Telepathy is an idea that's become iconic in pop culture, from X-Men, to True Blood and new amped-up sci-fi Lucy.
But despite featuring in endless movies, books and games, telepathy has always been just an idea. Until now.
A new report published by academic journal PLOS ONE details a new experiment undertaken in March this year by two scientists thousands of miles apart.
And what it suggests is that we might be one step closer to harnessing real-life telepathy.
Earlier this year Dr Michel Berg, based at the University of Strasbourg, and Dr Alejandro Riera in Kerala, India, created a joint experiment to see if telepathy was possible.
By blindfolding themselves and blocking out any interference with earplugs, they aimed to create a sensory vacuum in which they could focus the mind's energies.
Dr Riera wore a type of skull cap called an EEG (electro-encephalograph), while imagining he was making a series of either horizontal or vertical movements.
The mental exertion sent two kinds of electric pulse into the EEG, which the machine then translated into a binary code. Using this, he was able to slowly represent the letters of the alphabet he wanted to transmit.
Over the course of the next hour, their "conversation" amounted to two simple words: "hola", and "ciao".
While the conversation was hardly lengthy, the experiment nonetheless suggests that some form of purely mental communication might be possible.
What This Means
In Dr Berg's words:
We have shown that it is possible to send a mental message between two people, without using sight, touch, sound, taste or smell.
Berg believes that eventually, telepathy could be harnessed to change humanity for the better.
Using telepathy, for example, people with artificial limbs, paraplegics or those with 'locked in' syndrome might be able to transmit messages to the non-functioning parts of their bodies.
Take someone in a coma. At the moment, it is not possible to tell what they might want. This could open up the possibility of being able to communicate with them.
How incredible would that be?
The Bottom Line
While we need to take this with a pinch of salt - the words transmitted were incredibly common, and are no proof that full telepathy is possible - the experiment is still pretty amazing.
At the very least, it suggests that over the next generations, humans may be able to use their brains to do things they've never done before.
Let's just hope the universe doesn't turn into a David Cronenberg movie:
(Source: Daily Mail)