The Super Power of Living.
What are super powers? Are they real? Can anyone possess them? Let’s get into some facts. The links will be cited below if you’re interested in taking a look at them. Also, DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE LISTED ABILITIES AT HOME. SOME ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS AND CAN LEAD TO SEVERE INJURY, AND CAN BE FATAL. Dahlia Blake Productions exercises caution when listing these things as they are meant for entertainment and not to be replicated. Thank you.
Some of the phrases and comments are paraphrased from the cited articles below. Again, please do not attempt some of the listed abilities. Stick with your abilities. You’re amazing enough as you are, you don’t need to hurt yourself imitating others. That said, let’s begin.
Super human abilities are not just tricks that someone can show you at a party to impress you. These abilities aren’t even just for circus’s and performances. Some of these abilities have real consequences to those the below abilities effects. I will not be going into detail about those who are born without fingerprints, disease resistant, or unbreakable bones.
Let’s start off with “what are super powers”? This term can be defined three ways. Merriam-Webster defines “super power” as “1: excessive or superior power, 2:
a: an extremely powerful nation specifically : one of a very few dominant states in an era when the world is divided politically into these states and their satellites
b: an international governing body able to enforce its will upon the most powerful states
c: an extremely powerful company, organization, etc.
3: a power or ability (such as the ability to become invisible or to fly) of the kind possessed by superheroes : a superhuman power.”
We will be focusing on the “ability” in the above-mentioned quote. The “super power ability” is going to be defined as a seemingly super human ability to do what most people cannot.
One such ability, which is easily the most known, would be contortion. There are many people that contort their bodies into small places and even bend in seemingly unnatural positions. Though being flexible is fairly common, the ability to contort as those in a circus is rare. “Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.
People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin. This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn’t strong enough to hold them.” This is an impressive ability, but it’s not something you wish on anyone. Like any hero, there is a villain. The villain is the sufferers body as it slowly deteriorates over time. It’s no secret that we all deteriorate, but those with this syndrome tend to bruise easily, and their hearts have weak or thin aortic walls. This can be extremely dangerous. You can only be born with this condition, as it is inherited from parent to child.
How about an impressive power you can learn but most cannot master? Believe it or not, the use of both left and right hand, or ambidexterity, is the ability few can master. I myself can write with both hands, but my left side is designated for forging my mother’s signature and pretending to be a ghost trying to communicate. I digress. Ambidexterity, can be learned but “one out of every hundred people are naturally ambidextrous.” — cited from linked article below.
Here’s a fun one, how about the ability to withstand extreme temperatures? Wim Hof immersing himself in ice for 72 minutes, and climbing Mount Everest in boots and shorts is impressive. If that’s not super human, I don’t know what is.
One power I was unaware of in humans is echolocation. This is common in bats, whales, dolphins and even birds use this method of navigation, but humans can learn this ability. It’s more commonly found in those who are blind as they have lost their vision. Upon losing a sense, other senses heighten. This has been scientifically proven as mostly fact. It is a way to adapt and navigate one’s surroundings to survive. This makes you wonder what else our bodies can do.
Other senses that can be considered super human is taste and smell. I personally was born without enough receptors to register tastes such as bitter or salty, and cannot smell many sweet fragrances. However, there are many that can smell and taste so exquisitely they can tell how many flavors were used, or which flavors were added. Wine, coffee, olive oil, cheese, and chocolate tastings are the most common taste testing scenarios you can show off this ability, but if you’re sharp enough, there are many companies looking for those who can describe what they’re tasting in detail and get it correct. Yes, you can get paid well for your astute ability to taste and smell well.
Singing and playing instruments can be considered an ability. Both can be learned, but there have been those who were and are so talented, they never needed lessons to pick up an instrument or sing as though they were born with the ability. Some are born with the drive to be proficient. Fun fact, the ability to sing was once an indication for intelligence as majority of those who can sing well can understand and pick up languages more quickly and easier than those who do not. Which is interesting, I love learning languages. I might be bragging, but I’m nearly fluent in Spanish and have been in the process of learning German, Greek, Russian, and French. Not to mention the fact “66% of those who were proficient had better working memories than those who did not play an instrument.” — paraphrased from cited article below. Though you cannot necessarily be born with this ability, and even learning it can be difficult, some can master both.
Let’s dive into some more puzzling abilities that seem to confuse science. Slavisa Pajkic is known for being able to withstand electric shocks without ill effects. Taking a whooping 20,000 volts without damage in 1983. For reference, you can be seriously or fatally injured by only 50 volts. It is important to note that he is able to store the electricity and release it, as the article below states. How can he do such a thing? Known as the battery man, aptly named, Slavisa is an extraordinary person. Science has attempted to explain his strange ability by positing that “he doesn’t have sweat or salivary glands and electricity is able to pass through outer skin”, though they are not certain if that is the entire explanation. Like anything else on this list, do not attempt this one at home.
What about an obscure one like seeing sound as color? Synesthesia is common in artists and musicians alike. This is actually a neurological condition in which stimulation leads to another seemingly unrelated stimulation. Simply said, you hear a song and sense the sounds as a pattern or a color. It is equally as misunderstood and one of the lesser known abilities, Science still cannot fully explain why or how this happens. This ability is known for the enhance in other cognitive abilities such as creativity and memory. Paraphrased from cited article below. “It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of the population has a form of synesthesia and women are more likely to possess it than men.”
The idea of having a super power is not the same as a super hero. However, some super heroes have amazing abilities. I would like to posit for a moment that my favorite heroes were always those who did possess a crazy ability. There have been a few that were gifted, or rather cursed, with their abilities that piqued my interest. There are many beautiful people with amazing talents. Some people are able to sing and dance, some can build from scratch using crude materials to make them pieces of art.
If I were to assume for a moment that I had an ability, besides the compulsion to write and research weird topics, I would say the ability to listen to my “gut”. The idea was brought to the attention by Friedrich S. Merkel in 1880. — sensory systems are composed of epithelial cells and sensory nerves, which together transform environmental cues into neural signals that trigger our rich sensory experiences (1). We now know that this hypothesis mostly holds true for the canonical senses of vision, hearing, taste, and touch. Perhaps surprisingly, the peripheral outposts of these classical sensory systems (eyes, ears, tongue, and skin) are dwarfed by the human body’s largest sensory organ — the gut. Enteroendocrine cells, which are rare epithelial cells that decorate the gut lining, have long been suspected to be sensory receptor cells that inform the brain about ingested nutrients (2). Since their description, these cells were assumed to play a role in metabolism and gut physiology by releasing slow-acting peptide hormones that stimulate neurons throughout the gut and in the brain.”-
This has nothing to do with hunger. This is more of a primal response in which we sense something is not quite right. You don’t realize it, but the eyes and brain pick up more information than we can possibly do with. Hence why sleep has been such an important part of human routines. This is a way of the brain to process and even remove unwanted information, as well as removing toxins from the brain. I don’t necessarily believe in vibes, but I will say that I can judge someone pretty well upon meeting them. By this, I mean, that behavior by observation can tell you a lot about a person. The example is that the “first impression is always important” may have been correct. In studying psychology, there was an emphasis on noticing nonverbal cues and ticks. Can you tell I was studying to be a psychologist? I was fortunate enough to have a mentor at the time, and he taught me a lot about this.
I would go as far to say that understanding is a super power. That’s just me. What other examples can I include? Well, for one, there are many. Almost too many to list in this essay. I venture to say every day existence is a super power at this point. Waking up and getting out of bed. Someone who works two jobs while being a full-time mother, that’s impressive to me. I’m sure it’s impressive to most people.
In conclusion to this essay, I would say that super powers are largely subjective. I can, for example, see farther than you can, and this can be considered a super power, to you. Learning a skill quickly, can be considered a super power. I would posit, again, that these are abilities that are brought on genetically. I would assume, based on my studies, majority are brought on by mutations in the cells over time, then passed down to the next generation. If I may insert a statistic, you were a one in 400 trillion chance and you won the lottery of living. Being you is a super power. Congratulations, we’re all super human in our own right.