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6+ Child Prodigies Whose Talents Almost Seemed Impossible

For a lot of new parents, it's often a dream that their kids will surprise them with some amazing talent.

Although enrolling them in music lessons or sports can be enriching in its own right, it's hard not to feel proud when they end up taking to these activities like a duck takes to water.

Of course, it's not always so simple for the kids who do hold incredible gifts. Even if they don't get burned out on what they excel at, they may find that pursuing them can come at the cost of their social lives.

Still, for some immensely talented children, their prodigious childhoods were only a stepping stone to their life's work.

This painting, "The Picador," comes from 1890 and it's Pablo Picasso's earliest-known work. He painted it at the age of nine.


According to National Geographic, Picasso was able to draw before he was able to speak and communicated through art.

His father was also an artist, but found that Pablo surpassed him when he was still a child.

Judit Polgar remains one of the top 100 chess players in the world, but won her first international competition at the age of nine.

YouTube | Judit Polgar Videos

This was not to say that she was beating other kids either.

As The Guardian reported, she could beat adults by the age of five and by 15, she became the world's youngest grandmaster at the time.

Greg Smith was able to enroll in college by the age of 10, but for him, that was just the beginning.

YouTube | OWN

According to HuffPost, Smith's intellect earned him widespread media attention and he appeared on The Oprah Show, 60 Minutes, and Late Show with David Letterman.

However, rather than letting this attention go to his head, the "boy genius" used it to campaign for children's rights and safety worldwide. Now 28-years-old, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times.

Priyanshi Somani earned the nickname, "The Human Calculator" at 11-years-old and it's not hard to see why.

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According to Stanford News, the Mental Calculation World Cup is an event in which it's not considered unreasonable to ask competitors to multiply 18,467,941 by 73,465,135 or find the square root of 530,179.

Not only did Somani win this competition by finding the square root of 10 different six-digit numbers, but she did it in a record-breaking time of six minutes and 51 seconds.

At the age of 14, Taylor Wilson built a working nuclear fusion reactor in his parents' garage.

Taylor's Nuke Site

According to The Guardian, it wasn't long after this that he won a $50,000 science fair prize for developing a device capable of detecting nuclear materials in cargo containers.

He would later show this counter-terrorism device to then-U.S. President Barack Obama.

It's well-known that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was already a skilled musician at six-years-old, but it's staggering to know how quickly he learned.

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According to The Smithsonian, his father, Leopold wrote that young Wolfgang only took about half an hour to learn the minuet and trio, which he accomplished on the day before his fifth birthday.

Akrit Jaswa successfully performed surgery at the age of seven.

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As as recording of the procedure shows, an eight-year-old girl who was brought to him was so badly burned that her fingers ended up fused together. Her family couldn't afford professional medical care, but Jaswa had independently studied how to separate her fingers.

As Indian magazine The Tribune reported, he was able to run his own lab by 11, where he would research genetic treatments for cancer and AIDS.

Wayne Gretzky's famously dominant performance in hockey began when he was 10-years-old.

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As his father, Walter, told the CBC, he was able to make his local team in a hockey league intended for 10-year-olds at the age of six.

By the time he reached age 10 himself, Gretzky could score 378 goals in a season.