Imagine a world where human beings can be organically enhanced to peak physical strength/ speed/ agility and maybe even gain telekinetic abilities to some extent. This enhancement is caused by the (probably painful) bonding of an alien organism to its otherwise perfectly normal human host.

My questions are:
1) Is it biologically plausible at all to imagine that such a creature could gift its host with such powers? Narratively speaking it seems fair to assume that such a pairing would result in reduced lifespan of the host, but would that even have to apply?

2) How would a parasite have to be attached to create such changes in its host? I thought of some bonding to a human's spinal column, but would that do more damage than good?

3) Just for the sake of cool, I imagined these human hosts to have colored eyes - perhaps different sub-species of parasite would result in different eye colors, thus suggesting variations in ability (red eyes are more physically oriented, blue eyes have greater psychic powers, etc). Again, does this make an iota of sense from a biological point of view? Do parasite-host pairings cause such specific physical changes?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Such creatures exist, but afaik they are called "symbionts", not "parasites". $\endgroup$ – enkryptor Sep 26 '16 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at leeches, they feed on damages tissues and helps prevent blood clot. If your engineered leeches can secrete an enzyme carrying retrovirus that can reprogram your DNA why not. I thought of attacking the nervous system but it won't work. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Sep 26 '16 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ There's a Futurama episode about this, called "Parasites Lost" :) $\endgroup$ – xDaizu Sep 26 '16 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ It might be easier to answer if you would put one question in, well, question. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Sep 26 '16 at 14:56

Mitochondria are a precise example of what you need. They exist already. Endosymbiosis

It might be feasible to have a microorganism that enhances strength/endurance, perhaps. Not sure about telekinesis.


The Caddis Larvae already does this in snails, they castrate the host and divert all the body's energy into making a stronger shell which makes the host a much safer home for it.

You can make the host stronger, faster, bigger all you want. It just needs to be at the expense of something else. Maybe reduce the lifespan of the host by making the heart beat twice as hard? That then gives more oxygen to the body for performing other tasks.

The parasites could infect via the eyes, this infection would then be visible and if the parasite is say a fungus, bacteria or a slime-mould, you would then be able to see the build up in the eyes with different genetics causing different colours.


It's mainly plausible:

  1. Physical enhancement is possible if the parasite produce doping and analgesic substances. However, telekinetic abilities is biologically impossible.
  2. In order to inject is doping secretions in the host, the parasite need an access to bloodstream, so any body part near an artery is good.
  3. Some illness can case a change in eye colour like jaundice, but it will most likely conjunctiva colouration rather than a change in iris colour.
  • $\begingroup$ Telekinetic abilities are just these times impossible, in 2077 I can bring my beer with telekineses. ;P $\endgroup$ – user55267 Nov 8 '18 at 14:41

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