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Blind Boy with Echolocation Vision and Other People with Real Superpowers Science Can’t Yet Explain

Seeing Like a Bat
When Ben Underwood was just three years old, he lost his sight completely due to an aggressive form of cancer. However, the boy managed just fine without a cane or a guide dog because he acquired a unique human gift – echolocation.
He emitted sharp clicking sounds with his mouth and picked up the echoes of these clicks with his ears, bouncing off obstacles. This is similar to how bats navigate in the dark.
Ben mastered this miraculous ability by the age of four, a year after he went completely blind, much to the amazement of his mother. It happened when they were driving in a car, and the boy asked what the large building next to the road was. It turns out he caught the echo returning from his click and somehow accurately determined that there was a very large structure nearby.
Doctors attempted to study Ben’s super ability, but only speculated that he developed super hearing because he lost his sight very early.
Unfortunately, Ben passed away at the age of just 16 from recurrent cancer, and scientists were unable to fully study his echolocation.
By adolescence, he had mastered this ability so well that Ben’s younger brother, born after he became blind, didn’t know for a long time that his brother was blind because he navigated space so well and even played basketball.
Since then, scientists have conducted several experiments with echolocation with other blind individuals and concluded that such abilities are quite real and that people can indeed “to some extent” master echolocation with proper training.
Although, overall, science is still unable to adequately explain such superpowers. Below are several similar phenomena claimed to be real, but explaining them from the standpoint of official science is still very difficult.

Natalya Demkina’s Phenomenon
Russian Natalya Demkina gained fame in the early 2000s as the “X-ray girl” in the media. It was claimed that she could see “inside bodies,” find the cause of illness, and make accurate diagnoses. According to her, as soon as she looks at a person, she sees what is inside their body.
“I have, as it were, two visions. I can switch at any moment… Switching like this doesn’t give me any trouble; it’s enough just to think about it,” Natalya, who was 17 at the time, would say.
Journalists reported that Natalya diagnosed many people, and her diagnoses were much more accurate than those made with medical equipment.
In 2004, at the initiative of the Discovery Channel, a large-scale experiment was conducted to test Demkina’s superpowers, with experienced Western doctors and professors invited. During the experiment, Natalya accurately diagnosed four out of seven patients.
Some considered such a result a complete failure and evidence that Demkina had no superpowers. However, success in four out of seven cases is undoubtedly more than just chance.
Natalya herself commented on the results of the experiment, saying it was an unusually challenging test for her, as she had never before evaluated the condition of seven people at once, and also that she felt a “hostile psychological atmosphere.”
After finishing school, Demkina went to study at the Moscow State Medical and Dental University, believing that her abilities would help her become a good doctor. Since 2006, she has been working at the Special Diagnostics Center in Moscow, and there has been no reliable information about her activities in the media since then.

The Man Who Hasn’t Eaten or Drunk for Over 70 Years

Indian Prahlad Jani, now revered as a Hindu saint, gained media attention 20 years ago when he claimed to have lived without food or water for over 70 years.
According to him, the only water his body absorbed was moisture from his nasal passages that trickled down his throat. Numerous witnesses confirmed that indeed, the Indian man consumed no food or water, occasionally rinsing his throat but spitting out the water.
In 2010, Prahlad Jani underwent an experiment at Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad, a city in western India. There, he was under strict observation for 15 days, and the staff were amazed to witness firsthand that he consumed nothing and drank nothing throughout this time. Moreover, he did not use the bathroom at all.
At the time of the experiment, Prahlad was 82 years old. He lived another 10 years, passing away in May 2020 at the age of 91, still maintaining that he did not consume any food or water until his death.
Prahlad Jani’s phenomenon baffled doctors. Some speculated that the Indian man skillfully concealed moments of eating and drinking, and that he used hidden places to relieve himself. Others believed that these were indeed some kind of superhuman abilities accessible to yogis.

The Man Who Hasn’t Slept for 50 Years

In 2023, journalists wrote about 81-year-old Vietnamese farmer named Tai Ngoc, who claimed he had not slept for half a century and did not even feel tiredness.
The farmer explained that due to his constant insomnia, he worked both during the day and at night, and that he could force himself to nap for an hour or two only if he drank a lot of rice wine. But otherwise, he managed perfectly well without sleep.
“I envy seeing others sleep. On moonlit nights, I usually go out and work in the fields, plowing or tilling the land because sitting idle is unbearable for me. And it’s strange that I work twice as much as others, but I don’t become rich,” the farmer lamented.
Vietnamese journalists learned about Ngoc’s phenomenon back in 2007, but after last year’s publications in the global media about him, the whole world learned about him, and many wanted to produce shows about him and his phenomenal insomnia. However, Ngoc only gave an interview to videoblogger Drew Binsky and refused all other offers.
Presumably, Ngoc’s strange insomnia was related to the Vietnam War, during which he experienced severe stress, as well as an injury to his hand.

Ice Doesn’t Bother Him

In the Soviet Union, Porfiry Ivanov was known for walking barefoot in the cold and in his underwear, claiming that the cold didn’t bother him. Nowadays, people are amazed by 64-year-old Dutchman Wim Hof, who once stood in a container filled with ice for almost two hours.
Hof claims to have a record tolerance for low temperatures, and prolonged exposure to icy water or snow doesn’t lead to any unpleasant consequences for his body.
Hof climbed the icy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and ran a marathon barefoot in the snow. He developed his own method of cold adaptation, claiming that it helps to become healthier, happier, and stronger.
According to him, one needs to master deep breathing and focused thinking, and then prolonged immersion in icy water will only bring benefits. One needs to clear their mind and “think absolutely about nothing,” and then no cold will be scary.
On his 63rd birthday, he spent 63 minutes in icy water, stating that such a lifestyle helped him get rid of stress and all illnesses.
“To be honest, when I’m in icy water, I’m having fun. I have complete control over my body, and I like it. Sometimes I challenge myself, but mostly a couple of minutes of immersion in icy water a day is enough to fully adapt to the cardiovascular system’s loads.”

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