With the rise of superhero material in the world today, we often times feel like it would be awesome to have superpowers of our own. Could you imagine having the power of Thor or being able to crawl walls and have the sense of Spider-Man? How about the healing factor that both Wolverine and Deadpool share?
We all would love to be able to say that we could become a superhero like we see on television or in the movies, and many have even tried to become one due to the origin stories of certain heroes. For example, we all know about Bruce Banner and how he became The Hulk. It was a scientific experiment that exposed him to something we have in real life, gamma rays. Of course, being exposed how he was would normally kill you. This is a comic to be fair.
Then we have others who happened to be in the right place at the right time, like The Flash who gained his powers due to a particle accelerator going haywire. During the explosion of the accelerator, Barry was in his lab and various chemicals floated around him and lightning struck him and led to him developing his powers. All in all, it is difficult to get powers like this but many have still tried and failed in the real world costing them their own life.
However, some are actually born with very real medical conditions that allow them to claim that they sort of have superpowers. These medical conditions are either attained or come by birth. Enjoy this list of real life medical conditions that could make you a real-life superhero.
15. Liam Hoekstra – Myostatin-Related Muscle Hypertrophy
Ever wonder what it would be like to have natural, super strength? Could you imagine being the real life Hercules and being able to do things as a baby that kids older could not even do? Enter Liam Hoekstra who has the disease known as myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. This disease apparently gave him unbelievable strength. Liam could lift five-pound dumbbells and numerous chin-ups when most kids his age struggled to complete just one. It is said that Liam possessed 40% more muscle mass than that of kids his age. He also has close to no body fat and a very fast metabolism.
He was an adopted child, who apparently had a father that also possessed incredible strength. Therefore this does look to be a hereditary disease. This illness truthfully has no real negative side effects, other than one’s appearance as one grows up and look as if they have been on steroids most of their life. The disease has been around for a very long time most likely, but it was not discovered until the 1990’s when it was found in a muscle-bound cow. It truthfully is quite amazing, the question is, will he go with or without a cape in the future?
14. Marfan Syndrome (Possess Longer Limbs)
To some, this is not so much a superpower but rather a bit of a curse. However, to those who have it that make the most out of it, the disease can help those with it do amazing things. The disease affects connective tissue, causing those who have it to usually grow taller than others and possess longer limbs and fingers. Now, this may not seem like anything special, but it actually can be useful.
Musicians, especially pianists and violinists with this condition may find themselves benefiting. The longer fingers and limbs help with playing parts of the instrument in ways no normal person can. Niccolo Paganini played the violin so well due to this disease that people said he sold his soul to the devil to get the ability to play like he did. While we may never know his pact with the leader of hell, what we do know is that this disease can give people special skills. This condition can also help with flexibility, which gives many people the ability to bend in ungodly ways.
However, it does come with complications. The way someone looks alone is jarring as they do not look normal due to their limbs. Cardiovascular problems have also been known to come out of it as well, which means people could die young from it depending on the situation. Thankfully with medical science today, we can help people with the disease and its complications far more than we could in the past.
13. Having an Excess Of Erythropoietin
Technically what we put above is a drug that can be taken, but it is also a hormone the human body produces. In its drug form, it’s an illegal gene-doping product that people involved in athletics tend to use to help them compete at a higher level. However, some people are born with a higher amount of this in their bodies. Sadly, for many sports increasing the amount of erythropoietin in your body is also illegal as athletes like Lance Armstrong found out. Of course, Lance used various things too.
The hormone boosts red blood cells, and for those of you who are not science majors, red blood cells carry oxygen to the brain and are pretty much crucial to the human system. While too much oxygen can be bad for the human brain, a bit more than the average amount can actually be an advantage for a person.
This hormone allows for people to compete at a higher level as the extra oxygen allows them to tire less than the average person, which helps explain why this would be useful in the world of sports! If you were born with erythropoietin at a higher level for then a typical person then it could be useful in the world of superheroes and nabbing bad guys.
12. Marilu Henner – Hyperthymesia (Perfect Memory)
You remember that kid who used to barely show up to class in high school yet somehow got straight A’s? How about that guy who fell asleep a lot in class and did the same? What about that person who used to tell you a massive story with every single detail? That person may very well have had a photographic memory usually as a result of a medical condition called hyperthymesia. This real life condition is truthfully a gift to have, as you remember any and everything…but it also comes with some horrific problems.
Our brains are not supposed to remember every detail. We’re supposed to forget the bad things in our life or not be able to focus on them. When a person dies, a random injury occurs, etc….we’re not supposed to remember this kind of stuff in a great way. Some people with the condition also may get stuck in remembering and living in the past rather than the present. This can make relationships difficult as they will remember every little mistake or problem that might come up. However, the ability is simply amazing despite the vast amount of problems it comes with.
Actress Marilu Henner (pictured above) described how the condition worked for her, telling ABC going through her memories is like: “Viewing little videos moving simultaneously… When somebody gives me a date or a year or something, I see all these little movie montages, basically on a time continuum, and I’m scrolling through them and flashing through them.”
11. Edgar Cayce – Sleeping Fortune Teller
There was a man recorded in history by the name of Edgar Cayce who was known for his clairvoyant abilities. After being given questions from someone, Cayce would then be able to find missing people or tell others their future by entering a sleep state. Normally people came to him asking for health information or personal issues, where Edgar would give them information. What makes Edger different from your average New Orleans fortune teller was that he was right a lot.
Known as “the sleeping prophet,” many felt he was given a gift from God to be able to help people on Earth. Some believe he was able to use his brain in a way where he would be able to trick people into believing or doing something to then get the results he claimed they would get.
He became so popular that people tried to trick him into giving out false answers just to expose him, but no one really could. His superhuman ability is considered mystic, but many theorize he may have been a fully functioning autistic and combined normal brain science with his abilities to connect dots. However, since he could only do this sleeping…no one could be sure. We also did not have sleep studies as much as we do now.
Since he passed in the 1940’s, it would be impossible to know for sure about his brain, but one can determine that he could have had a number of brain disorders that allowed him to do the things he did.
10. Stig Severinsen – Can Access Red Blood Cells In Spleen
We all have blood flowing through our bodies as we speak. If you’re alive, it’s due to the fact that red blood cells are giving oxygen to your brain in order for you to live. Now imagine if you could store extra portions of red blood in your spleen and access it. Enter Stig Severinsen, who is often called the Human Dolphin.
He has the ability to hold his breath for 22 minutes, which is the world record for the longest time holding natural breath. He was able to hold his breath for so long due to having (and accessing) the red blood stored up in his spleen, which most people cannot do.
This is the exact thing dolphins do funny enough, so the name is fitting. It is said that Stig learned how to do this, but it takes an impressive amount of medical ability to use red blood cells in such a way to help you stay under water for 22 minutes.
9. Veronica Seider – Super Sight-Genetic Abnormality
Have you had terrible seats at a game or fighting event and wanted to see the players or fighters in a better way but you just couldn’t? It seems a woman by the name of Veronica Seider has no idea what you’re complaining about. It is said that her eyesight is so powerful that she can see at least a mile away.
She has the power of a telescope and yet somehow she has not really decided to use this ability to solve crime! Seriously, she could be the ultimate lookout, and God help us if she ever got her hands on a sniper rifle. To compare what she can do to others, the average human with normal eyesight sees in 20/20 vision. She has the capability of a hawk’s eyesight, which has about a 20/2 vision power. Her vision is seen as a genetic abnormality by scientists, as no one can explain it or pin down an actual condition that would cause this ability. She must have hawk’s in her family breeding history.
8. Daniel Browning – Suffers From Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Super Flexibility)
Have you ever been around the campfire with friends and spoken about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? No one? What about if your friends spoke about the circus they went to recently where they saw a contortionist do pretty cool stuff? Contortionists tend to have the ability to do things that amaze people because of the fact that they have ultimate control over their body.
This is not some normal thing that any person can do. Some do have to train themselves to reach such flexibility to be a contortionist, but the bulk of performers may suffer from the genetic condition EDS. The person who is most famous for the disease is Daniel Browning Smith, who holds multiple Guinness World Records, including (and perhaps most importantly!) the record for the most flexible human.
He reportedly can turn his body 180 degrees and fit into anything just about. He also once went through an unnetted tennis racket, which is absolutely incredible for the human body to do.
While there are clearly positives, there are some horrific side effects of being so flexible. Those with EDS are known to have bad joint pain on a regular basis and may frequently suffer from unwanted dislocations. Flexibility is amazing to have, but the human body is not typically built to be quite this flexible!
When people hear about someone being a sociopath, it sounds kinda scary. The word is often accompanied with a murderer of some kind. However, the term is not the problem but rather the person as sociopaths often get a bad rap for all the crazy ones out there who do horrible things. It is estimated that 3-5% of the general population are sociopaths. Meaning out of seven billion people, we have a lot of them who are normally okay to deal with.
What makes them a super-powered human being is that they are quite impressive at playing people. The fact that they can play people so easily into believing them makes them absolutely horrific to deal with, but if we turned this ability around for good in the case of an assassin for the government for example, a sociopath may have far more success than any other person. When you lack emotion, it is easy to not let people get in the way of a mission.
Consequences do not mean as much to them, therefore nothing can stop them outside of injury and even then…it would only be their body and not their brain stopping them. On top of this, they tend to lack a conscience. Lacking a conscience is an extreme issue, but it allows for them to never be hindered by human emotion and connectivity. They simply move through life never caring.
The major drawback to the disorder is obviously the lack of ability to have a relationship with literally anyone. Sociopaths simply do not have the ability to care or feel something the way normal human beings can. They do not feel sad or happy, they do not feel love or hate. Many of the things we take for granted that are so simplistic, they cannot possess. That is probably very difficult for them if they cared enough to care.
6. Sticky Skin
You ever wonder about being Magneto? Could you imagine being able to control metal to do your bidding? Well, there are some people out there who know sorta how that is like. Usually classified as “Magnet people,” they’ll catch your eye when you observe them sticking stuff with metal properties all over their body. However, this skin is not like some sort of Velcro substance, so these people will not be able to keep these objects on themselves forever.
People were baffled that someone could do this sort of thing and thought they had to have some sort of superpower. It turns out that scientists found these people seemed to just have very sticky skin. It’s almost like putting a spoon on your nose a kid after blowing breath on it. You get it to stick to you a bit better. They simply have this over them everywhere and that is why it is easier for them to add things to them. You’ll also notice they lean backward a lot to balance the object.
As of now, there are no major complications from this sort of medical disorder of the skin except the fact that you cannot say you’re a true magnet person like magneto! Maybe a new name needs to be given, like “Skin Stickers” or something. Look, we’re not “name” people around here.
5. Thai Ngoc – Hasn’t Slept In 40 Years
Imagine having trouble sleeping, we’ve all been there a couple times in our lives. We sometimes come home from work so drained and want sleep. Our bodies need it to function right and without it, we begin to have multiple problems that can lead to several more issues down the line. However, insomniacs are often an interesting bunch who may find themselves napping throughout the day at times but do not sleep the full stretch at night. Then there is a guy like Thái Ngoc who once had a fever and never slept again.
Ngoc has been awake for over 40 years now without even taking a nap. The normal human body requires sleep, but apparently, this man has proven that you can last decades without it. Imagine having a guy like this always watching out. He’s the ultimate night watchman who never tires enough to take his eye off the ball. He would be a wonderful lookout if nothing else, and many would say that he’s certainly superhuman.
While there is no disease other than severe insomnia to classify him, he has apparently reached his 70’s without sleep. Imagine the all-star nap he could take when he finally does rest. There are complications to not resting. Ngoc mentioned he feels like “a plant without water” these days, meaning his body knows it needs something its lacking. We would not be surprised if they gave him future medical intervention in order to better understand what is going on.
4. Ben Underwood – Amazing Abilities Using Blindness-Echolocation
We all know of the Daredevil movie and Netflix series, we highly recommend the latter over the former. The comic character is amazing, but what if it was possible for blind people to use the exact same ability Daredevil uses in the comics? Apparently, it is. When one loses one of their senses, others can become more powerful by proxy, so it makes sense to think that you would be able to use what is known as human echolocation to sort of see despite not having sight.
Animals use this in the wild all the time, so the fact that humans can do it too is insanely cool. Probably the best example of this comes from a guy by the name of Ben Underwood who sadly ended up losing his eyesight due to cancer. He would go on to employ echolocation so well that he plays sports, rides his bike, and even rollerblades all without assistance. It is amazing what people can do when things go wrong. Obviously the negative here is that you pretty much have to be blind to use it well, otherwise you would just open your eyes to see!
3. Savant-Autism Head Trauma
Whether it comes from genetics or comes after a brain injury, savants are known for being amazing individuals who contain impressive intellectual skills. The movie Rainman was about Kim Peek, a man who could read two pages of a book in three seconds and remember every word. He could also remember every road, street, highway, and interstate in the US after reading a map. He is just one example.
These men and women typically have a form of autism if they are born being able to do these impressive things. However, some, such in the case of Albert Einstein, had Asperger’s syndrome and could also do amazing things as a savant and overall genius too. Leonardo Da Vinci was rumored to have also had a similar brain disorder, and he was not only an amazing painter but also an incredible inventor.
Others who end up having head injuries can sometimes come out knowing high-end math or play music in an amazing way without ever once touching an instrument.
Sadly, these people tend to have a lot of difficulty because of their injury such as suffering terrible headaches and being unable to concentrate. Some have had seizures as a result of their head trauma.
Meanwhile, those born with the disorder tend to have social problems and an inability to have relationships. There are some high-functioning autistic people, but they are usually quite rare.
Imagine having one of these people on a superhero team though? A guy who could become a human GPS and help you know anything you wanted to know anytime you wanted to know it. The amount of ability these people have is simply stunning. Those with the disorder turned superpower may go through a lot, but they are amazing individuals for sure.
2. Jordy Cernik – Had Adrenal Gland Removed
For those unaware, we all typically have adrenaline in our bodies that allow us to feel fear and understand when something crazy is going on. Our body produces it in highly intense moments and allows us to do absolutely incredible things. People can jump higher, run faster, and become stronger all by using this. But what if you did not have it? Just ask Jordy Cernik, a man who had his adrenal gland removed due to pain problems.
Without it, he has no fear and does some absolutely incredible things. Our natural feeling of fear in crazy or intense moments is normal is our body telling us “this is bad, you may not want to do this.” For Jordy, not so much. He just does them and enjoys every second of it. Obviously, it is extremely rare for a person to get their adrenal gland removed. Some are born without one or the ability to access it, thus also having the inability to fear.
Of course, due to this condition, people tend to go too far. This can result in death or severe injuries, so the gland is certainly important to us. It’s a warning signal, and without that signal, we don’t know when enough is enough. While no fear may seem amazing, the complications of not having it may be worse than living with the ability to feel fear.
1. CIPA – Inability To Feel Pain
Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA) is an absolutely incredible medical condition that allows people to not feel pain. It says it in the title, clearly, but the fact is that there are people walking around who literally have never felt in pain regarding anything physical is amazing. Imagine having this person on your superhero squad…they would be the first to go out to battle. How would you stop a person who feels no pain?
People who have the disorder have to be watched carefully. It is usually something one comes across at birth and rarely does it occur like it does in the movie Kickass when a character was beaten up to a point where they felt no more pain.
While an adult can understand the negative ramifications, such as chewing on lips and our tongue or jumping off a roof a child does not realize it and learns from experience. Meaning this is a very dangerous condition to have when you’re younger.
Our mothers tell us not to touch the hot stove and many of us do it anyway and immediately regret it. Curiosity is how kids learn, but without pain, they have no limits and do not understand they can only go so far (and sometimes that may even lead to death!).
Painless life may be wonderful to have at times, but people with this condition absolutely still suffer. Superhuman or not, pain is needed to feel truly human, otherwise you’re missing a key part that makes us who we are.