Today we’re going to recount heroic tales of superhuman feats of strength, when in the face of disaster, some people are said to have summoned up incredible physical power to lift a car off of an accident victim, move giant rocks, or like Big John of song, single-handedly hold up a collapsing beam to let the other miners escape. Are such stories true? There are many anecdotes supporting the idea, but we’re going to take a fact-based look at whether or not it truly is possible for an adrenalin-charged person to temporarily gain massive strength. In proper terminology, such a temporary boost of physical power would be called hysterical strength. The stories are almost always in the form of one person lifting a car off of another. And even lifting many cars by several inches still leaves most of its weight supported by the suspension springs. But our purpose today is not to “debunk” any of the specific stories. The majority of them are anecdotal, and interestingly not repeatable; in many cases, the person who summoned the super strength later tried it again only to find that they couldn’t do it. Basically, what we have is a respectably large body of anecdotal evidence that suggests that in times of crisis, danger, or fear, some people have the ability to temporarily exercise superhuman strength.