The 6-Year-Old Who Qualified For The National Spelling Bee Might Be An Alien

At the tender age of six, Lori Anne Madison just became the youngest person ever to qualify for the Scripps National Nerd Olympics, otherwise known as the Spelling Bee. But despite the media attention and mounting pressure, Lori Anne says she's not nervous at all. "I've been in competitions with older kids before." Her mother confirms: "She's like a teenager in a 6-year-old body."

A likely story! But how many teenagers do you know that would want to be seen in a room full of A-list nerds in oversized polo shirts? That's what I thought.

I suggest we consider that a less, uh, terrestrial being inhabits this six-year-old's body. Lori Anne apparently began showing signs of otherworldliness when she started reading Dr. Seuss books before her second birthday and won her first spelling bee at age three and a half. Other warning signs include the fact that she was rejected from a Virginia "private school for the gifted" on account of being "too smart to accommodate," and can spell "sprachgefühl"—which sounds like E.T. trying to say "Spock, a fool!" when you say it out loud—without even thinking about it.


And what exactly does the precocious six-year-old want to be when she grows up? An astrobiologist, obviously. "I'm going to sort of find life forms. And, plus, alien planets are new. But I need some slugs," says Lori Anne of her career aspirations. Need I say more?