Strange superpowers people have in real life

If you're one of those people who doesn't watch superhero movies because they're just too far-fetched, then it might be time to think again, because some of those unbelievable powers might not be as impossible as you think. While most of the 7 billion people on this planet fit right inside the bell curve when it comes to having the normal abilities of the average human being, there are a few who definitely do not—and not in a bad way either. Here are a few superpowers that actually exist out in the real world.

Impervious to cold

Humans can't survive for long without food, water, or on Mount Everest in just a pair of shorts—or so common sense would have you believe. In the case of Dutchman Wim Hof, that third one can be struck off the list. Exhibiting an almost inhuman ability to withstand the cold, Hof has repeatedly put himself in situations that should have killed him, and come out of it none the worse. Most famously, he attempted to climb Mount Everest wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and sandals. Although he didn't make it to the top, he nevertheless survived in temperatures that can drop as low as minus 60 degrees celsius. Hof attributes his amazing abilities to a Buddhist meditation technique that allows him to control his body temperature and immune responses.

Magnetic Skin

With all the metal we interact with on a daily basis, imagine being able to stick it to your body. Okay, that wouldn't be the most useful power but definitely one of the weirdest to exist. Liew Thow Lin of Malaysia, better known to the world as "Magneto Man," discovered his superpower at the age of 60. While he was a contractor, his work got very difficult when all of his tools started getting stuck to his body.

Liew Thow Lin can stick any metal object to his skin, ranging from silverware to hammers and metal plates with heavy objects hanging from them. He's even pulled a 1.5-ton car with just a metal plate attached to his stomach. Scientists have taken to study Magneto Man but discovered he is not so aptly named as no magnetic field is responsible for this weird quirk. Instead, the best deduction scientists at the University of Technology in Malaysia could come up with is that his skin has some kind of suction property, as it has more friction to it than a normal person.

Whatever may be the cause, we can be certain that it's genetic, as Liew Thow Lin's grandkids have the same epic party trick as their grandpa.

Auto-brewery syndrome

Here's a superpower for the party animals. Imagine having the ability to get drunk off a slice of bread or a can of soda. No more trips to the liquor store, no more $10 six packs—just a $1.25 bottle of Mountain Dew (with the sugar left in). That's the reality for people suffering from auto-brewery syndrome, but unfortunately it's not as fun as it sounds. The condition is caused by the presence of large amounts of yeast in the lower intestine, which converts the food's carbohydrates into ethanol. Sufferers effectively become high-functioning alcoholics, and while that includes a high tolerance for alcohol, it also includes all kinds of health risks, not to mention some unexpected DUIs. In a recent case, a woman in New York was stopped by the police several hours after having a drink. When tested, she had a blood alcohol level four times over the legal limit—all while exhibiting none of the symptoms of drunkenness.

Talk to animals

You couldn't pay most people enough to walk themselves into a lion's den, but "lion whisperer" Kevin Richardson finds them to be great company, and they must agree, seeing how they don't kill him. With nothing but an understanding of lion behavior and instinct along with a couple of lion noises he's picked up, Kevin just walks himself right up to these beasts and is welcomed with open paws. They pounce on him playfully without their claws drawn and even give him some love bites that don't result in his guts being ripped out of his stomach.

He's learned to communicate with these massive animals, and they've accepted him into their pride. It's not just lions, either. During his time in South Africa, he's gained the acceptance of hyenas, snakes, and giraffes. Kevin has gained quite a bit of fame for his super power, using it to create documentaries to promote the protection of these animals from mankind and to show us that animals are capable of love and friendship.

Echolocation

Seeing a blind person navigating a busy street with a white cane is pretty amazing, as such determined adaptation to a disability is almost incomprehensible to a person lucky enough to have full use of their eyes. In at least one well-known case, a blind person has developed abilities that almost rival full sight. Ben Underwood lost his eyes to cancer at the age of three. Afterwards, Underwood developed the remarkable ability to navigate the world using echolocation. By making sharp clicking noises with his tongue, he could "see" objects by listening to the sound reflected off them. In this way, he could walk around without a cane, and even ride his bike along the street. Unfortunately, the cancer which precipitated the development of his amazing abilities later returned. Sadly, Ben died in 2009 at the age of 16.

One Punch Man

Masutatsu "Godhand" Oyama is the kind of karate legend that martial arts movies are made of. Mas began studying martial arts at a young age, and boy did he take to it, devoting himself to karate after serving in the Japanese Army in World War II. Mas would train nonstop alone in the mountains, breaking rocks with his hands, jumping over plants, enduring freezing waterfalls, and using trees as punching bags. He came out of those mountains an even bigger boss than he'd already been.

To showcase the power of his karate, he would fight bulls. Yeah, that's right, bulls. Not only did he take on and win against 52 of these massive animals, but he managed to kill three of them instantly with just one punch. 49 of them, he managed to chop off their horns with knife hand blows before defeating them. Violence against animals isn't always cool, but you've got to admit, that's pretty cool. The bulls were all headed to the slaughter, so at least Mas gave them a flashy exit. Godhand also accepted all-human challengers, but as you can predict, most of those fights ended with one punch as well.

Mas opened his own dojo and developed the martial art of Kyokushin, which heavily influences all of karate today. He was a hardworking man who believed in training your butt off so you can accomplish the equivalent of one-shotting bulls with your bare hands in whatever field you desire.

Impervious to pain

Most of the superpowers on this list are so incredible you can't help but be amazed—but in some cases you will probably want to look away. Tim Cridland has an unnerving ability to withstand pain, but this isn't some genetic accident. Cridland has trained himself for years to overcome pain, and he uses his hard-earned talent to "entertain." Performing under the stage name Zamora the Torture King, Cridland routinely sticks skewers though his face and limbs, eats fire, and swallows swords. No doubt his sideshow career has earned Cridland a good living, and it could be described as jaw dropping…if anyone could actually watch long enough.

​Super eating

No, we're not talking about Kobayashi-style "bottomless pit for a stomach," but the ability to eat anything. Metal, glass, rubber … if you were told as a baby not to eat it, this guy has eaten it.

Michel Lotito, known as Monsieur Mangetout or Mr. Eat-All, would cut up bicycles, shopping carts, electronics, and many other objects to consume. The man even ate up a small airplane, though it took him about two years to finish that meal.

Michel Lotito suffered from "Pica," which causes people to crave non-food objects like paint or couch cushion stuffing. This can lead to serious intestinal blockage, lead poisoning and more, but lucky for Michel, he had a stomach of iron to tackle all the iron he ate. Doctors deemed he had a thick lining in his stomach and intestines that allowed him to take in all the sharp metal without issue. He is believed to have eaten nearly 9 tons of metal before dying in 2007 to natural causes. And he ended up with the last laugh, as he had already gotten a coffin inside of him long before the opposite rang true.

Human crash test dummy

For all the advanced technology in the world of vehicle safety testing, it seems there is still a place for a real flesh and blood people inside all that crunching metal and breaking glass. Rusty Haight has personally experienced over 1000 vehicle collisions, and holds the world record for the most crash tests. Despite what looks like a high-risk working environment, after experiencing all those impacts Haight has managed to avoid anything more serious than a few bumps and bruises, which is pretty astounding.

​Stretchy Skin

Less "Mr. Fantastic" and more "Mr. Freakshow," Garry Turner has the stretchiest skin in the world. Garry suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a group of disorders that affects your skin, joints, and blood vessels. Garry's strain is even rarer, resulting in his ultra-stretchy skin. His abdominal skin is what snatched him the record for stretchiest skin, reaching 6.25 inches away from his body. As you'll see in the video above, he enjoys using it as a table to serve drinks. Yum!

Rather than hide his power for fear of giving the heebie-jeebies to just about everyone, Garry loves showing off the novelty of his ability as part of the circus. Though his disease still causes him pain, his love of the stage keeps an extra big smile on his face.

Perfect visual memory

While a lot of attention gets paid to physical superpowers (someone has to punch the bad guy in the face), there are a few powers of the mind that are no less remarkable. Stephen Wiltshire is a British artist who has near-perfect visual memory. His most remarkable demonstration involves taking a brief helicopter flight over a city and later making a highly detailed large-scale drawing purely from memory. In 2011, he made a 250-foot-long panoramic drawing of New York City from memory, and he has also made drawings of London, Rome, Madrid, Jerusalem, and Sydney to name but a few. His talent is so remarkable that it has been recognised by the British Government, who appointed him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2006.

​Super Scream

It's always the quiet ones who are … the loudest?

Classroom assistant Jill Drake of the UK claims that she never shouts or screams at her children, but maybe they just know better than to tempt someone packing a 129-decibel voice. Jill set the world record back in 2000, boasting a scream that's 9 decibels louder than the sound thunder makes and just 10 decibels lower than a jumbo jet taking off. Take a listen to yourself in the video above. Just make sure you're not wearing headphones.

Super archer

Lars Anderson is Holland's answer to the Green Arrow. This kinda awkward looking YouTube sensation exploded onto the internet with his slightly controversial but nevertheless entertaining video: Lars Andersen: a new level of archery. He demonstrates insane archery skills (with amazing accuracy and precision) that would make Robin Hood proud, such as shooting three arrows in .6 seconds, shooting while hanging upside down, and achieving an unexpected level of cool, despite looking like he still lives in his parents basement.

Hyper-endurance

Dean Karnazes has what might be the closest thing to an actual superpower on this list. Most famous for running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days, he has also run 350 miles nonstop on a running machine for over 80 hours. Medical investigations have determined that his muscles suffer far less damage from sustained running than they should. If he could be kept fed and hydrated while on the move, he is capable of running at 7-10 miles per hour almost indefinitely. If Lars Anderson is the Green Arrow, Dean Karnazes would have to be the Flash.

Super reflexes

Isao Machii should play in Major League Baseball—his batting average would be off the charts. As it happens, his preferred tool is a Katana. With his samurai-style sword, Machii cuts things in half really, really fast. He actually holds a few world records for bisecting things fast with a blade, but that's not his most amazing skill. Sometimes, he cuts small things in half that are moving at high speeds. He has even cut a BB in half that was travelling at 350mph, a speed so fast that it required a high speed camera in order to prove that Machii sliced the metal pellet in two. Experts are at a loss to explain Machii's abilities, as the BB is travelling so fast that he should barely be able to see it, let alone predict its path, draw his sword, and slice it in two, but he does, time and time again.