The human body has been studied by doctors, scientists, anthropologists, biologists, and other experts for centuries. Therefore, it’s not surprising that we have such a comprehensive knowledge of how the human body actually works and what it is capable of.
Naturally, there are certain limitations to our physical abilities and athletic performances. In spite of these limitations, there has been a number of cases of incredible feats performed by humans that go well beyond what most think is even possible.
Take hysterical strength, for example. Also known as superhuman strength, hysterical strength is a display of extreme strength by humans (beyond what is believed to be normal) usually occurring when people are in life and death situations or during so-called excited delirium. In the state of hysterical strength, people are believed to perform some extraordinary feats such as lifting cars with bare hands.
But the feats you are about to see in this post are not just about human strength. People have been known to achieve other incredible things. From a man who tried to climb Mount Everest in shorts and a teenager who survived 18 days without food and water to a man who ate a plane, these are 25 Most Unbelievable Feats Of Humans.
Lifting a car with bare hands
Longest ice bath
Fifty marathons in fifty days
Calling it the 50/50/50, American ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 US states in 50 consecutive days, beginning with the Lewis and Clark Marathon in St. Louis on Sept. 17, 2006, and finishing with the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5, 2006. After finishing the feat, Karnazes decided to run home to San Francisco from New York City.
John Evans, known as the “professional head balancer,” was able to balance a 159-kilogram (352-pound) mini cooper on his head for 33 seconds in 1999. Holder of another 32 world records, he has balanced other things on his head including 101 bricks and 235 pints of beer.
In 1964, Randy Gardner, a high school student in San Diego, California, stayed awake for 264.4 hours (11 days, 24 minutes), setting the world record for sleeplessness. Gardner appeared to have fully recovered from his loss of sleep as no long term psychological or physical effects have been observed on him.
Longest underwater breath-hold
Helicopter pulled with ear
Known as the Human Spider, Alain Robert, a French rock and urban climber, is famous for his free solo climbing and scaling skyscrapers using no climbing equipment. Robert has climbed landmarks including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Human lightning rod
An American park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Roy Cleveland Sullivan was hit by lightning on 7 different occasions between 1942 and 1977 and survived all of them. Known as the “Human Lightning Rod,” he is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being.
Niagara Falls tightrope walk
Holder of 9 Guinness World Records, Nikolas Wallenda, an American acrobat, aerialist, stuntman, high wire artist, and the author is best known as the first person to walk a tightrope stretched directly over Niagara Falls. It took him 2 years to get approval from Canada and the US to perform this incredible feat.
In August 2015, 27-year-old Lazaro “Laso” Schaller leaped into the record books after achieving the highest dive from a diving board and simultaneously the highest cliff jump. The fearless stuntman threw himself feet-first off a 58.8 meter (192 feet, 10 inches) rock face into a pool of water in Switzerland.
Biggest wave surfed
Garrett McNamara, an American professional big wave surfer, and extreme waterman is known for breaking the world record for the largest wave ever surfed. In January 2013, McNamara broke his own previous world records by surfing an estimated 30-meter (100-foot) wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.
Longest survival without food and water
In April 1979, then 18-year-old Andreas Mihavecz from Austria survived an incredible 18 days without food and water in a holding cell where he was put for being a passenger in a crashed car. He had been completely forgotten about by policemen responsible for him. Mihavecz holds the record of surviving the longest without any food or liquids.
Shavarsh Karapetyan, a retired Soviet Armenian swimmer, and World and European champion saved the lives of 20 people in a 1976 trolleybus accident in Yerevan, Armenia. The trolleybus, crowded with 92 passengers, sank into a dam at a depth of 10 meters (33 feet). Karapetyan jumped into the dam, broke through a window and started to pull the passengers out. He managed to save 20 of them before he himself lost consciousness in the murky water.
Greatest weight raised by a human
Paul Anderson, an American weightlifter, strongman, and power-lifter performed the feat of lifting 2844.02 kilograms (6,270 pounds) in a back lift, which the Guinness Book of World Records lists as “the greatest weight ever raised by a human being.” Anderson might have lifted even heavier weights, but only this attempt was officially documented and recorded.
Aircraft pulled by a man
Buried alive for ten days
Survival of the highest fall without a parachute
Vesna Vulovic is a Serbian former flight attendant who holds the distinction of being the world record holder for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160 meters (33,333 ft). Vulovic fell out of a plane that exploded. She suffered multiple fractures, and she was in a coma for 27 days but after that, she fully recovered from her injuries and even continued to fly.
Nicknamed “the Deepest Man On Earth,” Herbert Nitsch, an Austrian free-diver, has held world records in all of the 8 free-diving disciplines. The current free-diving world record champion, he has achieved 69 official World Records, usually surpassing his own previous records. His latest record dates back to June 2012 when he dived to the depth of 253.2 meters (831 feet).
Mountaineer in shorts
In 2009, Wim Hof (the same man who holds the record for the longest ice bath) climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters or 19,341 feet above sea level) wearing just shorts. Two years earlier, he climbed to an altitude of 6.7 kilometers (22,000 feet) on Mount Everest also wearing nothing but shorts and shoes but failed to reach the summit due to a recurring foot injury.
Catching cannon balls with bare hands
Daniel Tammet is an English writer, essayist, translator, and autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematical calculations, sequence memory, and natural language learning. In his mind, Tammet says, each positive integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, color, texture, and feel. He holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes. Tammet also speaks ten languages.
Known as Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat-All”), Michel Lotito was a French entertainer, famous for deliberately consuming indigestible objects. His performances involved the consumption of metal, glass, rubber, and other materials. He disassembled, cut-up, and consumed bicycles, shopping carts, televisions and even a plane Cessna 150. It is estimated that between 1959 and 1997, Lotito had eaten nearly nine tons of metal.