“If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” That question is asked among almost all boys and girls. Why is it such a common thought? The answer is simple, because from a young age, thanks to comic books, cartoons, movies, television, and even anime, nearly everyone is introduced to the concept of superpowers. Having been introduced to these concepts from so young, the idea of having superpowers is still a wish nearly everyone has. It's that wish that is responsible for the popularity and success of the superhero movies and television shows. Through those entertainment mediums, ordinary people get to witness superpowers come to life.
What many people do not know, however, is that certain real-life individuals have actual abilities that can be classified as superpowers. These abilities are not as impressive as super speed, telekinesis, flight, or teleportation, and they do not carry the destructive force associated with super strength, weather/elemental manipulation, or eye lasers; but they are still abilities that an average person is certainly unable to accomplish.
Our world is far more grounded than the fictional worlds in which most superpowers exist, so it only makes sense that the abilities in our world are more grounded as well. Here is a list of 10 Superpowers You Won’t Believe Actually Exist.
10 Extreme Photographic Memory
The likes of Bane, Lex Luthor, and Batman are individuals known for having a photographic memory (also sometimes called enhanced memory). People with this ability, are able to remember large quantities of information over a much longer period of time when compared to the average person; they are also capable of recalling in great detail their experiences. There are actually many real-life individuals who have photographic memory; with one case being Stephen Wiltshire, a British landscape artist. Stephen is capable of perfectly recreating large city areas after briefly seeing them just once; as seen when he accurately drew over 300 square miles of New York City in perfect detail after a single short helicopter ride.
9 Super Enhanced Stamina
Enhanced stamina happens to be a sub-power of enhanced condition, and with this ability, the user’s body becomes incredibly resistant to the toxins that build up in the blood due to fatigue; allowing them to remain physically active far longer than an average person. There are many notable comic book characters who are gifted with this superpower, including The Flash, Wolverine, Doomsday, Luke Cage, and Captain America; but there is also a real life individual who possesses this superpower as well. Dean Karnazes has run on a treadmill for eighty hours straight without any sleep (the equivalent of running 350 miles), and he also ran in 50 separate marathons over a span of 50 consecutive days. A team of scientists has determined that if Dean were properly fed and hydrated, he could keep on running between 7-10 MPH until he died of old age.
8 Powerful Eagle Vision
The ability to see objects over great distances,with astonishing clarity, is an ability known as enhanced vision. Fictional characters such as Marvel’s Hawkeye and DC’s Superman possess the power of enhanced vision or some variant of it; but there are also real-life individuals who are gifted with this type of vision as well. One of the most notable of these individuals is Veronica Seider who holds the world record for seeing the smallest object without being aided by technology. Her visual acuity was 20 times that of an average person’s, which allowed her to see and identify people who were further than one mile away.
7 Body Temperature Manipulation
The ability to manipulate one’s body temperature, is one that primarily appears in anime. Users of this ability are capable of controlling their body temperatures, which includes being able to increase or decrease their temperature to harmful levels. Ordinary people are capable of obtaining this ability, primarily through different methods of meditation. The ‘Garth’ Monks of Tibet are proof that these methods work, as they are able to alter their body temperatures using only the power of their minds. Their mental power must be quite something, as it has been documented that they are able to change their temperatures by as much as 8 degrees Celsius.
6 Animal Communication
The ability to communicate with animals, or Zoolingualism, is an ability that most people think about having, usually in regards to communicating with their pets. People with this ability are able to understand an animal’s speech and emotions. The most extreme depictions of this ability can be seen in movies like Dr. Dolittle, or with superheroes such as Antman and Aquaman. The more grounded versions of this superpower, can be seen in real-life people like primatologist Jane Goodall who interacted with and was accepted by families of wild chimpanzees and gorillas. South African animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson is another example, as he has been accepted into multiple lion prides and hyena clans.
5 Total Body Magnetization
The power of magnetism manipulation allows an individual to generate and manipulate magnetic fields. Well known fictional characters such as Magneto and Dr. Doom showcase this ability by controlling magnetism in all its forms, be it natural (planetary or solar), organic (the electric currents inside living things) or artificial (man-made metal objects or electricity). There is a man who is capable of manipulating metal in a specific way, and he uses nothing but his very own body. Liew Thow Lin of Malaysia is able to stick and balance numerous metal objects on his body. Scientists have been unable to detect anything unusual regarding the magnetism of Lin’s body; but the lack of a scientific explanation does not impede the fact that he is a magnetic human.
4 Dangerous Matter Ingestion
If someone ever tells you they have a stomach made of steel, or that they can eat anything without getting sick, they may be telling the truth. The superpower known as matter ingestion, allows its user to eat any substance, including those that are traditionally harmful to the human body, without suffering any terrible side-effects. Michel Lotito of France, nicknamed ‘Mr. Eat it All’, is able to eat things that are not meant to be digested by the human body, including rubber, metal, and glass, all without having anything bad happen to him. And to think, some people thought eating bugs was a cool thing to be able to do.
3 Acute Sonar Vision
Sonar vision, or echolocation, is the ability to use reflected sound waves in order to identify and locate objects; these sound waves can also aid in determining one’s location. Some of the most notable users of this ability include Aquaman and Marvel’s Daredevil, but there is at least one real-life young man who possesses this ability as well. At the age of 3, Ben Underwood lost his eyesight to cancer, but that did not stop him from trying to live a normal life. Ben has been able to walk around unassisted as well as ride a bike on his own thanks to his ability to make clicking sounds with his mouth. These sounds produce echoes which allow Ben to judge his surroundings as well as locate any obstacles that may be in his way.
2 Superhuman Reflexes
Many superheroes and villains possess enhanced reflexes, or are gifted with a reaction speed far above that of an average person. Isao Machii of Japan is a master of the martial art of Iaido, involving swords, and has the quickest reflexes in the world. Instead of simply watching an object move through the air before reacting to it, like ordinary people do, Isao is able to, “Anticipate the exact location of the item at any given moment with incredible accuracy.” His skills have garnered him several world records, and you can see him in action in videos online where he successfully cuts through objects shot right at him, objects that can travel over 500 feet per second.
1 The Iceman
No, this entry does not mean that there is someone in the world who can turn into or manipulate ice; it also does not mean that there is someone like Mr. Freeze out there who uses ice in a gun. Wim Ice-Man Hof is impervious to the cold. Thanks to a breathing technique that Hof uses, his body does not feel the cold in the same way a normal person does, which is why he currently holds multiple records, including swimming under ice water for the longest period of time. Hof has also climbed both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest while wearing nothing but bike shorts, and returned virtually unharmed; a feat that is quite impressive considering that temperatures on Everest can fall way below -35 degrees Celsius. Such temperatures would ordinarily kill a normal person not wearing the proper gear.