A lot of people like to dream about what they would do if they had superpowers, but very few look to comic books for inspiration on how to actually get them. That’s exactly what a 15-year-old boy did in 2014 according to a new report from the Journal of Laboratory Physicians. In an attempt to gain powers, doctors found out that he had been doing things like injecting himself with mercury from broken thermometers and letting spiders bite him.
Unfortunately, this didn’t land the boy at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, he just ended up in the hospital. Doctors had noticed he had lesions on his arms that weren’t healing after several months, but there was nothing else wrong with him that they could tell. So docs went with the seemingly obvious diagnosis – Drug Abuse.
The bad news is that the diagnosis was wrong, but the good news was that the psychiatric team he was transferred to was able to solve the mystery. It turns out that urine tests for drugs also show when there are traces of mercury in your body.
Here’s where the report gets a little weird. The writer of the report said that the boy was inspired to try and get superpowers after watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine, specifically after seeing the X-Man Mercury. The only problem is that Mercury doesn’t appear in that movie at all. Our guess is that he was a fan of mercury and watching Wolverine get injected with Adamantium made him think he had found a way to give himself powers. We can only guess that he also had a love of Spider-Man, which explains why he was enticing spiders to bite him.
If you know anything about The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, you know that mercury in the blood is bad stuff and doctors were very concerned when it showed up in his urine. After some x-rays (See Below), they found that he, luckily, sucked at injecting himself with things and had only managed to get the liquid metal just under his skin and not into his bloodstream. This explained the lesions, which were not only necrotic but were found to be leaking mercury when the doctors cut into them.
When doctors see cases of deliberate mercury injection, it raises major fears.
“Other unusual incidences of self-injection of mercury include a 14-year-old boxer who received an injection of metallic mercury thinking that it would strengthen his sports performance and subjects who believe that mercury injections will improve sexual powers.”
The good news is that this kid wasn’t trying to kill himself, he just really wanted superpowers. They found that he had no other psychiatric problems and had a normal IQ, so he went home to live a normal, mortal life.