Becky Sharrock, a 26-year-old Australian woman has memorized and can recite all of JK Rowling’s celebrated Harry Potter books word-for-word.
A big Potterhead, Sharrock hails from Brisbane and has a mental condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), which means she remembers every moment of her life in extraordinary detail.
Sharrock offered a small insight into how astonishing her memory is in an interview where she rattles off huge Harry Potter passages word-for-word.
“I tested her on the (Harry Potter) books because she says she can remember every single word from every single book,” said Allison Langdon who interviewed Sharrock for Channel 9.
“So I would pick up a book and open a page and read her a line and immediately she would name the book, chapter number, chapter name and could recite every word until I told her to stop,” Langdon told news.com.au.
‘Chapter 17 is the man with two faces. ‘And it starts on “It was Quirrel. You? gasped Harry,”’ Sharrock said when asked to recite chapter 17 of the first book in the Harry Potter series, the Philosopher’s Stone.
She memorised every word of all seven books. In years one and two, she began reading the atlas and could recite the capital of every country in the world.
Both a blessing and a curse
Sharrock’s powerful memory is both a blessing and a curse. “At night, I have to sleep with the radio on and a soft light. If it’s too dark or quiet my mind just chatters away with all these memories and I can’t sleep,” Sharrock said.
“When I relive memories, the emotions come back. So if it’s something from when I was younger it’s like my mind is an adult but my emotions are the age that I was then,” she said.
The only one
Sharrock is the only Australian to be diagnosed with the condition and the only person worldwide to live with both it and autism.
“It’s quite phenomenal how it works. The brain is like a DVD with different chapters and they can see it and picture it and jump forwards or backwards,” Langdon said.
“She always felt everyone remembers things like she can but they could deal with it. She doesn’t understand how we forget things,” she said.
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