Monday, July 16, 2012

Real Life Super Powers

Quick Announcement: I managed to successfully merge my old posts dating back to 2005 with this current blog. After doing the 7x7 Award post, I got nostalgic about my past work and decided to bring it back from the vaults.

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Did you know that you live among those with amazing "super" powers? I've listed some pretty incredible and rare abilities that makes many people real life mutants.

Okay, maybe "mutants" is too strong a word, but I think these four extraordinary human talents are otherwordly.

Hyperthymesia: Super autobiographical memory. People with this ability are able to recall nearly all personal experiences in their lifetime - with great detail. We all can remember significant events, but people with hyperthymesia can recall almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. From the mundane to the important, it's all stored memories able to be recalled. They are not autistic savants, but there is a striking similarity between the two conditions. Only 20 documented cases of hyperthymesia have been confirmed.

Echolocation: Human sonar. You think bats and dolphins are the only ones you utilize sound waves to navigate in the dark? Humans can do it too. Blind humans, actually. By tapping their cane on the ground or clicking their tongues, they can actually maneuver around objects. Using their acute sense of hearing, they can actually tell where an object is located, it's size, and density.

Supertasters: Amazing taste buds. My oldest son has this. People identified as supertasters actually have extra fungiform papille (little bumps) on the tongue housing their taste buds. Their sense of taste is much more sensitive than the average person, and scientists believe that supertasters will have a particularly strong aversion to bitter foods like grapefruit juice. Many food and beverage companies employ supertasters to be their...supertasters.

Eidetic Memory: Photographic memory and then some. Those with an eidetic memory are able to recall images (and even sound) with great detail and accuracy. Imagine walking through a massive medieval castle, going through each and every chamber and corridor. And then sitting down with a pad of paper and pencil and being able to draw out the layout with amazing precision. Lots of people have really good memories and employ some type of mnemonic strategies to remember things, but having an eidetic memory is an ability on a whole other level.




41 comments:

Vero said...

I would gladly trade in a kidney for eidetic memory!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlNiAqYN6ZQ

Great list, Jay! There are definitely X-men among us. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Didn't know about the supertasters. Don't think I'd want to remember every single day though. That would mean remembering the bad along with the good.

Jay Noel said...

Vero: A lot of people claim to have it, but they really just have good techniques for remembering stuff. Incredible video!

Alex: They say that they have a difficult time because their heads are constantly replaying stuff. It leads to depression. Not a great gift.

Laura Eno said...

I'd love to have an eidetic memory but not the hyperthymesia, please and thank you.

David P. King said...

I never would have known this was from your vault. Reads just as well as your current posts. Yeah. I used echoes to find my way out of a dark room once. Trippy situation. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

Whoa. Some awesome types! So cool that you were able to integrate your old posts, too. Now only if I can find the time to read them ...

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

It's just like the "disabled" in a sense. In my field of work, we call the handicapped "differently abled".

Well these people with super powers are essentially on the other side of the bell curve. They too are "differently abled".

Samantha said...

I have a little bit of each of those super powers :D

Other than that I'm just your average human being, but that's hardly fun!

The Desert Rocks said...

Very cool post Jay. I know you're pretty super-talented that's for sure. My little sister who is not sharp btw in conversational subjects or socializing--can paint or sculpt from a photograph. When she was small we'd watch a ballet on TV and after we turned off the TV she'd dance the same choreography back to us like a prima-ballerina with years of lessons. She was 5.

Brinda said...

My husband thinks I have hyperthymesia only when it comes to things he's done wrong. *grin*

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never heard of supertasters before. Interesting!

I always think that people with eidetic memories would be killer spies.

Jay Noel said...

Laura: Yeah. That would be a burden.

David: I cheated here. I took an old post and revised it to make it more relevant.

Matthew: Ha! I'll repost a couple here and there for fun.

Michael: They are mega-abled!

Samantha: I have a very keen autobiographical memory from about age 8-10 and thereafter. I remember minute details about things...mundane things. I think many writers do too.

Eve: Wow. Your sister is very talented. Very good visual and kinetic memories.

Brinda: Ouch. Selective memory.

Eagle: Yeah, I saw one on TV that does nothing but taste ice cream all day. But he looks weird tasting it. Looks a little perverted.

Emily R. King said...

I think hyperthymesia would be a blessing and a curse. Some moments I'd like to relive over and over and others are best forgotten!

Cindy said...

Interesting post. I've seen some shows about people who can remember what happened on every single date. It's amazing, but other than that I don't think these people have accomplished anything exceptional. At least not that I've heard about.

Jay Noel said...

Emily: I'm with you. Sometimes, a bad long term memory is good.

Cindy: I think it would be a curse to have all of these details swirling inside of your head all the time.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great post. My cousin is blind. She's totally amazing.

Thanks for stopping by my guest blog at Ciara Knight's today :)

Eve said...

Hey Jay, the actress Marilu Henner from the old Taxi show has that super autobiographical memory thing..I've seen her on a couple of talk shows talking about it, and she was on one episode of Nova,(or a show like Nova..I don't remember!)..and they were wiring up her brain to some kind of instrutmentation..very interesting...I heard about the supertasters on Dr. Oz..the other things are news to me...aren't we amazing creatures?!

Jay Noel said...

Carol: It is amazing to see how people adapt.

Eve: Marilu??? Really??? Wow. I saw that episode on Dr. Oz too. Just blue dye is all it takes to find out if you're a supertaster.

Christine Rains said...

That's so cool! I'd love to have an eidetic memory too.

Lydia Kang said...

Those are some wicked talents. It's amazing what the human body can be capable of.

Jenny Morris said...

Thanks for all the amazing info. I am tucking this away for future book ideas. ;0)

Lynda R Young said...

I knew a guy with an an eidetic memory. It was super freaky.

Rusty Webb said...

Great post today, er, yesterday. My litmus test for calling it a super power is rather or not you could use it to foil a bank robbery.

Wait, that makes a swat team a super power. I might have to rethink my definition of the term.

Still, great stuff. I know there is a test you can take to determine whether or not you are a super taster, apparently, it's also one of the conditions that, for whatever reason, way more people believe they are than actually are. I know in my personal life, several people I know make the claim so I did some digging on the subject (i.e., spent 5 mins on the internet) and found it's a common thing for people to think they have, which seems weird to me.

I mean, if I were going to think I had something I don't have, it would be super speed or telepathy. But, I suppose we don't get to pick the things we think we have. I, for one, think being a supertaster would be frightening. A gift I'd rather not have.

Jay Noel said...

Christine: I don't have a photographic memory, but I do have a really good visual memory. I'm pretty sure I'm using all kinds of mnemonic methods and such.

Lydia: It's to help us survive a very cruel and dangerous world!

Jenny: You can do YA novel about a supertaster!

Lynda: I had a buddy with one too. When he was shopping for houses, he went to at least ten house tours. He sat down and I watched him draw out the floorplans of every single house!

Rusty: Yeah, that's a pretty accurate test. Maybe we should calls these abilities Sub-Super Powers.

Callie Leuck said...

Have you heard about the blind biker who uses echolocation? It's super awesome.

Cherie Reich said...

Very awesome real life superhero traits. I hadn't heard of the supertasters before.

M Pax said...

Cool. I've heard of folks with extraordinary senses of smell and taste. Do they say whether they're linked at all?

I had an uncle who had no sense of smell, and so couldn't taste anything.

I've met people with photographic memories. Would be nice.

Jay Noel said...

Callie: Yes! I saw it on TV. Incredible.

Cherie: Pretty amazing, huh?

M Pax: Hmmm...I don't know if they're linked in that way. But you think they would be.

Nick Wilford said...

I think hyperthymesia would be useful if it wasn't just remembering everything that happened, but everything you're supposed to do. That would avoid a lot of aggro with my wife!

Tiyana said...

Whoa! Some of these terms I'd never even heard of. O_O

Y'learn something new every day!

nutschell said...

Eidetic memory sounds like an awesome talent to have. :)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

DEZMOND said...

there are also empaths. People who can feel and sense other people's emotions and moods and suffering. I'm an empath for example. They usually have some kind of aura around them that makes other people confide in them too...

Phats said...

I'd like to have the first one. Glad you merged your old blog I like to go back at times and read my old entries

Ciara said...

I didn't know I had super powers. LOL I can taste the littlest hint of things. Does your son despise Cilantro? What about sense of smell? I have trouble eating in restaurants because I can smell the dish soap on their silverware. LOL

Jay Noel said...

Nick: That would be a useful ability!

Tiyana: Glad I could help.

Nut: I have a great memory, but not a true photographic one.

Dez: Do you see an aura or just feel it?

Phats: I hear ya man. Takes me back to the glory days of blogging.

Ciara: YES. MY son hates Cilantro. He can get taste overload. Smells are an issue for sure too.

Pk Hrezo said...

Wow cool stuff. I've always had a great memory, but my bro-in-law has one of those really special ones that can recall the most insignificant fact or detail cuz he heard or saw it once. Just amazing.

DEZMOND said...

just feel it :) Empaths can also sense evil... in people and surroundings...

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