People who overcome such limits are living proof that all limitations are nothing more than an illusion.
Read the list to the end to find out whether they did it with extensive training, as part of an experiment, or by accident.
1. Josh Sundquist trained to become a Paralympian after losing his leg.
Josh lost his leg at the age of 10 due to a rare form of bone cancer. The cancer was cured when he was 13, and he started ski training 3 years later. After 6 years of training, he became a member of the US Paralympic ski team. Nowadays, he is a known motivational speaker, best-selling author, and Halloween enthusiast.
2. George Dantzig solved a math problem by accident.
When George Dantzig was a doctoral candidate at the University of California, he arrived late for his statistics class. He found 2 statistical theorems written on a blackboard and mistook them for a homework assignment. He worked out proofs for them without knowing that they were considered “unsolvable.” Both theorems later became part of his dissertation.
3. Jason Padgett became a math genius after a brain injury.
After Jason Padgett was savagely attacked outside a bar, not only did he receive a severe concussion, but he started seeing the world through the lens of geometry. Before the injury, he was a furniture salesman; after the injury, he gained the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts.
According to scientists, Jason is an example of a rare acquired savant syndrome, due to which normal people gain abnormal abilities after a severe disease or injury.
4. Reinhold Messner was the first man to climb Everest without extra oxygen.
Reinhold Messner holds several records. He was the first man to climb all the mountains over 8,000 m without bottled oxygen. His climb of Everest without extra oxygen in 1978 was deemed impossible by doctors and specialists, but he did it nonetheless. He reached his first summit when he was 5 and was also the first person to summit Everest solo.
The danger of climbing at high altitudes without an extra oxygen supply is that the body is forced to work overtime. As a result, more red blood cells are produced, blood flows more slowly, and blood vessels are prone to tightening.
5. Jure Robic is a 5-time winner of a 3,000-mile bike race.
This Slovenian cyclist holds a record for cycling 834.77 km (518.70 mi) nonstop and was known for his extreme endurance (sleeping only one hour a night during week-long races). According to scientists, the secret for this ultra-endurance is that Jure ignored his own brain’s messages about fatigue and only listened to his crew who decided when he rested, when he ate, and how fast he had to go.
6. Herbert Nitsch dived to a depth of 253 m.
Austrian diver Herbert Nitsch has set an impressive 33 world records in freediving disciplines. The most stunning one was his dive to 253.2 m. During this dive, he temporarily fell asleep due to nitrogen narcosis and missed the planned decompression stop. As a result, he suffered from severe decompression sickness. Several years later, against all odds, Herbert is training and deep-freediving again.
7. Chul Soon went from 56 kg (125 lb) to “Asian Arnold.”
Chul Soon remembers that when he was 20 he weighed only 56 kg (125 lb) and was often treated with disrespect as a skinny teenager. He decided to make a change 12 years ago and started exercising by doing 3,000 sit-ups a day. With a careful diet and extensive training, he became the most famous Korean bodybuilder.
8. Randy Gardner went 11 days without sleep.
In 1964, 17-year-old Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes for a science fair project. During this time, his cognitive, sensory, and physical abilities were monitored. On the final day of the experiment, Gardner even participated in a press conference, speaking without stumbling over his words. Surprisingly, he seemed to show no ill effects from his 11 days awake when the experiment was over.
9. Dr. Katsioulis has an IQ of 198, the highest in the world.
Evangelos Katsioulis is a Greek psychiatrist and psychotherapist and the founder of the World Intelligence Network, a society for the highly intelligent. The average score on an IQ test is 100, andmost people range between 85 and 114. Evangelos scored 198.
According to Evangelos, he believes in the power of the human mind, and he hopes to contribute to the facilitation of mind expressions, promote creativity, enhance productivity, and maximize educational outcomes by appreciating people’s potentials.
10. Concetta Antico sees 100x more color than an average human.
Tetrachromacy is a condition caused by a gene variation influencing the retina’s development. While a regular human eye may resolve a maximum of one million colors, Concetta, a tetrachromat and artist, can differentiate up to 100 million colors. About 1% of the world’s population is thought to be tetrachromatic.
Antico has her own gallery in San Diego, California, where she creates vibrant and colorful paintings. She also hopes to develop a training system which could help all tetrachromats realize their potential.