David

Joined: Aug 10, 2019 Last Active: Jan 22, 2022 iNaturalist

Have you ever found out something about yourself that completely shocked you and made you almost believe you were living in a weird simulation?

Well, I recently found out that I am a full one inch taller than I thought I was for YEARS (long after I stopped growing). It's SUCH a weird feeling! I remember measuring myself in various situations and at different times, and I'd always be the same height. Since measuring myself recently though, I've also repeated the measurement a few times, and I'm consistently one inch taller. I can't entirely explain it. Mind is officially blown.

Anyway, I was thinking about what 3 natural superpowers I'd want. By "natural superpowers", I just mean the kinds of amazing abilities that animals have in the real world. Would I want to be able to echolocate? to have gills? to be able to hold my breath for hours and dive down to ridiculous depths? to turn myself into a tun and survive absurd levels of radiation, dehydration, or the cold? Would I want to have extraordinary hearing? No, I don't think so (particularly the last one- I am already far too bothered by noise as it is, having even more sensitive hearing would be AWFUL)
I think my number one superpower would be a very easy choice- to have pit viper pits. The pits of pit vipers are amazing, and they allow vipers to see thermal radiation with quite a lot of resolution and with very high sensitivity. Of course, the fact that I'm warm-blooded would complicate things, but let's not think about that.
After that first superpower, things get tricky. After much thought, I still don't really know what else I'd pick. If I'm honest, I'd probably pick to have mantis shrimp eyes, since they're able to see UV and polarized light. That would be useful too, although it seems a little narrow-minded. I'm just picking things that would allow me to see more/better. I AM a very visual person though, so I think I'd get the most use out of that.
For my third superpower... I really don't know. On one hand, I'd like to be able to go to places where I can't right now- so being able to dive really deep (like sperm whales or beaked whales), or being able to fly long distances (via powered flight like migrating birds) SOUNDS cool, but on the other hand I'm lazy. The idea of having to work so hard to do it just sounds extremely unappealing to me. Besides, this superpower doesn't come with large size or protection from other animals, so I'd probably get eaten by a colossal squid on my first dive.
Being able to fly mostly through gliding (like vultures and whatnot) does sound better, but I feel like there's a catch somewhere. I GUESS that if we assume I'd be able to handle the cold of the atmosphere, and that wind wouldn't be a major issue for me, and that carrying a limited amount of stuff (like a backpack full of things, including food for oceanic voyages) would still work.... that'd be my third choice. Then again, getting on a plane would be way faster would likely involve far less effort, and one can use a drone to capture video from the air. I don't think being able to fly would add all that much to my life.
So, what WOULD be my actual third choice? I haven't decided yet. There are a lot of neat options, such as being able to photosynthesize, being able to take up DNA from other organisms or from the environment, being able to taste with hands/feet/antennae, etc... but none of them are great choices. I'll have to continue to ponder this question of utmost importance.

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