People with superhuman abilities

For the past few years all we see coming on the big screens are comic book adaptations. Hollywood has found a gold mine that its prime viewers, the teenagers and young adult couldn’t have enough. The success of Deadpool, the latest comic book adaptation, is the prime example.


People are fascinated with superhuman abilities because they like to daydream about having the abilities themselves and about safeguarding and saving the world from that evil madman who wants to see it burn.


Interestingly, not all people have to fantasize about it because they actually poses a superhuman ability! Here is the list of four living people with super-hero abilities:



By Aad Villerius ( ) from OudBeijerland, Netherlands. –, Photographer in action, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Wim Hof – The Iceman

Wim Hof is a 56 year old man currently residing in the Netherlands. He holds 20 world records, including a world record for longest ice bath. Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to “turn his own thermostat up” by using his mind through yoga. Researchers have performed extensive tests with Hof and they determined that he was able to learn to control his autonomic nervous system. Wim ran a full marathon barefooted above the polar circle in temperatures close to −20 °C, climbed the highest mountain on earth in shorts, in 2009 he summited Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days. He achieves those feats with the help of a special (hyperventilating) breathing method that is similar to Tummo Meditation and Pranayama, yogic breathing as well as having cold showers.



Isao Machii – superhuman reflexes

Isao Machii is a Japanese martial arts master who has the superhuman ability of super-fast reflexes. He is a Iaido master, a Japanese martial arts technique of drawing the sword from its scabbard or saya, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. Machii sensei holds many world records for his quick sword skills including “Most martial arts sword cuts to one mat (suegiri)”, “Fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts”, “Most sword cuts to straw mats in three minutes” and “Fastest tennis ball (820 km/h) cut by sword”. He is also able to cut a pellet fired from a BB gun in half! Most of us wouldn’t be able to cut the small pellet on a cutting board let alone see it flying through the air, however Machii sensei cuts it with a katana when it’s travelling over 200 miles per hour!


Natasha Demkina X-ray vision

Natasha Demkina X-ray vision

Natalya or Natasha Demkina is a Russian woman that claims to be able to see into people’s bodies like an X-ray machine. She is able to perform medical diagnoses because she can see organs and tissues beyond skin from the age of 10. “I was at home with my mother and suddenly I had a vision. I could see inside my mother’s body and I started telling her about the organs I could see. Now, I have to switch from my regular vision to what I call medical vision. For a fraction of a second, I see a colorful picture inside the person and then I start to analyze it.” says Demkina. She gave a number of demonstrations in the UK, US and Japan, but not everybody is convinced that she has the abilities she claims. However she has a growing number of supporters. Critics maintain to point out the errors she made in her diagnoses. The debate is ongoing.


Dean Karnazes superhuman

Dean Karnazes – the ultra-runner

Human beings are exceptionally good long distance endurance runners. It had its evolutionary advantage, throughout (pre)history humans have hunted by exhausting its prey until it became an easy kill. However good endurance runners we are every human can run up to a certain point. When running, you break down glucose for energy, producing lactate as a byproduct and an additional source of fuel that can also be converted back into energy. However, when you exceed your lactate threshold, your body is no longer able to convert the lactate as rapidly as it is being produced, leading to a buildup of acidity in the muscles. That’s when even the best of us has to stop. Except Dean Karnazes. He can keep running literally forever!

Dean Karnazes began running from early age, even in kindergarten we used to run home for fun. During his shool years he used to test his limits and run further and further distances. In 1976 Karnazes ran his first endurance event that year, a fundraising run on a track for underprivileged children, finishing in just under six hours and raising a dollar a lap from his sponsors. While most students ran only 10–15 laps around the track, he ran 105, a full marathon.


From then he broke many records and participated in numerous endurance events:

He ran 350 miles (560 km) in 80 hours and 44 minutes without sleep in 2005; Single-handedly completed “The Relay”, a 199-mile (320 km) run from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, eleven times; Ran a marathon to the South Pole in −13 °F (−25 °C) temperatures without snowshoes in 2002; Ran a marathon in each of the 50 states in 50 consecutive days in 2006; completed 148 miles (238 km) in 24 hours on a treadmill, 2004; Ran 3,000 miles (4,800 km) across the United States from Disneyland to New York City in 75 days, running 40 to 50 miles (65 to 80 km) per day in 2011.


These four examples prove that there are truly exceptional individuals among us! Sure, they don’t do crazy stunts while they save the world like the Avengers but they enjoy what they do without a special reason and that’s the whole point. They found what they are good at and they enjoy developing that to perfection. Good news is there is a hidden talent in all of us, we simply need to recognize, develop our talents and we can all be super-heroes! You simply need to ask yourself “what is my own special ability?” and the rest is persistence.