9 Genetic Mutations That Can Give You ‘Superpowers’

7. Super speed

Sticking with our Incredibles theme Dash’s super speed may not be too far away from reality. Okay, so we’re not exactly talking faster-than-the-speed-of-light kind of fast, but some humans can be born with a natural aptitude for sprinting. Mutations in the gene ACTN3 cause the production of the protein alpha-actinin-3. This protein is responsible for the fast-twitch muscle fibers that allow us to run, meaning that increased amounts of it would lead to more explosive bursts of muscle power.

Studies have shown that Olympians like Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps probably have higher-than-average levels of this proteins. And this isn’t only genetic mutation that can make an individual more suited for athletic success. Finnish skiing champion, Eero Mantyranta, who won seven Winter Olympic medals in the 60s and 70s was found to have a rare mutation in the erythropoietin receptor gene. What this basically meant was that he had an unusual ability to carry 50% more oxygen in his bloodstream. This made him naturally mire suited to endurance competition.