…AND we continue where we left off. What? You haven’t read the first part? Oh c’mon! It was awesome! Ok Read it here, and then come back. We’ll wait…go on..
AHA! You’re back! So yeah…continuing where we left off… here are a few more Genetic superheroes! (Trust me, you don’t want to miss the last one here!…or the one just before that!)
Run Forrest Run!!
Doping and sports go hand in hand. Not judging here! But you know it’s true.
While many athletes out there are busy experimenting with “gene doping” or administration of illicit performance enhancing drugs, just to get that edge in the competition; we also have people like Eero Mantyranta, the Finnish Olympic skiing champion, who just practice hard, go home and sleep – and yet experience the wonderful effects of performance aids without so much as touching one of them!! No kidding!
Not saying that superheroes (or genetic supercheaters…your call) such as Eero didn’t want to experiment with those drugs, they simply didn’t need to. You see – Forrest Gumps like Eero are born with a genetic mutation in their erythropoietin gene receptors that gives them the super ability of carrying over 50% more oxygen in their bloodstream than the rest of us, giving them that edge in endurance athletics, without being sneaky! Super Endurance – now that’s a superpower FTW!
Pain and Gain
Actually, NO pain…That’s the gain! Imagine life without pain. No no… not asking you to break up…I’ll rephrase – Imagine life without physical pain! Now that’s a superpower right out of Stan Lee’s arsenal of “The best powers for the best Mutants!”
Getting a tattoo, working out, waxing, even giving birth… would suddenly become a whole lot easier if we could somehow just tell a specific part of our brain to shut down for a minute and NOT register that pain! Well… meet Ashlyn Blocker – one of several Superheroes out there who have a rare genetic condition called CIPA – a congenital insensitivity to pain. Whaaaaaaa???
CIPA “mutants”, like Blocker, are unable to deliver messages of pain to the brain, rendering them completely unaware of any kind of physical pain. Drive a skewer through their hand, and they wouldn’t even know it! While they do experience touch, and can differentiate between the textures of a knife blade and a moisturiser – push them both into their arms and see the CIPA magic take place. (Ok…don’t)
But living painless is not all fun and games for these mutants whom Xaviers would like to poach – Not being able to feel pain or feel extreme temperatures leaves them highly susceptible to getting injured, burnt, or hypothermic, since the message titled “save-your-ass-here” is going to the spam folder in the part of their brain that should raise an alarm in such dangerous situations.
The Hunger Game(s)
Michel Lotito or Monsieur Mangetout as he was lovingly called, was a French “entertainer” and a mutant. His superpower? Well…Monsieur Mangetout roughly translates to “Mr. Eats All”. Lotito was a superhero with an appetite….an appetite for…well everything! He could, and did, through the course of his career, eat all manners of non-consumable items made of rubber, glass and metals.
Super-eating (Guess that’s an appropriate name for his super-power) allowed him to eat – and digest – metal, glass, rubber, and even toxic materials, as nonchalantly as you would pop a cookie in your mouth! His biggest achievement thus far? He ate a frickin’ Cessna 150 airplane!!
No wait…this needs to be rewritten for clarity..
He ate a whole airplane! Admittedly, in parts…. Over the course of 2 years… but still…a WHOLE airplane!!!
Mr. Eats All’s stomach lining is twice as thick as that of a regular human being thanks to a rare genetic condition, allowing him to stomach all those… AIRPLANES! (still can’t get over that!). Michel succumbed to his billy-goat nature at the age of 9 years by eating a television set, and has since eaten his way into showbiz by happily chomping down bicycles, shopping trolleys, airplanes and even a coffin (I hope it was empty!).
Total Recall : The anti-Memento!
I’ll be honest – I’ve often wished my paramour were a mutant. It would be so cool!! Imagine dating Mystique (a new person every time!), or Storm (no need to invest in Airconditioning ever!), or Nightcrawler (bye bye Uber..). I mean, just any power… would be so epic! Having said that however, there’s this one very REAL mutant super-power that might go in the “avoidable” category in this list of abilities I wish my girl had.
Marilu Henner, the actress from the 70s sitcom Taxi, belongs to the pantheon of mutants that possess a photographic memory, thanks to a rare condition called hyperthymesia. These mutants can put Sheldon Cooper (of Big Bang Theory fame) to shame when it comes to recalling details. Total recall? Try Total PERFECT recall down to the minutest details from every second of their lives thus far. E-V-E-R-Y detail. (Told you you wouldn’t want to date one of them!)
Fascinating eh? What if I told you there’s more?
Watch this space for the last part of this awesome series – Get introduced to people who barely sleep, someone with the mutation every criminal wants, and Ozzy Osbourne! (Yeah you read that right!)
About the Author
Udbhav Relan is a member of the Mapmygenome gene pool, having joined us after completing his MSc in Biotechnology and Enterprise from University of Manchester (UK). He loves hitting the gym regularly and going on biking trips. When he isn’t working, he can be found either in a nature reserve – clicking away to his heart’s content, or strumming his guitar trying to ape his childhood heroes – Metallica, but mostly he would be found in a bar, cheering on Manchester United while chugging down gallons of…Green tea (Hey! He’s a fitness freak!)