Contest Offers $250,000 to People with Proven Superpowers

OneZero, a tech publication under the Medium brand, just released a story following a person attempting to demonstrate their possession of supernatural capabilities. The story, while creepy, and, sadly, unfulfilling, is a good reminder of the fact that if anyone out there is able to—reliably—teleport, levitate, mind read, predict the future, or summon X-ray vision, they’re guaranteed a $250,000 prize.

In the story, OneZero follows a man named Gary Arnold who believes he’s able to hear voices coming from what seems to be a sort of electrostatic ether. This ability, while not exactly X-Men caliber, would, of course, still be astonishing if real. Although, unfortunately, it is apparently not, as Arnold wasn’t able to demonstrate his supernatural ability.

Despite Arnold’s failure, the contest is still ongoing, and has attracted some very interesting entrants. The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (CFIIG), the organization that runs the competition—The Paranormal Challenge—has a running list of people who’ve attempted to prove their otherworldly prowess. And some have been quite entertaining.

Tech publication, OneZero, has released a new profile piece following a man attempting to demonstrate supernatural abilities for $250,000.


One entrant from September 2020, for example, claimed he could “circumvent” Newton’s Laws of Motion. To prove it, he sent a video in to CFIIG showing him with ability to alter the spinning direction of a glass knob, without touching it. The video was so difficult to explain, the organization called in physicists to illuminate what was happening. (It turns out slanting a coffee table and rolling glass on glass makes magical things happen. Figuratively, that is.)

Halle Berry with lightning bolts shooting from her hands as Storm in X-Men

20th Century Fox

Other entrants have provided very little convincing evidence of exceptional abilities. Such as Alperen T., who said he could summon genies, but actually couldn’t. Or “TR,” who said he could emit static electricity from his hands, create lightning in the sky, and teleport. That would totally make him a real-life Storm if… he could really do any of that.

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