There are many “superpowers” in the world.
57-year-old Peggy Moylan is a chemist with the Southern California Metropolitan Water Authority. He has been working in the odor hierarchy analysis team for 28 years. Her company provides 5.7 billion liters of premium to 19 million people every day. During most of her working hours, she analyzes water quality with professional instruments such as meteorological chromatographs and mass spectrometers. However, her work does not rely solely on these instruments. In fact, every once in a while, Moylan has to report to a special laboratory where the air is pressurized and filtered to remove all foreign odors. It is also to analyze water quality, but she uses a completely different set of equipment there: nose and tongue.
Moylan can smell extremely low-concentration odors in the water, even more accurate than professional instruments. At the end of 2003, she detected a smoke smell in the water in the system, but the instrument did not detect it. After using more precise instrument analysis, the researchers discovered that the water was contaminated by bush fire waste. A year and a half later, a disgusting oily smell wafted from the water of a water treatment plant in the area. When the instrument could not identify its source, Moylan and a colleague conducted an on-site investigation. They sniffed around the water plant like detective dogs until Moylan smelled the oil and traced the source: a new polymer used by a contractor to remove solid impurities in the water.
Moylan is not the only person in the world with “superpowers.” Every day, there are many people around the world who have unusually keen senses like her, who successfully detect many smells, sounds and images that ordinary people can’t perceive like magic. They are the owners of “superpowers”.
”Ears” of the bitter experience of
Luis罗萨斯盖恩runs a consulting firm in Miami, he was so acute hearing prevented a robbery might occur.
One night in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina caused a local power outage, Rosas Gain’s neighbor was operating a generator to provide backup power. Despite the loud noise from the generator, Rosas Gain still heard footsteps on the lawn outside his bedroom window. He drove away the thief who tried to steal oil from the generator.
However, Rosas Gain is not always considered a hero. When he was in school, he had a hearing test. The nurse gave him the evaluation: a weird person with dog hearing. One of the items in that test was to listen to a tone that gradually increased until it was far beyond the normal hearing range. Rosas Gain could hear the tone until the instrument stopped, and he believed that the tone did not continue to rise until the end. The nurse insisted that he was imagining sound, but the fact is that his hearing is not within the normal range.
Rosas Gain said that he can know what’s wrong with the computer by listening to some time, and he can hear conversations in several rooms through the door. “It’s really annoying.” His wife Wendy said, “I can’t keep any secrets. For years, he has been able to know in advance what a birthday gift is every time.”
People with surprisingly good hearing like this are prone to suffering. A syndrome called “hyperacusis”, which makes normal sound levels unbearable. Some people even need to wear earmuffs or earplugs because everyday sounds are uncomfortable for them.
Dan Melkaw is like that. He suffered from this hyperacusis at the end of 1991. At the age of 42, he was a funeral director and his hearing was at a normal level. But suddenly, listening to the phone, watching TV, and even hearing my own voice became unbearable. “At the end of the day, it feels like someone is pouring sulfuric acid into my ears. I can’t even bear the children talking softly to me.”
Melcor’s hearing ability limit was determined to be minus 15 decibels. The decibel meter is on a logarithmic scale, which means that an increase of 10 decibels equals the sound level multiplied by 10. Zero decibel represents the lowest sound level that humans can hear, but it is not absolute silence.
In 1994, McCaw discovered an effective treatment. He spends 6 hours a day listening to the “noise” that mixes various audio frequencies in daily life, allowing his ears to adapt to them again. Now his life is relatively normal, although his hearing is still very sensitive, he still needs to wear earplugs when he is expected to encounter noise.
”Clairvoyance” can be practiced
Ophthalmologists have mastered what a person with “normal” vision can see at 20 feet (about 6 meters). Having 20/20 vision means that when you stand 20 feet away from the eye chart, you can see what a “normal” person can see at this distance. In other words, your vision is “normal.”
If your vision is 20/40, you must be at 20 feet to see what others have seen at 40 feet. In the United States, vision less than 20/200 can be considered blind. There are also higher than normal eyesight. People with 20/10 eyesight can see at 20 feet what others can see when standing at 10 feet.
Birds such as eagles and owls that prey on food have keen eyesight far beyond that of humans. Eagle eyes are much smaller than human eyes, but they are densely packed with sensors, namely cones. This gives eagles 8 times higher vision than humans, up to 20/2. The upper limit of human vision is about 20/8.
When you have a pair of glasses on your nose that become flowery when it touches water vapor, the vision of a group of people has approached the human limit. Colonel Dave Tanzer is the director of the Department of Refractive Surgery at the San Diego Naval Medical Center. In 2003, he conducted a study of 141 naval pilots stationed on four aircraft carriers, and the results showed that their average vision was 20/12.5, and one-fifth of them even reached 20/10, their low contrast and Low-brightness vision is also significantly better than ordinary people. Colonel Mark Hubbard, the deputy flight commander at Lemoore Naval Air Station, is one of this group of pilots with brilliant eyesight. During his 24 years as a fighter pilot, he could see the smallest row on the eye chart most of the time. One day in April 2003, Hubbard led a team of Hornet fighter jets on an unlit night mission over Iraq. Suddenly, he found two dim lights through the night vision goggles. They looked a bit wrong-the two lights were separated and became larger and larger as the distance got closer. Hubbard suddenly realized that this “light” should be a feathery exhaust from a huge bomber, and they were rushing towards it at a speed of several hundred kilometers per hour.
Hubbard immediately ordered his three wingman pilots to descend, and jerked the control lever of the plane forward. Because of this sudden movement, he floated up and hit his head hard on the canopy of the plane, but he avoided the bomber and got his life back.
There are clear signs that people with extraordinary eyesight can exercise their vision like muscles, so they can see farther and more accurately. Daphne Belvia is a brain and cognitive science expert at the University of Rochester, New York. Her recent research shows that playing action video games can significantly improve people’s low-contrast vision and improve their ability to pick things from chaotic backgrounds. The improvement is probably due to the improved function of the visual cortex.
Acumen caused by solitude
sensitive nose and tongue are likely to help you finding a good job in the perfume and food industries, some people even estimate the price of their sense of taste and smell. The insurance company valued the taste buds of Hungarian food critic Egon Rone at US$409,000, while the smell of the world’s number one taster and American Robert Parker was worth US$1 million.
When the brewer Leah Gott heard that a woman had lost her sense of smell after a car accident, he insured his nose for $7 million. “The sense of smell is my main tool for blending wine.” said Gott, who owns the Lagbourg winery in Bordeaux, France. Before the insurance company was willing to accept the policy, Gott took a test to prove his sharpness of smell.
But abnormal talents can also bring pain. Scientific research has found that people with autism may have highly sensitive feelings.
61-year-old Temple Grandin is a professor of zoology at Colorado State University. In the 1950s, she was diagnosed with autism and wrote a lot of articles about autism. Grandin said that he has highly sensitive hearing, touch, and vision. High-pitched sounds, such as the sound of a smoke alarm, are like “a dentist’s drill has gotten a nerve.” It pains her, and the rough clothes feel like rubbing. Sand her skin with coarse sandpaper. She believes that differences in brain structure—especially the overgrowth of neurons in the back of the brain where the visual cortex is located—may be the cause of hypersensitivity in people with autism.
Take Irene Parker, an autistic patient. She likes soft, fluffy clothes. If the clothes are a little tight, she will immediately change them because it will make her uncomfortable and intolerable. Recently, Parker founded a business that sells pressurized blankets to people who suffer from similar sensory overload. This blanket is specially designed, each weighing 13.5 kg, and the fabric is sewn with plastic beads to help users reduce the burden on the senses and promote peaceful sleep.
Casey Grover is a massage therapist in Santa Barbara, California. She uses her super sensitive touch to relieve all kinds of pain for others-she can feel the difference between healthy and unhealthy body tissue between her fingers. Grover described the “chain reaction point” of muscle cramps as half-cooked spaghetti. But like Parker, she can sometimes be too sensitive, and touching her skin will make her feel uncomfortable and crazy. “I saw the fly on other people’s legs, but they didn’t feel it at all. I would think, how can they not drive it away?” But overall, Grover thinks that her sensitivity brings more benefits Over burden. “If I can help others to relieve their pain, that would be the best return.”
There are many “superpowers” in the world.