Top 10 Highest IQ Record Holders in The World

Terence Tao

The term 'IQ' stands for 'Intelligence Quotient'. IQ scores and intelligence must never be confused with knowledge; some people may have an incredibly high IQ, but have a very narrow knowledge base. On the other hand, some people may know about a lot of different things, but still be as thick as two short planks.

Comparing IQs has always been a difficult task, as different parts of the world use different methods of measuring it, and some people re-test themselves time and time again in order to improve their score. That's why there is some debate over who has held the title of 'Highest IQ in the World', but I've put together a list of those who are generally considered to be the most intelligent people who have ever lived. Quite frankly, they've all left me feeling rather dumb...

If you enjoyed this list you might be interested in reading about the some of the most courageous people in the world. I actually got goosebumps reading some of their stories.


James Woods

IQ: 180

Yes, you read that correctly. The actor James Woods is actually a genius! The American actor is best known for his roles in films such as Once Upon a Time in America and Casino, but not many people are aware that he is also extremely intelligent. When he sat his SAT exams at school, he scored a perfect 800 in the verbal section, and an incredible 779 in the math section! He went on to major in political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is testament to the powers of his mind, but he dropped out before graduating to pursue a career in acting.


Leonardo da Vinci

IQ: 180-190

One of the best-known names on this list, Leonardo da Vinci was an incredible man. Born in the 15th Century in Italy, he is easily recognised as one of history's greatest artists, engineers and inventors, although he also ventured into a wide variety of other careers such as mathematics and botany. Drawings and documents of his have been found which show that he came up with ideas for machines which would only actually be made hundreds of years after his death, such as flying machines and adding machines. Only a remarkably intelligent man could have achieved this; he is one of the most widely-talented men to have ever lived.

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