30 Animals With the Most Amazing Superpowers
Most people love the extraordinary, which is why we crave science-fiction stories that stretch our imaginations and cause us to question the realities that we know. But we spend so much time being amazed by fictional superheroes, worlds of the future and anything fantasy that we ignore the real but astonishing things in the animal kingdom.
Some animals and insects have powers that rival those of made-up superheroes. Many of the surprising gifts animals have are defensive, and they’re not something you want to experience firsthand. If something is dangerous to another animal, the chances are high they’re dangerous for you, but that doesn’t take away how impressive these abilities are, nor should it destroy any astonishment.
Nature deserves credit for the creative ways it protects and takes care of those in the animal kingdom. Read on to learn about some of these mind-blowing animal superpowers and some of the superheroes and villains they may have inspired.
Scientific name: Addax nasomaculatus
Amazing superpower: The color of the addax antelope coat changes from season to season, which helps them adjust to the weather. For the hot days of summer, their coat is white to reflect the scorching heat of the Sahara sun. In the cooler months, their fur turns gray-brown to hold in the heat and help keep them warm.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Beast Boy
Beast Boy may not be the most famous of superheroes, but if you’re a fan of“The Doom Patrol” and “Teen Titans,” you may be familiar with his work.
Beast Boy can turn into any animal or organism. His change can happen to protect himself, help someone else or fight boredom.
Alpine Ibex Mountain Goats
Scientific name: Capra ibex
Amazing superpower: The Alpine Ibex mountain goats can climb walls. You’ll probably never get to witness their amazing power, though, as they live along the snow line, where it’s very steep and rocky. Their preferred habitat could make even the most experienced mountain climber have second thoughts about attempting to scale the very rough terrain.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Spiderman
Spiderman can climb anything, including walls and ceilings. What’s even more incredible, Spiderman can stick to the surface as well.
If he’s on the ceiling trying to overhear a conversation between villains, he doesn’t have to worry about losing his grip and falling on them.
Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus
Amazing superpower: Cheetahs run incredibly fast and are known to be one the fastest land animals. You don’t want to try to outrun a cheetah, as they’re able to run anywhere from 50-80 mph, and they’d overtake you in a split second.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Flash
Flash can run faster than the speed of light. And if superhuman speed was enough, Flash also has boosted stamina, reflexes, agility and perception.
Stopping a moving bullet flying as it flies toward him is no problem.
Scientific name: Sepia officinalis
Amazing superpower: It’s hard to determine the primary superpower of the cuttlefish. Is it that they’re masters of camouflage, or is it their ability to shapeshift that makes them so good at camouflage?
They can alter their bodies to look like any aquatic shape. Is that coral over there or a cuttlefish making themselves look like coral? Cuttlefish have pigment-containing sacs in their skin to add to the illusion, which they can control and change colors at a moment’s notice.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Plastic Man
Plastic Man can twist and turn his body into whatever form he wants.
He can stretch his body and skin until it becomes as flat as a pancake or pull it in and make it so small that he can be picked up and put in a box.
Scientific name: Desmoxytes purpurosea
Amazing superpower: When dragon millipedes feel threatened, they’ll emit a cloud of hydrogen cyanide. Enjoy the toasted-almond scent as it may burn, blister or stain your skin. Although cyanide is lethal to small animals and birds, the dragon millipedes are completely immune.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Scarecrow
In Gotham City, one of Batman’s foes is the Scarecrow. Scarecrow’s weapon of choice is a fear gas.
The fear gas doesn’t kill, but it does cause super intense, long-lasting psychological trauma by provoking different parts of the brain.
Scientific name: Electrophorus
Amazing superpower: They’re referred to as eels, but they’re actually knife fish. The inability to categorize them isn’t their superpower, though — it’s that they can discharge a jolt of electricity. They can transmit a shock between 600 and 800 volts, which may not kill a human but will knock them out, and if the human is in the water when it happens, that shock could lead to them drowning.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Black Lightning
Many superheroes work with electricity, but Black Lightning has the most control.
When he gets angry, his powers intensify, and he can control electricity not only in its various forms, but he can even turn his own body into electricity.
Scientific name: Loxodonta
Amazing superpower: The elephant’s trunk has many functions, including breathing, smelling, trumpeting, drinking and grabbing things. All of these are important to the life of an elephant, but what’s most impressive is how much an elephant can lift with its trunk, which is approximately 700 pounds. Most animals and humans can’t lift anything with their faces, let alone a family of three.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: The Hulk
It’s everyone’s favorite poorly dressed greenie — The Hulk, who could lift 700 pounds no problem because there’s absolutely no limit to what he can lift.
The Hulk has been known to lift a commercial plane before, and they weigh around 100 tons.
Scientific name: Trichobatrachus robustus
Amazing superpower: Hairy frogs willingly breaks their bones so that the bones tear their way through their toe pads and form claws that they can use to defend themselves.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Wolverine
Say it with us, Wolverine. Who else has six retractable, somewhat rounded bone claws beneath the skin and muscle of their forearm?
Wolverine sacrifices himself repeatedly to protect the lives of others.
Scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibus
Amazing superpower: Hippos are big, solid animals that grow to be between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds, but they can still outrun most people in a race. Hippos can run between 15 and 30 mph, which isn’t nearly as fast as a cheetah, but cheetahs also aren’t carrying all that extra weight.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Juggernaut
Juggernaut is large — standing at 9-foot-5 and weighing approximately 1,900 pounds.
Once he gets going, nothing can stop him, and he’ll destroy everything in his path. Let’s just say, you don’t want to be the person whose job it is to defeat him.
Scientific name: Trochidae
Amazing superpower: At first glance, the ability to hover and fly backward may not seem particularly amazing, but if you think about it, hummingbirds have all the moves. Not only can they hover, but they can also do it mid-flight. Plus, they are the only bird that can fly forward, backward and even upside down.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel has many superpowers, but one of her most impressive ones is her ability to fly.
She doesn’t just fly around town either. She can fly at great speeds — well beyond the sound barrier and can even leave the Earth’s atmosphere and survive.
Scientific name: Scyphozoa
Amazing superpower: The jellyfish’s superpower is a little thing called immortality. If a jellyfish is hurt or starved to death, it changes back into a polyp, aka its just-born form. By repeating this process, the jellyfish can live on and on. What would you pay to be able to make yourself young again?
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Thor
While not technically immortal, Thor comes very close.
Though it’s extremely difficult, he can be killed, and since he exists in a cycle of birth, death and rebirth, death isn’t a permanent situation for him.
Scientific name: Phoebastria immutabilis
Amazing superpower: If birds got frequent-flier miles, the Layson Albatross would win because of its incredible endurance. They can fly up to 50,000 miles in a year. The funny thing is that they rarely flap their wings while flying, choosing instead to be propelled by the wind.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Quicksilver
Quicksilver can travel on foot so fast that it exceeds the speed of sound, and he can do it for hundreds of miles before getting tired.
He’s so fast that he can go somewhere and back without the people he’s with having any idea he ever left.
Scientific name: Menura
Amazing superpower: Lyrebirds are fantastic mimics and have an uncanny ability to copy any sound they hear, whether it’s a chainsaw, a car alarm, barking dogs, human voices or the calls of another species of bird.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Mimic
Mimic has the ability to temporarily copy the personal characteristics, abilities, intelligence and superpowers of any person nearby.
You can imagine the trouble he can get into with this talent and the havoc he can create.
Scientific name: Stomatopoda
Amazing superpower: Mantis shrimps may only be about 3.9 inches in length, but they pack a powerful punch. If they’re defending themselves, they’ll swing their arm out at 80 kph — a move powerful enough to break glass. One thing to remember is their punch has approximately the same acceleration as a .22-caliber bullet.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Superman
Superman has a long list of powers, including speed, X-ray and heat vision, and flight, so it’s easy to forget that he’s also good at hitting, punching and old-school fighting.
There’s a reason he’s not called “Mediocre Man.”
Scientific name: Suricata
Amazing superpower: The black circles of fur around the meerkat’s eyes is more than just a way to make them look cool. These rings act as built-in sunglasses and block out the glare of the sun. Meerkats can look directly at the sun and still see things in the far-off distance, making the meerkat exactly who you’d want on watch.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Hawkeye
Hawkeye may not be superhuman, but that doesn’t mean his abilities are average. He has incredible eyesight and can see objects in detail at 20-feet away.
Many people are great at archery, but no one shoots an arrow with deadly accuracy like Hawkeye.
Scientific name: Heterocephalus glaber
Amazing superpower: The naked mole-rat not only has a horrible name, but it’s also small, hideous and can’t see well. Luckily for them, these animals are not only resistant to pain, they also don’t get cancer. When you look at the power they have, it makes their other difficulties seem trivial.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Deadpool
Deadpool not only can get cancer, but he has the misfortune of getting it.
But it’s better than it sounds, as Deadpool was given the healing factor that makes it impossible for neither of his normal cells or cancerous cells to be destroyed.
Scientific name: Didelphidae
Amazing superpower: Everyone knows that opossums play dead to protect themselves and to fool their predators. What isn’t as widely known is that opossums are born with a peptide that makes them impervious to snake venom. This fact answers the question of why opossums have snakes so often for dinner.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones may not be invulnerable to snake venom, but she has accelerated healing and can heal from a broken and bruised body part super fast.
What’s more, Jessica Jones doesn’t play dead to protect herself — she faces her enemies head-on.
Scientific name: Falco peregrinus
Amazing superpower: You can clock a peregrine falcon at 242 mph, making them the fastest bird and the fastest animal. Sorry cheetahs, these guys are faster than even you.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Makkari
Makkari has the superhuman strength and reflexes that you expect from one of theEternals. Like many other superheroes, she has great speed.
The thing that sets Makkari apart is that she has internal cosmic power, giving her the ability to create cyclones by running in a circle, running up walls and running a whopping 850 mph.
Scientific name: Alpheidae
Amazing superpower: The pistol shrimp’s power is twofold and stems from its disproportionate large claw. When the pistol shrimp is hunting for prey or defending itself, it will use its claw as if it were a sonic weapon.
First, it clocks its claw as one would with a pistol and fires with the resulting sound, reaching 210 decibels. The claw snaps shut, causing a blast of bubble bullets. As these bubbles deflate, their temperature gets dangerously hot. The implosion causes a shock wave that stuns any creature within the vicinity of the pistol shrimp.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Aquaman
You can’t talk about underwater superpowers without thinking of Aquaman. The creators of Aquaman have gone back to the drawing board on a few occasions, but at one point, he lost a hand only for it to be replaced by a hand made of water. Oooh ah.
This magical hand, aka the Waterbearer, has various powers, among them the ability to heal others and the capacity to shoot super-hot jets of water from his fingers.
Scientific name: Basiliscus plumifrons
Amazing superpower: When the plumed basilisk senses danger is close, they use their surprisingly powerful back legs and escape by walking on water. Their back legs make air pockets that keep them from sinking as they run.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: The Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer has many gifts, including converting matter to energy and using it as his own power source, fire energy beams, heal people and durability.
He can withstand almost anything that gives him the power to surf through the stars and tolerate the power of the supernovas with little damage to himself.
Scientific name: Rangifer tarandus
Amazing superpower: Reindeers have the ability to see ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is more scattered than blue light and gives the world a bluish haze. Having ultraviolet vision allows reindeer to have better chances at finding food and avoiding predators in the arctic.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Cyclops
Cyclops’ name is a strong clue of what makes him different than other superheroes. His one eye sends out powerful beams of energy or optic blasts.
Cyclops’ other means of controlling these energy beams is wearing specially made eyewear, which he’s required to wear at all times.
Scientific name: Caudata
Amazing superpower: If a salamander loses part of its tail while trying to get away from a predator, it’s no big deal because it will grow back. Salamanders have the special power to regrow lost limbs and repair damaged lungs and sliced spinal cords. Oh, and if pieces of their brain are cut off, they’ll regrow that, too.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Lizard
Like many superheroes and villains, Lizard has the gift of healing and can recover fast from wounds that would end most creatures.
He’s regrown lost limbs many, many times, but who’s counting?
Scientific name: Holothuroidea
Amazing superpower: Oh, sea cucumbers do this little thing where they liquify their body, and if that’s not impressive enough, sea cucumbers also can squeeze their internal organs out of their butts.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Mystique
Everybody’s favorite mutant, Mystique, is a great shapeshifter. She can psychically change the formation of her cells at will to change the way she looks and sounds.
That means Mystique can take on the form of many other humans and animals.
Scientific name: Folivora
Amazing superpower: Sloths move slow but recover fast. Injuries that would destroy other animals barely faze the sloth. The secret is the large number of good bacteria that make their home in the sloth’s fur that help the sloth have a speedy and infection-free recovery from injury.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Blade
Blade is a human and vampire who can’t be killed by standard methods such as poisoning, choking, shooting or stabbing.
Not only can he heal from any wound other than being stabbed by a silver stake or getting beheaded, he’s also able to regrow any severed limbs.
Scientific name: Acomys
Amazing superpower: If a spiny mouse finds itself trapped in a predator’s grasp, it’ll get rid of pieces of its brittle and thin skin to escape. Don’t mourn for any lost skin, fur, cartilage or sweat glands because the spiny mouse will regrow them.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has an abundance of powers, including astral projection, teleportation and the ability to communicate with the animals, but you may not know of her enhanced healing.
If she suffers a huge injury, she can choose to merge with the earth to heal instantly. However, this sacred ritual must only be used in an extreme, no-other-option scenario.
Scientific name: Crocuta
Amazing superpower: The spotted hyena has a very strong stomach, and they can eat almost anything except hooves, hair and horns. This may not seem very impressive, but think if you were somewhere that food was scarce and your only way to survive was to eat whatever you scrounged up.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Matter-Eater Lad
As with the spotted hyena, Matter-Eater Lad doesn’t have the kind of superpower that impresses people.
His special ability is the power to eat all forms of matter, which could come in handy when cleaning up the city dump.
Scientific name: Ictonyx striatus
Amazing superpower: The striped polecat isn’t a skunk, but they act and look a lot like skunks. Then, there’s the powerful and stomach-turning smell that’s expelled from their anal glands that take the stench of a skunk and ramp it up. Bonus, this putrid fluid will permeate an area of up to a half-mile and temporarily blind you.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Poison Ivy
Is Poison Ivy a villain or an antihero? Her status changes often, but one thing that remains constant is that Poison Ivy is poisonous. Toxins course through her body, making her touch deadly.
On the upside, Poison Ivy is resistant to all poisons, viruses and bacteria. She has the power to control plants, use the poisons that they produce and has her own mind-controlling pheromones.
Scientific name: Tardigrade
Amazing superpower: These tiny creatures can live anywhere from freezing high temperatures to burning hot climates because they’re indestructible. They don’t just live in extreme environments — they thrive. Deprive them of food and water for over a decade, expose them to radiation, even take away their oxygen, and they’ll still survive.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Luke Cage
To any evildoers who mean Luke Cage harm, good luck. The man has indestructible skin. You can try shooting or stabbing him, and neither will get near his vital organs.
On top of that, he also has an accelerating healing factor, so that if you do manage to hurt him, he’ll recover in one-third the time it would take an ordinary human to heal.
Scientific name: Corixidae
Amazing superpower: This tiny bug is one of the loudest animals on Earth relative to its body size. Sounds simple enough, but here’s the thing, the super-loud sounds they make are mating sounds from their penis. Hence the reason, their nickname is “Singing Penis Bug.” Their “singing” was recorded at 92.2 decibels, meaning their songs of love are as loud as a passing freight train.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers: Banshee
What do you get when you put superhuman lungs, throat and vocal cords together? The answer is a sonic scream.
Banshee’s screams can hurt a human’s ability to hear and is so powerful it can break through inch-thick walls of steel.
Scientific name: Lithobates sylvaticus
Amazing superpower: The wood frog freezes up to 60 percent of its body during hibernation. They have a substance in their body that prevents their cells and tissues from freezing and bursting. The wood frog is like Elsa in “Frozen," as the cold never bothers them either.
Superhero or Villain With Similar Superpowers:Iceman
He can control snow, hail, blizzards, ice or simply cold air. He can freeze objects or turn his body into ice.
Iceman may not be one for the tropical climates, but when it’s rainy, icy, snowy or frosty, Iceman feels right at home.