My Hero Academia has swept the world as one of the most beloved anime of recent years. One reason for that is the fantastical quirks (superpowers) on display. Who hasn’t seen a superhero and wished to have their powers?

Well, hold onto your All Might action figure, because we are about to “go beyond” the world of anime, into the animal kingdom, and show you how 10 crazy quirks are real, in use by creatures every day.

10. Explosion – Katsuki Bakugo & the Bombardier Beetle 

My Hero Academia
Katsuki Bakugo (Kaachan). Credit: Funimation [2018]

The fiery-tempered Bakugo, the main rival to the protagonist of My Hero Academia, has an equally fiery and boisterous quirk. Explosion allows Bakugo to excrete a nitroglycerin-like fluid from his hands, similarly to sweat and then detonate the substance on command.

My Hero Academia
The Bombardier Beetle. Credit: Charles Hedgcock [2015]

The bombardier beetle has a comparable ability to protect itself. This bug keeps two reactants, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroquinone, in separate bodily chambers.  When threatened, it combines them with catalytic enzymes to blast the mixture at 212°Fahrenheit (100° C). If Bakugo has a favorite animal, I’m fairly certain this is it.

9. Acid – Mina Ashido & the Wood Ant

My Hero Academia
Mina Ashido (Hero name: Pinky). Credit: Funimation [2018]

Mina Ashido is nothing if not unique. Aside from her visibly freaky appearance, Ashido possesses a truly formidable quirk: the power to excrete acid from her body. She controls the strength and thickness of the acid, and thus can up its strength to attack opponents or dilute it to use on the ground as a “slip-and-slide” travel technique.

My Hero Academia

In the same vein, red wood ants produce formic acid to ward off predators.  Humans use formic acid as an antibacterial agent, but the corrosive substance is notably dangerous in high concentrations. So whether you’re talking about Ashido or red ants, acid-users are not to be trifled with.

Wood ants squirting formic acid droplets to protect their colony.  Credit: Warren Photographic [2018]

8. Hardening – Eijiro Kirishima & the Pangolin

My Hero Academia
Eijiro Kirishima (Hero name: Red Riot). Credit: Funimation [2018]

Ejiro Kirishima is a literal blockhead. His quirk, hardening, allows him to make parts of his body or the entire thing as hard as stone: an awesome ability for either offense or defense. And truly, the only thing in My Hero Academia that is tougher than his hide is his loyalty to his friends.

My Hero Academia

Pangolins, insectivores by nature, don’t have much offensive use for their tough hides, but they make up for that with excellent shows of defense.  Pangolins are covered in plate-like scales that are made of keratin (the same material that makes up rhino horns, horse hooves, bear claws, and other durable animal parts). They roll up into a ball to fortify themselves. Thus, when put to the test, Kirishima and the pangolin are definitely rock solid (or rather, “keratin-solid”).

My Hero Academia
Pangolin. Credit: Wilderness Safaris [2018]

7. Electrification – Denki Kaminari & the Electric Eel

My Hero Academia
Denki Kaminari (Hero name: Chargebolt). Credit: Funimation [2018]

The endearing Denki Kaminari stands out in a sea of electric-superpower users due to one fact: the strength of his attack determines the strength he himself gets zapped. Denki has the ability to discharge large amounts of electricity through touch or in a small location through the ground. But, if he goes over his power limit, he will short-circuit his brain, turning him into a lovable dufus for an hour.

My Hero Academia
Electric Eel. Credit: billschannel [2018]

Electric eels are like Denki but without the brain-shortage weakness. When hunting or warding off predators, electric eels can release charges up to 800 volts (more than 6xs a standard US wall socket). However, a large part of this electric current is thought to dissipate in the water, protecting the eel’s organs. So, maybe Denki just needs to set up shop as an underwater hero.

6. Invisibility – Toru Hagakure & the Glass Squid

My Hero Academia
Toru Hagakure (Hero name: Invisible Girl). Her power makes it look as if her gloves are floating. Credit: Funimation [2018]

One of the most charming characters of My Hero Academia is one we never actually see.  Toru Hagakure has the quirk of invisibility, meaning she is transparent.  We only know her location due to the clothes she wears (and that’s usually only a pair of gloves and boots).

My Hero Academia
Glass Squid. Credit: NOAA Library

The glass squid is probably the closest thing to this brand of invisibility in the real world.  These creatures of about 50-100 mm are almost completely transparent except for their eyes and a sparse number of organs.  If you’re ever in a game of hide-and-seek with Hagakure or a glass squid, you might want to save some time and just take the “L.”

5. Blood Control – Vlad King & the Texas Horned Lizard

My Hero Academia
Vlad King (right) and Eraser Head (left). Credit: Funimation [2018]

Not going to lie: Vlad King is a weird one. His quirk allows him control his blood and allow it to flow and/or harden at will. As a pro hero in My Hero Academia, Vlad King mostly uses this odd feature to capture villains or protect himself and others.

My Hero Academia
Vlad King capturing the villain Dabi. Credit: Funimation [2018]

The Texas Horned Lizard has a shockingly similar trait.  When threatened, the Texas Horned Lizard actually shoots streams of blood from its eyes that can reach as far as four feet. Though the Texas Horned Lizard can’t harden the blood, I’m still certain even Vlad King would be impressed with it.

Texas Horned lizard squirting a stream of blood from its eye – a bizarre sight, for sure. Credit: National Geographic [2018]

4. Tail – Mashirao Ojiro & the Spider Monkey

My Hero Academia
Mashirao Ojiro (Hero name: Tailman). Credit: Funimation [2018]

Here we have a solid, simple quirk: Mashirao Ojiro has a tail.  But, it’s the details of such and how he uses the tail that make Ojiro special.  His prehensile (“gripping”) appendage is bulky and acts essentially as an extra arm: strong enough to support his weight or even break objects made of metal.

My Hero Academia

The tail of a spider-monkey is long and lanky, but no less useful.  Like Ojiro’s, a spider monkey’s tail is prehensile and able to hold their full body weight.  Although, breaking metal objects is a bit out of reach for spider monkeys, so props to Ojiro (that guy never skips “tail day” at the gym).

My Hero Academia
Spider monkey getting a drink of water. Credit: Patrick Mueller [2018]

3. Zoom – Mei Hatsume & the Eagle

My Hero Academia
Mei Hatsume. Credit: Funimation [2018]

The boisterous tinkerer of My Hero Academia, Mei Hatsume, has incredible eyesight (though she’d probably rather have you looking at her inventions than her eyes). Even if she doesn’t always use her quirk, it allows her to zoom in on objects and see details up to 5 km (approx. 3.1 mi) away.

My Hero Academia
Golden eagle. Credit: Auburn University [2018]

Eagles are the top dogs in the long distance eyesight game. They can see prey up to around 3.2 km (approx. 2 mi) away and have a focus shifting ability that is a lot like the zooming-in Hatsume does. Not to mention, eagles can see a wider range of colors than humans. Although, Hatsume will probably come up with a gadget to fix that.

2. Decay – Tomura Shigaraki & Erwina Bacteria

My Hero Academia
Tomura Shigaraki. Credit: Funimation [2018]

Tomura Shigaraki is an absolutely fascinating villain in My Hero Academia with a fascinating quirk to match. He can advance the decay of anything he touches. Independent of the object’s status as organic or inorganic, Shigaraki can make anything crumble to dust in seconds by simply laying his hand on it.

My Hero Academia
Shigaraki using decay on Eraser Head’s elbow. Credit: Funimation [2018]

Erwina is a type of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that causes bacteria rot in plants. Like Shigaraki, the bacteria can spread when infected tissue touches healthy tissue. One particularly nasty strain of Erwina can cause fire blight, a disease that can destroy an entire apple orchid in one season if conditions are favorable. Woe be tide the plant or person who cross this frightful pair.

My Hero Academia
An apple tree afflicted with fire blight. Credit: Sebastian Stabinger through Wikimedia Commons [2018]

1. One for All – All Might & the Mantis Shrimp

My Hero Academia
All Might. Credit: Funimation [2018]

All Might has saved the world of My Hero Academia so many times that he is known as “The Symbol of Peace,” and this is all due to the quirk he inherited: One For All.  Though, this quirk is a bit hard to quantify.

It allows the user to access power (or “potential energy”) stockpiled from previous holders of the quirk before it was passed down.  In short, it tremendously enhances the user’s strength.  One of All Might’s punches was even powerful enough to affect the atmospheric pressure and change the weather.

My Hero Academia

The mantis shrimp however is close to actually matching All Might’s cartoonish levels of power. A punch from a mantis shrimp travels about 80.4 kmh (or 50 mph), accelerating faster than a .22-caliber bullet, delivering 160 lbs (approx. 712 N) of force.

My Hero Academia
Mantis shrimp. Credit: Roy L. Caldwell, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley – National Science Foundation

It’s so fast, the punch lowers the pressure of water in front of it, causing the water to boil and emit a flash of light. The shrimp accomplishes all this by using its muscles to store potential energy like a loaded spring gun, but a lot stronger. So when All Might or the mantis shrimp say “I am here,” they make it well known.

Honorable Mention: 
Frog – Tsuyu Asui (Su) & the Frog

My Hero Academia
Tsuyu Asui (Hero name: Froppy). Credit: Funimation [2018]

With a quirk like “Frog,” this comparison is a bit of a given, but I’d be remiss not to mention it. Su has an amalgamation of various frog and toad abilities. She can leap great distances, use a powerful extended tongue, and swim exceptionally well (like most frogs in general), as well as cling to walls and camouflage (like tree frogs).

My Hero Academia

In addition, Su can regurgitate the contents of her stomach like certain breeds of toad can. Suffice it to say, if a frog or toad can do it, there’s a strong chance Su can do it too.

My Hero Academia Is Realer Than You Thought

My Hero Academia inspires fans worldwide to rise up and be heroes in their own ways, but looking closer, we see not only are the heroes’ qualities duplicable, but their quirks are as well (at least for animals). 

Who knows? Maybe one of you readers will make a gene splicing tool that allows humanity to “go beyond” its current limits and gain some of these animal abilities.  And if that’s the case, I have two words for you: Plus-Ultra!