5 People with Real-Life Superpowers
You won't believe the superpowered feats these real men and women have pulled off.
By Beth Dreher
With his amazing ability to move a sword with seemingly superhuman speed and accuracy, Japanese Iaido Master Isao Machii holds multiple world records, including the fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts and the fastest tennis ball cut by a sword. But to truly appreciate Machii's superpower, check out this video, which shows him slicing and dicing a tiny plastic pellet travel fired at him at more than 200 mph.
The woman who can fly
As a BASE jumper, Norweigan Karina Hollekim leaps off cliffs for a living. Wearing what's known as a wingsuit, a full-length jumpsuit with additional fabric between the legs and under the arms, BASE jumpers "fly" for a couple of seconds before deploying a parachute to slow their fall. Hollekim has made more than 400 jumps, including from the Hand of Fatima in Mali and from Twin Falls in Idaho.
The blind man who can see
Daniel Kish, 47, can't see with his eyes—he had both of them removed during a childhood battle with retina cancer—but he has so finely tuned his hearing that he can navigate his bike through heavy traffic, climb trees, camp alone and dance fluidly. His "power" is echolocation. To orient himself, Kish clicks his tongue and listens closely as the sound bounces off objects around him and returns to his ears at different volumes. Bats, dolphins and beluga whales use a similar technique, biosonar, to navigate the ocean. Kish is so adept at getting around using echolocation that other blind people hire him to help them get around. "That tongue click is everything to me," says Kish.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The man with the photographic memory
All it took for British artist Stephen Wiltshire to memorize and draw intricate details of the Tokyo, Rome, Hong Kong, Dubai and New York City skylines was a brief helicopter ride over each city. Wiltshire, who is autistic and didn't speak until age five (his first two words were "paper" and "pen"), has a highly-developed photographic memory—in his panoramic drawing of Rome, he recreated the exact number of columns of the Pantheon.
The man who can withstand freezing temperatures
Using the Buddhist meditation technique Tummo, Dutch daredevil Wim Hof keeps his body temperature steady while enduring extremely cold conditions. Hof, whose feats have earned him the nickname Iceman, has completed several marathons and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in sub-freezing temperatures wearing only shorts. Hof holds twenty cold-endurance world records, including, at one hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds, the record for the longest ice bath.
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