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What Would Happen If Superpowers Were Real?

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.

How would the world change if superpowers were real?

  • School health exams would cover vision, hearing and questions asking children if they could do anything new or unusual. They’d be incentivized by promises of treats and logged by officials if they were starting to develop abilities.
  • Health checks with pediatrics would involve for more questions and systematic tests for standard super-abilities.
  • We’d see special schools for the super-powered just as they exist for the deaf and blind. Kids would be sent to them if their abilities were so great they posed a threat to everyone else.
  • Super heroes would appear on career days in costume, and some children would rightfully wonder if their parent was that hero. Many more would wish their parents were super-heroes.
  • Forget telepaths, telekinetics and shape shifters hiding from authorities. They’d be paid well to work for the authorities if not drafted. A few of those Special Forces folks would be quite special indeed.
  • Drugs that are already used as tranquilizers and anti-seizure drugs would be adapted to control those who cannot or will not control their powers.
  • Those who misuse their powers would be incarcerated and forcibly drugged.
  • A few super-villains would exist, and they’d be one of the major threats in this brave, new world.
  • Super hero spotting would rival bird watching as a sport.
  • There are people who would set up disasters to be rescued to be close to their hero just as we have people who have set fires so they can put them out or faked credentials to get close to celebrities.
  • There would be far more disabled parking spaces.
  • Insurance policies would have to include “damage from superhero fights” in addition to “acts of God” unless superhero activities fell under the “acts of God” provision.
  • Insurance adjusters have to check whether there were suspected superheroes or villains in the area when determining a claim.
  • If you have a world that includes telepaths that can control other people, any criminal can claim they were under the spell of certain supervillains.
  • Courts may try to adapt by hiring telepaths to determine if people are telling the truth, but now you risk corrupt cops and prosecutors paying the lie detectors to say the person is lying when telling the truth.
  • Telepaths would be hired to communicate with dolphins and whales, while some would find work in finding missing people or determining if the comatose are brain dead or locked-in.
  • You’d have special jails for the super-villains so that their able-bodied friends couldn’t get them out using super-powers.
  • Reality shows would feature aged super-heroes trying to recreate their best exploits.
  • Shows like “Cops” would feature arrests where the person was seemingly normal and then had abilities erupt out of nowhere, whether a housewife who hid her ability to control fire or kid being arrested for theft that suddenly flips the police car.
  • Conspiracy theories would involve people with superpowers being behind any unsolved mystery, possibly in place of or in conjunction with the Illuminati.
  • People would debate which super powers different mythical and religious figures had. Religion now becomes more palatable to many atheists, while palm readers and fortune tellers would gain new legitimacy.
  • Scientists would study super-powered individuals in an attempt to recreate the abilities or use artificial versions on a broader scale.
  • Anyone who could teleport vast distances works as a courier or in security as an emergency evacuation route. You’d also be asked to wear sensors so the government can study you and try to replicate this for real world transporters a la Star Trek.
  • If you can carry large masses into orbit, here’s your space suit, here’s the load, here’s a million dollars if you put this in space for us.
  • Shape shifters wouldn’t have to hide the ability. They’d be comedians and actors if not working for intelligence services. Conversely, anyone well known could claim it was a shape shifter, not them, guilty of some transgression.
  • Anyone with super-healing ability gets paid a fortune to sit in a medical lab and be studied so that medicine can advance by lightyears.

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