What can a man - 9 real-world superpowers

Nine most well-studied and interesting superpowers, from the most common to the rarest. Note that most of these unusual abilities are genetic, and they are not impossible to develop.

What can a man - 9 real-world superpowers


People who feel the taste is much more accurate than the rest of the population, called superdegustatorami. The reason is the presence of additional fungus (growths on the tongue in the shape of mushrooms, which are covered by additional taste buds) - that's why a strong reaction to the taste of these people. Of the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and the so-called "meat flavor" superdegustatory feel bitterness most prominent.

At first, scientists have noticed that some people feel different already known in taste products. Arthur Fox, a chemist at the US chemical company DuPont, conducted experiments on taste perception feniltiokarbomida (RTS). When he gave to try this stuff tastes, some people may experience its bitter taste, while others do not. This difference is due to the genetics of people. (A variation of this test - is now one of the most common genetic tests). Of the 70% of people who may feel the PTC, two thirds rated as average, and only one-third (about 25% of the population) is superdegustatorami.

Superdegustatory do not like certain foods, particularly bitter, such as Brussels sprouts, common cabbage, coffee, and grapefruit juice. In women, Asians, Africans, and more likely to be superdegustatorami, because they have a high probability of an increased number of mushroom-shaped growths.

Absolute Pitch

People with absolute pitch can identify and reproduce the tone. This is not just an improved ability to hear, but the ability to mentally categorize sounds, memorizing their categories. Examples demonstrate the absolute pitch may be noise identification routine (e.g., horns, sirens, engine sound), the ability to sing a note without the original name of the song the chords. Execution of any example of this list is an indication of what a person remembers the frequency of each tone and can call it (for example, 'C #', or 'C sharp "). Opinions on the bill, whether absolute pitch ability of genetic or not, are constantly changing.

Estimates of the population having absolute pitch range from 3% to 8% (in the US) (in Europe). In music conservatories in Japan, approximately 70% of musicians have perfect pitch. Perhaps so much process is due to the fact that absolute pitch is more common among people who grew up in an environment with tonal languages ​​(Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese). Absolute pitch is also more common in those people who are born blind, have William's syndrome, or autism.


Photoreception - the ability to see light from four different sources. An example of this in the animal kingdom - zebra fish, which could see the light of red, green, blue, and ultraviolet ranges of the light spectrum. Photoreception true in humans is much rarer, however, according to Wikipedia, two possible cases of this phenomenon have been reported.

Ordinary people have three types of receptors that detect light in red, green and blue range of the light spectrum. Each receptor can recognize about 100 shades of color, and our brain tries to mix them up, change their brightness, so that we can observe at least part of the 1 million different colors that painted our world. True photoreception theoretically allows to perceive 100 million colors. As superdegustatsiya, photoreception is more common in women. Interestingly, the color-blindness in men is much more common than in women, and can be inherited from a woman with a photoreception.


Echolocation - is what helps bats navigate in the dark forests - they emit sound, waiting for the echo, and use sound returning in their ears, to determine where the object is. Surprisingly, people are also capable of echolocation. She is likely to have access to blind people, because the whole process is time consuming and a strong sensitivity to the reflected sound.

To use echolocation, a person actively creates a noise (for example, clicking the tongue) and because of the echo understands how things are arranged around it. People who are capable of it, can determine where the object is and what it is size. Since man can not produce or hear sounds at higher frequencies, which use bats and dolphins, he will be able to determine the location of the only large objects, unlike animals ekolokatorov.

Here are the names of people who are able to ekolokatsii: James Holman, Daniel Kish and Ben Underwood. Perhaps the most well-lit is the story of Ben Underwood, who lost both eyes at the age of three years.

Genetic chimerism

In the "Iliad," Homer described a creature having body parts from different animals - a chimera. It is from the name of a mythological monster came to the name of one of the genetic phenomena - chimerism. Genetic chimerism, or tetragametizm manifested in humans and animals in cases when two fertilized eggs or embryos are joined together in the early stages of pregnancy. Each zygote carries a copy of the DNA of one of the parents, which means that two different genetic materials. When they merge, the contents of cells retains its genetic character and the resulting embryo becomes a mixture of both. Essentially human chimera - own twin. Chimerism in humans is very rare. Wikipedia says that only 40 known cases. DNA testing is often used to determine whether the person biologically with his parents or children, but it can and uncover cases of chimerism when DNA results show that children are not biologically related to their mothers - because the child inherited a different DNA profile. This happened in the case of Lydia Fairchild: DNA tests she and her children have forced the state to think that she was not their mother.

The immune system of people born with chimerism, make them tolerant to both genetically different cell types in the body. This means that among the people in the "chimeras" can be a lot more potential organ donors.


Imagine that each digit and the letter you associate with a particular color, or a word makes you certain taste. This is - the two forms of a neurological disorder, called Synaesthesia. Synesthesia - is when the excitation of some sensors entails involuntary reactions of the other sensors.

Synesthesia is most often genetic and feature manifests itself in the communication of letters or numbers with certain colors.

Although Synesthesia - a neurological disorder, it does not make the person an invalid because it does not affect his ability. Most people do not even know that the events of their lives evoke sensory responses greater than that of other people. In general, those who have Synesthesia not believe that it has a negative impact on their lives.

Data on the number of people with synesthesia strongly vary a lot, from 1 in 20 to 1 in 20 000. Research 2005 - 2006 have been carried out with random people and found that about 1 in 23 people have Synesthesia. Examples of people with synaesthesia: the author Vladimir Nabokov, composer Olivier Messiaen, and scientist Richard Feynman. Daniel Tammet, who is mentioned in the next section of this list is also subject to synesthesia.

People calculators

Most extraordinary group of experts who are able to perform complex calculations in mind - people with autism ... While many trained scientists (mostly mathematicians, writers and linguists) can make huge calculations in his head, untrained ability of autistic people is the most interesting. Most of them are born with a scientist syndrome (only about 50% of people with savant syndrome and autistic), which is still poorly understood, much less this syndrome develops throughout life, usually due to a head injury.

In total there are fewer than 100 recognized by the world's foremost scholars and scientists with autism who can use mental calculation techniques. A recent study found that one of the factors that enables mental calculators to solve math problem much faster than the average person, is that the blood flow to part of the brain responsible for mathematical calculations, such people exceeds the rate of six or seven times.

Examples of people with extraordinary calculation skills: Daniel McCartney, Salo Finkelstein, and Alexander Aitken. Daniel Tammet - one of the few who were also autistic.


When a person has a photographic memory - it is called living memory. This ability to recall sounds, images, or objects with extreme accuracy. His living memory showed Akira Haraguchi, who could remember the first 100,000 digits of pi. Figures Stephen Vilchira (which was also autistic) are also an example of a live memory - in these figures is shown in its rest Rome. Raymond Babbit in the movie "Rain Man", also has a living memory and, by the way, he can recall about 12,000 books from memory. Is there a true photographic memory, it is still a controversial issue, but acknowledged that the living memory capacity evenly distributed between men and women. Living memory also can not get through practice.

The immortal cells

There is only one known case of a person having immortal cells (cells that can divide indefinitely outside of the human body), and that a woman named Henrietta Lacks. In 1951 at the 31-year-old Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and after a year of serious illness she died. Unknown to her and her family, the surgeon took a sample of her tumor tissue (without obtaining the informed consent of relatives), which was transferred to Dr. George Gee. Scientist for the University Laboratory of Cell Culture Tissue them. Johns Hopkins, propagated in tissue sample Henrietta infinite cell line - a line Hela. Cells from the tumor Lax was the active form of the enzyme that spreads quickly wrong. On the day of the death of Henrietta Lacks Dr. Guy announced to the world that a new age has begun in the medical issledovanii- one that could provide cancer treatment.

Hela cells are now very common in laboratories. For today Hela cells alive even more than during the life of Henrietta Lacks - they outweigh her physical weight many times. Unfortunately, she never finds out about a very valuable contribution to the science that made her cells. I strongly recommend that you read the story to find out more about the life of Henrietta Lacks and the effects of her cancer.

Hela cells were used in 1954 by Jonas Salk to develop a treatment for polio. Since then, they have been used in cancer research, AIDS, the effects of radiation and toxic substances and by the way, too, for cloning. polio.