Comic book fans are a diverse bunch, but they all have one dream in common: To develop superpowers, then use them to fight off a zombie uprising. But you don't have to look in the pages of comics to find amazing super abilities. Many real-world animals have powers that would make even Superman jealous.
Powers such as:
You read that correctly. There is a jellyfish that, after mating, reverts back to its juvenile form. By repeating this process, scientists believe that Turritopsis nutricula can live indefinitely.
One can only imagine having that superpower inside of oneself. A person could become Jellyfish Man, who grows old only to become a baby again. Or maybe we would call him Buys-a-Lot-of-Diapers Man.
Supervillain With This Power: Vandal Savage
Immortal, Vandal Savage has been screwing with brutality since the beginning of history. Like Forrest Gump, Vandal Savage is fond of inserting himself into historical moments. Hey, you get really bored after 10,000 years.
Animal: Sea Cucumber
If you're like us, every time you get locked out of your house you try to turn into a liquid to slip under the door. We're not going to say this totally doesn't work, because we got our toe stuck under the jamb one time.
However, the sea cucumber is a master of turning its body into a giant puddle. It can turn its tissue from solid into liquid, allowing it to slip into cracks in rocks that dot the sea bed.
An interesting, not-as-super side power of the sea cucumber is the ability to eject its internal organs. Regenerating them later, we can only imagine the sea cucumber does this as some sort of party trick.
Supervillain With This Power: Hydro Man
When he's not getting sued by Aquaman's lawyers for trademark infringement, Hydro Man spends his time turning into liquid. Funny how when an animal has this power, it's totally awesome, but when a comic book character has it, it's kinda lame.
Animal: Wood Frog
Note that we aren't talking about the ability to freeze another animal's blood, which would be too metal for words (except the word "metal"). The wood frog hibernates by digging into the cold frozen turf found in much of North America. To handle the intense cold, the wood frog freezes its own blood. The frog's behavior epitomizes the phrase "deal with it."
Superhero With This Power: Iceman
Iceman has the not-at-all-ironic ability to turn himself into ice. Great for looking cool on comic book pages. Iceman gets invited to a lot of frat parties ("Hey, Iceman! We need you to come sit on the keg!").
Animal: Boa Constrictor
You know how the Predator would use that infrared heat detector thing to find and kill prey? Yeah, that's pretty much what a boa constrictor does, with all of the brutality of a Predator kill. If you are ever lost in the jungles of South America at night (highly recommended for honeymooners), know that there is a monstrous snake out there slithering toward you. It knows exactly where you are and wants nothing more than to crush you in the dark. If you're lucky. If you're not lucky, you get bitten to death.
Superhero With This Power: Dr. Mid-Nite
This hero, who obviously didn't get his doctorate in spelling, has the ability to see perfectly in the dark. Unfortunately, Dr. Mid-Nite is blind when there is light, so it's really not a good superpower. Especially because a battle between Mid-Nite and a boa constrictor wouldn't be that fun to watch, because it would be pitch black.
Poison Gas Clouds
Animal: Dragon Millipede
The clear leaders in the game of "Hey, let's try to look as freaky as possible so that people won't wanna touch us," dragon millipedes have an advanced system of defense. As mentioned, they can shoot a cloud of hydrogen cyanide. Native to the wetlands of Laos, this millipede is among many newly discovered species in this scientifically underexplored region.
Supervillain With This Power: Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy exudes more toxins than Lindsay Lohan in rehab. She breeds airborne floral poisons that she can use for a variety of sinister purposes, many of which are oddly sexual. Poison Ivy was modeled after Bettie Page. This explains why Poison Ivy is always showing more skin-and-leaves than Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The evidence that dogs can see the future is present, but heavily debated. Anyone who's ever owned a dog knows that they often have the uncanny ability to predict when their owners can come home. Studies have been conducted that find that dogs can in fact anticipate this event pretty accurately. Whether this is due to precognition or another ability we simply cannot sense, is quite debatable. One way or another, though, this is a superpower that dogs are simply not utilizing to its fullest.
Supervillain With This Power: Destiny
Destiny is a precog who wrote a whole bunch of Nostradamus-like stuff in a book. Whether she accurately wrote down the times when her owner would return home is debatable. What's also debatable is calling her a supervillain: Although she was a pain in the X-Men's side, she also worked to prevent the extreme disasters she foresaw.
Here's a fun fact: If you're pregnant, many exotic resorts will not let you swim with their dolphins. Why is this? Well, not only is swimming with dolphins pretty vigorous activity, also dolphins love pregnant women. Dolphins communicate with ultrasound, so they can hear the second heartbeat coming from a gestating woman's belly. Having pregnancy in their own species, dolphins know what that heartbeat means, and they find it fascinating. What was not found fascinating was our idea for a pregnancy test that involved jumping into a tank of dolphins at the local pharmacy.
Superhero With This Power: Banshee
Banshee can attack foes with his sonic scream. Pretty much anything using sound waves is Banshee's superpower: He can travel at the speed of sound and create sonic barriers. Frankly, all we really need him to do is yell at our girlfriends to find out if they're pregnant.
Shooting Boiling Hot Water
Animal: Pistol Shrimp
"Boiling hot water" might be the understatement of the year. The pistol shrimp is able to blast out a stream of water that is almost as hot as the sun! The shrimp uses this offensively to hunt fish.
Another amazing power of this animal is the ability to create 200+ decibel sounds. This is so loud that the shrimp effectively uses it to stun fish. When you're so hard that you can kill a man just by shouting at him, come talk to us.
Superhero With This Power: Aquaman
Finding that "talking to dolphins" wasn't the crime-stopping superpower it was touted to be, Aquaman's writers decided to spice him up a bit. He lost his hand, and eventually had it replaced by a magical hand-made-of-water, given to him by the Lady of the Lake. We have a lot of problems with that last sentence, too. Aquaman's "magic hands," in addition to inspiring Heart lyrics, could shoot boiling-hot jets of water. Finally, Aquaman had found an audience that enjoyed his abilities: British people at teatime.
It's thrilling to think that, if evolution brought these amazing abilities to animals, we could one day possess these powers. That would be incredible, except for the part where we'd always be emitting poison clouds of gas.