A small minority (on the order of one in one million to one in ten million or so) of men and women in this world tend to suddenly manifest their supernatural heritage/psychic abilities/superpowers not when they first become adults, but instead, in their 30s (although not one specific age and with some outliers that are a bit younger or a bit older).

This manifestation happens at about this time even in people who are completely unaware of the existence of supernaturals/psychics/superpowers and have no one who knows them who is aware of these things either.

These powers remain vital for life once they manifest, but do not prevent old aged based dementia or other serious symptoms of old age on a normal human life span.

These traits are approximately as hereditary as schizophrenia/bipolar disorder are in our world.

What plausible developmental or physiological triggers could lead to this major event being triggered at this age?

Examples of similar significant transformations in mid-life in the real world in humans or in animal models would be informative.

The trigger wouldn't necessarily have to be purely physiological, it could have some relationship to some environmental trigger that often happens around this age as well. The trigger does not have to be the same for men as for women, although it could be.

A trigger could also usually happen at a younger age and then have a long dormancy period (sort of like HIV).

By way of analogy, there are lots of physiological processes/common environmental triggers that take place in puberty/adolescence/coming of age that could be triggers from hormone shifts to thinning of neurological connections in the brain to make them more efficient but less plastic (suspected in schizophrenia/bipolar) to loss of virginity.

If there are no plausible triggers with any connection to a scientific basis, please explain why you believe this is so

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    $\begingroup$ Stress caused by their peers asking what the heck they have done with their lives and why they have neither graduated nor left their parents' basement yet. That tends to br a trigger for a lot of stuff. $\endgroup$ Sep 10, 2018 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ I wish I had the medical background to answer this. Years ago my wife asked a simple question. After watching nieces and nephews grow up, she asked, "when do you think it is that a boy becomes a man?" There is actually a physical difference to the way men and women look sometime around 25-35ish. Gone are the round faces, suddenly they're longer. The build is different, their presence is different. She's right, there is a change somewhat reflective of puberty when we adults actually become adults. But, not being a medico, I haven't the slightest idea why. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Sep 10, 2018 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ I remember reading about a kind of epilepsy that is genetically inherited, but only triggers when someone eats a special kind of bean that carries a protein that starts the epilepsy. As long as the individual that carries this genom does not eat that bean, everything is fine. Sadly i forgot the name of this kind of epilepsy, so no answere here. :/ $\endgroup$
    – DarthDonut
    Sep 11, 2018 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


There are two things that I think could be a trigger for this; Human Growth Hormone suffers an amazing reduction in production by the Pituitary Gland in the brain around this time, and the body also produces collagen in far lower levels.

Personally, of the two of these, I prefer the HGH reduction for two reasons; it's a hormone, which means that tying in other manifestations of latent abilities could be tied to the idea that in a small number of cases, HGH actually inhibits the onset of these abilities that would normally manifest at puberty, and secondly because the Pituitary Gland is involved.

The Pituitary Gland is essentially a master regulator of hormones throughout the body and acts as a life-long biological clock for the body in many respects. The idea that this is somehow tied to a retarded manifestation of magical abilities makes for a very plausible biological function to design.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. This is the kind of trigger I was looking for but is one that I had no idea existed. $\endgroup$
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 10, 2018 at 4:40
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    $\begingroup$ Also allows for powers manifesting at a variety of ages depending on individual biological makeup. Perhaps people with certain lineages manifest sooner than others but don’t grow as much! $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Sep 10, 2018 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs And hence, perhaps while so many tales of magical people involve "little people." Bravo. $\endgroup$
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:47

Ear hair.

Ah, callow, hairless youth. Hair in normal places - manageable, predictable. But at 30 the hair gets ambitious. Pioneer hairs move out and establish in the previously hairless expanses - the nose, the back... the ear. Midlife is the onset of rampant random hair growth and ear hair is the least and the worst; least in number, worst in implication and obviousness.

But perhaps it is the hairs that, Sampsonlike, allow the powers to take root. Pluck them at your peril.


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