Seemingly impossible human mental accomplishments

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by A C Kerr, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. A C Kerr Registered Member

    Messages:
    1
    I am interested in compiling a list of human mental feats that seem impossible, but have been confirmed. I am only interested in feats that have been reliably confirmed and/or documented.

    Here are some examples of the kinds of feats I am looking for:
    • Prior to the printing press, people would pass stories from generation to generation by memory. If I recall correctly, some people could memorize hundreds or even thousands of pages of text.
    • People (savants?) who can instantly tell you the day of the week for any date going back hundreds of thousands of years.
    • People (savants?) who can instantly take the square root of any number to hundreds of decimal places or multiply very large numbers.
    • People (savants?) like in Rainman who can look at a pile of spilled toothpicks and instantly tell the number.
    • People who perform amazing feats of strength in crises such as a woman lifting a car off of her child.
    I am interested in anything that would be impossible for the average person, especially anything that would lead people to infer divine or extraterrestrial influence or assistance.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,982
    There's whole books on this topic.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,606
    I would be interested in valid citations rather than anecdotes about the mental feats mentioned.

    The woman who lifted a car off her child sounds like an exaggeration of some lessor feat or an out right lie. Perhaps she tilted it rather than lifting it.

    A Honda Civic weighs 3000 to 4500 pounds (I wonder about this range). A ford Taurus weighs over 4500 pounds. These values do not include fuel, passengers, or cargo.​

    I am a bit skeptical about a person memorizing thousands of pages of text, but I would not bet much money against it being possible. I remember reading valid accounts of Christians who memorized the Bible & Islamics who memorized the Koran. The normal published versions of these are not thousands of pages, but these feats suggest that a person could memorize a thousand or more pages.

    Multiplication feats have been reported (not in this Thread) which seem plausible to me. I remember reading about a savant who had to be given large numbers via some verbal explanation like "11 rows of 23 with 5 left over." He did not understand ordinary notion like 258, which is 11 rows of 23 with 5 left over.

    I think he manipulated visual images & gave answers in similar terms. .​

    I remember reading about people (usually men) in primitive cultures who remembered historical data about their tribe, which was passed on to the next generation. I wonder if there was some second or third person who could verify such memories.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Zeno Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    188
    Playing 48 games of chess simultaneously blindfolded.
     
    Jennifer Murphy likes this.
  8. river Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,506
    Who did this ?
     
  9. Jennifer Murphy Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    That is an excellent example. Thank you. I think a number of the grand masters have done something like this and against pretty good players,too.
     
  10. river Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,506
    Such as .....
     
  11. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,921
    I'm pretty sure that was a joke. If you are blindfolded you won't know where the other person moved their pieces.
    On the other hand I know for a fact that I personally could play 48 different chess games at the same time while blindfolded!
     
  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
  13. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,921
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,959
    Bart Simpson did it. He lost every game.

    Myself, I can remember my library-card number (14 digits) but not the PIN number (4 digits).
     

Share This Page