In literally every sci-fi superhero movie we see, some genetic mutation was the reason an ordinary individual obtained mysterious superpowers. We usually sit back and enjoy the flick, knowing very well that the whole thing is made up.
But do superhumans exist?
As far as most people know, they exist on the big screen. Superhero movies are just a demonstration that Hollywood is amazing at what it does –whipping up intriguing and immensely entertaining make-believe narratives that resonate with the hero, the antihero, or the villain buried deep within each of us.
However, you might be surprised to discover people with superpowers live among us. I know I was.
None of them was bitten by a radioactive spider and ended up with the skills to jump from one building to another with cat-like agility.
Still, I bet you will be shocked by what some of the people walking this planet can achieve with their unique God-given abilities.
They might not have retractable steel claws that can cut through cars like butter, but they have traits that might make some hero movies seem like documentaries.
The more scientific habitats of this planet have discovered that the human genome can have about 100 new mutations every time it duplicates itself.
By the way, this rarely happens.
Yet when it does, amazing things usually happen, as we are just about to find out. Here's a look at just how amazing humans can be when their genetics are tweaked a little by the invisible hand of nature.
1. Michel Lotito, "Mr. Eats All"
While some people can't have any peace after having a bit of cheese, a man will eat anything without debilitating stomach aches. The French national has eaten everything from glass, rubber, and metal. He washes it all down with mineral oil.
His greatest claim to fame was the complete consumption of a Cessna 150 airplane over a two-year period.
While Lotito clearly demonstrates a monumental case of pica (a condition that entails having an appetite for non-food items), he also proves that his digestive system is a lot tougher than an average human's.
His stomach has an incredibly thick lining, which is why he has eaten things that would send an average human to the morgue without so much as a sleepless night.
2. Marilu Henner, Perfect Recall
Most people won't tell you for sure what they had for lunch on a day like today, a week ago. That makes many of us look like dementia victims when compared to Marilu Henner and her photographic memory.
Apparently, she can see the past like a movie montage on a continuum.
The actress suffers from hyperthymesia, which means she can remember tiny details of her life going back several decades. An area of her brain is enlarged, making her remember a lot of unnecessary details about her life.
But you have to admit. She makes you look bad for remembering more details about that favorite movie you have watched dozens of times better than you do after just a single viewing.
3. Daniel Kish, The Blind Man Who Can Still See
Daniel's childhood did not start great. Retina cancer cost him his eyes. But today, he can see, and it has nothing to do with getting eye transplants.
He sees with his ears. Today, he can ride his bike through hectic traffic, dance, and even climb trees using the power of echolocation.
He clicks his tongue and listens out for the sound coming back to understand his surroundings. Bats and dolphins do this naturally.
Kish is such an exception, that blind people pay him to show them around.
4. Jo Cameron, Immunity To Pain
This is a superpower a lot of us would line up for. Jo Cameron feels no pain, and it doesn't take tons of hard liquor to get there like you probably do.
The aging superhuman got a hip replacement without the need for painkillers. She felt no pain.
The intriguing feat got doctors curious, and further testing was done with the husband as a control subject. She still felt nothing.
In the end, they found out that she had lots of anandamide. For this reason, not only is Jo unable to experience pain, but she also never suffers from fear or anxiety.
She is always happy and forgetful, although she usually finds unexplained bruises on her body from time to time. In fact, she knows she has burned herself when she detects the smell of burning meat.
Even childbirth was a bliss:
"I felt nothing more than a considerable stretch."
5. Wim Hof, The Iceman
Most people would die of prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures, but Wim Hof is a notable exception.
The cold-defying daredevil has even scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro with nothing but his shorts in sub-freezing temperatures.
He also has twenty cold-endurance world records to his name, clear proof that his ability to withstand cold is out of this world.
Hof is also on record for taking the longest ever ice bath. It lasted for one hour and almost 14 minutes. A few seconds of this treatment feels like unbearable torture for the rest of us.
6. Dean Karnazes, The Running Man
After a marathon, most pros take a break to heal and rest. But Karnazes managed to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. His stamina is unlike anything we can imagine.
The only thing that bothers him is that he has not found a challenge that is challenging enough. Even after running in 120-degree F heat in Death Valley and doing a marathon in temperatures of under 40-degrees F, he still feels he is cut out for more challenging stuff.
At one time, he did a 350-mile run without stopping once, not even for a nap.
Let's try to put that into perspective.
It usually takes over 2 hours to complete a 26-mile marathon. Dean Karnazes ran for over 80 hours (that's over 3 days!) without a break. He didn't even eat anything during the run.
7. Stephen Wiltshire, An Artist With A Photographic Memory
A brief helicopter ride over Tokyo, Rome, Dubai, New York, and Dubai was all Stephen Wiltshire needed to make intricate drawings of each of these cities. His memory is off the charts.
He could not speak until he was five, and his photographic memory is clearly the product of unusual genetic abilities.
8. Alain Albert, The French Spider-Man
I was wrong after all, a real-life Spiderman does exist.
Although the powers of Alain Robert are a little tamer in comparison to those of our beloved mutant superhero, they are still leaps and bounds beyond what an average human can hope to attain.
The French Spider-Man scales high-rise urban buildings with little hesitation. So far, he has climbed the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, among other monumental buildings.
Obviously, this rare form of superpower gets authorities worried about the example Robert might have on fanatical wannabes, as well as the public disturbances it causes.
As a result, he has been arrested more than 100 times. After all, it's not every day you see a man climbing up buildings with no harnesses to keep him from falling to a splattering death hundreds of feet down.
Obviously, they had to wait for him to finish climbing first.
Few people can be this daring. Fear of death is the most powerful self-preservation instinct and something our real-life Spiderman lacks.
So, real-life x-men do live among us after all. Yes, real people with real superpowers exist.
Superhuman skills are possible, and oftentimes, genetic mutations are the reason behind these mind-boggling abilities. In some cases, mutant superpowers are actually at work, but at other times, superhuman guts make heroes of regular folk.