A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

11 Real Life Kids with Actual Superpowers

These kids must have superpowers because there's literally no other way to explain it...

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Poland Child Survived After a Freezing Night Outdoors - Dec 2014
Jacek Bednarczyk/EPA/Shutterstock

Adas the Unfreezable

Humans begin to experience hypothermia when their core body temperature sinks below 95°F, with death usually occurring below 70°F. But in late 2014, a Polish toddler defied these principles, inconceivably surviving a harrowing night outside in the freezing cold during which his core body temperature plummeted to an inhuman 54°F, reported the Guardian. After a few days in an induced coma, Adas emerged essentially unscathed. He’s seen here as he recovers in the hospital with his parents. Here are 12 things that likely happened to his body as it started to freeze.

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Blind boy learns to 'see' using his ears thanks to echolocation, Poole, Dorset, Britain - 05 Oct 2009
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Lucas the Echolocator

Lucas Murray, who was born blind, learned to use his ears to “see” when he was just five years old. He does this by clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth and then listening for echoes, which tell him of objects that are in his vicinity. This process, known as echolocation, is common among bats, dolphins, and some species of whale. It’s almost unheard of in humans (although Lucas learned how from a man named Daniel Kish), but Lucas mastered it in three days’ time and uses it to get around independently. He’s shown here with his mother, Sarah.

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'This Morning' TV Programme, London, Britain - 24 Sep 2012
Ken McKay/Shutterstock

Aurelien the Autobiographer

Memory loss can be devastating. But imagine losing the ability to forget? When Aurelien Hayman was 11 years old, that’s precisely what happened, at least with regard to autobiographical events. Now an adult, he can describe any past moment from his life in incredible detail—from what he ate, to the temperature, to the music that was on the radio. In 2012, he was featured in a documentary titled, The Boy Who Can’t Forget.

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Father creates bionic prosthetic arm for baby son, Anglesey, Wales, UK - 01 Mar 2017
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The Bionic Boy (with the Super Dad)

At just ten days old, Sol Ryan suffered a blood clot that required his left arm to be amputated. When his parents learned there were no truly functional prosthetic options for him, his dad, Ben Ryan, set about designing what is essentially a bionic arm for Sol. Then he 3D printed it. Not only did it give Sol his superpowers, but it also makes him look incredibly “high-tech cool.”

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Wolf Boy (or the boy who was raised by wolves)

In 1976, a boy of about ten was found living among a pack of wolves in an Indian forest. The boy, who’d never lived among humans, walked on all fours and subsisted on raw meat, survived for another ten years under the care of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Ramu, as he was called, learned to bathe and wear clothes, but he was never able to speak and never lost his taste for raw meat or his well-developed instinct to hunt. He’s shown here with Mother Teresa.

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The musical genius

Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček gave his first public concert at the age of four, placing him well within the definition of a prodigy, a child who demonstrates professional abilities before age ten. Prodigies are as rare as 1 in 10 million, and many struggle past childhood, but Lukáš, now 32, has beaten the odds, making him even more of a rarity. Here are 11 signs you could be raising a child genius.

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10-year-old is Britain's youngest magician, Manchester, Britain - Jan 2014
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The youngest professional magician

Daniel Rhodes, now 15, was already a professional magician/illusionist by the time he was nine, making him one of the youngest professional magicians in the world and the youngest in Great Britain. “My love for magic began when I was just six years old when I was given a basic magic kit for Christmas,” he says, and “I’ve not stopped showcasing my tricks on people since!”

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side by side
Gary Roberts/ Shutterstock

The boy who survived being crushed alive

Domenico Bacon shouldn’t even be alive. In 2007, when he was just three years old, he’d just been picked up from daycare when a 40-foot tree crashed down on him, crushing his skull and his legs. Yet Domenico not only survived without significant brain damage, but he also, inconceivably, learned how to walk again. Don’t miss these other miraculous medical recovery stories.

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Child genius born with Asperger's syndrome has IQ higher than Einstein's, London, Britain - 11 Apr 2012

The boy with the enormous IQ

Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with autism when he was two, with his doctors predicting he’d never even be able to tie his own shoes. But the doctors were wrong. It turns out Jacob has an IQ of 170, which is 30 points higher than Albert Einstein’s was. He finished grades 6 through 12 in less than a year, went to college at age ten and became a published physicist by 13. Here’s more about Jacob, as well as seven adults who are incredibly brilliant.

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Ruth Lawrence Mathematical Child Genius.
Brian Williamson/Associated Newspapers/Shutterstock

The girl with the mathematical superpowers

At age ten, math prodigy Ruth Lawrence became the youngest person to be accepted to Oxford University. There, she completed her degree in two years and scored the highest grades of any of her fellow students. Although child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses, Lawrence defies the odds. Now 47, she’s a mathematician and an associate professor of mathematics at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a researcher in knot theory and algebraic topology.

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'Daybreak' TV Programme, London, Britain - 27 Jun 2013
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The youngest member of Mensa

Adam Kirby was only two years old when he scored 141 on the Stanford-Binet IQ test, qualifying him for membership in Mensa, the international society for geniuses. “While most toddlers are busy learning to walk and scribbling on walls, child prodigy Adam Kirby enjoys reading Shakespeare, learning Japanese, Spanish, and French, and even potty-trained himself,” the Daily Mail wrote in 2013. His parents realized there was something unusual about Adam when he potty-trained himself at age one, after reading a book on the subject. Take this Mensa Quiz to see if you’re a genius.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest and in a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction, and her first full-length manuscript, "The Trust Game," was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.