What is Your Superpower?

Do you have a superpower? Mine is turning a two-sided piece of paper into a one-sided piece of paper. Okay, it’s actually a mathematical trick (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-timeless-journey-of-the-moebius-strip), but middle-school students don’t know that, so I usually get away with it.

Yes, humans can have superpowers, although maybe not the kind found in comic books. For example, there is a rock climber whose brain doesn’t appear to register fear. The Sherpa people of Nepal have evolved to function at high altitude, as in 14,000 feet above sea level. At the other extreme, the Bajau people of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia can remain underwater for as long as 13 minutes at depths up to 230 feet.

From the physical to the mental: there is an annual USA Memory Championship (https://www.usamemorychampionship.com/record-holders/) which showcases prodigious feats like memorizing the names and faces of a couple hundred strangers in a matter of minutes.

We really are capable of amazing things. Maybe not like Superman, but amazing in our own way. And you could be one of them.

For more information, see “Humans Really Can Have Superpowers—Scientists Are Studying Them” by Erika Engelhaupt at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/superpowers-real-human-abilities-genetics?

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