Einstein's rather disheveled look has always been a big part of his charm, and that included never wearing socks. "When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in the sock," he once said, "so I stopped wearing socks." He even wrote to his second wife saying how he "got away with not wearing socks" while at Oxford. But he wasn't the only influential mind with odd quirks...
That's right, the master of horror apparently had a fear of eggs. He once said:
"I'm frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes . . . have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I've never tasted it."
In fact, Twain was just one of a number of people who had no love for Jane Austen's novel. He once famously said, "every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone!"
Nikola Tesla actually had a number of odd hang-ups, many of which were likely caused by his OCD. One of the scientist's most interesting aversions was to jewelry ”” specifically pearls. He reportedly refused to talk to women who wore pearls, and even sent his secretary home when she came to work wearing pearl jewelry.
Although to be fair, "Caligula" was not his real name; it was a nickname given to him by his father's troops. When he joined his father Germanicus on the battlefield, he often wore soldier's boots (or caligae) scaled down to his size. The soldiers took to calling him "Caligula," or "Little Boots." The name stuck, but Caligula was decidedly not a fan.
Along with Charles Gounod, Alexander Dumas and Charles Garnier (along with a great many others), the French writer signed a strongly-worded letter of protest against the construction of the Eiffel Tower. They wrote:
"We come, we writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the -up to now- intact beauty of Paris, to protest with all our strength and all our indignation [...] the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower."
After the tower was eventually erected, Guy de Maupassant reportedly often ate his lunch at the base of the Tower, as it was the only place he could sit to avoid looking at it.
In the documentary Bukowski: Born Into This, Bukowski's widow Linda talks about Charles' complete hatred of Mickey Mouse ”” particularly of his three-fingered hand. "He could not handle the fact that the power over multi-millions of human beings was in the hands of this three-fingered, foolish creature that taught you nothing whatsoever," Linda saysat one point in the film.
In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew not only hated cats; he was terrified of them. Apparently, he would "jump onto a piece of furniture if he saw a cat when he entered a room and would not come down until the cat was removed."
In 1973, Dalí published a cookbook filled with both bizarre and exotic illustrations and recipes. On one page of the cookbook, Dalí speaks of his hatred of spinach, stating: "I only like to eat what has a clear and intelligible form. If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty."
Benjamin Franklin believed that many of the letters in our current alphabet are completely superfluous, and so in 1768, he developed a completely phonetic alphabet to use instead. He argued against the letter C in particular, saying that the "hard' and "soft" sounds of the letter could easily be replaced by K and S. His phonetic alphabet also called for the elimination of J, Q, W, X and Y.
Steve Jobs was said to have koumpounophobia, or the fear of buttons. Many believe this is why he typically only wore turtlenecks (rather than button-up shirts). It may also explain his affinity for touchscreens on phones over phones with physical buttons.
Although he wrote a lot of beautiful music for flutes, it's generally believed that Mozart did not like the instrument. In a letter to his father in 1778, Mozart wrote, "you know that I become quite powerless whenever I am obliged to write for an instrument which I cannot bear."
A popular urban legend states that Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots. While this would be a great example of irony, it turns out that it is not actually the case. However, Mel Blanc didn't particularly like carrots, either (or "at least not raw" ones, according to his 1988 autobiography). While recording the voice of Bugs, Mel wouldn't have time to both chew and swallow the bites of carrot he had taken, so he took to spitting the chewed carrot out into a spittoon.
Apparently, Churchill vehemently hated whistling. His staff was very aware of this aversion, and had to be especially careful about any nearby whistlers. He would often have his secretary find offending whistlers and tell them to stop immediately. Once he even approached a newspaper boy and shouted "stop that whistling!" at him. To this, the young boy replied, "why should I? You can shut your ears, can't you?" (This reply seemed to both surprise and amuse the Prime Minister.)
Followers of Pythagoreanism adopted a number of interesting rules ”” they were to wear white clothing, observe sexual purity...and to never touch beans. No one is really sure why he had such a strong aversion to beans, but they may have had a hand in his eventual death. According to legend, his enemies lit his home on fire and then chased him to a bean field. Pythagoras exclaimed that he would rather die than enter the field, whereupon his pursuers killed him.