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.
Worthy of its own category, one of the most powerful and dangerous of elemental control powers is the ability to control the earth itself. Unfortunately and obviously, you’re probably going to break the planet. With this power, you have the ability to shift the world’s tectonic plates. Sure, that seems far-fetched, but anything you do to affect the lithosphere (the outermost layer of Earth’s crust) has the potential the throw off that entire layer. That could trigger anything from minor tremors, to volcanoes, to earthquakes that would literally drop parts of the world as we know it into the ocean.
This category covers everything from optic blasts, to heat vision, to firing lasers from your hands (or anywhere else). These powers carry some of the most obvious downsides. First of all, where is this energy coming from? It’s possible you’re draining it from something that needs it (like, say, the unborn future of humanity?) If that’s not the case, and you’re producing it yourself, you probably can’t hold an infinite amount, meaning at some point you have to fire off your powers, or you risk either exploding or random, involuntary energy projection. (Like vomiting, but with potentially world-ending lasers.) If said lasers are strong enough, you might literally bi-sect the planet, resulting in your death along with the extinction of every species on earth. Best not to play with energy.
Often considered the ultimate prize, what would you do if you knew you had all the time in the world? Let’s look at a few of the major drawbacks to living forever in various forms. For instance, if you can get sick, and you contract a chronic disease, you’ll have to live with that forever (or at least until the distant future can cure it).
A truly immortal life is a life of constantly waiting for something new, and eventually new things are going to become pretty rare. Everyday human life will cease to have meaning as you age well past a normal lifespan, and your brain’s tendency to measure time relative to how long you’ve lived will make years go by like days. Eventually, if you are truly indestructible, you’ll end up drifting alone in space long after earth has been destroyed. The ultimate eventuality is, you will be alone, drifting, completely insane and trapped in this plane of existence until the end of time.
Telekinesis is the ultimate physical expression of super powers. Officially this is the ability to move objects with your mind, but functionally, were you to learn how to move molecules with your mind, the possibilities would be near limitless. Or they would be, except that you are most certainly not limitless.
Telekinesis demands a great deal of willpower and discipline to keep yourself in check, but instead it will most likely make you incredibly lazy. Without mental discipline, you’re also very likely to lose your temper and do something stupid. When your mind can throw a car 100 yards without much effort, imagine what it could do to person in a moment of rage.
This power is also one of the most overt and obvious powers on the list based on its nature. The ultimate power would make you the ultimate target.
Power Mimicry / Absorbtion
Rather then one power, why not have all the powers. Like a sponge, every time you came in contact with a new superhuman, BAM! New power! It’s like genetic Christmas. There may be limitations, like one power at a time, or you might be unbelievably powerful and hold every ability you’ve been able to absorb at the same time! This is the only real possibility that transcends all other powers. Eventually, you would be without weakness, but you would also probably be the end of the world and likely the universe as we know it.
Take every single downside listed above, and then stack them. After that, factor in the fact that you’re probably, accidentally, picking up all sorts of different versions of said powers and you have no idea how to use them properly. With individual powers, you might have a chance to explore or figure them out before you accidentally murder your family or level a city. But if you’re using other people’s powers without even knowing what powers you have, the chances of a mistake increase exponentially.