Friday, April 20, 2012

Real-life Super Powers

This month Minnie is exploring the alphabet by digging out the unusual, often unexplained and alternative way of thinking. Stories of creatures, places and mysteries that have been passed down to us through centuries tease our imagination, live in our dreams and dare us to explore the impossible. Join Minnie each day as she discovers something unusual in the alphabet.

 "Don't tell anyone, but I am a secret Superhero"

The Avengers will soon be coming to a theater near you. Will you be going to see these superheroes team up to save the world? With so many superhero movies around, we are used to seeing people with special abilities in fiction. But people with real life superpowers actually do exist. Here are some of them that I found:

The Incredible Brain
Daniel Paul Tammet is a British high-functioning autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical calculations, sequence memory, and natural language learning.  He experiences numbers as colors or sensations which is a well-documented form of synesthesia, but the detail and specificity of Tammet's mental imagery of numbers is unique. In his mind, each number up to 10,000 has its own unique shape and feel, so that he can "see" results of calculations as landscapes, and that he can "sense" whether a number is prime or composite. Tammet also speaks a variety of languages including English, French, Finnish, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Estonian, Icelandic, Welsh and Esperanto. Tammet is capable of learning new languages very quickly. To prove this he was challenged to learn Icelandic in one week. Seven days later he appeared on Icelandic television conversing in Icelandic, with his Icelandic language instructor saying it was "not human."

The Boy with Sonar Vision
Ben Underwood is blind. Both of his eyes were removed because of cancer when he was 3. Yet, he plays basketball, rides on a bicycle, and lives a quite normal life. He taught himself to use echo location to navigate around the world. With no guide-dogs, he doesn't even need hands: he uses sound. Ben makes a short click sound that bounces back from objects. Amazingly, his ears pick up the echoes to let him know where the objects are. He's the only person in the world who sees using nothing but echo location, like sonar or a dolphin.

The Rubberboy
Five times Guinness record holder, Daniel Browning Smith is the most flexible man alive and the most famous contortionist. He has been in many professional basketball or baseball games and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Ripley's Believe It or Not, The Discovery Channel, Men in Black 2, and many other television specials. Among many of his talents he can dislocate his arms to crawl through an unstrung tennis racquet. He performs contortion handstands and unique acrobatics.

Mister Eat-it-All
Michel Lotito, also known as Mr. eat it all, is a French entertainer that is famous for consuming anything. Lotito's performances include the consumption of metal, glass, rubber and go on to such items as  bicycles, televisions, a Cessna 150, and smaller items which are disassembled, cut-up and swallowed. An aircraft took roughly two years to be 'eaten' from 1978 to 1980. He began eating unusual material while a child and has been performing publicly since 1966. Lotito does not often suffer from ill-effects due to his diet, even after the consumption of materials usually considered poisonous. When performing he consumes around a kilogram of material daily, preceding it with mineral oil and drinking considerable quantities of water during the 'meal'. He apparently possesses a stomach and intestine with walls of twice the expected thickness, and his digestive acids are, allegedly, unusually powerful, allowing him to digest a certain portion of his metallic meals. 

King Tooth
On August 30, 2007, the eve of Malaysia's 50th Independence Day, Rathakrishnan Velu  broke his own world record by pulling a train with his teeth, this time with 6 coaches attached weighing 297.1 tons over a distance of 2.8 meters at the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Raja Gigi, from Tampin in Malaysia learned a technique of concentrating his powers to any part of his body from an Indian guru at a young age of 14.

Das Uberboy
Uberboy's real name is being kept secret, much like the fictional “Superman”---Clark Kent. What we do know is that one day in 1999 a little baby boy was born in Germany, at first glance no different from any other. But, the nurses noticed that the baby's muscles were twitching and called the doctors to check him out. When doctors examined the baby they reached a unanimous conclusion: his muscles were developed beyond anything deemed normal. A genetic mutation from birth changes the way his body controls muscle growth. Cattle farmers have been intentionally using this mutation for years in order to breed huge, muscular cows. How he inherited this mutation is unclear. It is also unclear what will happen as Uberboy grows up. No one has ever encountered a child such as this or studied animals with defective myostatin genes into old age. His health and eventual strength remains unknown. What we do know is that at 4-years-old, Uberboy could lift six times more weight than an average kid.

Do you know of anyone with Super-human powers? If you could have a power what would it be?


Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello Siv:

I have several, but they come & go. I'll keep them secret though.

Happy Friday to you & yours north of the border,

J.C. Martin said...

Surprised I've not heard of King Tooth despite being Malaysian! The human mind and body can be amazing. Am getting into the series Touch, about the austistic boy with amazing mathematical abilities.

J.C. Martin
A to Z Blogger

Catherine Noble said...

Excellent post, Siv! I've watched a documentary on the man who used echo in place of sight, it was fascinating! I truly believe we only use a fraction of our potential, whether that be physically or mentally! :)

Lynn Proctor said...

i think it would have to be the ability to heal and make money out of thin air--oh and to turn back time or speed it up--you are so imaginative

Chiz said...

I suggest you watch that show 'Superhuman'. Try to find the episode with 'Monkey Man' (I think that was his name). He can climb virtually any surface. It will blow your mind.

Also, if I could have a superpower, it would be to teleport. That would be pretty intense.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, I'd heard of some of those, but the boy using sonar is incredible. I wonder how well his hearing tests?

Cynthia said...

I would like the superpower to add more hours to the day...going back in time is also tempting.

Tracy Jo said...

Wow! So cool. I think I would like to fly, :-) Have a great weekend!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, what a cool collection of stuff! It's so interesting how we adapt and change and the things that can pop up along the way.

As for me, my only superpower is Misattributing.

Fairview said...

So interesting. And addicting...

Andrea said...

This is a really neat post! Stopping by from a-z.

Anonymous said...

Well I keep my stuff secret but I can ........... How to make weapon and be run faster then anyone it like a power I can control