Sir Isaac Newton, painted by Francis Bacon
Wiki Commons

Sir Isaac Newton was a genius revered by other geniuses. From the laws of physics to the wonders of mathematics, Newton explored worlds unheard of by his peers, and unlocked secrets that continue to be revelatory, even today. But how much do you REALLY know about him...?

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  • If you asked Newton when he was born, he'd say December 25, 1642, and he'd be right. You see in those days, the English followed the Julian calendar. We, however, follow the Gregorian calendar, and by that his birthday is January 4, 1643.
  • Newton was a premature baby and so small at the time of his birth that his mother reportedly claimed he could have fit into a "quart pot," according to the British Medical Journal.
  • Newton was also a detective of sort, and in his time as Warden of the Royal Mint, he successfully investigated and convicted – a notoriously difficult thing to prove -- 28 coiners for counterfeiting currency. It is presumed they were all hanged.
  • Newton was heavily invested in the South Sea Company, and allegedly lost £20,000 when it went under. What was the Company's major business? Trading in human slaves!
  • It is alleged that Newton may have died of mercury poisoning over an extended period of time largely due to his work with chemistry.
  • It is speculated that Newton remained a virgin, and once even heavily reprimanded his friend John Locke who "endeavoured to embroil me with woemen [sic]".
  • While many wrongly believe Newton was an atheist, he in fact did believe in god and is often referred to as a heretic, seeing as he believed that the worship of Christ was idolatry and hence a grievous sin.
  • Newton spent decades reading the Bible and trying to glean scientific information from it. In fact, from his Bible readings Newton came to the conclusion that the apocalyptic event that would end the world would come no sooner that 2060.