In the wise words of William Shakespeare, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Well, a 12-year-old boy from Russia has recently had greatness thrust upon him after being electrocuted and waking up a bit more irresistible...to metal, that is.
Nikolai Kryaglyachenko has come to media attention due to his claims that he has become magnetic, pretty simiar to X-Men villain Magneto but with a different origin story. On discovering his new powers he told the New York Post:
When I woke up the next day and got out of bed, I found some coins that had been lying on the mattress had stuck to my body. Then when I was having breakfast and dropped my spoon, it stuck to my chest.
While this does sound pretty awesome, Nikolai doesn't have much control when it comes to his skills. So he's not going to be lifting planes or prying the Adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton anytime soon. In the same interview he said:
I can do things I couldn’t do before, but I don’t have a lot of control over it. Even when I do not want to do it, I still attract things. Once I even attracted a glass — it just moved towards me.
While not a real Mutant in the Marvel sense, this isn't the first time that we've heard of some truly talented people worthy of joining the ranks of the X-Men.
Javier Botet - Super Flexibility
While you probably won't recognize him, Botet played the title character in the horror movie [Mama](movie:671272). Yes, Mama was really a dude. He's known for being crazy flexible and being able to move in some spooky, almost otherworldly ways. Just take a look at his motion test for Mama below.
Botet was born with Marfan syndrome, the genetic condition which affects connective tissue in the body. While some of the complications from this condition can be life-threatening in severe cases, there are people who are able to live very healthy, normal lives. Or hey, even become actors!
For more information on Marfan syndrome check out their website here.
Daniel Kish - Echolocation
At only 13 months, Daniel Kish lost his vision to retinoblastoma, but he has not let blindness stand in his way of living life to the fullest. Similar to how Banshee uses her Sonic Scream to locate objects with sonar, Kish uses clicks to hear the location and distance of objects.
He is such an expert at echolocation, or "FlashSonar" as he calls it, that he can even ride a bike through traffic. He is the current President of the non-profit World Access for the Blind which aims to help "the self-directed achievement of people with all forms of blindness" and promote awareness of the importance of learning echolocation and other options for people with vision problems all along the spectrum. Way to go, Daniel!
Marilu Henner - Hyperthymesia
With a mind as powerful as Professor Xavier, Marilu Henner, one of the stars from the 70s show Taxi, is one of only 25 recorded people who have Hyperthymesia, the ability to remember almost everything from their lives. Give them a date or an event and they'll be able to recall precise details that would have been long gone for the rest of us.
In an interview with ABC she discussed what it's like to rifle through her past:
When somebody gives me a date or a year or something, I see all these little movie montages, basically on a time continuum, and I’m scrolling through them and flashing through them.
Whether this is a gift or a curse must really depend on how you look at the world. Imagine being able to remember every incredible memory, but also never being able to forget the bad ones.
Ashlyn Blocker - Congenital Insensitivity to Pain
According to a New York Times article in 2012, even as an infant Ashlyn Blocker rarely cried from the discomforts that usually keep parents up all night. It wasn't until she was about 2 years old that doctors realized Ashlyn couldn't feel pain and was diagnosed with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP). This rare condition means that she cannot feel any pain. She can feel pressure and many other sensations, but not pain.
While some might assume that escaping the trauma of broken bones, scraped knees, and the like is a good thing, it's actually a very serious condition. Growing up, her parents had to keep a watchful eye on the adventurous youngster, making sure that she wasn't accidentally breaking bones or hurting herself in some pretty serious ways. Although she can't feel pain, the injuries still exist, so treatment can get pretty tricky. But Ashlyn still seems to be a very normal teenager! She likes pageants and playing the clarinet.
I guess what Uncle Ben said was true, "With great power comes great responsibility." For some super people that just means being responsible with your life and health, and these people all seem to be doing a great job at both maintaining normal lives and helping educate others about their conditions.