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.
Mind Control (AKA: Telepathy, Part 2)
It doesn’t matter what people are thinking if you can just tell them what to think. This might sound good, but unfortunately it can’t possibly end well. Even if you’re trying to be good, you’re walking around with a human “cheat button,” and eventually a situation will convince you to use it.
Without getting into the psychology behind it, for most people, being able to get away with immoral things without any real consequences is addictive. The same principle applies to a getting a great deal of reward for little effort. This pattern consistently leads to corruption and eventual misery as a result.
Eventually, people will also start to ask questions when things don’t add up around you. Once people start asking questions, they’re coming after you for answers. How many minds do you think you can control at once?
The ability to see the future is tricky because it depends on the nature of time and what hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately, regardless of how time works, it’s going to suck for you.
Assuming that time is fluid and constructed on the actions of the present, every time you see something, you have to choose to let it happen, or take action to change it. If you change it, the potentially horrible butterfly effect is your fault, and there’s no taking it back. There’s a good chance you’ll accidentally be responsible for the horrible and senseless deaths of millions.
Assuming that time is fixed and will self-correct is, by far, the quicker road to insanity. At some point, you’re going to see the horrible death of yourself, somebody you care about, or maybe humanity as a whole, and you won’t be able to do a damn thing about it.
Psychometry is the lesser-known power to see the history of any object by touching it – super useful in certain instances and lower-key than many other powers on this list.
Unfortunately the downside is pretty obvious: you see the history of whatever you touch. Think about all the different things, and people, you might touch throughout the day. Now think about all the places those things or people have been, and what they’ve experienced. Intimacy would be… a major exercise in focus and open-mindedness. And if you ever want to focus on anything, ever again, I suggest you invest in a very comfortable pair of gloves.
Empathy is a popular subject these days. But we’re not talking about normal empathy; we’re talking about super empathy (Star Trek fans might remember Deanna Troy!) Imagine the ability to literally feel and understand the emotions of anyone around you, no matter how good they are at hiding it.
This might sound like a good “diet” version of telepathy. However, empathy means you are going to feel what the people around you are feeling. All. The. Time. When somebody nearby starts having a panic attack, you get to feel it. A decade-long relationship just ended? Enjoy the second-hand heartache. Often you won’t even know where it’s coming from, you’ll just be ridiculously happy or in an absolute rage with zero explanation. Good luck explaining that to your therapist.
Humans are limited creatures. In comparison to a large majority of the animal kingdom, people see, hear, and smell only a small percentage of what’s out there. Evolution has limited your senses for a reason. If any one sense were super enhanced, you would have trouble, but if all of them were enhanced? Game over.
As human eyes see less than one percent of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, seeing much more than that could flood your vision, very possibly rendering you effectively blind.
Your ears are no different. While it might be nice to know what the people in the next room are saying about you, good luck making that out with the ridiculous amazing amount of ambient noise your enhanced ears pick up.
Smell might be the worst of all. Just imagine the last time you smelled somebody with an obnoxious amount of cheap body spray on and amplify that ten times. That smell of unadulterated desperation will still be better than when you are near a port-a-potty.