HEALTHY LIVING

This Contortionist's Jaw-Dropping Moves Will Give You A Whole New Appreciation Of The Human Body

03/11/2015 08:21 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2015

Julia Günthel, better known as Zlata, just might be the world's most flexible woman.

At age 4, Zlata's kindergarten teacher noticed how flexible she was. She spent several years as a gymnast before moving from her home in Kazakhstan to Germany and began performing as a contortionist.

Zlata and her jaw-dropping abilities were featured on a Discovery Channel show in 2010, where she said she's one of only a handful of women in the whole world who can bend equally forward and backward, rare even among contortionists.

The Discovery Channel had a doctor check our Zlata's outrageous postures in an MRI machine and found her ligaments are similar to those of babies; they haven't hardened like they typically do with age, allowing her to move into positions that would literally break the backs of the rest of us.

She earned herself a Guinness Word Record with the force behind her backbend, by bursting three balloons with her back in just 12 seconds.

  • Photo by Barcroft Media/Getty Images
    Zlata performs her contortionist act on April 8, 2010 in Germany.
  • Photo by Barcroft Media/Getty Images
    Zlata performs her contortionist act on January 9, 2009 in Germany.
  • Photo by Rosie Hallam / Barcroft Media / Getty Images
    Zlata the contortionist performing in front of the National Gallery in London, England.
  • LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
    Zlata poses on a London underground train on November 14, 2010.
  • Photo by Barcroft Media/Getty Images
    Zlata performs her contortionist act on June 6, 2008 in Germany.
  • Photo by Rosie Hallam / Barcroft Media / Getty Images
    Zlata the contortionist performing on Westminster Bridge in front of Big Ben in London, England.
  • Photo by Rosie Hallam / Barcroft Media / Getty Images
    Zlata the contortionist performing in front of the Horse Guards Parade in London, England.
  • Photographer: Nikitzo.com Rights: Zlatamedia.com
  • Photo by Barcroft Media/Getty Images
    Zlata performs her contortionist act on June 24, 2010 in Germany.
  • Photographer: Nikitzo.com Rights: Zlatamedia.com
  • Photo by Rosie Hallam / Barcroft Media / Getty Images
    Zlata the contortionist performing in an old-fashioned red telephone box in London, England.

Check out more jaw-dropping flexibility from Zlata in the slideshow below.

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