5 Things Almost No Human Can Do, According to Science

Written by Surya Sathya Narayanan
Last Updated on

We have all grown up with the words “Nothing is impossible” etched into our brains constantly. With this, people have gone on to reach great heights by doing things that were considered impossible by many others. It has helped people break barriers and create history. However, there are a few truly impossible things, and no level of strength, genius or luck can make these things happen. This is not to say that human ability is undermined. Rather, some factors in science cannot be ignored.

Here is a list of five things that are not humanly possible, according to science. However, science does not need to prove. Just try it out yourself.

#1 – Catch The Movement Of Your Own Eye In The Mirror

Give it a shot. Look in the mirror and try to catch the reflection of your eyes moving. Well? Did it work?


Here is a fun fact. You go blind several thousand times in a day. It is called saccadic masking. This phenomenon is what blinds our eyes instead of showing us blurred images when we move our eyes (1). Without this, we would have been able to see the blurred movement each time we move our eyes, and that, in turn, would have made us dizzy and motion sick constantly.

How does this work? Our brain stops processing visual signals each time we move our eyes and starts processing only after the eyes become still again. And, that is why you cannot catch your eyes moving in the mirror.

#2 – Keeping Your Eyes Open While Sneezing

Keeping Your Eyes Open While Sneezing
Image: Shutterstock

We are sure a lot of people out there have tried this but in vain. The eyes closing while sneezing is an involuntary movement caused by the brain. There is no actual reason for why we do this.

However, there are a bunch of theories regarding this. One theory (read myth) states that the eyes shut themselves while sneezing, predominantly to avoid the dirt and mucous leaving our nose. It is considered as the eyes’ defense mechanism.

In contrast to this, another theory suggests that the eyes closing may be an outcome of the facial muscles contracting while sneezing. This theory, however, has some credibility to it. Consider this. A sneeze is known to leave our nose at very high speed, and there are plenty of studies to prove it as well (2). In order to produce such a massive force, the facial muscles squeeze into itself to create the impact, as well as to protect itself. This is all probably just fiction. However, it takes a hell of a lot of will power and reflex control to keep your eyes open while sneezing.

#3 – Lick Your Elbow

Lick Your Elbow
Image: Shutterstock

There is no scientific research to prove this. And, somehow, we have a reason to believe that we don’t need a scientific study either. What is our reason? Well, who has not tried to trick. It is simply because of how our bodies are made.

Now, if there has got to be a way to make this happen, it would probably require a combination of a small upper arm and an insanely long tongue. Wait, did you just try it again now? Cute.

#4 – Swallow A Spoon Of Cinnamon

Swallow A Spoon Of Cinnamon
Image: Shutterstock

We gotta admit it. This is pretty lame. Why would someone want cinnamon anywhere other than their rolls? Okay, take it for granted that cinnamon has its own set of health benefits and aroma. But, why is it impossible to swallow that much of cinnamon?

Cinnamon powder is made up of cellulose fibers. These fibers are bio-persistent and bio-resistant, implying that unlike other forms of powder, the cinnamon powder does not dissolve or degrade in the lungs (3). Due to the unpleasant nature of this powder, the body lands up coughing it out the moment it is in the mouth for more than a few seconds. Call it the body’s natural defense system. You may ask, “defense from what?” Defense from us trying pointless things like gagging on a spoon full of cinnamon powder. Another fun fact: when the infamous cinnamon challenge was at its peak, at least 30 people in the U.S. required medical attention.

#5 – Hold Your Breath To The Point Of Unconsciousness

Hold Your Breath To The Point Of Unconsciousness
Image: Shutterstock

While pointing out these things, it got us thinking, “how did someone figure that out?” Well, humans being humans, we need to try everything, don’t we?

Back on point. We cannot hold our own breath until we reach unconsciousness. This is because of our natural reflexes. Although the process of holding one’s breath is a voluntary act, the moment the brain starts to feel the lack of oxygen, it will look for ways to get oxygen back. Within seconds, the brain may probably reach the brink of losing control and there, the muscles that you are using to hold breath will let the air out. What study says this? This is pretty self-explanatory. Give it a try. The brain will not give up on you.

So these are a bunch of things that humans cannot do. Some of these are highly dangerous, while the others are just plain fun to try. What do you think of our list of things that are impossible to do? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section below.

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