Daniel had already come true. The eleven-year-old beast of the Day of Judgment, who, according to the Book of Daniel, will rise and utter blasphemy against the Lord and compel the rulers of the world to bow before him, has already gained strength. It was … a Catholic church.

Newton considered the church a world dictator.

Newton wrote a whole document in which he asserted that the Church “provides laws to rulers and peoples like the Oracle, claims infallibility, and its dictates are mandatory for the whole world.” In the treatise, he accused the Catholic Church of preaching blasphemy, supporting the “invocation of the dead and the veneration of their images,” presumably referring to the veneration of the saints.
5. Magical properties of “menstrual blood”

That same metal antimony.

Isaac Newton tried to keep his quest for a philosophical stone in secret. But after his death, among the things the scientist found some of his recipes and published them today. In many experiments conducted by the scientist, there was an ingredient such as “menstrual blood of a dirty whore”. However, it is possible that you should not take everything literally. Alchemy was a secret occupation, and the alchemists themselves were able to encrypt their records. Professor Bill Newman, that so Newton called metal antimony.
6. Isaac Newton and the mystery of the emerald tablet

Among Newton’s notes after his death, a handwritten translation was found, which Isaac Newton made for himself from the Emerald Table – a mystical text that was supposed to give the key to life force. According to legend, Emerald tablet made Hermes Trismegistus, “the greatest of the great” pagan prophet, who was supposed to be something like the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Engraving of the emerald tablet, which was translated by Newton.

It was alleged that the Emerald tablet taught the secrets of the first matter: the formless substance from which everything at the beginning of time was. Newton seemed to believe that in this text there was an encoded message that allowed him to control the first-matter and turn any element into any other.
7. The Temple of Solomon: a miniature version of the universe

Another of Newton’s favorite projects is the extremely long and extremely detailed analysis of the Temple of Solomon. This is an incredibly thorough work in which Newton tried to measure the exact size and use of each room in the temple of the biblical king Solomon. To such a large-scale project of the scientist led not just a passion for architecture. Newton was convinced that the Temple of Solomon contains the key to God’s plan for the universe. He believed that the Bible is filled with coded clues that only the wise can decipher, and if he could understand how Solomon’s temple looked, he would figure out the nature of the entire universe.

The Temple of Solomon – a miniature version of the universe

For Newton it was not a passing fad. He learned Hebrew and Latin to get acquainted with the original translations of the Bible and the Hebrew texts and make sure that he did not miss a single detail.
8. Seven mystical colors of the rainbow

The colors of the rainbow people owe to Newton.

Isaac Newton was a man who came up with the usual seven colors of the rainbow today: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue and purple. According to Newton, the number seven was sacred. He followed the old, mystical conviction that the number seven was “the spirit of everything.” This number, in the end, is found throughout the Bible: God created the world in seven days, Joseph predicted seven years of famine, Jesus fed the people with seven loaves, and the apocalypse was to be announced with seven seals and seven trumpets.
9. Isaac Newton and the fate of Atlantis
Newton did not just write about Christian beliefs. He also created a whole treatise on the lost city of Atlantis, analyzing the work of Plato and Homer in order to try to find out where the sunken city hides. Atlantis, as Newton argued, was a fairly ordinary city-state, the legend of which was heavily “swollen” over time. It was destroyed as a result of a large flood that swept the whole world, but the city was not completely flooded, and not all were lost.

Calypso. Painter Karl Rudolf Heinrich Lehmann.

Newton wrote that the princess of Atlantis survived. It was supposedly Calypso, a nymph from the Odyssey. When Odysseus landed on the island of Calypso, he found the remnants of Atlantis and met with the last survivors. Based on Newton’s calculations, Atlantis sank in 1796 BC, and Ulysses landed there in 896 BC, that is, at that time Calypso would have been no less than 900 years old.
10. Complete mental disorder of Isaac Newton
The mental disorder of Newton grew stronger. He stayed home at home, writing strange, mystical tracts, and less and less out of the house to talk with friends who found him simply unbearable.

Sir Isaac Newton. Artist Enoch Siman.

For 12 months, since 1693, Newton almost did not sleep – an hour at best. Newton almost did not touch the food, but somehow spent five nights without sleep. He began to have crazy, paranoid thoughts about the fact that his friends want to grab him or even kill him. One day, when he discovered that his friend, the philosopher John Locke, was sick, Newton exclaimed: “It’s better if you die!”. After all, John Locke, according to Newton, “had a cunning plan to drag him into relationships with women,” or, in other words, to force Newton to stop his chaste life.