1The Human Lie Detector
It's hard to define the concept of truth, but when it comes to spotting a liar, former federal agent JJ Newberry says what's key is understanding human behavior.
Newberry, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for 27 years, is known as a human lie detector – he was the first person to score 90 percent across the board on lab tests of lie detection. Newberry proved able to spot lies about crime, beliefs, and emotion (the hardest for most people to discern). He received a perfect score on the emotion test, in which a subject must judge whether 10 nurses are truly viewing and describing pleasant footage of a seashore, or whether they are lying about viewing this film while in fact watching distressing footage of surgical procedures.
Newberry retired from the ATF in 1998 and now lives on a secluded ranch in Northern California, where he consults on cases that local officials fail to solve.
2The Human Calculator
Scott Flansburg is an American man often called a mental calculator. Dubbed "The Human Calculator" by Regis Philbin, he was entered into the Guinness Book Of World Records for speed of mental calculation in 2001.
Flansburg can add, subtract, multiply and divide more quickly than an average calculator and he uses his talents to help young people who struggle with the subject. He is the annual host and ambassador for World Maths Day, and is a math educator and media personality.
3The Human Brewery
34-year-old Matthew Hogg has a rare condition – auto-brewery syndrome. Every time he eats starchy or sugary foods, his body converts the food into alcohol that is released into his blood stream. This alcohol is so strong that he ends up intoxicated without even touching a single drink.
While this might sound like an alcoholic's dream, for Matthew, it's nothing short of a nightmare. He's been suffering from the rare condition since primary school and his parents have spent their entire life savings of over $80,000 on diagnosing his illness. After seeing several specialists, the condition was finally identified when a test by Dr. Keith Eaton in London revealed high levels of ethanol in his blood and indicated bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It is this yeast overgrowth that converts his meals into alcohol.
Every time he eats bread, potatoes or starchy rice, he produces 100 percent proof drinking alcohol that travels around his body through his bloodstream. According to him, if he eats a portion of rice he will suffer a hangover equivalent of having glugged three bottles of red wine the night before.
The hangovers that Matthew suffers are horrible, leaving him bed-bound and exhausted. He started off as a straight-A student and made it to Sheffield University for a computer science degree, but he had to drop out of school, unable to concentrate because of his condition.
4The Human Pin Cushion
A man who calls himself the "Mexican Pin Cushion" is trying to set a new world record for the most piercing needles in a body at one time. Arlington, Texas resident Robert Rubio really wanted to be in the Guinness Book Of World Records and first set a record in 2008 with 900 needles, but someone surpassed him with a record 1097 needles. So in 2010, Rubio set reached 2000 needles, then upped it to 2100 – getting there one needle at a time.
Eventually that world record was broken by someone named Chris Elliot who was pierced 3,900 times in just under eight hours. Rubio, hoping to recapture the title, got another 7,000 surgical steel needles inserted into his body in 2012. We couldn't find info on whether he did got recognition from the Guinness Book, but he certainly gained the title of Human Pin Cushion on our list.
5The Human Camera
In 2009, savant Stephen Wiltshire drew a detailed 7 square-mile area of London from his own memory after just a 20 minute helicopter flight with the over the city. The artist amazed everyone by drawing hundreds of London's buildings in exact scale, such as the Swiss Re tower or Canary Wharf on a 13ft curving canvas in 5 days.
Stephen, dubbed the "Human Camera," was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
6The Human Beatbox
Darren "Buffy" Robinson (1967 – 1995), a.k.a. The Human Beatbox, was a member of the 1980s rap group The Fat Boys. He, along with Doug E. Fresh, were pioneers of beatboxing, a form of vocal percussion used by many rap groups throughout the '80s and '90s.
It all started in 1983, when a trio from Brooklyn won a talent contest at Radio City Music Hall. The group, then known as The Disco Three, were comprised of Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley, and Darren "Buff the Human Beat Box" Robinson.
Buffy – known for his breathing technique between kicks and snares – helped the group win the talent contest. The prize? A record contract. The band should have been overjoyed, but rumor has it that they were gutted – they wanted to win the second prize of a stereo!
The Fat Boys enjoyed a successful career, but it was sadly short-lived. They split in the early 1990s and on Dec 10, 1995, Darren "Buffy the Human Beat Box" Robinson died of a heart attack in Rosedale, NY.
7The Human Punching Bag
Some people can't even handle a single punch, but for this 48-year-old Chinese man getting beat up is a strange career choice.
Xie Shuiping volunteers to take punches from random strangers for a fee. Surprisingly, taking a beating is a decent source of income, earning him about $3,500 a month.
Xie, who is also known as the "human punching bag," hangs around streets, bars and nightclubs just waiting to get punched. Each person who comes forward is allowed to punch him three times in the stomach, as hard as possible. The "performance" lasts about 20 minutes, and those who beat him or shake him can get free drinks at the bar.
Financial rewards aside, Xie likes to think he helps people let off some team as well.
Xie began his unusual career in 2004, when he took part in a promotional show at a supermarket. The audience members were invited to hit him over the head with wine bottles. Away from home and short on cash, he decided to capitalize on the unusually strong abs he had developed through years of manual labor and qigong, an art that many Chinese believe strengthens both body and spirit.
8The Human Etch A Sketch
Sarah Beal can create designs on her skin that vanish within an hour – just like an Etch-a-Sketch. The 43-year-old has a rare condition called dermatographia which causes her skin to swell after even the smallest scratch.
Beal isn't letting her sensitive skin get her down. She thinks the fact she can draw on her skin is "so cool" and admits she uses it as a party trick.
Dubbed the "human Etch-A-Sketch," Beal discovered she had dermatographia after researching the condition online. Dermatographia is thought to be triggered when cells under the surface of the skin release histamines after experiencing the smallest amount of pressure, resulting in a type of allergic reaction.
9The Human Magnet
Aurel Raileanu, a.k.a The Human Magnet, is known for having objects (spoons, books, lighters, etc.) stick to him like glue. In 2007, he set a world record for making a 57lb (26kg) TV set cling to his chest without the aid of wires, glue or string.
The 40-year-old bachelor, who lives with his mum, claims he doesn't know how he becomes a magnet for objects. He explains that first he focuses his mind on something, then releases the feeling of magnetic attraction that makes even the heaviest item stick to him.
He can pick up electric irons using just his skin's bizarre ability — and he can clear a table of cutlery faster than an army of waiters.
10The Human Spirograph
American artist Tony Orrico uses his entire body as an instrument to create massive artworks that are both highly precise and organic at the same time.
Orrico manages to blend his background in dance and choreography with a passion for drawing in a unique process that starts off with dance-like movements and ends with an abstract illustration. Holding a pencil in each hand, the young artist approaches a massive paper canvas, and uses the symmetry of the human body to create various abstract shapes. Whether he's spinning his entire body or just his wrists, Tony Orrico sets a specific motion that is repeated throughout the performance, until his work is completed.
The abstract images Tony creates can be quite stunning, but to fully appreciate and understand his talent, one must witness the creative process. Seeing him lying face downward on the paper, rotating his torso in full circles, with his arms outstretched drawing a variety of shapes really is a unique sight. Tony Orrico spends between 15 minutes to as long as 7 hours to complete one of his artworks.