And you thought superheroes existed only in fiction?
Inspired by fiction superheroes such as Batman and Superman, these people wear masks and capes in order to fight real crime on the strets.
Here's a list with 10 of the most famous real-life superheroes.
He's faster than a speeding turtle, able to leap small speed bumps in a single bound. Look, up in the sky ... Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superbarrio -- a flabby caped crusader in cherry red tights who traverses the streets of Mexico City, defending the lower class. A high school dropout with a humble upbringing, Superbarrio has become one of Mexico City's greatest folk heroes. For the past 10 years, he has stood as the champion of the working class, the poor and the homeless.
"I opened my eyes and found myself as you see me with a voice telling me, 'You are Superbarrio,'" he said, explaining that his name means super-neighborhood. "I can't stop a plane or a train single-handed, but I can keep a family from being evicted." His role is primarily symbolic as the protector of low-income neighborhoods. But on behalf of squatters and labor unions, Superbarrio leads protest rallies, files petitions and challenges court decisions. Rumors also have circulated that he attempted to run for the president of the United States to better protect Mexican workers. His followers find him inspirational and recently erected a statue in his honor -- a giant lifelike replica that looks like an oversized Cabbage Patch doll at 40. The awed crowd chanted, "You see him. You feel him. Superbarrio is here!"
Terrifica (NY City)
Terrifica patrols New York City's bars, clubs, and streets by night, in an effort to protect inebriated women in danger of being taken advantage of by men. Since the mid-1990s Terrifica has donned a golden mask, Valkyrie bra, blond wig, red boots and cape, to distract the men she tries to dissuade from seducing drunk young women. She carries a utility belt containing a pepper spray, cell phone, lipstick, a camera to photograph alleged predators, a journal, Terrifica fortune cards, and Smarties for energy. Terrifica has an arch-nemesis, a self-proclaimed philanderer who calls himself Fantastico.
"I protect the single girl living in the big city," says Terrifica. By day, she is Sarah, a 30-year-old single woman who works for a computer consulting company. "I do this because women are weak. They are easily manipulated, and they need to be protected from themselves and most certainly from men and their ill intentions toward them."
The Eye (Mountain View California)
The Eye is a 48 year-old superhero who patrols the streets of Mountain View, California.
He is a street-level, practical crime fighter, who uses various electronic and other means to prevent crime.
He has even got a myspace page
Citizen Prime (Phoenix)
Citizen Prime, a 40-year-old married man whose first name is Jim, has been protecting the streets of Phoenix for a year. He became a superhero to spread the message that people don't have to be fearful of crime. "Are you going to sit inside scared that a terrorist might attack your city, or are you going to go out and live your life?" he asked.
But Prime, who patrols once or twice a week in a black, blue and yellow costume, found one chink in his armor. He couldn't find any crime. "The only crime I've ever stopped is when I was actually walking out of a sporting goods store with my wife," he said. "A shoplifter came running past me, and I managed to throw him to the ground."
Tothian (NJ and NY city)
Tothian, 22, is a superhero who protects New Jersey and New York, is one of the more active heroes. He uses his skills as a Marine reservist and martial arts expert when patrolling the streets, and has escorted women home at night and broken up fights.
His uniform--he prefers that term to costume--is black combat boots, green cargo pants and a T-shirt. His logo, which is stitched into the middle of the T-shirt with cut-up bandanas, is made from the letters used to spell Tothian.
Tothian doesn't wear a mask because it blocks his peripheral vision, and says he doesn't wear a cape "because capes get in the way of actually doing real superhero stuff."
Tothian says he doesn't want to become a police officer because he doesn't agree with every law on the book. "I'm not out to punish every single criminal," he said. For example, he would counsel marijuana smokers, but wouldn't apprehend them as bad guys.
Tothian said he gets some strange looks when people find out he's a superhero. But after people realize he's out to protect them, he says their trepidation eases somewhat.
Angle Grinder Man (London, and Kent)
Angle-grinder Man patrols by night looking for unhappy drivers who have been clamped and then sets their cars free. An odd-job man by day, he operates in Kent during the week and in London on weekends. He decided to go "full-time vigilante" in May this year.
"My obsession with wheel-clamping is actually a rebellion against a much deeper malaise," he said. "Namely, the arrogant contempt that politicians hold for the people who put them into power, and whom they claim to represent."
Mr. Silent (Indianapolis)
Mr Silent patrols the streets of indianapolis. Unlike his hero Bruce Wayne, Mr. Silent's alter ego isn't a billionaire. He has a full-time job to tend to, so he only makes it out about once per week, cruising the alleys of Downtown after dark, looking to help where needed.
"I roam the streets of the city looking for those in distress or danger and I do my best to help them. If those in need of help are being mugged or hurt in anyway, then you can be assured that I will do something about it. One may ask, how I can call myself a superhero when I can't fly or run at mach 3. The answer is simple. I am idealistically super. I see what, in my opinion, needs changed in society and I work towards that goal," said Silent.
Chris Guardian (NY City)
It started out as a normal night. That is, until the bad guy started dancing like the devil in the pale moonlight. Chris was minding his own business on the streets of Staten Island, N.Y., when he saw a man dash into a convenience store. The man sprinted through the aisles, trashing the place, then broke a glass bottle on the floor and brandished the shards as a makeshift knife. Chris, coming to the rescue, cornered him in the aisle. While Chris kept the villain at bay, customers called the police.
That night, one of the most dangerous nights in his career, Chris truly earned the right to be called "Chris Guardian". He is now 23 years old, and who patrols the sidewalks and alleyways of New York City.
"I've always had something inside of me that made me want to really make a difference and just make the world a better place," Guardian said recently during an interview.
Geist aids the homeless and others in need and patrols the streets of Rochester, Minnesota.
Geist describes himself as "a real person doing something out of the ordinary and somewhat unorthodox to attempt to make my city of Rochester, Minnesota a better, kinder and safer place. My personal cause is the Forgotton, those overlooked by mainstream society. If there is a crisis situation, I have training and equipment to aid myself and others. My equipment and methods are completely legal. I'm prepared to make Citizen's Arrests if necessary."
Foxfire is a 25 year-old woman who patrols the streets of Michigan.
She is dedicated to helping those in need, preserving natural resources, and, most importantly, "teaching anyone who will listen about the hidden world, the more interesting stuff that goes on beneath the surface of their humdrum little lives. The current air of apocalyptic apathy is indicitive of how much humanity has lost. Together with the rest of the Nameless Few, I will help to re-integrate humanity--as well as protect the downtrodden, the forgotten, and the helpless."