Daredevil’s Powers Are More Realistic Than You Think – Facts So Romantic

In an early episode of Daredevil, Netflix’s new series about Marvel Comic’s blind superhero, there’s a telling scene in which the crime-fighting protagonist tends to an injured friend. Although he lost his eyesight in a traffic accident as a boy, Daredevil can nevertheless perceive her wounds. From across his apartment, he senses that a cut on her back has reopened because he can “taste copper in the air.” Investigating the laceration, he finds a hairline fracture in her rib by listening to her bones shift as she breathes.

She stares at him, astonished. “You see so much. How?”

It’s not just that Daredevil’s other four senses are especially heightened. As he explains to his friend, everything that he hears, smells, tastes, and feels merge in his mind’s eye as “a sort of impressionistic painting.” The camera’s viewpoint reveals his perspective: vague outlines of a woman glowing various hues of orange, as if seen through thermal goggles. Or, as he puts it, “a world on fire.”

Close-up of a human eye.Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

While Daredevil’s powers are the stuff of fiction, they also echo some very real abilities of the human brain. For example, the ability to form a synthetic mental picture…

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