Almost every kid dreams of being a superhero with superpowers, and some of us never grow out of that. Especially in these days of huge-budget comic book movies, the chances to identify with those characters who have great power and (hopefully) great responsibility are endless.
However, the powers that these characters possess aren’t the only unreal aspects of the media they inhabit; their entire universe is built to support and contain these powers. Even the advertised “realistic” depictions like the classic Watchmen or the ill-fated TV series Heroes ask you to suspend a great deal of belief about their world.
While it’s only natural to dream of having the amazing abilities that make many superheroes and supervillans…well…super, we usually don’t think about the implications that having those powers would carry in a world like ours. Here are 25 Superpowers That Would Actually Be Super Inconvenient.
The major problem with becoming someone else, even for a short time, is that there’s a major psychological risk involved in losing your self-identity. Pathological liars often lose their sense of self and eventually break down because they realize they don’t know themselves. Since literally becoming other people is the ultimate manifestation of those lies, the possibility of psychological impact is basically guaranteed.
There’s also the question of what might possibly happen on a molecular level. Will you ever truly 100% be yourself again or will shape shifting have an impact on your DNA?
If changing into other humans is too boring for you, the variety of animal forms holds a lot more potential.
The first major issue is whether or not you need to trigger your return to your previous form. When you assume the form of an animal, you’re also assuming its brain size. Even if we give you the benefit of the doubt in terms of being able to hold on to an objective, remembering something as complex as triggering your return to human form is going to be beyond pretty much anything other than maybe a gorilla, dolphin, elephant, or golden retriever (because you’re a goood dog!)
Should you automatically revert after a certain amount of time, this presents its own problem. Realistically, your clothing isn’t going to shift with you, and now you’re on a time limit, so you better be fairly aware of the clock or at the very least you’re going to be pretty embarrassed.
Animal Communication / Telepathy
Rather than be the animal, perhaps it’s best to just control the animals! You can be one with nature and harness the power of your animal friends.
While it might be a simple matter to convince them to do what you ask initially, they have powerful instincts and lack the human ability to reason past them. So while asking that tiger to not maul you and allow you to ride it might go okay initially, if it decides it’s hungry, or you’re threatening it’s cub, or that it’s just feeling a little frisky, it only takes about 0.02 seconds for the tiger to maul you.
Mind control is probably worse. While asking might give you the chance to train and co-exist for an extended amount of time, directly mind controlling an animal (or several) is going to leave them very, very confused, and therefore probably scared, which also means aggressive. So when your power wears off, you better be sure you’re nowhere near them or you’ve got a barrier between you.
Weather Control (AKA: Atmokinesis)
Never worry about a rainy day again! By controlling local weather patterns you can summon lightning to strike down (and hopefully not kill) criminals, while making sure you have the perfect beach weather the next day. What could go wrong?
Frankly? Everything. You’re potentially a walking natural disaster. The issue is that the world’s weather patterns are connected, and the system is pretty sensitive. So while it seems harmless enough to clear a circle of sunshine above your beach, you’ve just redirected and thrown off all the weather patterns in your area (at least.)
That weather that you knocked off-course could potentially produce very unusual, (and likely violent) conditions in places that don’t normally see them. All of a sudden there could be tornados, floods, giant hail, mudslides, blizzards, lightning storms, and possibly even hurricanes, all of which can not only kill countless people, but also damage entire ecosystems as a result of unnatural weather. Billions in property damage and countless lives lost… all because you wanted your tan.
Rather than ruin the world’s climate, how about a little more localized control. Pyrokinesis (fire), Cryokinesis (cold), Electrokinesis (electricity), and Hydrokinesis (water) are some of the most commonly depicted powers and while they all come with benefits, they also come with serious downsides.
Your Pyrokinesis could create the next great forest fire or burn down a town; Cyrokinesis could cause you to damage or kill anyone or anything around you, including yourself; Electrokinesis would allow you to fry expensive electronics or zap your entire city temporarily back to the dark ages; Hydrokinesis is actually the most dangerous of this group in that you could conceivable effect tides, and extracting water from underground to a place that is normally dry could have a number of adverse effects from causing unusual drought elsewhere, to throwing off the entire local ecosystem.