Hysterical strength  

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Hysterical strength describes displays of extreme strength by humans, beyond what is believed to be normal. It is a speculative term that is not recognized in medical academia; the concept has only a small body of anecdotal evidence to support it.


The most common anecdotal examples are of mothers lifting automobiles to rescue their children, and when people are in life and death situations. Hysterical strength can result in torn muscles and damaged joints. This is why, in addition to high lactic acid production, the body limits the number of muscle fibers the human body uses.

  • In 1982, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Angela Cavallo lifted a 1964 Chevrolet Impala from her son, Tony, after it fell off the jacks that had held it up while he worked underneath the car. Mrs. Cavallo lifted the car high enough and long enough for two neighbours to replace the jacks and pull Tony from beneath the car.
  • In 2006 in Tucson, Arizona, Tim Boyle watched as a Chevrolet Camaro hit 18-year-old Kyle Holtrust. The car pinned Holtrust, still alive, underneath. Boyle ran to the scene of the accident and lifted the Camaro off the teenager, while the driver of the car pulled him to safety.
  • In 2009 in Ottawa, Kansas, 5-foot-7, 185-pound Nick Harris lifted a Mercury (automobile) sedan to help a 6 year old girl pinned beneath.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hysterical strength" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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