Living life as a superhero is rough. Apart from all the civilian lives you're constantly keeping from danger, there's all the scrutiny that comes from being in the public eye. If your work performance isn't up to par, you're accused of not caring. Then there's the restrictive spandex suits and long draping capes you have to worry about getting stuck in every door you walk through. Appearing poised is enough work as is. Add to that the fact that your superpower isn't exactly the most popular ability arounf, and it's easy to see why so many choose a life of villainy.
Despite the lack of praise many of the following superpowers often receive, they're actually quite resourceful. Whether they're capable of eliminating many day to day tasks or they're just really awesome to show off to your friends, they definitely beat not having any powers at all. This list is for the powers that go unnoticed and are worthy of a little recognition, no matter how uncommon they appear. So for all the special abilities of the superhero world that don't get mentioned, we present to you 15 Uncommon Superpowers That Would Be Awesome in Real Life.
15 Chi Manipulation
In times of great duress, the fortification of the mind can bring immeasurable serenity. The power of chi has recently gained recognition in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the introduction of Doctor Strange. Soon another hero will join the fold when Iron Fist makes his way to Netflix, but what secrets lie in their life-force which allows them to manipulate the flow of metaphysical energy in their bodies?
Reaching into your inner self to harness the spiritual properties of your mind, body, and soul can allow you to not only tap into a plane beyond mere human existence, but may enhance body functions beyond normal capabilities. Self-healing, superhuman strength, and pain resistance are just some of the bodily changes that may occur. In addition, some users have been known to project their inner energy outwards in a lethal blow of force or create optical illusions and tricks of the mind by accessing the spiritual plane. How the powers present themselves will depend on the channeling of the user. Much like a fingerprint, everyone’s chi should be different, giving them a unique identity as a user and showcasing their talents of the mind.
14 Density Control
As light as a feather, as stiff as...a mountainside.
In order to become one of the strongest weapons on planet Earth, you don’t have to have the muscles to rotate the world on its axis. With the right power, all it takes is some proper thinking and a little push.
Density control isn't an often talked about ability, but significant characters have used it over the years to change the concentration of an object. Notable names include the likes of Vision, who cannot only use his powers to manipulate his mass, but can also become intangible, phasing through objects and eliminating the need for doors.
Changing the density of an object has obvious offensive and defensive properties. If someone picks a fight, you may choose to increase your weight to become a concrete force, or perhaps you can become so light that all punches go straight through you. Then there's the ability to eliminate the load of heavy objects, making something as large as a planet as easy to move as a pillow. Pull off that kind of trick while pumping iron at the gym and everybody will surely ask you about your workout regimen.
13 Dimensional Storage
Do you remember the magic handbag from Mary Poppins, the one from which she pulls out a potted plant and an umbrella? If you could possess such a bag, would you not take it with you everywhere you go?
Dimensional storage is a trope in both television and comic books that sees characters pull objects from a space where they wouldn’t typically fit. Such spaces are the result of spatial manipulation. This kind of magic offers an unlimited bag of tricks, but unlike Mary Poppins, you don’t actually have to rummage through your purse to find the needed item. When called upon, the item will appear, removing the hassle of spending half an hour to find it.
These pocketed dimensions are not limited to any sized location and can be applied almost anywhere. Whether it’s a portable bag, your pants pocket, or a closet, you can hoard anything so long as it fits through the entry point. There’s no need to worry about the object weighing you down either, as it’s floating in an unlimited space, eliminating the strain that comes with carrying it. It’s a trick that redefines the definition of a light packer and could come in handy when you're on the go.
12 Empathy / Apathy
Empaths may seem like they’re just really good mind readers on the verge of revolutionizing the world of psychology, but there’s more to their powers than just honing in on someone's emotions. They have the ability to not only detect how someone is feeling, but replicate those feelings to know that person on a personal basis. If you've ever had a significant other, that type of power could mean longevity for your relationship. It may not be telepathy per se, but you can control how others are feeling, which is an easy way to dodge an argument.
On the flip side, there's apathy, or the power to switch off all emotions. Its users can put on a stone face unlike any other, capable of throwing off anyone who might interpret their actions as a sign to worry. All the stresses of society would melt away. Late loan payments, struggling relationship problems, or even a personal tragedy could be washed away temporarily until you make the rational decision to deal with your problems. It may not be the healthiest option to deal with your struggles, but it buys you time until you're ready to make everything right again (to say nothing of what such an ability could do for you in a poker game).
11 Indestructible Digestion
It’s against our nature to consume anything that could potentially shut down our internal organs, but if we could eat anything at will without offending our taste buds, would it actually be beneficial?
Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you. Let’s say there’s a bomb about to go off inside a heavily populated building. A bomb disposal squad has been called in to defuse the threat, but there’s not enough time to safely evacuate the area. How can you help? The answer: eat the bomb.
When your stomach becomes immune to essentially all forms of harm, you can begin to think of it as a disposal system. Like someone who suffers from pica, you’ll grow to have an appetite for non-nutritive substances or potentially never taste them at all. After learning to regurgitate or break down the foreign parts in your stomach, you’ll also be able to chew and swallow anything. It may appear odd to have such a power, but DC Comics didn't seem to think so when they created the weirdly resourceful hero Matter-Eater Lad. With enough practice, you too could become an expert in threat disposal and maybe receive an awesome nickname like the Iron Stomach.
10 Liquid Transmutation
Liquid transmutation, also commonly referred to as self-melting, may sound like the unhappy ending the Wicked Witch of The Wizard of Oz received at the end of the movie, but it’s also a super fun way to change up your physiological makeup to travel undetected.
The average body is made up of anywhere between fifty and sixty-five percent water, but if you could increase that percentage and find a way to tap into it, you could mimic the liquid and turn into it. Various comic book characters have exhibited fluid-like traits, from Mercury of the Marvel Universe to Brainiac in DC Comics, and all have managed to remain elusive while in their liquid states.
Obviously, turning into a substance comes with some major flaws. There’s always the fear someone may drink you or mop you out of the floor, but on a brighter note, you can be a fly on the wall (or drop in the bucket), eavesdropping on conversations to get everyone’s real opinion of you and use it to your advantage. Then there’s always the alternative of sneaking into a bank with your newfound ability, but we’ll leave those major life decisions up to you.
Perceived by some as a curse and viewed by others as a blessing, talking to the dead can take some getting used to. That’s because, depending on the issue at hand, you may or may not be able to filter out the voices of the deceased. Still, with all its hardships, seeing evidence of the afterlife and bringing some much-needed relief to the families of those who have passed could mean some serious monetary opportunities for you if you're willing to exploit it.
We’d imagine communicating with the dead takes a certain amount of finesse and quite possibly a few guidelines which you must live by. If you believe the rules that come with a Ouija board, you should never talk to spirits alone while in your home, or in a graveyard where irritable ghosts are sure to harbor some grudges. Still, the power can’t be all bad. Noted comic book characters like John Constantine have made a career out of it. Plus, if you play your cards right, you’ll likely gather enough of a reputation to summon the dead at will, gaining many allies that won’t go away easily, should someone happen to approach you in an unfriendly manner.
Have you ever watched a television show and wondered how a character could so effortlessly create an invention with little to no thought at all? In the ‘80s, MacGyver showed people how to get out of sticky situations with little more than a rubber band, a paper clip, and an old piece of chewing gum. Since then, advanced inventing skills have only gotten better, with big screen personas like Tony Stark showing off their knack for technology.
You may be thinking that an advanced intellect and gifted intuition around technology isn’t much of a superpower, but given the unfathomable speed at which many of its users have been able to produce otherworldly inventions, we’d argue it’s not only a power, but an extremely resourceful one at that. With the ability to craft absolutely anything without hesitation, you can do just about anything you can imagine. No superpower would be off limits. Just draw up the schematics, build yourself the proper weapon and voilà, you’ve acquired a new ability. Be careful, though. If you’re the kind of person prone to misplacing your car keys, you could easily let a tool slip into the wrong hands.
7 Perfect Recollection
There’s a myth which claims all humans use only ten percent of their brains. While it’s true that the furthest memories of the mind can occasionally be recalled, the true potential of our brains hasn’t truly been tested.
Every waking second you’re alive, you’re creating potential memories. Some may be more memorable than others, but there’s no way to determine which moments your brain will cling to. But if you were able to remember the exact layout of a room from years ago, the exact words someone spoke to you, or a distinct smell from your childhood, then the past would begin to feel just as real as the present.
Multiple superheroes have been said to have an acute memory, capable of detailing everything that's ever happened to them. Batman, Superman, Captain America -- their memories are all more advanced than ours. Such a power could definitely help capture criminals and rescue lives. Remembering the exact layout of a crime scene or how a murder suspect spoke could mean putting the right person behind bars. Everything that ever happened to you from the time you were an infant would be available for you to recall, and you’d be guaranteed to never forget a face.
It’s a commonly known fact within the world of fantasy that time travel is not to be taken lightly. That's why we ask, "Wouldn't it be easier to look into the future, rather than traveling to another period and risk altering a timeline?"
Imagine the future isn’t simply predetermined. That would mean that any perceivable future isn't destiny, but a series of moves which could set up a different life. It all comes down to probability. Maybe you see the future in a dream, or maybe you can choose to see it; either way, you hold many truths, and all of them are equally achievable.
There are burdens that come with such responsibility. Envisioning your death or the death of others is likely to take a toll on your conscience, especially when you’re facing multiple outcomes of equally drastic consequences. You would be the sole bearer of such tragic outcomes, unable to communicate it to anyone else. But give it time, and you'll learn the importance of such power. It builds a strong mind and can result in positive reactions for everyone around you. If you see the future lottery numbers too, no one would blame you if you happen to run into a bit of luck.
5 Reactive Adaptation
It’s a cutthroat world out there. Nothing ever comes easy, so taking the bull by the horns naturally takes some grit. Every hard test you’ve endured, every muscle spasm you’ve had after working out, and every chilly day you’ve spent outside could be gone if only your body could skip the next 100,000 years or so and adapt to the world around it.
In the Marvel universe, the character Darwin is given the nickname The Evolving Boy for his body’s ability to naturally adapt to environmental threats. Whether it’s acquiring gills to swim underwater or learning to inhale smoke and toxic fumes without harming the body, the most difficult of tasks can be approached with ease and a general lack of safety. Your IQ could be boosted significantly at a second’s notice by simply putting your brain to work, or you could adapt to any given superpower when the odds are against you. Jumping from a plane? Just flap your arms and start flying. Need to fit into a tight spot? With the proper stretching, your whole body can become elastic. The possibilities are endless when your body and mind can be altered for your survival.
Being in multiple places at once may not seem like the most uncommon power in the comic book universes, but rarely is it shown to be one of the best abilities imaginable. The answer for its lack of praise may have to do with the many consequences that come with cloning, from the great concentration it would take to the effects on the body that could occur if any version was seriously injured or killed. Still, with all the pains of the responsibility comes the added bonus of being able to be everywhere at once.
There are multiple variations of replication which have shown up in comics. The simplest, however, is biological cloning, or the splitting of the body into multiples, much like that of Marvel's Multiple Man. In addition to making doppelgangers, some characters also have the ability to copy objects while keeping all the properties of the original copy intact. So long as you keep your secret well hidden from the world, you could theoretically live several different lives and never run out of anything with such a power, taking full advantage of all the world has to offer and forging many paths for yourself along the way.
The very things which make us human are also the things which limit us. On average, a single person will spend thirty-three percent of their lifetime sleeping. Take that number and factor in all the time spent eating, drinking and using the bathroom, and those numbers only get more discouraging. But if the body could sustain itself, doing away with all the standard necessities of survival, then a person would have access to one hundred percent of their life, which would drastically transform the way society looks today.
In all likelihood, removing a body of its restraints would open up the world to a longer work schedule, but you would also have more time for yourself. More time with family or with friends could be a stress reliever, and could open you up to more time to discover a new hobby. There’d be more room for a Netflix marathon before heading back to your job, and because technology has advanced so much due to the increasing work schedules, you could drive to work in your water-fueled automobile. Everything would be coming up roses, and you’d save some serious cash to spend on whatever you want.
2 Suspended Animation
Like Captain America rising from a block of ice in the Atlantic Ocean, you too can skip the present and wake up in the future -- all it takes is a little bit of beauty rest and a little getting used to.
Have you ever felt that you were born in the wrong time period? And by that, we don’t mean the days of yore, but rather the days of flying cars and sustainable life on Mars. With the gift of suspended animation, not only would you be able to wake up in the future after going to sleep, but you would wake up the same age, completely preserved without the slightest indication of brain damage.
The idea of suspended animation has been toyed with in the fields of science. The ability to preserve a human body cryogenically would give many hospital patients hope as they waited for an organ donation or the next great medical revelation. There are obvious downsides to waking up in the future, the most obvious of which would be leaving your loved ones behind and waking up in a foreign place, but the risk could be worth the reward if it saves lives.
If you could access every known piece of technology by simply touching it, utter chaos would be within an arm’s reach at all times. It could mean the brink of world war -- or the prevention of it. You could detect crimes before they happened through constant surveillance, or you could hack into public security systems to retrieve detrimental information on elite public figures. No truths would be hidden and no Internet user would be safe. The world operates almost entirely online these days, and in a second, it could all be wiped clean.
Apocalypse, Ultron, and Brainiac are just a few of the comic book characters who have tapped into the powers of technology, and with it, they were able to bring the likes of the X-Men, the Avengers, and Superman to their knees. It’s not just the World Wide Web that can be manipulated either. With such power, you could operate any type of machinery, whether you’re boosting the speed of a robot or operating a drone for some stealthy sleuth work. Like the evolving online world around you, you will become connected to the vast network of people who use technology, becoming a supercomputer of wealth, power and data.
What other lesser-known superpowers would you love to have? Do any of these hold a candle to the ability to fly? Let us know in the comments.