7 Superpowers You Definitely Have but Probably Have No Clue About
If you’ve always had a thought that you’re talented, you’re right. The latest studies show that we underestimate our abilities and have no clue about the powers that we possess. It’s time to change the situation.
Bright Side is devoting this article to our hidden talents and telling us how to use them in our everyday life.
7. The voice can have an impact on our mood.
A group of CNRS researchers decided to find out how the voice influenced a person’s mood. They asked the subjects to read Haruki Murakami’s book aloud, recorded their voices, and then, with the help of a program, made their voices frightening, happy, and sad. The participants weren’t aware of the voice changing. And then they had to listen to their own voices, only a few people understood that they had been changed. When they were asked how they felt while listening to the recording, they mentioned an emotion created by the program.
The study shows that we “read” our own emotions as well as others’ emotions, and the vocal expressiveness influences our mood. Perhaps, this discovery can be used to treat psychological disorders. And maybe we can already beat the blues by listening to our own happy voice.
6. We can get stronger just by thinking about it.
Brian Clark, a professor from Ohio State University, conducted a study and proved that there’s a direct link between the nervous system and muscle power. All the participants had to wear a tight wrist fixator for 4 weeks. One group used to perform 11-minute-long mental exercises 5 days a week: people had to imagine themselves tensing their muscles while remaining motionless. Another group led an ordinary lifestyle.
When the wrist fixators were taken off, people who used to imagine themselves exercising had made their wrist muscles twice as strong as those who didn’t do it.
5. We see things we have no clue about.
The upper photo: the way we see the world; the lower photo: the way we see the world wearing Polaroid sunglasses that block almost all reflected sunlight.
Besides colors and light, the human eye can sense the polarization of light, but most of us don’t know about that. This eyesight starts working in certain circumstances: when we look at the blue sky, a computer screen, and reflections from water or glass. In these cases, a large percentage of the light waves are oscillating in the same orientation and become visible. And it’s an effect called Haidinger’s brush.
Have a look at a white area of a liquid-crystal display of a computer, a phone, or a tablet and tilt your head left and right several times. You’ll see almost transparent yellow and blue bow-ties. Can you see them? Great! After a couple of exercises, you’ll be able to see Haidinger’s brush in the blue sky viewed while facing away from the sun.
The photo: a simulated image of Haidinger’s brush for vertically polarized light.
4. Prolong your life by smiling.
In 2010, a study was conducted at Wayne State University. Its purpose was to find out if a smile could influence humans’ life expectancy. Scientists studied baseball cards with famous baseball players produced before 1950. It turned out that players who didn’t smile lived around 72.9 years, players with a slight smile lived 75 years, and those with really wide smiles lived 79.9 years.
You can say there’s no reason to be happy but that’s a bad excuse. There’s a connection between a smile and mood: even if you’re forced to smile, you start feeling better. And speaking of pleasure, a wide smile equals 2000 bars of chocolate.
What’s more, our smile can influence others. People can’t keep scowling if you smile in front of them. Smiling is contagious, so we lose control over our facial muscles and smile back. A smiling person also looks more attractive and professional.
3. We can change our body’s temperature.
Tibetan monks’ practices, known as Tummo yoga, increase the body temperature. In 1981, Herbert Benson, a professor at Harvard University, found that 3 practitioners exhibited the capacity to increase the temperature of their fingers and toes by as much as 46.4°F (8.3°C.)
It’s recommended to practice only with an experienced Lama as there’s a risk to die from hypothermia.
2. We distinguish more flavors than we think.
In the image: The process of taste recognition. The information from taste, temperature, olfactory receptors and the data from tooth sensors and chewing muscles goes to the brain through the nerves. Thus, in just a second, we understand what we are eating.
We all know 4 basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and bitterness. But in the 1980s, the scientific community identified a 5th taste called umami (from Japanese: tasty, nice.) It was identified by Kikunae Ikeda, a professor from the Tokyo Imperial University. Umami is common for protein products: meat, fish, and meat or fish broths.
Today, scientists keep searching for new receptors. One day, they may find out that we can distinguish calcium, carbon dioxide, clean water, fats, metals, and licorice. This knowledge would help people fight against obesity and other issues.
We identify the taste of things by following several rules that we should all be aware of.
- The taste of food is best identified if its temperature equals the temperature of the mouth.
- Sweetness and saltiness addictions come faster than the addictions to other tastes. So if we eat a lot of salt and sugar, we slowly stop identifying them. By the way, sugar addiction intensifies the perception of all other tastes.
- Bitterness addiction intensifies the perception of sour and salty foods.
1. We’re able to develop a musical ear in adulthood.
Absolute pitch is a rare phenomenon. People used to believe it was better to develop it in childhood. But a study conducted at the University of Chicago shows that adults also can develop their musical ear and make it almost perfect.
Within the experiment, subjects with a rudimentary music education had to reproduce the sounds they listened to and identify a tone. At the second stage, they tried to identify the sounds again, but this time, they were told whether they were right or wrong, and they were allowed to listen to the recording again. After a few months, the test was carried out again. And it turned out that the subjects didn’t lose their skills and managed to identify the pitch of a sound. The research proves that a musical ear is an acquired skill.
If you want to develop your musical ear, you can do it with the help of different websites and apps. Some of them are available here.
What do you think about these human superpowers? Would you like to add anything to this list?
Illustrated by Marat Nugumanov for BrightSide.me