Backwards Man – Unique Superpower Allows Man to Speak Backwards

John Sevier Austin, a video editor from North Carolina, has a very unusual superpower – his brain allows him to speak and sing backwards, and is fluent in the unique “language”.

Ever since he was a young boy, Austin knew that he was a bit different than most children his age. Try as he might, he never fit in with the other kids, he could never be on the same page with them, and that really messed with his head growing up. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he found out he had Asperger’s syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum, which explained both his social awkwardness and his strange superpower – the ability to speak and sing backwards.

Photo: Backwards Dude/Facebook

As a young boy dealing with cruel taunts and comments from his peers, John found refuge in music, and listening to records was one of his favorite pastimes. That’s also how he learned about his ability to speak backwards. One day, his record player broke down, playing records in reverse. Only instead of fixing it, he started singing along to the backwards song.

One song was followed by another, then another, and before he knew it, he could sing all the songs backwards and speak almost every word in the English language backwards too. While other people would have been put off by the gibberish, John was amazed by it, he felt like he had discovered a whole new world.


“My brain is able to do all these functions all at once and this is what blows people’s minds – in fact it even blows mine,” John said in a 2019 interview. “Until last year I never realized I was on the spectrum, but when they told me everything just lined up – especially my perspective on the past.”

Something about the way Austin’s brain works allows him to not only speak backwards, but think and visualize things backwards as well, and once he realized just how special his ability was, he learned to not doubt himself any longer, and accept himself just the way he is.


“For somebody that’s on the spectrum, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re stupid or that you can’t do something,” he said. “Talking backwards has allowed me to just go out and be myself – amazing people with how gifted my brain is. That’s what the spectrum us like, we can do extraordinary things so don’t let people bring you down.”

John has showcased his unique ability on several television programs and talent shows over the years, and now hosts his own YouTube channel where he blows people’s minds by singing and speaking backwards.