The fictional universes devised by creative minds, where the superhuman or supernatural coexist with us ordinary folk, are not entirely devoid of facts. Many of us are entranced by the mysterious appeal of the strange and unusual and, now more than ever, the superhuman is the subject of some of the most popular films, TV series and books. There’s just something inscrutably attractive about the bizarre, the uncanny and the larger than life.
So those of us who enjoy a good superhero yarn will be intrigued to know that beings seemingly torn from the pages of comic books do, indeed, walk among us. They are those we read about in medical archives or flock to see perform. These are ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. Far from the quirky and at times disturbing feats turned 'world records' - the longest beard or the most hot dogs ever eaten in one sitting, for instance -some individuals possess truly remarkable talents that defy the laws of science and surpass what we know to be the limits of our human capacity.
These people are marvels, capable of unprecedented feats or unusual skills that mark them out as distinctly different from the rest of the world. Happily, most of them are praised for their unusual abilities rather than ridiculed because of it. Perhaps the digital age and the more open minded, curious public that come with it have given these unique people the chance to stir public interest, marketing their extraordinary talents rather than being shunned or feared because of them.
Needless to say, the strange and unusual is a booming business these days and this fact is what prompts some people to attempt to con the world into believing the unbelievable. (How many Bigfoots can there be?) But the highly publicized individuals listed below are real and otherwise ordinary people, save for their extraordinary abilities that shock the world. And perhaps most intriguingly, their unique talents and feats have not been disproved by modern science.
10 Gino Martino: ‘The Human Anvil’
9 Tim Cridland: 'The Torture King'
8 Wim Hof: 'The Iceman'
7 Masutatsu Oyama: Can kill a bull with one blow
6 Tibetan Monks who practice Tummo: Can produce intense body heat
5 Master Zhou: ‘Jewel of China’
4 Michel Lotito: ‘Monsieur Mangetout'
3 Isao Machii: Super Samurai
Isao Machii wows audiences with his impressive sword wielding skills: Isao can cut through a pellet fired from a BB gun coming at him at 200 miles an hour. Isao’s feat was captured on video and when played back, the footage revealed to researchers how his skill with the sword is owed to his superior anticipatory processing. While a normal human would only begin registering the sound of the pellet being shot, Isao instantaneously anticipates where it will be at an extraordinary speed. He does visually sense the pellet but almost automatically knows where it will be, reacting to it at a speed that surpasses typical human ability.
2 Ben Underwood: Sees through sound
1 Natasha Demkina: X-Ray Vision
Natasha Demkina is known in her native Russia as the “Girl with X-ray Eyes”. She claims to have the ability to see through people’s skin and into their insides. Natasha first discovered her unique ability to see people’s organs and tissues when she was ten years old and has since then has used her superhuman ability to perform medical diagnoses on devout believers. Naturally, one can’t claim to have x-ray vision without facing disputation and in order to test or disprove Natasha’s claims, several medical experts have put Natasha through extensive studies.
The Discovery Channel spearheaded one such study in 2004 and featured Natasha as the subject of a documentary “The Girl With X-ray Eyes”. In the study conducted by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), Natasha was asked to identify the medical conditions of 6 volunteers who had undergone surgery or had a physical anomaly. Natasha correctly diagnosed 4 of the volunteers in the four-hour long study, including the control subject, but based on her results, the CSI concluded that her ability lacked sufficient evidence to promote further study. Regardless, Natasha continues to use her superhuman ability to medically diagnose people and has a strong group of supporters to this day.
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