Real-Life Superpowers

First Cut: Superheroes

It’s a Saturday night and you’ve been given a free “hall pass” by your girlfriend, so what do you do? Go round to the boys’ house, of course. Cue the takeaway pizza and film night. The obvious choice is “The Dark Knight”, just because it revels in epicness and half way through the film a light bulb flashes above your head; “ping!”. In just under two minutes time you have convinced your friends to take part in a Batman re-enactment, only for you to be lying in a hospital bed a mere forty-five minutes later because, unlike Batman, you have not gained a life-time of skills which enable you to use a utility belt’s silk line for climbing. As your ever-so-patient girlfriend drives you from the hospital, whilst your leg is enclosed in a pink cast (when the Doctor asked her what colour cast you would prefer, this was revenge for ruining the girl’s night she was thoroughly enjoying), you find yourself saddened because the real-world is not as fun as comic books. What if I told you that you were wrong; that real-life superpowers do exist? I can feel the wrath of so many girlfriend’s around the UK already but here it is, the real-life superpowers that a select few find themselves with.

“That glass of wine tastes like Beethoven!” 

This is a remark was actually exclaimed by a man who has the condition Psychologists call “Synaesthesia.” Don’t be overwhelmed by the multitude of vowels in the word, the meaning behind it is incredible but quite simple. In it’s reduced form Synaesthesia is a neurological condition where two brain regions are connected, meaning that a stimulus in the first region automatically causes a response in the second. To put this into perspective, a person with the condition could sit through a meeting at work and tell their absent colleague that all they missed was the colour blue. Obviously this can cause a great amount of confusion in such circumstances but imagine having to sit through a Sunday lunch at the Mother-In-Laws-to-be. Whilst you are sure her culinary expertise was ever present in her youth, the chicken tastes like rubber and the Yorkshire puddings couldn’t even be cracked by a hammer. Instead of having to rub your tummy and make “mmmmmm!” sounds, whilst cringing internally at the thought of your insides having to digest such things, a person with Synaesthesia would happily chomp down on the rock hard food items because they taste like their favourite pop song. Think about it, how cool is it to be eating your dinner and to hear Michael Jackson blaring in your ears?

“Being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing!” (Alice In Wonderland)

The next superpower takes it name from the story by Lewis Caroll, with “Alice In Wonderland Syndrome” consisting of size distortion when perceiving objects and humans; known as “Lilliputian”. Whilst this can cause issues when bragging to women, highly overestimating the size of your “manhood” and rendering yourself a laughing stock amongst the girl you are dating and her friends it does also have its benefits. Think about it, if you had this condition you wouldn’t have to lie to your girlfriend when she asked you “Does my bum look big in this?”, as you would genuinely perceive a behind that even the likes of Cheryl Cole and Mila Kunis would be jealous of.

Stockholm Syndrome

James Bond: (After detaining Jaws with a huge magnet) How does that grab you? Let’s go down to the local pub and share witty anecdotes whilst sipping on a pint of Yorkshire’s finest Ale and I will give you some tips on how to keep a full set of healthy teeth. That quote doesn’t sound quite right, does it? This version of James Bond happens to have a condition known as “Stockholm Syndrome”, which is a psychological phenomenon that causes a hostage to express empathy and have positive feelings towards their prey. Whilst the secret service would be eternally grateful that their 007 agent doesn’t possess this condition, I am sure the likes of Nelson Mandela wish this level of empathy upon the world’s population.

Lima Syndrome

“What’s your favourite scary movie?” “Are you flirting with me? *giggles*” This quote most probably makes you want to scream at the television when you hear it, wondering why the blonde college student is being so stupid. You just know that she is going to be slashed to pieces, yet her “I’m so pretty” belief tricks her into thinking this phone caller is being charming. I’m not an expert but I’d say breathing heavily down the phone is not the best way to go about woo-ing a woman into the silk sheets of your bed. When she dies you are quite disheartened because you’d have quite liked to look at the beautiful face for a bit longer, much to the annoyance of your girlfriend who is watching you like a hawk out of the corner of her eye. If the killer in question had something known as “Lima Syndrome”, then your wish would be granted. This phenomenon is the reversed version of “Stockholm Syndrome”, in which abductors develop sympathy for their hostages. So next time you’re watching a horror film, instead of screaming “You silly woman!” at the television screen try shouting “I hope the killer has Lima Syndrome!” Whilst the probability of this working is slimmer than Arsenal Football Club signing an English player, you never know; a little bit of faith can go a long way.

Whilst the conditions broached aren’t exactly the superpowers you will have pined for since being a child, they do illustrate that the human brain isn’t as simple as one would have initially believed. There are many neurological syndromes which render individuals with certain abilities that the general population do not possess. If you are set on superpowers similar to those The Fantastic Four exhibit however, I’d advise seeking out a female who has a similar neurological condition to those discussed and charming her into producing a child with you. The likelihood of a mini-Superman popping out is small however miracles do happen; George W. Bush Jr. was elected to be the President of America for eight long years, after all.

By: Laura Hindley – @LauraHindley2

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