Eight-year-old Michael Schembri was put under the spotlight earlier this month after a video of him solving a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds made the rounds on social media.
Needless to say, that was enough to convince an entire country of his genius – but it turns out there’s more to Michael than just prime puzzle-solving abilities.
Boasting an IQ of 142, young Michael’s can also name all of the world’s countries, read 23 different languages, decipher every flag, and solve a Rubik’s cube with one hand.
Watch it all unfold on an exclusive feature with Michael airing tomorrow at 10.20am.
But whilst Michael only started making headlines this year, his success story kicked off when he was just six months old.
“Usually children would start saying their first few words towards a year old,” Elisa, Michael’s mum, told Lovin Malta.
“But Michael, at about six months, was already stringing small sentences together.”
Whilst that was instantly a sign of what’s to come, Michael’s parents weren’t convinced of his out-of-this-world talent right away.
“At that point we didn’t exactly realise that he was gifted, we thought he was just a little bit advanced,“ Elisa continued.
“Then, when he was about a year and three months old, his grandad pointed out that he could write. We didn’t think much of it at first, we thought the grandparents were just really happy. Then we realised that when he was just a year-and-a-half old, he could already read and write.”
From the comfort of his highchair, Michael seemed adamant about defying all expectations.
“There was one particular day when I got home and he was in his highchair watching a spelling tutorial,” Michael’s father, Mark, said.
“He was looking at words like doughnut and wrestling. I paused the video and asked him to spell the words out – and he actually spelled them out at one and a half.”
“I thought that was really out of the ordinary.”
Whilst seeing their child excel in pretty much every academic area undoubtedly made Elisa and Mark proud – these unique abilities came with their own set of hardships.
“There was a time when we were quite lost about what we should do with him,“ Mark confessed.
“He would be doing certain stuff on his own, without anyone pushing him, but at the same time he’d be bored doing the stuff his peers would be doing.”
“We’re looking for ways to try and keep him somewhat stimulated.”