I can think of about seven legit examples.
All of the following were caused by chance mutations in human DNA (fun fact: every human has about 50–100 of these) and granted these people seemingly super-human abilities, including enhanced senses, superhuman durability & reflexes, and more.
Enhanced Color Detection
Concetta Antico, an artist, is capable of detecting nine times more colors than the average person can. She has a unique mutation called a “tetrachromat,” in which mutations on both her X chromosomes led to a surplus of cones in her eyes, giving her enhanced vision, and even cooler, enhanced color detection.
She reportedly can see and distinguish about nine million different colors, most of which are “invisible colors,” meaning that almost no other humans can perceive them. She reportedly views everyday objects such as rocks and pebbles as vibrant displays of rainbow-like colors popping out at her, and can see pinks, oranges, yellows, reds, and blues across the surface of a road.
Enhanced Stomach Lining
This one’s definitely one of the weirder superpowers. A French comedian named Michel Lotito regularly shocked audiences by consuming all sorts of objects and having no adverse reactions afterward.
He has eaten all of the following: 18 bicycles, 15 supermarket trolleys, seven TV sets, six chandeliers, two beds, a pair of skis, a computer, and even a plane. A whole plane.
After further research, doctors concluded that the secret to his ability lay in his stomach lining, which was so thick that he was able to digest metal—nine tons of it, in fact, before he died of natural causes.
Reported to be more of a curse than a superpower.
The most well-known example is that of Marilu Henner, who can remember nearly all the events in her life, down to the minutest details.
She has a neurological condition called hyperthymesia (AKA highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM)), which allows her to store memories like pictures on a camera roll—when she visits these memories, she claims it is like rewatching old videos or looking at old pictures. She can even pinpoint which memories occur at what point in her life and recall specific memories from that time.
Enhanced Intelligence and Rapid Calculation
Scott Flansburg, AKA The Human Calculator, is capable of performing mental mathematical functions faster than a calculator.
There have been many, many instances of insanely fast calculation performed by this man, but what makes him so unique is how his power came about.
A rare, unnamed genetic mutation had combined the area of the brain that does math with the area of the brain that controls movement—the motor cortex. Thus, his brain was hardwired to do math as easily as walking and talking.
Enhanced Sense of Smell
Joy Milne from Scotland has an extremely unusual ability: she is capable of smelling Parkinson’s Disease and some forms of cancer before diagnosis. In a study conducted by Edinburgh University, she could smell the disease 12/12 times on average. Joy could even detect the disease just by smelling a patient’s clothes.
This was a major breakthrough, since it led scientists to conclude that the disease gave off a molecular signature in the form of an odor—one that could be tracked.
Before long, a collection of 10 molecules were found, all were unique to Parkinson’s patients. The cause for this ability is still unknown.
Weather and Cold Resistance
Wim Hof, a Dutch athlete known locally as the Iceman, is capable of surviving in extremely cold temperatures, due to his strange breathing patterns.
Hof can consciously control his breathing to speed up his heart rate, raise his adrenaline levels, and increase his nervous system activity. He claims that he has achieved this level of self-control through meditation and the “Wim Hof Method,” which he says that anyone can use to gain a greater degree of self-knowledge.
As a result, he’s capable of withstanding extreme cold, and has performed many mind bending feats, like staying in an ice-bath for almost two hours and climbing Mount Everest in his underwear.
Superhuman Bone Density
A man back in 1994, only known as John, was involved in a car crash, and walked away completely unscathed. A subsequent X-ray revealed that his bones were about eight times denser than the average person’s, meaning that John (and his distant relatives, sprinkled across the Eastern Seaboard) was capable of surviving almost all forms of blunt-force trauma, and his bones would not fracture.
A mutated region of chromosome 11 turned out to be the cause. John and his relatives all had a mutation called LRP5, which deals with the LDL receptors in the body, and a total of 21 other family members had the condition.
Thank you for reading.
The world’s densest bones
Meet the woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease
Weird world records: bizarre entries in the Guinness Book of World Records
The women with superhuman vision
Scott Flansburg – Human Calculator – Super Human Number 8 – Real life Superhumans
Superior Autobiographical Memory & Hyperthymesia Recall
Science Explains How the Iceman Resists Extreme Cold
NOW you can design your very own Minor Human Race, ‘only recently discovered in the wilds of a lightly-inhabited Imperial world’.