6 People With Amazing Yet Totally Useless Abilities
With great power comes great responsibility, and with useless power comes neat bar tricks. We've told you before about a few possible X-Men in training, with amazing skills that range from the irrelevant all the way to the pointless. Time to fill out that roster a bit more:
Martin Laurello's Had Eyes on the Back of His Head
Martin Laurello first became known in the 1920s as "Bobby the Boy With the Revolving Head," before graduating to "Revolving Head Man" and finally the "Human Owl." To be fair, those aliases did get progressively better, but to be slightly unfair, they're all still pretty terrible. Though we guess Human Owl is okay -- sort of a store-brand Batman.
As you may have guessed by now, Martin's power was the ability to turn his head all the way around.
"How many times have I told you to stop doing that when you're talking to me!"
That's not a trick photo -- they didn't have Photoshop in the '20s. They had scissors, glue, and markers. They couldn't pull that off. But just in case you still don't believe it, here's some footage of Laurello for you.
In fact, according to Laurello, anyone could do what he did -- all it took was pushing his head farther and farther every day for three years, until he could ogle his own butt. Although the fact that he had a dislocated spine to begin with probably helped a bit. But Laurello possessed more than one talent. He had to. He made his living as a performer, and his whole head-rotation schtick lasted, what, about 4 seconds?
So he began making accusations about audience members' mothers and their activities in Hell.
He had to fill the rest of his act somehow. So Laurello took the next obvious step for a man that could spin his head about like half a Linda Blair: he trained cats and dogs to fight each other with boxing gloves. Impossible to sneak up on and leading a trained army of animal henchmen? Dude really was just some purple spandex away from a career in supervillainy.
Gerry Phillips: Hand Fart Virtuoso
Remember the day you found out you could make fart noises with your hands? And remember two days later, when you got bored of it? Gerry Phillips skipped the latter. Here he is playing Beethoven with hand farts.
He calls that number "Fart Elise," obviously. He can also play the Mario Bros. theme, the cantina song from Star Wars, the vocal sections from "Bohemian Rhapsody," and even "Dueling Banjos." And it just wouldn't be art unless somebody was taking it way too seriously. See, that's not called "hand farting," you plebeian. It's called Manualism -- a modern art form with no prior historical precedent.
"They said the same thing about rock and roll."
Since "full time manualist" isn't the most economically secure of professions, most practitioners get their incomes elsewhere. Phillips actually owns a gun shop, which is a good thing to keep in mind before you make fun of Farty Farthands, the Modern Fartist.
If he can stop manualizing long enough to pull the trigger.
Ho Eng Hui Has a Finger of Steel
Ho Eng Hui is the world's best freehand coconut cracker, which is apparently a thing. Hui can puncture the incredibly hard outer shell of a coconut with just the quick tiger strike of his index finger.
Seriously, watch him obliterate this poor coconut's innocence with a few well-placed hits:
What might appear a simple party trick is actually the culmination of a lifelong passion for fingering coconuts. Just like how Muay Thai fighters strengthen their shin bones by kicking banana trees, Kung Fu Master Ho jabs them into submission with his index finger. How does he do it without horribly disfiguring his hand, though? He doesn't. After 41 years spent perfecting his technique (he started at 17), he has the permanently mangled forefinger to show for it:
"It still looks better than my Candy Crush finger."
Unlike the homeless people we see at the park, however, Hui's tree-fighting has led to a viable career that has allowed him to feed his family; he holds a Guinness World Record for piercing 4 coconuts in 12.15 seconds, and in his native Malaysia, the local government has even given him his own corner on which to showcase his Kung Fu abilities. So swing on by the violent coconut fingerbang stand next time you're at the market, and pick up some freshly-violated fruit.
He can also core apples for you.
Bert Pichel Blows Rings Around the Competition (Sorry)
This man's name was Bert Pichel, and he could blow smoke up your ass at 500 meters. His repertoire included ejecting two rings simultaneously out of each corner of his mouth ...
"My mom wanted me to be a doctor. Who's laughing now?"
Blowing small rings through the center of bigger rings ...
And he didn't need CGI to do it, unlike some useless wizards we could mention.
Or blowing rings the size of his head, then using them as halos.
"Keep smoking like that, and that thing is going to be real."
Pichel began honing his craft out of pure boredom while waiting for customers at his Cincinnati gas station, since common sense had yet to be invented. According to the smoke master himself, who lit up 20 cigars a day to practice, the secret was in his tongue and lips, which he called "remarkably developed." Incidentally, he was also quite popular with the dames.
"Maybe after this, you can puff my cigar."
But the high-stakes world of smoke-blowing could be a treacherous place. With Pichel severely injured by the sheer volume of giant old-timey panties being thrown at him (also, that whole 20-cigars-a-day thing), others tried to replicate his success. He got into a feud with a man named William N. Patterson, who challenged him to a "smoke ring duel" in a transparent plastic room. The results of the epic cigar-off have been lost to the annals of time, but we're guessing the winner was cancer.
Hadji Ali Could Puke In A Neat and Orderly Fashion
Hadji Ali was the godfather of on-command regurgitation. His best-known trick was to chug a bunch of water, then spew it out like a human fire hose. This entertained people, because it was a simpler time, before the Internet.
A simpler "put on suits to watch a street performer vomit for money" kind of time.
Born in Egypt in 1892, Ali supposedly discovered his superpower when he was swimming in the Nile and accidentally swallowed a fish, then un-swallowed it unharmed (surely a novelty performer wouldn't lie about an origin story!). He had such absolute control over his stomach muscles that he could eat virtually anything, including nuts, colored handkerchiefs or yes, live fish, then ask the audience which order they'd like the items regurgitated in. "None! Y-you go ahead and just keep all of it ..." was not a given option.
After gaining fame as a vaudeville performer, Ali scored a guest spot on a Laurel and Hardy movie -- the 1930s version of Jackass. In the film, he downed a bunch of water, then swallowed kerosene, spat only the kerosene on a fire, then put out the fire with just the water.
"I used to do it with pee until I got the order wrong."
Funny that no superhero teams ever called on the Amazing Vomitus. Probably couldn't afford the dry-cleaning bills.
Mr. Methane Does Exactly What You Think He Does
Mr. Methane uses his butthole as a musical instrument. There's really no way to sugarcoat that. Audiences gather around and listen to the song of his anus. But that's not all he can do with the ol' wrinkled sand dollar. Here he is blowing out birthday candles:
"Why didn't you just get her a magician like she asked for?!"
Popping a balloon with an asshole-operated pea shooter:
If only he had Gerry Phillips to play the William Tell Overture.
And letting out the world's longest continued fart, clocking in at an unearthly 59 seconds long:
Mr. Methane is a performing flatulist -- or, as his website puts it, a master of "the Art of Controlled Anal Voicing." It's like these people have a problem with the term "fartmaster." What, is it too lowbrow? You're sniping balloons with your butthole, friend. You left dignity behind long, long ago.
Well, he does wear a mask, so presumably he still has some shred of shame.
Highlights of his career include imitating a bumblebee in front of a visibly humbled Howard Stern, playing fart music on (the sidewalks of) Broadway, and farting his rendition of the Blue Danube for Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent before getting buzzed off the stage. Later on he was approached by the German (of course) version of the show, where he made it to the semifinals, but ultimately lost to a dancing dog.
Ohhh, but don't call him "Fart Garfunkle" -- that's apparently disrespectful.
For more bizarre mutant powers, check out 6 Real People With Mind-Blowing Mutant Superpowers and 5 People Who Turned Awful Disabilities Into Superpowers.
He should totally go by Fart Garfunkle. Click the Facebook 'share' button below, and maybe we can get like...a petition going, or something.