Isaac Newton Said The World Is Ending In 2060: Was He Right?

By | October 12, 2019

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English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) contemplates the force of gravity, as the famous story goes, on seeing an apple fall in his orchard, circa 1665. Source: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

If you spent even a few minutes awake in science class, you'll recognize the name Isaac Newton as one of the most influential people in history. He was a physicist, mathematician, and astronomer as well as a prolific author and theologian. His groundbreaking 1687 book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, laid the foundation for pretty much every subsequent breakthrough in the field of mathematics. Basically, he made your average scholar look like a burnout.

But this intellectual titan was far from the stuffed shirt you probably imagine him to be. Newton was also fascinated with the occult and dabbled in areas of inquiry that scientists would scoff at today, such as alchemy, Biblical codes, the belief in Atlantis, and even in doomsday prophecies. Let's look beyond Isaac Newton, the brilliant physicist, to learn about Isaac Newton, the occultist. 

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Newton has a lifelong interest in the occult. Source: (history.com)

Isaac Newton, the Alchemist

From childhood, Isaac Newton was keenly interested in geology and mineral science. Chemistry was a new scientific field of study, and Newton believed it may have been just the break alchemists had been waiting for all these years.

Alchemy, for those unfamiliar, was a pseudoscience born centuries ago that was based in the belief that one could alter the chemical makeup of one substance to transform it into another. Specifically, alchemists sought to turn lead into gold. In fact, according to the scant notes and journals he left behind, this seemed to be Newton's ultimate ambition.

To this end, Newton sought to discover the "philosopher's stone," the key ingredient needed to turn base metals into gold. Much of Newton's alchemical work was done in secrecy because much of it was outlawed in England at that time---and for good reason. It appears that Newton suffered some sort of mental breakdown during his alchemy period, mostly due to contact with mercury or lead.