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The 17 Weirdest Habits of Famous People

From sport legends to innovative inventors.

Celebrities and historical figures often capture our attention with their extraordinary talents and accomplishments. However, behind their public personas, many of these renowned individuals harbor intriguing and peculiar habits that defy expectations. From football legends to innovative inventors, their eccentric behaviors shed light on the idiosyncrasies of the human mind. Read on to uncover the quirks of football icon David Beckham, Sandra Bullock, Michelangelo, and more.

Donald Trump is a Germaphobe


Donald Trump once called handshaking a "barbaric" ritual and called himself a "clean hands freak." It is generally recommended to wash your hands after shaking hands with someone, especially if you are in an environment where there is a higher risk of transmitting germs or if the person you shook hands with appears to be unwell. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps to remove potential pathogens and reduce the risk of infection.

Salvador Dalí Was Afraid of Grasshoppers

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"In his day, Salvador Dalí was one of the most celebrated artists in all of Europe. But the painter and sculptor was not always so popular. As a child growing up in Catalonia, he was bullied by boys his own age. As well as calling him names, they would throw grasshoppers at him. This had a profound and long-lasting effect. From an early age, Dali suffered from an acute phobia of grasshoppers. Even as an older man, just the sound of the insects was enough to make him tremble, as several of his contemporaries observed," reports History Collection.

Elon Musk Assumes He Is Wrong


Inc. Magazine said this is an "unusual habit something every good leader should try at least once": Instead of striving to be right, Musk aims to be less wrong and welcomes well-thought-out critiques from those around him. This habit helps him gather valuable insights and make better decisions. "You should take the approach that you're wrong," Musk said in an interview in 2014. "Your goal is to be less wrong." (His detractors would say he's always wrong!)

Johnny Depp Used to Play With Barbies to Prepare for Rolls


Back when his daughter, The Idol star Lily-Rose, was a kid, Johnny Depp would play Barbies with her—and use the opportunity to test out character voices. "One day we were playing," he told Jimmy Kimmel, "and she said, 'Daddy, just do it normal. Cut out the voices.'" "No more nonsense," he said with a laugh. "And that was the day I stopped playing Barbies!" He added: "I've got a lot of Barbies in storage!"

David Beckham Says He Does "Weird" Things at Night


Football legend David Beckham says his OCD can get the best of him sometimes. "The fact that when everyone's in bed I then go around, clean the candles, turn the lights on to the right setting, make sure everywhere is tidy. I hate coming down in the morning and there's cups and plates and, you know, bowls," he said in a Netflix documentary. "I clip the candle wax, I clean the glass, that's my pet hate, the smoke around the inside of a candle," he says. "I know, it's weird." Of his kitchen cleaning, he adds: "I clean it so well, I'm not sure it's actually appreciated so much by my wife"—Victoria Beckham—" in all honesty."

Snooki Rubbed Cat Litter on Her Face


Snooki at one point rubbed cat litter on her face. "Clean cat litter!" Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi made sure to clarify after host Conan O'Brien mentioned her tip on a show years ago. Apparently, it acts as an exfoliant. "Well, I definitely like to Google a lot, and I don't like to spend a lot of money on spa treatments — just because I'm a cheap-o," she explained. "So I Googled what else I could use that was not so expensive. It was cat litter."

Stanley Kubrick Would Sneak a Peek Inside People's Medicine Cabinets

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The genius director of 2001: A Space Odyssey used to do something that tempts even us mere mortals.  "Bert Stern, the fashion photographer best known for his images of Marilyn Monroe…recalls Kubrick's odd habit of checking out the medicine chest of anyone he visited—just to see what pills they were taking," reports Vanity Fair.  

Michelangelo Slept With His Clothes and Shoes on


"For two and a half years Michelangelo toiled alone. He slept sporadically and rarely ate. He didn't change his boots, and eventually, the leather fell off, taking layers of dead skin with them," reports PBS.

More Than a Few Celebs Have Used Hemorrhoid Cream on Their Face


In a well-known secret among celebs, hemorrhoid cream can reduce swelling, including on the face. "My favorite beauty-pageant secret; I didn't realize that putting hemorrhoid ointment on your face is acceptable in the beauty business. But apparently butt cream does help lines around the eyes," said the 40-year-old star said way back in the Miss Congeniality days. "It tightens the skin. That's a really old, old trick. It smells really bad but it works," Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, who does Kim Kardashian's makeup, once told People.

Soccer Legend John Terry Had This Peculiar Bathroom Habit


Soccer legend John Terry had more than a few pre-game rituals. "The strangest, however, involves going to the toilet and it's one that the entire Chelsea team actually got involved in," reports, quoting Terry: "In the Chelsea dressing room we have three urinals and me and Lamps (Frank Lampard) started weeing in one," he said to The Sun in 2016. "We won the game and, for me, that was it, the next week there was a queue of me, Frank and Ash. The next week there were four of us and the week after there were five. And even now…we are all there in one big queue."

He added: "A few months ago the club secretary said to me: 'We have had a few calls from the FA complaining because we have been going out late' and I didn't have the heart to tell him it was because we were all waiting to go for a wee."

Inventor Yoshiro Nakamatsu Likes to be Close to Death

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Nakamatsu, aka Dr. NakaMats, the prolific inventor, has said that he likes to go deep diving until he is "0.05 seconds before death"—that's when he comes up with his best ideas. "If you have too much oxygen in your brain, inspiration will not strike," he said, according to Smithsonian. "To starve the brain of oxygen, you must dive deep and allow the water pressure to fill the brain with blood." 

Alia Bhatt Only Wears Men's Cologne


"Smell is something that attracts me instantly," the Student of the Year actress told the Times of India. "So if a guy smells nice, there is instant attraction. I only use men's perfumes. I change perfume every month."

Nikola Tesla Had a Pigeon Obsession

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The brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla had a peculiar fascination with pigeons. He would often feed them and claimed to be in communication with them. Tesla even attributed some of his ideas and inventions to his interactions with these birds. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt Had Triskaidekaphobia

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Roosevelt "had a mild case of triskaidekaphobia. From the Greek tris/three + kai/and + deka/ten + phobos/fear, our thirty-second president disliked the number thirteen. Journalist and Roosevelt biographer John Gunther wrote, 'Like most people with good luck, FDR was moderately—not excessively—superstitious. He hated Friday the thirteenth, he would never start an important trip on a Friday if he could help it, and he disliked sitting down with thirteen at dinner,'" reports the National Portrait Gallery. "The president's fears, however, were greatly misplaced, and Friday the thirteenth bore him no ill. Franklin D. Roosevelt died on Thursday, April 12, 1945."

Da Vinci Likely Had This Sleep Schedule

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Leonardo da Vinci is often associated with an alternative sleep pattern called polyphasic sleep, which involves taking short naps throughout the day instead of having one continuous sleep period at night. According to some historical accounts and personal writings, da Vinci practiced a form of polyphasic sleep known as the "da Vinci sleep schedule" or "da Vinci sleep method."  The da Vinci sleep schedule supposedly involved taking several short naps, each lasting around 15 to 20 minutes, every four hours throughout the day and night. This sleep pattern was believed to have allowed da Vinci to reduce his total sleep time while maximizing his productivity. It is said that he believed this sleep schedule gave him more time for his work, as he could rest intermittently without losing valuable hours.  However, it's important to note that there is limited concrete evidence to support the claim that da Vinci strictly adhered to this sleep pattern.

Howard Hughes Famously Has an Obsession with Hygiene

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Aviation tycoon and filmmaker Howard Hughes had an extreme obsession with cleanliness. He would spend hours meticulously scrubbing his hands, often to the point of bleeding, and would insist on specific brands of tissues and soaps. "Hughes had suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other mental-health conditions. He would incinerate his entire wardrobe if he thought there were too many germs in his house," reports the BBC.

Steve Jobs Wore This to Focus Better

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According to Walter Isaacson's book, Issey Miyake and Steve Jobs "became friends, and Mr. Jobs would often visit Mr. Miyake, ultimately adopting a Miyake garment — the black mock turtleneck — as a key part of his own uniform. It was a garment that did away with an extraneous fold at the neck, that had the ease of a T-shirt and a sweatshirt but also the cool, minimal lines of a jacket," reports the New York Times. "Even more than his Levi's 501s and New Balance shoes, the turtleneck became synonymous with Mr. Jobs's particular blend of genius and his focus: the way he settled on a uniform to reduce the number of decisions he had to make in the mornings, the better to focus on his work."

Christopher Roback
Christopher Roback is an experienced news journalist specializing in political, science, and crime news. Read more
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