Becoming a superhero… The thought alone will make 50,000 nerds, me included, squeal in excitement. But what if I told you that there are people walking among us (flying has not yet been confirmed) who wield real-life superpowers that have scientists scratching their heads?”
These people didn’t get their superpowers from a radiation experiment gone horribly wrong but, in most cases, are born with a rare genetic mutations that allows them to do things which shouldn’t be possible. We are talking about real people with superpowers such as:
Can you believe these people really exist?!
Liam Hoekstra, the Incredible Hulk Toddler——————————————————————
At first glance, Liam Hoekstra, looks like any other six year old. However, when Liam grabs a ten-pound dumbell and waves it around like a pillow, it becomes clear that he is no ordinary boy. Liam was born with a mutation that basically makes him as strong as an ox. When he was just two days old he could already walk, and at the age of three, he was as quick as an cat and could lift his parents sofa. Just imagine what that must have been like for the parents if they were watching tv on this very same sofa at the time this happened?!
Anyway, his condition doesn’t make him extremely bulky as you see with animals who have a similar condition, but his skeletal muscles are in fact 40% stronger then the rest of us mere mortals.
So what is happening?
Liam Hoekstra’s extremely rare genetic disorder called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, blocks the production of a protein called myostatin that normally limits muscle growth. While a disorder to some, others might consider his situation as being blessed like a millionaire with a T-Rex penis, since there are no known downsides to this condition. Okay, he does have an incredibly fast metablosism which requires Liam to eat as least 6 meals a day, but that is a small price to pay for Hulk-like strength and never putting on any body-fat, ever!
Liam might not be throwing minivans at bank-robbers just yet, but give the boy some time. He’s only 6 years old at the moment and nobody really knows how far his Hulk-like strength can go as he grows older and starts lifting weights. Therefore, it will be very interesting to see this super human toddler grow up by stopping by his Facebook page from time to time.
The Samurai who can slow down time——————————————————————
Isao Machii can only be described as a modern- day superhero samurai, as he can perform feats with his katana that should not be possible outside of an comic-book. We are talking about slicing a bullet in half in mid-air, as it races towards him at 160 feet per second.
Not only does it take any other sword master years of practice to even hit such a small object when it’s stationary, the speed at which it is shot as Isao Machii is to fast for the human eye to register. His seemingly super human skill was put to the test by the Mythbusters team as his sword-mastery was filmed using an slowmotion camera.
So what is happening?
After seeing his super human skills in action, Dr. Ramani Durvasula had this to say about Isao Machii : “This is about processing at an entirely different sensory level, because he’s not visually processing this. This is a different level of anticipatory processing.”
Basically, what he is doing is something that we can all do, namely to anticipate where a ball will land when somebody throws it as us. A baseball player can get so good at this that they can predict the trajectory of a ball that travels over 90 mph. The difference is that a baseball player still uses eyesight to make the swing, while Isao has taken this to another stupendous level, where he doesn’t require eyesight at all.
The Real-life Namor——————————————————————
Lets face it, Namor isn’t exactly the coolest superhero in the Marvel universe. Still, I wouldn’t say no to having his super powers even if they aren’t as awe inspiring as the ones wielded by his superhero colleagues. Namor can stay underwater for an infinite amount of time and while Solvin does require oxygen from time to time like the rest of us, this free-diving spear-fisherman, sure comes close to being a real life aquaman.
Together with his family he has lived his entire life on a houseboat and rarely comes on shore. This aquatic lifestyle has changed how Solvin’s body functions. For example his vision is twice as clear underwater then the average person, but his greatest feat is actually hunting on the ocean-floor at a depth of over 20 meters. This man isn’t one of those magicians who can just hold his breath over a long period of time. No, his body has actually adapted in such a way that he is able to sustain the crushing forces at such a depth and stay underwater for over 5 minutes while still being able to catch a fish. Not because he wants his face on the Guinness Book of Records show, but because he’s looking for supper.
The Real Human Torch——————————————————————
By using an infrared camera, master Zhou, was recorded to generate heat of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit from the palms of his hands, as he made water boil with nothing but his hands. In this case it’s probably best to just watch the video as no words can describe the insanity of his real superhero powers!
So what is happening?
Master Zhou is a Qi Gong Master who uses Chi energy to perform inhuman feats that are unexplainable by modern science. Besides creating fire from the palm of his hands he can, for example, displace his bodyweight by focusing his energy, effectively allowing him to walk on a sheet of paper without breaking it. Before coming to the United States, Master Zhou traveled throughout mainland China teaching Qi Gong. Highly respected and honored in China, Master Zhou has been called a Treasure of the Nation, but currently practices Qi Gong in LA, California.
Since we just had the real life equivalent of the Human Torch, it only makes sense to follow up on that with the human ice cube. Meet Wim Hof, the man who is impervious to cold. Now I know you have probably seen other people do similair things, and so did Wim. That’s why he figured he had to do something to stand out, something insane… The result? Wim Hof climbing Mount Everest, in nothing but a pair of bicycle shorts. With a temperature of minus 35 degrees, any person who hasn’t been hit by a radioactive comet would have been dead in minutes. Wim, however, was perfectly fine and even said it was easy for him.
So, what is happening?
Research has shown that the “Iceman” is able to influence his nervous system through concentration and meditation. This is quite a boring explanation for something so mental, but keep in mind that Wim’s condition is an unique case and scientists have discovered that his insane routines might have altered his body’s chemistry. Still, if you’re interested then you can learn how to become an iceman yourself by attending his “how to become a badass workshops“.
The Human Anvil——————————————————————
The self proclaimed “headbutt king” Gino Martino is a pro-wrestler with a mutant power that comes in very handy in his line of work, namely breaking stuff with his head. Yes, we have seen people do that all the time at martial arts shows and things like that. However, this man isn’t your ordinary black belt karate master that breaks bricks with his face, or block kicks with his balls. No, this man can hammer a 6 inch nail into a piece of wood with just his forehead, which is quite unsettling to watch as you can see in the video below.
Any other person would no doubt be dead after trying something like that, or at the very least scramble his brain. Gino, however, has been doing it for years on a daily basis, and shows no signs of brain damage after all those years.
So, what is happening?
After scientists performed a series of tests, it turns out that his skull is, 14.5 mm thick, compared to the 6,5 mm of an average man. Yup, this guy has one thick skull. Unfortunately for Gino, his head didn’t come with a matching super thick skin, so when he does his head-bashing magic, he still ends up with a bloodied face.
I understand that some might think Gino is just one of those crazy wrestlers who doesn’t mind breaking some bones or seriously injure himself just to entertain a crowd of 15 people in a Bingo hall. However, Gino’s skull does make him extraordinary and besides a pro-wrestler, he would also make for one hell of an supervillain if he could use his powers to crack open ATM machines!
The Real Iron Man Suit——————————————————————
For those of us who haven’t been blessed with a superpower granting mutation, or don’t want to find out if gamma rays don’t just kill us, there is still hope… Millitary contractor Raytheon has developed this XOS2 exoskeleton that is pretty damn close to an early sketch of Iron Man’s Mark IV suit of armor.
Okay, it can’t fly or shoot laser beams just yet, but it is pretty close to the cave-build suit seen in the first Iron Man movie, which is already pretty sweet. What the suit does is enhance the strength of it’s wearer so that a normal punch turns into a punch that goes through thick planks of wood (as shown in the video below) or through someone’s face (as not shown in the video).
This amazing robotic suit turns any weak sauce couchsurfer into a bonafide badass, capable of carrying over 200 pounds of equipment on it’s back without breaking a sweat. At this time it’s potential is wasted on boring things like lifting extremely heavy ammunition and medical equipment, but of course it’s just a matter of time before “Exoskeleton Boxing” becomes an Olympic Sport.
Ben Underwood, The Real Daredevil——————————————————————
Underwood had both his eyes surgically removed but left doctors stunned as he was actually able to see things by using sound.
So, what is happening?
Ben Underwood was diagnosed with retinal cancer at the age of two and therefore both his eyes had to be removed when he was just three years old. This terrible turn of events didn’t break Ben’s will to live a full life though. At the age of five he learned himself to “see” his surrounding, with the use of echolocation. He was able to produce a clicking sound with his tongue which would bounce off object, allowing him to visualize his surroundings. Ben was the only known person to ever use echolocation and could do some truly amazing things like: play video games, ride a bike, skating, climbing trees, and basically everything he always did before he lost his sight.
Ben Underwood passed away on january 19, 2009 at the age of 16. He fell victim to the same cancer that claimed his sight. His biggest super power seemed to be his ability to make lemonade from the lemons life gave him, and he left behind a legacy of inspiration for visually impaired people all over the world.