15 Superhuman Qualities You Might Possess

Look, Ma! Two hands!

1. Look, Ma! Two hands!

Ambidexterity—the ability to be equally adept in both the left and right appendages—is a highly sought after trait. In sports, the obvious advantages (think switch-hitting) can help add zeros to an athlete's paycheck. While any person can train themselves to be more proficient in their non-dominant hand, only one out of every hundred people are naturally ambidextrous.
Put your money where your mouth is.

2. Put your money where your mouth is.

Taste testing is no joke. The professionals who do it don’t get paid to simply like or dislike a product. They have to provide information about the aromas, tastes, mouthfeel, and aftertastes. There's an endless variety of distinctions. To become a taste tester, you must pass a variety of acuity tests, including screenings for sensory ability—where identifying between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour are essential—and sniff tests. 

Coffee tasters, in particular, require a delicate palate, superb taste buds, and immense knowledge of the science and art of coffee making. Master wine sommeliers earn as much as $160,000 annually and chocolate connoisseurs can easily earn more than $100,000 annually with specialty retailers. 

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See your true colors.

3. See your true colors.

The average human eye can distinguish over 10 million different colors, but some people can see many, many more. A rare genetic trait, tetrachromacy, allows certain people to see far more colors than others due to additional pigment in their eyes.

The average person's eye cells contain three cones that trigger wavelengths of light to display color. Tetrachromats have a fourth cone in their eyes, offering them the ability to distinguish hundreds of millions of additional colors. 

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Can you hear that?

4. Can you hear that?

Absolute pitch is a rare auditory phenomenon that means a person has the ability to identify or re-create a given musical note without a reference tone. Researchers estimate that absolute pitch occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people. The phenomenon has been studied and, because of its rarity, is speculated to be genetic—however, no DNA marker has been found. 

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Sing it!

5. Sing it!

Not everyone should sing, but nearly everyone can—the average usable vocal range is about two octaves. Trained singers can access a wider range than average, but a small minority of the population can access special extremes.

Mariah Carey, for instance, wields a five octave vocal range, Josh Groban's voice spans three octaves and one note, and Ariana Grande boasts a range of four octaves and a semitone. 
No pain, no gain.

6. No pain, no gain.

Congenital analgesia is an incredibly rare genetic disorder that prevents a person from feeling physical pain. It's estimated that fewer than one out of every million people are born with congenital analgesia and only around 20 cases have been documented in scientific literature. 

The homozygous mutations of the PRDM12 gene, while sounding beneficial, can be extremely dangerous. People with this insensitivity miss out on important pain warnings, including cuts, broken bones, or extreme temperatures. Our pain sensors are essential for survival—just imagine the physical danger of unknowingly showering in boiling water or being bitten by a venomous snake.

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It's all in your head.

7. It's all in your head.

Hyperthymesia, which is possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory, is so uncommon that only 25 cases, as of 2013, have been confirmed in peer-reviewed articles. 

The most famous case study offered a potential explanation. "AJ," a subject who can recall every single day of her life since she was 14 years old, displayed an enlarged temporal lobe and an enlarged caudate nucleus, but because of the scarcity of documented hyperthymestic individuals, relatively few genetic conclusions can be drawn about individuals with such superior memory ability. 

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You do the math!

8. You do the math!

Have you ever had a hard time divvying up a bill amongst friends at a restaurant? If so, don't count yourself as one of the world's human calculators. Extreme mathematical capabilities are uncommon, but they certainly aren't unheard of. "Human computers" are tested annually at the Mental Calculation World Cup. 

Among the more impressive mathematical wizards, Scott Flansburg was dubbed the "Human Calculator" by the Guinness Book of World Records for his ability to add the same number to itself more times in 15 seconds than a person using an actual calculator.

Alexis Lemaire found the 13th root of 85, 877, 066, 894, 718, 045, 602, 549, 144, 850, 158, 599, 202, 771, 247, 748, 960, 878, 023, 151, 390, 314, 284, 284, 465, 842, 798, 373, 290, 242, 826, 571, 823, 153, 045, 030, 300, 932, 591, 615, 405, 929, 429, 773, 640, 895, 967, 991, 430, 381, 763, 526, 613, 357, 308, 674, 592, 650, 724, 521, 841, 103, 664, 923, 661, 204, 223 in his head faster than a person on a calculator. It took him a mere 77.99 seconds—which also happens to be faster than the average person to read the number correctly aloud.

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Make (sound) waves.

9. Make (sound) waves.

Many animals—including bats, whales, and dolphins—utilize echolocation to locate and identify objects. "Many animals" also includes humans. By actively creating sounds like stamping their feet, snapping their fingers, or making clicking noises similar to other animals, some people are able to sense objects based on their echoes. This process is utilized by some blind people as a way of navigating their environment, using auditory clues instead of visual ones.

Ben Underwood, who lost his eyesight to retinal cancer at the age of two, famously taught himself to echolocate by the time he turned five. By frequently clicking his tongue, Underwood played basketball, football, rode a bicycle, and enjoyed skateboarding. This ability of acoustic way-finding can be taught and many blind people have trained themselves to orient themselves by interpreting the sound waves reflected off of the objects around them.

© Ikon Images/Corbis
You're getting warmer.

10. You're getting warmer.

Who needs gloves? Certainly not these monks. A study conducted by a group of doctors in 1981 amongst Tibetan monks found that the subjects, while meditating, could increase the temperatures in their fingers and toes by as much as 8.3 degrees Centigrade. 

Because meditative practices are associated with decreased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, some people can willfully warm themselves! 

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Speak your mind.

11. Speak your mind.

There are numerous theories about polyglots (people who can speak a multitude of languages.) While studying a German polyglot, Neuroscientist Katrin Amunts found that the subject's brain—specifically the Broca's area—was arranged differently than monolinguals. Other theories suggest that any person with an interest in languages and sufficient intellect can not only learn a new language faster, but will be able to become more efficient with each language learned. 

Specific polyglot savants like "Christopher" have been extensively studied. Christopher is fluent in 16 languages, has the ability to acquire new languages incredibly easily, and can also identify languages that he cannot speak. While more research could be done, it seems as though savants with incredible language skills frequently have poor hand-eye coordination, weak problem-solving abilities, and social and conversational challenges.
Maybe some blood does run cold.

12. Maybe some blood does run cold.

Some people really are made for sweater weather. Researchers have found that, when compared to non-indigenous Russians living in the same community, indigenous Siberians are better adapted to the cold. Studies found that people native to cold climates have around 50% higher basal metabolic rates, can maintain their body temperatures better without shivering, and have fewer sweat glands on the body and face. 

How cold can you go?

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If you're going for blood, this type may come in handy

13. If you're going for blood, this type may come in handy

With regards to transfusions of blood, type O RhD negative is a big plus! Obviously, each blood type has its value and, when available, it's ideal to match recipients with the same type, Still, it makes sense why universal donors are ER gold.

While type O RhD negative blood can cause unwanted reactions in some people, it can be given to almost anyone in an emergency setting—especially if the situation is life-threatening or matching blood type is in short supply. Phew!

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Talk about being clear-eyed!

14. Talk about being clear-eyed!

Mermaids aren't the only ones who can see under water! The semi-nomadic Moken people of Myanmar and Thailand harvest fish with traditional methods—just without the goggles and masks.

As unbelievable as it sounds, the Moken people are able to gather shellfish at depths of 75 ft without any sort of eye covering. This practice can be explained through studies of Moken children, who have twice the clarity of underwater vision as European children of the same age.

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Full strength goes to 11.

15. Full strength goes to 11.

Super strength isn't out of reach for everybody. Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy is a rare condition that effects the MSTN gene and is characterized by reduced body fat and increased muscle size. Affected individuals have up to twice the usual amount of muscle mass in their bodies and tend to have increased muscle strength.

The MSTN gene provides instructions for making a protein called myostatin, which is active in muscles used for movement. This mutation reduces the production of functional myostatin and leads to an overgrowth of muscle tissue. Because there are so few known cases of this condition, little is understood about potential negative side-effects. Just know that there are more than a few people out there that are about 40% stronger than us regular mortals.