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Super Strength / Real Life

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  • The protein myostatin limits muscle growth in people and other mammals. Rare mutations can suppress the production of myostatin, or reduce the body's sensitivity to it, resulting in heightened muscle development. Scientists bred this condition into "mighty mice", and at least one German child was born with the condition, resulting in double the normal amount of muscle mass. The obvious drawback to this condition is that subjects would starve to death much more quickly during famine than normal because they could not catabolize their muscle mass properly.
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  • The human body normally limits itself in order to prevent damage to itself, as well as to preserve endurance, but it is possible to exceed said limits, especially under the effects of adrenaline. The body does limit itself for a good reason, though - you can easily tear muscles or ligaments by exceeding the safe amount of weight, and it also means that you tire out much more quickly than usual and are diverting your energy from other body systems to your muscles. When under the effects of stress, however, you might do things which your body knows will cause damage in order to save your life (or the life of another). This can make someone appear to be stronger than they are under ordinary circumstances, but research has shown that adrenaline does not, in fact, cause an increase in tetanic contraction - in other words, the maximum strength you have available to you is fixed. The effects of adrenaline are frequently greatly exaggerated for effect or due to lack of understanding of physics - while lifting a car off of a trapped person may seem like it would take an enormous amount of strength, in reality the car is in an unstable position and the weight is distributed across multiple points, meaning that it is more about taking advantage of leverage than raw strength - though it still can require a considerable amount of strength, it does not require a literal ton of force.
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  • Without relying on adrenaline and going with a strict commitment to exercise, if someone has put in the training and effort necessary to be able to bench press 300 or more pounds, they're stronger than 99% of the people on the planet.
  • Super Strength in the original sense of the trope (the superpower before all superpowers, which makes your Kung-Fu superfluous) is encountered in the animal kingdom - in bears. The ordinary bruin is able to do a lot of things while obviously not built for them, like sprinting for a short time as fast as a racehorse, digging with the force of an excavator, raising truck-sized boulders to get its food and beating most other land animals to a pulp if cornered, despite the common "Bear vs. Gorilla" forum babbles. Beyond all shortcomings of its supposed heavy and unwieldy ursine build, it all plays down to insane muscle power.
    • Bears are just one animal with huge strength: elephants have been used in heavy-duty construction work when lifting machines aren't the most practical.
    • The rhino is also strong enough to do damage to construction machines without much effort...and good luck trying to stop an angry one from impaling you on its horn.
      • There is an absolutely huge number of super strong animals. For example; The eagle can fly away while carrying something 4 times its size. Oxen aren't easily exhausted by things that weigh 900kg, even when pulling it across rugged terrain. Tigers can carry things that weigh 55kg up a tree. A single gorilla can lift the weight of 30 average sized humans. Anacondas can squeeze the life out of animals that weigh as much as they do.
  • The Rhinoceros Beetle is among the strongest animals for its size, being able to lift things that are 850 times heavier than it is without exhausting itself.
    • Research proves that the Horned Dung Beetle is even stronger, as it can lift 1,141 times its own body weight.
  • Dinosaurs included some of the largest and strongest animals to ever exist. Sauropods were more like elephants, only 5 to 6 times larger, with the Brachiosaurids weighing over 50 tons and Theropods such as Tyrannosaurs and Allosaurs put bears to shame.
  • Our sibling species or subspecies the Neanderthalers were a group of people that had physically enduring and brutal lives. This made their muscles unusually strong on average and is one reason why they are thought to have retained a more or less stagnant tool culture, with using thrusting spears instead of arrows and spear throwers. Indeed, it is thought that their hand dexterity was well enough they could crush stone.
  • Servants of God/Venerables/Blesseds/Saints of the Catholic Church are usually recognized for healing injured or ill people through their intercessions. One of the very few exceptions is the apparent miracle that allowed the beatification of the Croatian nun/Order founder Mother Marija Petkovic: allegedly, her intercession gave a Peruvian Navy lieutenant the physical strength he needed to open a hatch against several thousands of pounds of water to save his fellow sailors during the sinking of the submarine they worked in. Said lieutenant would claim that he had been praying to Mother Petkovic right before pulling this physically impossible display of strength.


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