The real life kids with actual superpowers
Adas the unfreezable
Humans begin to experience hypothermia when their core body temperature sinks below 35°C, with death usually occurring below 21°C. But in late 2014, a Polish toddler defied these principles, inconceivably surviving a harrowing night outside in the freezing cold during which his core body temperature plummeted to an inhuman 12°C, reported the Guardian. After a few days in an induced coma, Adas emerged essentially unscathed. He’s seen here as he recovers in the hospital with his parents.
Lucas the echolocator
Lucas Murray, who was born blind, learned to use his ears to ‘see’ when he was just five years old. He does this by clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth and then listening for echoes, which tell him of objects that are in his vicinity. This process, known as echolocation, is common among bats, dolphins, and some species of whale. It’s almost unheard of in humans (although Lucas learned how from a man named Daniel Kish), but Lucas mastered it in three days’ time and uses it to get around independently. He’s shown here with his mother, Sarah.
Aurelien the autobiographer
Memory loss can be devastating. But imagine losing the ability to forget? When Aurelian Hayman was 11 years old, that’s precisely what happened, at least with regard to autobiographical events. Now an adult, he can describe any past moment from his life in incredible detail – from what he ate, to the temperature, to the music that was on the radio. In 2012, he was featured in a documentary titled, The Boy Who Can’t Forget.
The bionic boy (with the super dad)
At just ten days old, Sol Ryan suffered a blood clot that required his left arm to be amputated. When his parents learned there were no truly functional prosthetic options for him, his dad, Ben Ryan, set about designing what is essentially a bionic arm for Sol. Then he 3D printed it. Not only did it give Sol his superpowers, but it also makes him look incredibly ‘high-tech cool.’
Wolf boy (or the boy who was raised by wolves)
In 1976, a boy of about ten was found living among a pack of wolves in an Indian forest. The boy, who’d never lived among humans, walked on all fours and subsisted on raw meat, survived for another ten years under the care of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Ramu, as he was called, learned to bathe and wear clothes, but he was never able to speak and never lost his taste for raw meat or his well-developed instinct to hunt. He’s shown here with Mother Teresa.
The musical genius
Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček gave his first public concert at the age of four, placing him well within the definition of a prodigy, a child who demonstrates professional abilities before age ten. Prodigies are as rare as 1 in 10 million, and many struggle past childhood, but Lukáš, now 32, has beaten the odds, making him even more of a rarity.
The youngest professional magician
Daniel Rhodes, now 15, was already a professional magician/illusionist by the time he was nine, making him one of the youngest professional magicians in the world and the youngest in Great Britain. “My love for magic began when I was just six years old when I was given a basic magic kit for Christmas,” he says, and “I’ve not stopped showcasing my tricks on people since!”
The boy who survived being crushed alive
Domenico Bacon shouldn’t even be alive. In 2007, when he was just three years old, he’d just been picked up from day-care when a 12 metre tree crashed down on him, crushing his skull and his legs. Yet Domenico not only survived without significant brain damage, but he also, inconceivably, learned how to walk again.
The boy with the enormous IQ
Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with autism when he was two, with his doctors predicting he’d never even be able to tie his own shoes. But the doctors were wrong. It turns out Jacob has an IQ of 170, which is 30 points higher than Albert Einstein’s was. He finished grades 6 through 12 in less than a year, went to college at age ten and became a published physicist by 13.
The girl with the mathematical superpowers
At age ten, math prodigy Ruth Lawrence became the youngest person to be accepted to Oxford University. There, she completed her degree in two years and scored the highest grades of any of her fellow students. Although child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses, Lawrence defies the odds. Now 47, she’s a mathematician and an associate professor of mathematics at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a researcher in knot theory and algebraic topology.
The youngest member of Mensa
Adam Kirby was only two years old when he scored 141 on the Stanford-Binet IQ test, qualifying him for membership in Mensa, the international society for geniuses. “While most toddlers are busy learning to walk and scribbling on walls, child prodigy Adam Kirby enjoys reading Shakespeare, learning Japanese, Spanish, and French, and even potty-trained himself,” the Daily Mail wrote in 2013. His parents realised there was something unusual about Adam when he potty-trained himself at age one, after reading a book on the subject.
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