Remember the Rain Man? The 1988 movie where once cool Tom Cruise played brother to Dustin Hoffman’s Raymond Babbitt, a guy who could remember anything? The movie was based on a real life person and until now, such memorization and recall skills have been unparalleled.
Daniel Tammet is the modern day Rain Man. He has a very unusual ability to recall sequences of numbers that only a handful of people on the planet are capable of – and he’s making a case to be the best. As an example, he holds the European record for reciting the first 22,514 decimal points of the mathematical constant Pi.
It’s not just numbers – Daniel can learn an entirely new language in only a few days. In the video, he demonstrates this by studying Icelandic for only one week and then appears on a local television spot to converse with talk show hosts in the new language.
Tammet says he sees numbers in “visual, dynamic form”. He assigns color and texture to numerical digits. One could argue that he’s able to view a small part of the source code that creates the reality of our world.
Though he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at an early age and had challenges with social adaptation, Tammet seems as ordinary and down to earth as any other average member of society these days. He’s an accomplished author and extraordinary mind – a reminder of the potential that lies in each of us, if we can only learn how to tap into it.
You can visit his website here.