e=mc²

In 2002, Padgett was just minding his business, leaving a restaurant after a date, when two dudes rudely decided they were going to use his head like a freaking pinata. After the beating, they took his money and ran.

At the hospital they told him he had a concussion, and to get some rest. But when Padgett went back home, he immediately went on the longest drugless acid trip of all freaking time. On sunny days, the little bit of light that bounced off a car’s window would suddenly explode into an array of triangles. Every time an object moved, it left strange patterns behind. The edges of clouds and liquids became spiraling lines. The dude thought he was either going crazy or being haunted by the ghost of geometry. Either way, he stayed mostly inside his house for three freaking years.

Well, two MRIs, two metal plates in his head and a few “Oh, God, what’s happening to me?"s later, Padgett decided he’d go ahead and start drawing the shapes he saw. And hey, they looked pretty freaking sweet.

Padgett had always sucked at math, needing to cheat just to get by in high school, but hey, he’d never had any art training whatsoever either, so why not try some math classes, right? At school, he now found he kicked ass in math, too, and even learned that the art he was making was called a fractal, which is a shape that contains its same shape many times inside itself. It’s the Inception of geometry, is what we’re saying.

Since taking those math classes, life’s been pretty good to Padgett. He won best newcomer at an international art competition and is widely acknowledged as the only person able to hand-draw fractals (for a tidy profit, of course!). He also has advanced the fields of math and physics with his intuitive understanding of those weird repeating shapes. He even discovered that Einstein’s E=mc² is a fractal.

6 People Who Gained Amazing Skills from Brain Injuries