If you are a geek, chances are you’ve thought of it. What would you do if you had superpowers? Would you just keep them a secret and try to live a normal life? Would you use it to create a life of supervillainy and luxury? Or would you become a superhero? Well, the people with these real superpowers don’t have to worry about great-power-great-responsibility conundrums. Yes, they’re mutants, and they’re better than us, but not by that much. There are no eye-laser beams. Yet.
Some women (and women only, sorry dudes) have an ability that can only be described as super vision. Simply put, the eye uses rods and cones to see. Cones let us see colors. We humans are trichromats, which means we have three cones. This allows us to see at least a million difference colors. Lucky us. Other mammals, such as dogs, tend to be dichromats, which means they have only two cones. Their number is significantly lower, at only ten thousand colors. Unlucky them. And now, unlucky us, too. Apparently, there are tetrachromats. These people have four cones, which can allow them to see 100,000,000 colors. The first recorded case of tetrachromatism was found two years ago, and the search continues for more of these eagle-eyed ladies.
When Matt Murdock was a child, he was involved in a car accident where radioactive waste got in his eyes. After that, he became the superhero, Daredevil. Big deal, Ben Underwood taught himself to see using echolocation. Born without eyes, Ben used high-pitched clicks to see where things were. The click bounced off objects, and he could see where they were.
No, you don’t need hours at the gym to be incredibly strong. You can also inherit a genetic disorder called myostatin-related muscular hypertrophy. It’s the opposite of muscular dystrophy. Instead of muscles wasting away, they grow, and grow fast. There have been two cases of this recorded: a muscular baby in Germany back in 1999, and a kid in Michigan a few years back. Normally, myostatin restrains muscle growth. The mutation reduces myostatin and allows for increased muscle growth and super strength with relatively little effort.
In Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks took years to run back and forth across the country. Dean Karnazes ran across the country in 75 days. He ran a marathon in all 50 states in 50 days. That’s more than a thousand miles of running in less than two months. Beyond that, he ran 135 miles straight across Death Valley in 120-degree heat and ran a marathon at the South Pole in -40-degree frigidity. His greatest feat was more than 350 miles straight in 80 consecutive hours of running. He can do this because his body has above average lactic acid control. This allows him to experience less fatigue than the rest of us.
The Iron Fist
Mas Oyama was the Iron Fist before Marvel Comics invented Iron Fist for the 1970s kung fu craze. He immigrated to Japan from his native Korea and wandered the countryside, beating up bulls with his bare hands. He later created the Kyokushin style of karate to pass his secrets on.
What real superpower do you wish you had?