For thousands of years we have made use of our very own superhuman traits to help us survive and thrive across some of the harshest environments in the world.
I started writing this article from an Indigenous perspective here in Australia, but I soon realised that most of these superhuman abilities are common across many Indigenous groups around the world. You’ve probably heard that Indigenous people have some of the oldest living cultures on earth… This didn’t happen by accident. Our superhuman traits have seen us live successfully through ice ages, adapt to tropical, polar, coastal, arid, desert & even alpine regions.
Here are 5 superhuman abilities that some of us are still blessed with today.
5. Super sight – It has been reported that some Indigenous people posses eyesight that is up to 4x better than non-Indigenous people. This means being able to see people, animals and object at greater distances that other people would only be able to see with a pair of binoculars.
4. Speed – You know the phrase, “speed is a weapon” & it is 100% true. Speed is something that helps us to hunt and can be used to our advantage in times of war. You can still see our speed as it is takes us to elite levels of sport. Think of Cathy Freeman, Patty Mills, Patrick Johnson & Lionel Rose who are all known for their electrifying speed.
3. Tracking/Navigation skills – Indigenous tracking and navigation skills are renowned around the world. There have been several high profile stories where Aboriginal trackers prevailed when the use of planes and helicopters failed. Stories of trackers and stories of Indigenous navigators (using the stars) have even been turned into Hollywood films. Tracking skills can assist in finding food, water and tracking down/contacting other tribes. Navigating by the stars enables people to travel across huge distances of open sea where physical landmarks may not be present. This ability might be learned but to witness it in person really feels like a superhuman power.
2. Body temperature regulation – Did you know that a study of Indigenous people in Australia found that we have a natural ability to regulate our body temperature in low temperatures. The study involved both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and only the Indigenous people were able to sleep soundly through the night while exposed to near zero degree temperatures. When it comes to heat tolerance, we haven’t found any solid evidence to say we regulate our body temperatures better than others, but darker skin does decrease our risk of developing skin cancer.
1. Knowledge – We all know the saying, knowledge is power! Indigenous people have survived thanks to knowledge passed down from generation to generation. This knowledge includes history, plants, animals, weather etc. Some people try and criticise us for not storing knowledge in books but who is to say that one way is right or wrong. For example, our knowledge cannot be stolen. Knowledge in books can be lost to fire. Modern data can be wiped by viruses or deleted. Even with the help of technology and super computers, the world struggles to deal with issues that threaten us all. Indigenous people hold the knowledge and wisdom that can protect our future. Sadly, Indigenous knowledge has been silenced by the western world and their hunger for “development” at the expense of our environment.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Let us know what you think in the comments below. The 5 superhuman abilities in this article are not the only ones. Can you think of others?