Thirteen years ago, Avatar: The Last Airbender aired on Nickelodeon and wowed fans with its goofy, heartfelt protagonist, Aang. Over three tumultuous seasons, fans watched him grow from a scared, strange kid on a mission to a fully-realized, very powerful Avatar. With his friends Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zuko, Aang became the protector he was always meant to be. Since then, there has been a spinoff series (Legend of Korra) and a film based on their world; however, none have been as beloved as the original series. Though Korra has received a lot of praise, it didn't have the same level of endearing heart that the original series had. A lot of that likely has to do with the absence of the energetic, complex hero, Aang.
Aang can sometimes be an annoying kid, but most of the time, he's a passionate defender of the people. He can feel the power in his bones and uses it as best he can to help others. Though sometimes naive, and a little selfish or scared, he ultimately wants to do the right thing. His determination and push-forward spirit are core to his Airbender identity and why he's so likable. However, Aang has quite a complicated backstory and a slew of abilities. Between being an Airbender and all the trials he's been through, the Avatar's body has become very unique.
Here are 25 Strange Things About Aang's Anatomy.
25 Mastered All Forms Of Bending
Being the Avatar, Aang has the ability to use and master all forms of bending. This includes the main four, and the lesser known fifth, bendable elements: air, earth, fire, water, and energy. Using all of these styles gives the Avatar a versatility unattainable for any other person in the world. The Avatars are meant to bring order to the world and be a force of unity between the four nations. Aang's Avatar status makes his body wholly unique.
However, being the Avatar doesn't mean he masters all subsets of each element. For example, Aang does not know how to metalbend (a difficult extension of Earthbending) or Bloodbend (a dangerous high-level Waterbending technique).
24 Only Non-Metalbender To Master Seismic Sense
Toph Beifong revolutionized Earth-bending when she discovered and honed her ability to bend metal, too. Eventually, Metalbenders became the chief police force in Ba Sing Se; after all, it's unique and effective to use while restraining criminals of all bending styles.
One signature move of Metalbenders is seismic sense, where the user interacts with the ground to sense where people are standing, what they are doing, and the like. As Toph was blind, it was vital to her Earthbending mastery. She taught it to all her Metalbending students, however, though Aang never becomes a Metalbender, she taught it to him when he was learning Earthbending.
23 Disobeyed Avatar Traditions On Attachments, Love, And Children
Though there are no laws against Avatars falling in love or having children, many of them only do after they have already committed themselves to the Avatar State and their role as Avatar. Part of the process to control the Avatar State is to let go of all earthly attachments, which Aang abandons because of his young love for Katara. This causes him, for a long time, to struggle with the Avatar State.
Marrying Katara and having children would have been fine after his commitment, but the fact that he put his dedication to her over his destiny makes him a uniquely disobeying Avatar.
22 Earned His Airbending Tattoos
Each of the different nations have different traditions, many based off of real-life traditions of Eastern Asia. One particularly unique tradition is the Air Nation tradition of arrow tattoos. An Airbender receives their arrow tattoo once they have been deemed a master of their element.
At the young age of twelve, Aang already has his Airbending tattoos. Not only are they a sign of his abilities, but also a reference to the Tibetan Monks that the air nomads are based on. The monks use Sak Yant tattoos to symbolize prayers or magic. As the only Airbender alive in his world for a long time, his tattoos are all the more strange.
21 Agile Non-Bending Fighter
During the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang and his friends spent most of their time undercover in Fire Nation territory. Due to the danger this posed to them, using their bending abilities was too much of a risk. Particularly for Aang, whom the Fire Nation was looking for. To be less conspicuous, they all used disguises and Aang even worked harder on hand-to-hand combat to avoid his Airbending revealing him.
Quickly, between his natural agility and his general fighting knowledge, he became a competent non-bending combatant.
20 Impressive Dancing Feet
Airbenders are known for their nimble bodies and flexibility. After all, they have to know how to glide along with the flow of air. However, they are also very good at applying these skills to other activities. For example, using his Airbending sensibilities, Aang can be a pretty good dancer.
He's such a good dancer that, while trying to lay low in a Fire Nation school, he causes a Footloose-esque scenario. Fire nation kids are forbidden from dancing, but he teaches them anyway. In a world ravished by war, knowing how to dance seems fairly unique. Especially for an Avatar.
19 Master Of Glider Flying
With their element being air, most Air Nomads are acrobatic, breezy people. They are serious and contemplative when need be, but they enjoy the lighter sides of life. One of the biggest examples of this is the Airbender use of gliders. As the air temples are often tall, uneven mountains, the gliders are useful for practical travel and for fun.
Growing up with the monks, Aang is proficient with the glider. A hundred years later, he still uses the glider to scout ahead and also reconnect with his lost past. As the last Airbender, his gliding is particularly unique because he's the only one left alive who learned from the Air Nomads themselves.
18 Mysterious Parentage
Across both Avatar series, lineage and family become important parts of the stories. Between Aang's children, Zuko's bloodine, and the Beifong family, where people came from has become very important.
When it comes to Aang, however, all fans know is that both his parents are Airbenders. They don't become a bigger part of the story, like Katara and Sokka's parents do, or are even given more backstory. They are simply nameless benders who have passed on. In a world where family is so important, it's very strange for the main character to never talk about his genetic roots.
17 Perfectly Commanded Flying Bison
The Air Nomads were a solitary, mysterious people who had a lot of specialized techniques and traditions. One of the most fascinating, though, is their bond with flying bison. These creatures are cared for and flown by the Airbenders exclusively. When Aang ran away, he took his good friend, a young flying bison named Appa, with him.
With all others gone, he and Appa are strange together. They are all that's left of the air temples; that is, of course, until more flying bison are found and Aang creates Air Temple Island, trying to rebuild what was lost.
16 Chronologically The Oldest Avatar Ever
By the end of his life, Aang was 166 years old, biologically. While that makes him the second oldest Avatar, with Kyoshi at 230, he still holds the record for longest time as Avatar. After all, though he disappeared for a hundred years, he was still the Avatar that entire time.
Using that information, though he didn't age in the ice, he is chronologically the oldest Avatar at 266 years alive. The world was under his care, went to war, and then it was his place to fix and right all those wrongs. Though his long age threw the world into chaos, Aang worked tirelessly to fix the errors of his ways.
15 Walked Among The Spirits
Avatars have a special connection to the spirit world. Not only through their past lives, but also because they can physically enter the spirit world while being alive. Through gateways, anyone can enter the spirit world, however, while meditating or in their dreams, Avatars can cross over with the help of other Avatar spirits.
Aang was led to his teachers and a lot of necessary information through visions with the previous Avatar, Roku. However, his connection to the spirit world also let him save a village from an enraged Hei Bai spirit because he was able to understand and soothe it. Not just anyone can do that.
14 Lasting Scars From Lightning Burns
Though the Avatar is inherently strong, that doesn't mean they are invulnerable. This is exemplified each time Aang faces off with any Fire Nation Royalty. The most dangerous, and most insane, is easily Azula, master of madness and lightning.
When Aang tries to protect Katara from Azula, she strikes him with vicious lightning. He's burned so badly by it that he gets lasting scars, despite Katara's healing efforts. However, because of those efforts, Aang survived, something a lot of people struck by lightning couldn't say. Now, he just has those scars to remind him of his close brush with becoming a spirit himself.
13 Youngest Airbending Master
Bending is a complex system of movements, mindsets, and power. Many benders take years, even decades, to become masters of their element. However, even before being discovered as the Avatar, Aang was a prodigy of Airbending. His spirit fit the style effortlessly, going with the flow and staying flexible no matter the situation.
Because of this, Aang was the youngest Airbending master ever. By the age of twelve, he was already deemed an expert by the monks and gained his Air Master tattoos. At any age, that's quite an honor, even more so at such a young age.
12 Complex Relationship With The Avatar State
All Avatars have the ability to reach a special state of being where they flow effortlessly through different elements, are keenly focused, and are all the more powerful than ever before. This is called the Avatar State. This state takes intense commitment. Each Avatar has to let go of all their worldly attachments since they are pledging themselves to their role, not their personal feelings.
Aang initially rejected the Avatar State because of his feelings for Katara and later, after fighting Azula, he struggled to reach it again. It takes a long time for Aang to connect to his Avatar State and it might never have been as seamless as it was for other Avatars before him.
11 His Body's Been Resurrected
At the young age of 12, Aang has almost lost his life twice. First, when he was caught in a storm and frozen in ice for a hundred years, and second, when he was struck by Azula's lightning and his life stopped. Only Katara's magical healing water brought him back to life.
That does make his body all the more complicated and strange. For example, now his connection to his past lives and the spirit world has been warped by the impact, however, it does mean he's the only Avatar to come back from the brink.
10 Can Access All Previous Avatars
One of the things that help Aang the most on his journey was his visions of previous Avatars. He met Avatars Yangchen, Kuruk, Kyoshi, and most often, Roku. All of these previous Avatars helped lead him on a path of understanding is role in the world. They also helped him overcome obstacles and become a well-rounded protector.
Aang used his access to these past reincarnations to make him a stronger, wiser, and balanced Avatar. They helped him center himself, find vital information, and save everyone from Fire Lord Ozai. His ability to connect with them was impressive, but working with them was what really made his body strong enough to save the world.
9 Medium Between Humans And The Beyond
In the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the spirit and living world walk side by side, but between them, exists a barrier that disconnects them from one another. If anyone accidentally crosses over, that disconnection makes communication almost impossible.
The Avatar exists as a bridge between two worlds, as their link to their reincarnations gives them a door into the spirit realm. Aang uses this power to settle miscommunications, to learn the secrets of their world, and to commune with other Avatars. His power lets his body become an ambassador between worlds and protect the living people as best as he can.
8 First Avatar To Master Lightning Redirection
Lightning Redirection is a dangerous, yet powerful, Firebending ability. Because they control all things burning, Firebenders can also harness fire, however, they can only harness it by using Waterbending movements. It's a fairly new technique, developed by Iroh when he studied water tribes, but it's absurdly powerful. Azula uses it to strike fear in the hearts of enemies.
Because it's a new style, Aang is the first Avatar to learn Lightning Redirection and does it very well. This makes him all the more powerful, but also gives him some safety against lightning aggressors like Azula. After all, his body can now redirect her lightning, too.
7 Natural Gymnast In And Out Of Battle
Airbenders are a particularly flexible and nimble people. Because of their familiarity with air, they are used to moving to its will and using that to their advantage. They learn to tumble, turn, leap, and spin with it. Understandably, this means quite a few of them are good gymnasts with or without the aid of the wind.
Aang is no exception. Even when his group are traveling through the Fire Nation and he's not using his powers to conceal their identities, he's still able to dodge, tuck, and flip out of the way. Just because he doesn't have the air to boost him, doesn't mean his body knows the moves any less.
6 Able To Reconnect With Past Lives
All Avatars have a deep, spiritual connection to their previous lives. They are guarded by other Avatars and learn from their triumphs and mistakes. This connection can run even deeper, though. With the living Avatar's permission, old lives can ever take over their bodies.
The most extreme example of this is when an Earth Nation village tried to put Aang on trial for the “crimes” of Avatar Kyoshi. To hear Kyoshi's side, Aang dressed up as her, let her soul in, and Kyoshi took over his body to explain her side of the story. All Avatars aren't just in communication with one another, they are connected on a strange, deeper level than anyone else could comprehend.
5 Created The Air Scooter
Though bending has been in practice for thousands of years, new subsets, techniques, and styles are still fairly rare and can take years to perfect. Toph is the most revolutionary with this, creating Metalbending, becoming a widespread teacher, and then making it a part of mainstream bending.
Aang is hardly Toph, but has created a move that is uniquely his own. While simply being his playful, mobile self, Aang created the Air Scooter. Basically, the bender creates a moving ball of air beneath them in circular motions to create a moving sphere. Riding on top of that, an Airbender can move around at high speeds. This move is used often by future Airbenders.
4 One Of The Few Avatars That Can Bend Energy
Avatars are best-known for their ability to bend all four elements: fire, earth, water, and air. Only some know, however, that there is a fifth bendable element in energy.
Lion turtles used to use Energybending to regulate themselves and the world around them. This ability is what gave humans bending powers, however, the lion turtles began passing out of existence. The final lion turtle found Aang and taught him Energybending so that the Avatars could officially take their role in the world. While lion turtles lived, very few Avatars learned any Energybending, making it an important, rare skill.
3 Raised An Entire Land-Mass On His Own
Throughout the time of Avatars, many have been known for accomplishing large feats of strength. Roku saved people from volcanic destruction and Kyoshi pulled Kyoshi Island away from land. Aang performed similar large goals, bending the natural earth itself to his will. Like Kyoshi, Aang created Air Temple Island to be a new home for the Airbending people. After their destruction, they deserved a place to teach and raise any new Airbenders.
While all Avatars are powerful, only Kyoshi was known to create new lands on her own, and she even just pulled some land away from a land mass. His body was uniquely determined to raise an entire island from the ocean floor.
2 Fastest Fully-Realized Avatar
From the moment an Avatar is discovered, they are trained for years to become a master of each element and Korra spent over 16 years mastering all the different bending techniques.
Aang, however, ran away from his title. That led him to be frozen in ice and delay his learning process for a hundred years. And by the time he was awake, he only had a year to master the other three elements, not even counting Energybending. Mastering everything under a year, Aang easily was the fastest, fully-realized Avatar to exist. Though he had help from his reincarnations and his devoted friends and teachers, his body and mind were superbly focused to achieve this lofty goal.
1 Able To Remove Bending Powers
Energybending, while vital and interesting, is a huge burden on any person's shoulders. Aang needed to know the process because of the lion turtle's mortality, but having to decide to give or take away abilities is a huge responsibility.
Aang only took away powers in two documented times: Fire Lord Ozai and Yakone, with each instance having serious repercussions. The Fire Nation lost its leader and he fell into madness, and the opposition leader, Amon, rose to destroy the Avatar and avenge his father. However, Aang was also able to return Korra's powers and give her the ability to do the same. The power is high risk, but high reward, and entirely Aang's responsibility.
Are there any strange things about Aang's body we missed from Avatar: The Last Airbender? Let us know in the comments down below!