The Craziest Things People Do To Boost Their IQs

It’s no secret – most people want to be smart. And how do we prove to the world (and mainly, ourselves) that we are crazy IQ geniuses? By scoring sky high on the Intelligence Quotient (AKA IQ) test. While lots of people take this test seriously, for some, it is a matter of going to the extreme to score over 140, the threshold that separates the “geniuses” from those of “above average” intelligence.

So, can you improve an IQ score with just brain-enhancing video games alone? What are the best ways to get smarter, anyway? Does anyone actually know how to boost an IQ score, or are those who claim that they can just plain wacky?

If being a little bit nutty is a prerequisite for a high IQ (hey, it worked for Albert Einstein), those adhering to the guidelines listed below are definitely one step ahead of the rest of the world. Decide for yourself whether or not that step is right off the deep end. Here are some of the craziest things people have done to try to get a high IQ score.

Some Wanna-Be Smarties Resort To Self Electrocution

This one’s definitely shocking. In 2014, a group of neuroscientists discovered that people could temporarily excel on exams like the IQ test by electrocuting themselves via a process known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS for short. If frying your brain for the sake of a high score seems pretty intelligent to you, then congratulations. You’re smarter already…

The idea of electrocuting the brain into functioning better has been around for centuries, but it regained notoriety when self-brain-zapping kits hit the Internet at unbeatable prices. People who are into this sort of thing are buying up “brain simulator kits” for between $100 and $400, on average. Some adventurers are even making them at home. Scientists warn that this sort of procedure is invasive and risky at best. They sincerely exhort DIY-ers to be careful not to fry the wrong side of their brain. Yikes!

Some People Try To Open Their Minds Up By Taking LSD

On the road to cognitive advantage, some people are just plain tripping – as in, they are taking LSD. Psychedelics have often been believed to increase people’s intelligence, and there are plenty of forumsfor thought on the subject. Risking getting caught in an acid trip just to obtain a high IQ score might sound farfetched, but many recreational drug users are of the belief that psychedelics “open the mind.” Oddly enough, they’re right.

A study published in Current Biology concludes that consuming acid does, in fact, enhance global and between-module communication within the brain, thus affording recreational drug users a unique view of the world. This effect is known to neuroscientists as ego death or psyche death. It has not conclusively been found to make anyone smarter, but some believe it could make terminally ill patients less anxious and more “at one with the universe.”

Urine Therapy Is A Whole New Craze In Cognitive Enhancement

Urine therapy is the latest craze to hit the IQ-boosting streets. It’s exactly what it sounds like – the act of drinking urine, preferably your own. Advocates for urine therapy claim the fluid is just the opposite of a toxin. They say it is a natural cure that unlocks a power equivalent to “sunlight.” In other words, they believe it is quite illuminating.

Not only are people guzzling urine to increase intelligence, but some also even claim it can cure diseases. This technique features controversial testimonials from people who claim they were cured of chronic illnesses like HIV and cancer once they began drinking urine. Those who utilize urine for the purpose of boosting their IQ are sometimes known to bathe in the substance. Bathing in it allegedly helps them to unleash a “divine manifestation of cosmic intelligence.”

Riding Motorcycles Is An Alternative Route To A High Score

Apparently, when you put a motorcycle manufacturer in a room with a video game creator and throw in some backing from a famed university, you reach an unexpected revelation. You learn that motorcycles can make you smarter. This is the finding as reported by Yamaha Japan, Ryuta Kawashima, and Tohoku University.

According to the research, engaging in a high-speed street race on a motorcycle opens up otherwise closed parts of the brain, thus promoting accelerated levels of concentration and information processing. It can also help to improve the memory. The cool thing about this speedy IQ booster is that it seems to also be useful in revitalizing an aging brain. So, the next time you see a 50-year-old ripping through town at 150 mph with a trim, helmet-less 20-something seated on the back of his Hayabusa, don’t think mid-life crisis; think high IQ.

Taking Estrogen Is An Alleged IQ Booster With Odd Side Effects

It turns out that estrogen is to mathlete what steroids are to weight lifter. Getting hooked on hormones is a habit of some rather eccentric IQ enthusiasts. This is mainly due to the fact that the Society for Neuroscience made claims that elevating estrogen levels could improve test accuracy and help brain cells communicate seamlessly with one another. Once the news that “the hormone estrogen can sharpen mental performance ” got out, the Internet was abuzz.

This claim was based on a peer reviewed research study, but popping pills with hormones in them can increase the risk of cancer, cause mood swings, and even lead to depression. Men who take estrogen can, over the course of time, develop feminine features, as well. All in all, this isn’t a smart way to score bonus points, and it can definitely cause irreversible damage.

Some Try To Increase Intelligence By Intentionally Making Themselves Depressed

The paradoxical phenomenon that intelligence equates to depression just as ignorance translates to bliss is fairly true. Artists have long been notorious for intentionally making themselves depressed under the claim that a sad state of mind brings about better art. Nowadays, intellectuals are getting in on the gig as well. So, if you notice your roommate curled up in a ball with a bucket of ice cream and a sappy sounding podcast, this could be the sign of a bad break up, or they might be preparing to take an IQ test. Today, scientists are saying that the temporary state of sadness can have positive mental outcomes, such as improving memory, judgment, and motivation.

Image Streaming Is Said To Get You An Extra 20 Points Or So

Image streaming is a really fancy phrase that describes the act of talking to yourself and then answering yourself. Essentially, you ask yourself a question with eyes closed and then answer it in a stream-of-consciousness fashion with whatever comes into your mind. You may also recognize this strategy as the general public’s definition of insanity. If this post proves nothing else, it is that the line between genius and insanity is incredibly easy to cross. Advocates for this sort of intelligence boosting activity claim that image streaming can increase the IQ by as much as 2.3 points per hour and lead to a total of 20 extra exam points.

Getting Hypnotized Is Another Popular Way To Try To Get Smarter

While hypnosis can help some people quit smoking or enhance their creative abilities, studies show that it cannot teach anyone how to do things they don’t already know how to do. In other words, it cannot make anybody smarter. Even with this information readily available to the public, the Internet is still abundant with alleged IQ-increasing hypnosis videos. Millions of people are viewing them, but the high-IQ society, Mensa, still only consists of 2% of the population.

Some People Are Smoking Their Way To The Top

There is a pretty heated global debate over the legalization of marijuana. Many believe weed to be a super drug with positive real-life applications. Some studies suggest that smoking weed in moderation can allot a five-point IQ increase. However, heavy weed smoking – more than five joints a week – had the opposite effect on one study’s participants by reducing their IQs an extra few points.

In the race to cognitive superiority, weed is not the only substance hopeful intellectuals are taking into account. Neuroscientists just found out that nicotine really does make people smarter. It does so by boosting the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that sends signals all over the brain. Short term results of cigarette smoking include enhanced fine motor skills, increased memory, and increased concentration, but at an intellectual price. Over time, this process turns sour on the smoker by dramatically increasing the likelihood of dementia.

Gene-Editing Software Is Being Made Available To IQ-Conscious Parents

For some, the race to the IQ finish line begins upon conception. The IQ-conscious members of society want super smart babies, and they’re willing to do a lot to achieve that goal. A company in China called BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute) is attempting to manipulate intelligence through DNA. Could future parents be able to purchase intelligence packs for their unborn children? If so, would such advantages be available to all or just the upper echelon of society?