"If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?"
It's a question that's asked so often, but rarely is any thought given to the real-world implications of those abilities. I've gone through a few random places on the internet to find out why superpowers would suck to have.
First and foremost, let's talk friction. Rub your hands together. Feel that heat? If you haven't taken a year 7 science class, that comes from friction. Now, if you were running at super-speed, you would probably generate so much heat from rubbing against the air and ground that you'd.. kinda set yourself on fire.
Let's move on from that bit. Say you had some kind of heat-resistant suit or something that would stop the heat from getting to be too much. You probably wouldn't be able to see where you're going. If you were to have senses that matched your speed, who's to say you'd be able to turn them off? 24 hours instantly feels like 12 years.
Now, let's pretend that you won't catch on fire, and you can control your perception. Bugs. Bugs and dust would hit you in the face while you're running. It would be like running while people are throwing tiny little spears at your face, but they explode and you get bug guts everywhere. Eww.
For a little more info on why Super Speed would suck, have a look at this video: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/if-superpowers-were-real-super-speed-joy-lin
Okay, let's start with the most obvious problem here. There is a limit to how much you can hold back your strength. You wouldn't be able to knock on doors, play sports, shake hands or even whistle (if we assume that your strength is applied to your lungs, lips and throat). Daily tasks like scrolling down this page would take a tremendous amount of effort to do without destroying everything you touch. And that's assuming you're somewhere around Spider-Man's level, let alone Superman's.
Then there's your bones. Muscular strength is different from your bone density. Sure, you might be able to toss a car half a mile or so, but your wrists and joints would break super-easily.
Next, there's the heroic problems. Now sure, you might not want to become a superhero, but still, hear me out. I'm going to use the same example as the one shown in this TedEd video, so you can go watch that if you want more of a scientific point of view that isn't coming from a 14 year old with nothing better to do sitting at his laptop.
The video explains that if you were to hold your arms out to catch somebody falling from a height, even if you were strong enough to catch them without breaking your arms, their spine wouldn't be strong enough to be caught by you without being heavily damaged. Yeah. Super strength sucks.
I'm including this in as a sub power of Super Strength because why the hell not?
Let's start with the fact that you'd be almost instantaneously gaining a metric crap-tonne of muscle. Your bones would not be able to support that much muscle, you wouldn't be able to move because of it, which would probably just lead you to get angrier, and grow, and have more trouble moving, and get angrier and so on.
Let's say that your bones would grow to account for the increase in muscle mass. Not only would it be incredibly painful to have your bones changing size every time you get pissed, but your skin would be stretching too. Think about this for a second. In the picture above, Bruce Banner's head is smaller than the Hulk's big toe. Can you imagine how much that would hurt? A lot. That's the answer.
Next up on the list is invisibility. One of the most often brought-up problems with invisibility is that you yourself wouldn't be able to see anything around you. Like I said before, I'm just a kid at a laptop, so I don't have my facts 100% straight to explain it, but essentially, if light is passing through or around you, you will not be able to see. All of which is explained in this helpful little video.
I promise they're not paying me. I just really enjoyed watching those and thought I'd write an article about it.
The video also explains that your clothes most likely wouldn't be able to turn invisible with you, so you'd have to ditch them. And everything else you have with you. Not exactly something I'd be willing to do. One last thing they explain is that as you moved, you would collect dust particles. This would undermine the whole invisibility thing since people would see the walking dust cloud shaped like a person.
Guess what? Another video for you to watch. I'll try to stick with some other stuff after this. http://ed.ted.com/lessons/if-superpowers-were-real-flight-joy-lin
Along with some other scientific tidbits, it explains that the higher you fly, the colder it is. If you flew high enough, you would start shivering terribly. You would become confused and eventually fall straight out of the sky due to loss of muscle control from hypothermia.
Furthermore, if you were to stick close to the ground while flying, you'd need something to protect your face from dust and bugs and birds that would likely be in your path, plus if you were knocked unconscious by something while flying, you'd freefall and hit the ground. Ouch.
Shrinking/Growing/Changing your body's composition
Now, at the end of this point, I will link to another one of those videos, but first, I want to explore the shrinking aspect with what inspired me to write this article in the first place. A Quora question. https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-physics-implications-of-Ant-Man
The first person explains that Ant-Man would kill people by jumping at them like a bullet. How? Well, the guy explains that pressure is force divided by surface area. If something that was so much heavier than a bullet, but the same size launched at you the way Scott did in the movie, he would literally be jumping straight through you.
That same person explains another flaw, density and mass.
I personally don't know enough about the topic to explain it accurately in my own words, so here's a direct quote:
Assuming Ant-Man’s mass remains the same, if he shrinks to the size of an ant, his density would have to be million times the standard density of a human being. While this makes him much more invulnerable to physical harm, there are literally no floors in our planet which would support such density.
Now some would argue, that Ant-Man’s mass shrinks as well. If that is the case, he would never have the momentum to throw big, grown men around with his tiny size.
This does bring up a valid flaw in the whole shrinking thing.
I'm not going to quote the whole thing because it's just easier if you go over to the link and read. There are a few others who do some explaining on the subject as well.
Now, onto the other 2 thirds of this point. Growing and changing compositions. Here's where I'll link to another video for you to check out.
Physical Invulnerability: Being impervious to bodily harm doesn't sound too bad, does it? Well, you'd probably be so dense you couldn't move.
Telepathy: Hearing everybody's thoughts? Well, for starters, there are some people whose thoughts I assure you, you wouldn't want to hear, plus you might not be able to turn it off. You'd go insane
Superhuman Senses: Sure, you'd be able to see, hear, smell, taste & feel better than anyone else, but think for a second. Your senses would be way too easy to irritate. Bright lights, high-pitched sounds, farts, gases and physical harm would be amplified to you.
Finally, there's immortality. I was trying to think of something else that isn't on every other list like this, but I couldn't think of any completely valid reasons.
Here's the No.1 problem with this. Just because you can't die, doesn't mean you don't feel pain. So, one day, you could get hit by a car, or mugged (both of which are certain to happen eventually if you're truly immortal), you could have broken ribs, arms and all sorts of stuff like that. All your family members and friends would die, and you'd eventually outlive the Earth. So you'd be stuck in space with no air, suffocating, but unable to die, or living on a radiation-covered rock, throwing up while in pain from the radiation, wishing for Death's release, but your prayers would never be answered.
Then let's back track a few billion years, back to when the Earth is still around and mostly resembles what it does now. After living multiple lifetimes, eventually someone will become suspicious and find out your secret. Government finds out, they'd probably experiment on you to find out why.
Oh or we could say that you age like a normal person. Once you get past 100 years or so, breathing would be so difficult. And the 100 year mark is assuming you live a perfectly healthy life until that point. Then after 200, you wouldn't be moving. You'd be stuck, constantly tired, probably unable to chew food and you still wouldn't die. It would be living HELL
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why you definitely would not want to have immortality.
So, what did you all think of this article? Did I do well? Decent? Average at least?
What powers do you think it would suck to have in real life and why?