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Because Science

How the Biology in Every Single ALIEN Movie Fits Together (Probably)

Look, fans of the ALIEN franchise–we need to have a chest-to-chest for a minute. It’s getting harder and harder to love the movies if you’re a giant science nerd, like me. For the last 40 years, the movies have been getting more and more hung up on the biology of the original xenomorph (yes, small “x”), as have we nerds, and now it’s all a mess. What is the black goo? Where did the first facehugger come from? Alien: Covenant is the latest film to try and sort it all out, but audiences are still confused.

So let’s fix that. Let’s look at every ALIEN film ever made–look to the quotes from the people who actually made the movies–and produce the longest-ever Because Science to create the definitive, conclusive xenomorph life cycle. Maybe. I hope.

In my latest Because Science, I’ve gone a bit crazy trying to link every chestburster with every hybrid with every egg. If you look at the original conception of the monsters from ALIEN and ALIENS, the life cycle was very straightforward. ALIEN writer Dan O’Bannon and director Ridley Scott were fascinated by the biology of parasitoid wasps–paralyzing prey, laying eggs on/in them, and cocooning both–and so that’s what the xenomorph did. More or less. But then Prometheus introduced ze goo…


I’ll admit that in my first xenomorph biology video, I got some things wrong, so this is my attempt to right them. Check out my biggest episode ever, above!

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