We all live in a Pokémon world, but let's be honest, we'd rather live in the actual Pokémon universe. After all, what's not to love about adorable, cuddly, world-breaking monsters who do your bidding? But there's also the question of what sort of logistics are involved. It's clear from the games that humans in the Pokémon world don't quite match up to regular humans, and it's even more pronounced in the anime with people like Team Rocket and Ash. Especially Ash, who takes all sorts of abuse from his Pokémon and carts them around like they're nothing. Which begs the question: does Ash Ketchum have super-strength?
This question was posed on Twitter, with the user pointing to various examples of Ash carting around exceedingly heavy Pokémon and juxtaposing it with the scene from the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back as an explanation for why Mewtwo used a Protect against Ash, who by all accounts should be just a regular human 10-year-old. After all, Pokémon like Pikachu and Fletchinder can't be that heavy... Right?
Actually, they are -- despite looking relatively light, Pikachu is a good thirteen pounds and Fletchinder weighs about thirty-five pounds, yet Ash holds them up like they weigh nothing. Examples in the thread also see Ash swinging Pignite around -- that's about 122 pounds of pork, for the record. But the prize should probably go to Larvitar, whom Ash carted about in his arms for a good season; it's about Pikachu's size, it should be his weight, right? Wrong -- try almost 160 pounds. And Ash carries it around like it's nothing! But the true winner is Cosmoem, canonically the heaviest Pokémon in existence. It might be small at just four inches, but it weighs over two tons.
Ash isn't the only one with insane strength, though. May's brother Max carted a Munchlax around, which clocks in at about 230 pounds, and Serena was able to hold a Fennekin in one hand and a Pancham in the other, the lighter of which weighs about twenty pounds. This coupled with other instances of characters carting around Pokémon suggests that super-strength might actually be a common trait for humans in the Pokémon world.
Even with that, Ash seems to push this to the limits, as shown when one response links a Tumblr post calculating Ash's strength. In one episode in the Battle Frontier series, "Pinch Healing!," Ash throws a log about the size of a caber. This Tumblr user did the calculations and came to the conclusion that this log, which Ash throws like it's nothing, weighs well over half a ton. This pales in comparison to him hauling about Cosmoem, but the fact that this seems to be an everyday occurrence for Ash gives weight to him having super-strength.
Let's not forget that this super-strength is also on top of him having an apparent resistance to injury. The first time Pikachu shocked him should have been the last time, and he certainly shouldn't have survived the numerous Flamethrowers to the face that Charizard gives him. Pokémon trainers shouldn't be afraid of little bumps and bruises, sure, but with some of the attacks he shrugs off, it's no wonder Ash doesn't react to the knocks to the head he so often got from his friends.
In addition, according to the episodes and movies set in Sinnoh, Ash has Aura powers that he's actually used multiple times. Now granted he sees no reason to hone these powers, and who can blame him when he can already OHKO a Legendary Pokémon? But the fact that Ash has such a rare ability that he treats with such a blasé attitude is worth mentioning. As a matter of fact, the fact that Ash treats all of his abilities, from super-strength to Aura powers to slow aging (twenty years and still ten), with such a carefree attitude is…actually kind of good news.
These capabilities in the wrong hands could honestly be catastrophic. In a world where people leap about like ninjas (and in some cases are actual ninjas) and haul around hefty Pokémon like they're nothing, someone with Ash's canon powers could easily be a villain. The fact that Ash continues to be a happy-go-lucky goofball who only wants to travel the world with his Pokémon is a good thing, although it does make us question why he tolerates Team Rocket constantly pestering him. Maybe he secretly likes the company.