I am working to build a parallel Earth that is home to individuals with superhuman abilities (in addition to ordinary humans). This Earth has all of today's knowledge and technology (and perhaps beyond), and exists in a galaxy where sentient extraterrestrial life is possible.
Through researching superhumans in other media, I’ve noticed there are several common ways for an individual to acquire such powers. Here are a few:
Influence of a god/higher power (Hawkman, Moon Knight)
Genetic, either nonhuman lineage or mutation (Thor, Wolverine)
Object/Artifact, potentially magical or alien (Green Lantern)
Magic (Dr. Strange)
Chemical (Flash, Captain America)
Electromagnetic radiation (Hulk)
Cybernetics/Technology (Cyborg, Batman)
I’m trying to shy away from the clichéd “super soldier serums” and in favor of something more obscure and/or creative. To clarify, I’m looking for a specific phenomenon or method by which an individual might “receive” a superpower of their own. These methods don’t need to be observable or scientifically accurate, just interesting. (But I would be interested to read how such a thing could be made scientifically plausible.)
In addition to myself, I feel like a lot of other superhero builders out there could benefit from this knowledge and inspiration.
Edit: Often, the means through which a power is attained is related to the power it bestows. As an example, raw genetics is usually the cause of anatomical differences between ordinary humans and superhumans, such as fangs, wings, or a prehensile tail. But this isn't always the case. To refine my question, what event could grant an ordinary human the power to telekinetically control an "element," such as water, acid, miasma, or wood?