This is fascinating video about Daniel Tammet, a twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities. He’s capable of calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and he can acquire functional fluency in a foreign language in a single week. Most interesting is that unlike the vast majority of savants, he can communicate with and interact with people in a fairly ordinary way.

This documentary follows Daniel’s travel to America, where he met with researchers for a variety of tests, and he also meets the real man behind Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man.

Highlights by the minute

  • Daniel recites the first 22,000 digits of π (05:00)
  • Daniel describes how he sees numbers (17:00)
  • Daniel hustles some NYC chess hustlers (20:55)
  • Meet Rainman (23:45)
  • Daniel takes on Vegas (28:50)
  • Neuro-scientists test Daniel (31:45)
  • Japanese kids develop impressive abilities via abacus study (34:28)
  • The ultimate test- Daniel is flown to a country of the researchers’ choice and given one week to learn the language (41:10)