Wonder Woman has long been considered the female superhero with little competition in popularity or in power. Through decades of her long-running comic book stories, she has dazzled and impressed, holding her own against the Justice League and the many foes they have encountered.
Her reputation was only further established by the blockbuster hit Wonder Woman in 2017, in which Gal Gadot brought Diana Prince to life like she was born to play her.
Much of Wonder Woman's popularity stems from her role as a female superhero who can take names on the same level as the foremost heroes like Superman and Batman.
Just like Superman, Wonder Woman has natural physical gifts that have placed her firmly among the most powerful or even overpowered heroes in DC's repertoire. Her strength and power has unsurprisingly secured her place as a preeminent feminist icon.
Wonder Woman's physical gifts extend well beyond what the casual fan might know, but her body has also taken some terrible injuries and been put through great changes.
Her powers and even the story of how she came to exist have been through several revisions over the years. When it finally came to bringing her power to the screen, it took intense training and athletics to properly portray Wonder Woman's incredible strength.
Here are the 16 Strange Secrets About Wonder Woman's Body.
16 Her body was formed from clay
In the original origin story for Wonder Woman, Diana was formed from clay on Paradise Island by her mother Hippolyta.
The Greek gods bonded the clay with a soul, and then each of six of the deities granted her an extraordinary gift.
Some of them granted her superhuman abilities, such as great strength, speed, and the power of flight. Others granted her beauty, wisdom, and courage.
However, Wonder Woman's origin story has come into question over the years.
In Parry Jenkins' Wonder Woman, Ares implies that Diana is the biological child of Zeus and Hippolyta, even though Diana herself seem to buy the story that she was formed from clay. This directly conflicts with the origin story that Wonder Woman began with.
At the start of Wonder Woman's run in the comics, her creator William Moulton Marston wanted her to have an origin entirely free of men.
He made a purposeful choice to have Diana come into being without a father and then be raised in a world that was solely created and run by women.
Zeus had no part in this origin story, not even in granting Diana her soul. In the New 52, her origin story was changed to give Zeus the role of her father and Ares the role of her teacher, departing from Marston's vision of a Wonder Woman raised in a world without men.
15 She has enhanced senses
Among other gifts the Greek gods granted her at her creation, Diana was given enhanced senses that allow her better perception than many of her superhero compatriots.
Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, gifted Diana enhanced eyesight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Her eyesight came from having the "Hunter's Eye," which also gives her the ability to always hit her mark like an expert huntress.
She can also see things at a much greater distance than a normal human could. When Wonder Woman temporarily lost her sight, it was restored by Athena, who tied her own vision to Diana's.
This gave Diana even greater sight that also lets her see through illusions and makes her resistant to telepathy.
Other gifts allowed her insight beyond what a human could detect with their senses. The Sight of Athena that Diana possesses give her enhanced empathy to ascertain the emotions of others. Artemis' huntress powers also extend to communion with animals.
This power lets Wonder Woman naturally communicate with and even command animals of all kinds. She even used this ability to distract Superman on one occasion Early Wonder Woman stories also showed that she possessed the ability of telepathy herself along with other metaphysical senses like ESP.
14 Gal Gadot gained 17 pounds of muscle training to play Wonder Woman
Turning Gal Gadot into the strongest woman in existence was not an easy feat. By the time she stepped into the role of Wonder Woman, Gadot had developed some impressive biceps to match the top athletes who played her Amazon sisters.
To achieve her superhero physique, she spent a long time with a trainer, who was not impressed with her slim starting physique. Her trainer even commented, “her wrist — went all the way up. Her elbow was the thickest part of her arm."
Gadot admitted she was not much an athlete before that and did not spend much time at the gym. The training she went through was extremely taxing for her.
Gal Gadot's physical transformation took a training regimen that lasted six months. Each day of training would consist of six hours, including two hours at the gym, two hours of fight choreography, and two hours of horseback riding.
She coupled her intense exercise with a diet plan to help last through the long days at the gym. In the final cut, her dedication clearly paid off, as she gained 17 pounds of muscle perfecting her athletic prowess.
She looked right at home among her warrior sisters in Themyscira.
13 Her body regenerates from injuries within minutes
In order to maintain herself and her god-like powers while fighting some of the most powerful antagonists in existence, Wonder Woman also has an accelerated healing factor that regenerates her body within minutes.
She is seldom harmed by anything, but when she is, she can heal without a trace of the injury left on her.
Her healing was bestowed on her by Demeter, the goddess of earth, which means that Diana essentially renews herself as the earth does.
On occasion, Diana has shown the power to physically merge with the earth to expel any grave injury or toxin that affects her body. She is healed when she regains her form from this communion with the earth. However, it's considered a sacred act that can only be done in rare circumstances.
However, this connection to the earth was a departure from the first origin of her accelerated healing factor. In this early version, her healing was a gift from the gods.
Instead, her healing resulted from drinking water from the Fountain of Eternal Youth on Paradise Island as an Amazon birthright. In addition, in some versions of her story, her healing may also come from her divine heritage as a demigoddess.
12 She is nearly invulnerable against everything but piercing weapons
Although Wonder Woman does have a healing factor, she does not need to use it often. Her body is impervious to most attacks and highly resistant to injury even at the hands of powerful foes.
She has been able to withstand the blows of the strongest superheroes, such as Superman or Shazam/Captain Marvel, in hand-to-hand combat. She can even withstand fighting gods hand-t0-hand without injury.
Throughout her run in the comic books, she has proved to be invulnerable to almost everything. She is not injured by extreme temperature or explosion.
Superman's heat vision does not affect her, and she can even be submerged in lava or surrounded by the fires of Hell without any significant harm.
She can also survive in the cold and radiation of space unaided. She is even invulnerable to nuclear explosion and resistant to magical attacks.
However, Wonder Woman's invulnerability is tempered by a famous vulnerability to piercing weapons. Sword, spears, bullets, and arrows can injure her, which is why she needs her bulletproof gauntlets to protect herself in the field.
Even these weapons will not take her out of the fight for long, though, as they can only cause her moderate injury and are never fatal to her. Some storylines have suggested she can only be fatally injured by god-made weapons.
11 She possess superhuman stamina allowing her to fight without tiring
With superhuman strength bestowed by the gods and invulnerability to most injury, Wonder Woman has shown herself to be an unstoppable warrior.
Her stamina is considered a superpower unto itself, as she can fight for incredibly long periods without requiring any rest or food to replenish her strength. Her body is self-sufficient and does not tire with physical exertion, and her muscles will never give out from exhaustion in battle.
Like her healing factor, her stamina also comes from her link to the earth granted by Demeter. She is, in a sense, as eternal and unyielding as the earth in a fight.
She has held her own in fights with heroes and villains of equal stamina, such as Doomsday, Superman, and Captain Marvel. It is unclear what her limit would be in battle if she was not injured by one of her few vulnerabilities.
This stamina essentially makes her the perfect warrior, a status that other superheroes of her caliber have backed up. Batman referred to her as the best melee fighter in the world, outmatching even Superman in a confused and unorganized fight.
Her stamina is backed up by her advanced Amazon training with hand-to-hand combat and her proficiency with nearly every weapon ever made.
10 Her powers once came from converting brain energy to physical strength
At the time of her initial creation as a character, Wonder Woman's power came not from superhuman gifts bestowed by the gods, but from her own Amazon training. The Amazons could train warriors to convert energy from their brains into strength their bodies could use in battle.
However, her strength would be stripped from her if she allowed her bracelets to be bound by a male, a rule referred to as Aphrodite's Law.
This extraordinary mental ability was accompanied by a host of other mental powers.
In her golden age, Wonder Woman possessed several mental abilities. She could mentally control the electricity within her body. She had the power of telepathy through a "mental radio" that could send and receive messages. She even had a form of ESP, and she could astrally project herself to other places.
This original explanation for her powers relied solely on her training, the same training that her Amazon sisters would have received.
This meant that Wonder Woman was similar to any ordinary woman, only taught to harness her mental energy to achieve superhuman feats.
As the series continued, Diana's more complex origin story was written in to explain why she was even more exceptional than her sisters.
9 She once blinded herself to defeat Medusa
Wonder Woman has found herself toe to toe against some of the most formidable foes in Greek mythology, and Medusa is one of the most recognizable members of the pantheon of mythological villains.
Wonder Woman's long-time archenemy Circe resurrected the gorgon Medusa and sent her after Diana. Medusa managed to turn several people to stone before Wonder Woman could stop her.
Wonder Woman was prepared to end her life, but Medusa invoked Ares to challenge Diana to a fatal battle where only one would survive. If Diana refused, she would be tortured for a thousand years.
Wonder Woman at first tried to fight Medusa blindfolded to avoid the gorgon gaze that would turn her to stone, but Medusa removed the blindfold during battle and would have made Diana a statue.
Thinking quickly, Diana decided to blind herself with the venom of one of Medusa's hair snakes. She defeated Medusa while blind, but then had to continue her heroics after the battle while still blind.
Batman order an evaluation on her that forced her to fight the Justice League, and she proved she was still a skilled fighter without her eyesight. Her sight was eventually restored by Athena when the goddess seized power over Olympus.
8 She has often been made mortal, but her immortality has been restored
Amazons are immortal by nature on the island of Themyscira, allowing them to live there for thousands upon thousands of years.
This makes Wonder Woman an immortal at the beginning of her story, just like Hippolyta. Despite being born into immortality, Diana has been made mortal during the course of her adventures.
In one story arc, Diana was captured by Morgaine le Fay, who planned to use Wonder Woman's immortality to increase her own power. Morgaine's plan fell through because Diana had shed her immortality when she left Themyscira.
In the George Perez retelling of the Amazon origin story, the Amazons are immortal as long as they fulfill their purpose of guarding the great evil within Paradise Island.
Although she lives as a mortal in most interpretations of her story, she has been turned into an immortal on several occasions. The gods once made her the Goddess of Truth, an immortal being.
However, she was only allowed to help people when they called upon her for help, which went against her nature. She eventually interfered in the world without being asked and was made mortal again as a punishment.
In another story, Diana became the Goddess of War to lead the Amazons into battle.
7 She possesses enough superhuman speed to keep up with the Flash
Although she is not usually known for her speed, Wonder Woman can hold her own even among the fastest of superheroes.
At her creation, Hermes granted her the gifts of speed and flight, making her one of the fastest heroes in DC's roster. She can even keep up with the Flash's normal hypersonic speed, though not his maximum speed, and her speed is on par with other speedsters like Jesse Quick.
She is fast enough to enter the speed force without assistance, which implies she may be able to move at lightspeed.
Her speed is also a useful skill in a fight, as it gives her superhuman reflexes. She can disarm, immobilize, or move an opponent with ease almost instantaneously. She has sometimes taken down opponents before they can finish the word they started.
The speed of her reflexes has surprised Superman in the past, and her reflexes were noted to be even faster than Superman's.
Her speed also extends to her power of flight. She can fly unaided due to her gift from Hermes, but earlier versions of her character could fly by gliding on air currents.
She has been shown traveling at Mach 5 speed in the air, but there is no indication that this is her fastest speed. She can reach escape velocity to fly into space unaided, and she has no trouble keeping up with Superman in the air.
6 Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman stunt double was a world-class martial artist
Gal Gadot may have had to step up her training to play Wonder Woman, but her lead stunt double Caitlin Dechelle was already an impressive athlete. She was a competitive martial artist for 16 years, during which time she won 90 world titles.
She earned a black belt in Chinese Kenpo, Japanese Goju Ryu, and Taekwondo. Because of her intense martial arts background, she was perfect to step in for Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman's stunt-heavy fight scenes.
Dechelle was excited to have a part in bringing Wonder Woman to life. She remarked, "I was trained to be like the boys, if not better. People say that men can do it better, but that's not true. This film portrays that."
Dechelle has committed to maintaining her athletic physique even when she's called to set, making sure she still fits in time at the gym before her long days on call as a stunt double.
Decelle commented on some of the stunts for the movie, "One of my favorite stunts in the film is a slow motion kick when Diana is in the tower with Ludendorff. That was a fun one to do! ... I've definitely had some serious bruises and my body has been completely exhausted—but thankfully that's about it. Working on one of the slides in Wonder Woman I had a 12-inch bruise on my thigh!"
5 Her strength is at the same level as Superman
Wonder Woman's foremost power is her superhuman strength. She is among the strongest heroes in DC's prime pantheon, on the same level as god-tier superheroes.
When she has taken on Superman, she showed she could hold her own against him and sometimes defeat him, and she has overpowered incredibly strong and powerful heroes like Supergirl and Green Lantern.
Commonly accepted lore sets her strength as second only to Superman and only a notch below him.
Her strength is another gift from Demeter's ties to the earth, meaning she is essentially as strong as the earth itself.
In some of her most impressive displays of power, she helped Superman and Martian Manhunter move the earth, she held up an ARGUS aircraft to keep it from crashing, and she broke down the doors to the Fortress of Solitude.
Even when her super strength was taken away from her briefly in the Golden Age, she could still break down the door of a prison cell to rescue Steve Trevor.
In a more recent addition to her character, she can achieve an even higher level of strength to use while fighting gods. To reach this level, she must remove the bracelets that manage her intense power, but she then goes into a berserker rage with her unbridled strength.
4 She can astrally project herself, but it affects her physical body
As part of her extraordinary mental powers, Wonder Woman has the ability to astrally project herself to other places through meditation. This allows her to travel to lands of myth, such as Olympus or Hell, without having to find a way there in her physical form.
However, it's not as easy as it sounds. Even though her physical body is not present, anything that happens to her astral projection also happens to her physical body.
She sometimes returns to her body with injuries, but sometimes she returns with a renewed strength gained on her journey. Wonder Woman's adventures in astral projections can be as risky as any conflict she takes on the real world.
She has used her astral projection power in several conflicts, most notably when she travelled into Hell to save Artemis. At a time when Queen Hippolyta was no longer among the living, she used astral projection to travel into the underworld trying to communicate with her mother.
She has also projected herself into an audience before the gods to ask favors from them. Even in early stories, she was able to call upon and communicate with deities in her sleep by separating herself from her body, even taking her friend Etta Candy with her once.
3 Her changing appearance has been the subject of controversy
Wonder Woman's status as the preeminent female superhero in comic books has stirred up a lot of controversy over the years regarding her physical appearance. Marston, Wonder Woman's creator, designed her to be a feminine figure.
He used the pin-up girls of World War II as a model for expressing this femininity. Her costume, though it was more sedate in the '40s, pushed the boundaries of appropriate attire to show in public.
Both Wonder Woman's attire and her empowered attitude rubbed some people the wrong way, and she was one of the reasons the the Comics Code was adopted in the post-war era.
In response to the Code, Wonder Woman's costume had to be adjusted to a more modest version. Her figure was toned down to match the requirement of female characters being drawn "realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities."
Over the following decades, Diana's appearance was changed to fit the culture and the ideas of different writers. In the '60s, she was made younger and slimmer while also getting rid of her superpowers. In the '80s, feminist writer George Perez took over the comic.
He rewrote much of Wonder Woman's lore and appearance, including giving Diana more practical costume and abandoning the suggestive figures of earlier issues for an active warrior's body.
However, these changes did not stick, and Wonder Woman has sometimes been portrayed in very objectified ways since that time.
2 Circe almost reverted her to clay
The sorceress Circe has been one of Wonder Woman's most consistent antagonists, and she has caused Diana significant problems over the years, including once reverting her to clay.
Circe has sworn to drive the world to chaos, making her a natural enemy to Diana and her mission to spread peace. Circe was also responsible for ending the life of Antiope, Diana's aunt and Hippolyta's sister.
Circe possessed the soul of the goddess Hecate, which was responsible for her power. However, Hecate had also prophesied the end of Circe's power if she ended the life of a second witch, which Circe believed to be Diana, which meant Circe couldn't do anything that would be actually fatal to Diana.
Instead, Circe decided to remove Wonder Woman from play in a more creative way.
She trapped Diana, intending to use a spell on her to turn her back into the clay from which she was formed. Diana and her friends fought back, but they were no match for Circe's magic.
Diana's life was only spared because the god Hermes decided to intervene and carry Circe away. It was far from the last time Wonder Woman would encounter Circe, though, and she proved to be a constant thorn in Diana's side.
1 She has been resurrected as a goddess
Although Wonder Woman is a formidable fighter, there have been a few times Diana succumbed to her enemies' fatal plans or to a terrible accident.
On one occasion, the Greek gods left the Earth, triggering all of the Amazons - including Diana - to revert into stone or clay. When the gods returned, they restored Diana and the rest of the Amazons, turning them back into flesh and blood.
Soon after the Amazons were restored, Diana was forced to do battle with the demon lord Neron. After she survived his initial attempt to attack her using the demon Etrigan, he hit Diana with a fatal bolt of energy, leaving Diana barely clinging to life in the hospital.
Wonder Woman was out of commission through important conflicts with Darkseid and Ares during this time, unable to help either the Justice League or the Greek pantheon.
Just when it seemed that Diana was actually gone, the gods decided to intervene and resurrect Wonder Woman. Instead of restoring her in her usual mortal form, they brought her back as the new Goddess of Truth.
During her time as a goddess, Diana was forced to give up the mantle of Wonder Woman during this time, passing the title to her mother Hippolyta to serve in her stead.
Can you think of any other secrets about Wonder Woman? Sound off in the comments!