Real-life Superheroes: 3 People with Incredible Abilities
This week we’re looking at superheroes. We’ve chosen three fantastic stories for you – real people with real superpowers. These guys have three very different abilities but each case is as incredible as the other. Make sure you watch the videos to appreciate how amazing they really are!
Daniel Tammet – The boy with the Incredible Brain.
Daniel Paul Tammet is a British high-functioning autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical calculations, sequence memory, and natural language learning. He was born with congenital childhood epilepsy. Experiencing numbers as colors or sensations is a well-documented form of synesthesia, but the detail and specificity of Tammet’s mental imagery of numbers is unique. In his mind, he says, each number up to 10,000 has its own unique shape and feel, that he can “see” results of calculations as landscapes, and that he can “sense” whether a number is prime or composite. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi as beautiful. Tammet not only verbally describes these visions, but also creates artwork, particularly watercolor paintings, such as his painting of Pi.
Tammet holds the European record for memorising and recounting pi to 22,514 digits in just over five hours. He also speaks a variety of languages including English, French, Finnish, German, Spanish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Estonian, Icelandic, Welsh and Esperanto. Tammet is capable of learning new languages very quickly. To prove this for a TV documentary, Tammet was challenged to learn Icelandic in one week. Seven days later he appeared on Icelandic television conversing in Icelandic, with his Icelandic language instructor saying it was “not human.”
Michel Lotito is Mister Eat-it-All
Michel Lotito (born 1950) is a French entertainer, famous as the consumer of undigestables, and is known as Monsieur Mangetout (Mister Eat-it-all). Lotito’s performances are the consumption of metal, glass, rubber and so on in items such as bicycles, televisions, a Cessna 150, and smaller items which are disassembled, cut-up and swallowed. The aircraft took roughly two years to be ‘eaten’ from 1978 to 1980. He began eating unusual material while a child and has been performing publicly since 1966. Lotito does not often suffer from ill-effects due to his diet, even after the consumption of materials usually considered poisonous. When performing he consumes around a kilogram of material daily, preceding it with mineral oil and drinking considerable quantities of water during the ‘meal’. He apparently possesses a stomach and intestine with walls of twice the expected thickness, and his digestive acids are, allegedly, unusually powerful, allowing him to digest a certain portion of his metallic meals.
The Lion Whisperer
Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson says he relies on instinct to win the hearts and form an intimate bond with the big cats. He can spend the night curled up with them without the slightest fear of being attacked. His magic works not only work for lions but other animals such as cheetahs, leopards and even hyenas aren’t a problem. Lions are his favourites and its a wonder how he can play with them when their teeth are sharp enough to bite through thick steel. It’s a dangerous job but to Kevin it’s a passion that he couldn’t imagine not doing.