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Theory:Enhanced strength

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Main Article Theories about Enhanced strength Main Discussion

The following fan theories are about Enhanced strength.

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Theories

Theory Citations Notes
No one has enhanced strength without a side effect. None + Niki/Jessica have a multiple personality disorder, not just enhanced strength.

+ Knox was only able to obtain enhanced strength when someone nearby was afraid.
+ Michael Fitzgerald had enhanced strength only when accompanied by glowing tattoos/eyes.

This may simply be a creative choice on the artist's part. In the graphic novels, many abilities seem to be accompanied by some sort of glow that is not present when used on the show.
- Also, glowing eyes and tattoos are not on par with Niki's MPD as far as side effects are concerned.

Scott displayed no side effects, but he was shortly killed, no giving possible side effects enough time to take place.
- Niki learned to use the ability outside Jessica's control.
- Knox's ability might not even be enhanced strength, and Michael's tattoos always seemed to glow. A special's psychological and physical problems aren't always related to their ability.

Saying Michael's tattoos always seem to glow is subjective at best. While it can appear to always glow for some, it can appear not to always glow for others.
- By that logic, one could argue that the simple statement "Michael's tattoos glowed when he used his ability" is subjective. If that evidence is removed from the table, then the only side effect remaining are his glowing eyes.

- Peter got this ability without any side effects.
- Enhanced strength isn't all that dangerous. Much more dangerous abilities, like induced radioactivity and gravitational manipulation, have no known side effects.

Knox doesn't have enhanced strength but "fear induced strength". None + Just because a ability makes you stronger doesn't mean you have enhanced strength.
- Knox's ability has been explicitly named in his AT profile.

+ Knox's ability is almost totally different from enhanced strength.

- It makes him stronger, ergo it enhances his strength.
That's like saying that spontaneous combustion and pyrokinesis are the same because they can both cause explosions. Enhanced strength is a constant, passive ability; Knox is completely normal unless someone near him gets scared.
Enhanced strength works by accessing the body's full muscular potential. None + Human beings' muscles are capable of incredible feats of strength. However, the human brain unconsciously 'limits' them; otherwise, the tendons and muscles would tear themselves apart from the strain of producing such force. An ability which works by simply strengthening a person's body to the point where it can handle that extra strength would make perfect evolutionary sense.

+ This might explain how Mohinder was able to resist the DHS' tasers in Cold Wars.

Enhanced strength, at least in some people, is a manifestation of a psychokinetic ability, and the users only have partially evolved muscles. The user utilizes a form of psychokinesis in order to create either a psychokinetic field around the user to gain strength, or enhance/charge muscles with the ability. None + This ability can be disabled, and people with it but don't know how to use it properly can't access it. If it were just modified muscles, the user wouldn't have to know how to use it, it would be a passive ability. So far, this ability appears to be active.
- The muscles could differ from normal human muscles, but in order to activate the ability, a brain command could be necessary. Disabling the ability prevents the users from using the extra strength the ability imparts.

Nullifying the ability may involve simply re-installing the limiters a normal person's brain places on muscular exertion.
+ Knox's body was normal unless someone near him became frightened. Perhaps he somehow converted their fear into psychokinetic force.

Knox may also be able to convert fear to enhanced speed. There appears to be some sort visual change in speed when he attacks the German and Peter. - It seems unlikely that his ability would also have the effect of granting him enhanced speed such as the ability Daphne has. At the most it would probably only grant him some form of enhanced reflexes. Though it was more likely just a visual effect to show the level of strength he was granted from being near so many frightened people.

- It is most likely he moves faster because his body's weight is minimal in comparison to his strength when fear is around him so he moves quickly.

Knox's ability also allows him improved reflexes. None + He is able to reach up and break the neck of Daphne's illusion despite her running at super speeds. (Eris Quod Sum)

- Matt presumably wanted Knox to believe that both he and Daphne were dead, so his success at "killing" the Daphne illusion is not necessarily an indication of what would really happen.

Knox's ability involves a limited form of telepathy. None + There are no significant physical changes in the human body when a person is scared. Knox's ability to detect fear must be limited to the mind and not the body.

- On the contrary, there are numerous physical changes in the human body when a person is scared. A change in heartbeat and breathing pattern, sweating, eye movement changes. There are lots of things he could be basing it off. It seems clear he smells fear.

+ These factors don't hold true for everyone.
+ Matt and Maury can hear thoughts, yet those sounds aren't actually real. The "smell" of fear could just be manufactured by Knox's brain.

- He seems to smell fear, like a dog can.

+ Perhaps his ability to smell fear is a result of his fear-detecting telepathy, which would probably be located in the olfactory part of his brain, causing him to smell things that are intangible and don't actually give off any odors.
There is a difference in smell of fear and work sweat, that anyone can train themselves to detect. This requires no special ability, as he could have learned to after he discovered the cause of his strength.
Animals such as dogs and horses do have an olfactory sense developed to the point the can smell fear, the human body releases chemicals that these animals can detect.

- This would be closer to empathy (sensing emotions) than telepathy (detecting thoughts).
- He mostly likely notices when he gets stronger, and therefore knows someone around him is afraid.

Knox's ability is weaker than Niki's strength. None + In a one on one fight between them, Niki would have her strength completely and Knox would only have it if she was afraid of him.

- The more people there are, the stronger he would be.

- It could depend on the situation. Niki has proven to be a somewhat timid individual, so Knox would probably make her scared.
+ Niki was no longer timid after defeating Candace Wilmer.
Niki may be timid but there is a difference between being timid and being scared.
+ Niki, as of Powerless, is a brave and courageous person. She would wipe the floor with Knox.
If Niki were in trouble, not-so-timid-Jessica would take over and snap Knox like a twig.
Niki is likely not timid. In How to Stop an Exploding Man, Niki was brave enough to help Peter against Sylar.
Knox has demonstrated incredible strength with only one scared person near him at the time.
It depends on how many people are afraid and how much afraid each of them are. Noah Gray was mortified during when Knox, Daphne and Claire broke into his home. The fifty something people at the bank were mortified too.

Though normally, Niki would probably be stronger than Knox, her strength is static and has no potential to increase. Therefore, it is very possible that Knox's strength could, under certain circumstances, surpass Niki's.
- If Niki was aware that Knox's strength was enhanced by fear, she might become afraid in spite of herself, and the more his power grows the more frightened she would become.

Knox's power has something to do with his body somehow absorbing the energy released from the body caused by the specific emotion of fear (fight or flight imperative). None + Rather than latent telepathy, Knox's body might have the ability to somehow absorb the energy produced by people who're experiencing fear. This energy is produced by the body's release of extra adrenaline which then supplies people extra energy.
+ Knox's body moght only be able to absorb the specific energy produced by fear and not other adrenaline-enduced scenarios. The specific fight-or-flight status of the brain, the level of energy the body produces, and the other hormones associated with fear are the particular mix that Knox's body is capable of drawing energy from.
+ This energy could be stored in his muscles which somehow grants him durability (against the application of his strength so that the reaction from the action he applies doesn't affect him also)and also the actual strength to accomplish the feat.
+ Knox only knows that people around him are afraid because he begins gaining strength. He can also sense the direction where the energy is coming from. (One of Us, One of Them)
Knox's ability to detect fear literally comes from his sense of smell. None + He told Claire that he could "smell" her fear. (I Am Become Death).

+ People can in fact smell fear.
+ He breathes in deeply through his nose when he uses his ability.
- In Hard Knox, Benjamin used his ability to bend an iron bar without consciously inhaling.

Knox wouldn't be able to use his ability if he was choked. None + It seems like he needed to inhale people's fear in to become super strong.
Knox's ability was an impaired form of enhanced strength. None + Many abilities seem to be triggered by biochemical reactions (which are linked to strong emotions such as fear, love, etc.). It is possible that Knox possessed a 'damaged' enhanced strength gene, causing the ability to only engage when his body picked up biochemicals associated with fear from his surroundings.

+ Evolution consists of random alterations in an organism's genetic code; for each beneficial change which occurs, there are often several negative changes. It seems plausible that an ability could mutate over in a fashion that would reduce its effectiveness.


  Theories edit
See Also: 9RedTime travelEnhanced strength