Most Alien Aliens

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by CuttingEdge100, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. CuttingEdge100

    CuttingEdge100 Commodore Commodore

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    I've watched many episodes of Star Trek and I'm curious which aliens look genuinely the most alien in a realistic way.

    Consider the following
    • Aliens evolved through natural selection as did we: They did not evolve by magic
    • Aliens would have to have functionality: Looking bizarre isn't the criteria that matters (I remember an episode where there was an alien that had a structure connecting the nose to the lips -- while it looked bizarre -- it would make eating stuff difficult), they would need certain traits
    • Intelligence and cunning obviously
    • Good memory
    • Self awareness
    • Central nervous system would probably be a prerequesite
    • Even if they were able to swim in the water, they would probably be dependent on the ability to survive on land if for no other reason than the need for fire
    • Dexterity and ability to manipulate objects: In our case it would be our opposable thumbs and jointed fingers, but it could easily be a trunk
    • Tool Use
    • The ability to travel large distances: Look at many apex predators such as wolves, orcas, and people -- all were able to travel gigantic distances without stopping; humans have the ability to run for large distances due to our long-legs, ability to efficiently dispel heat
    • Complex Speech: The ability to communicate through a sufficiently complex auditory means would be probably needed to communicate -- especially for a civilization to operate in space
    • Visually oriented: The speed of light is faster than the time it takes for scent to waft over, or sound to make it's way. In most likelihood they'd need to be able to identify objects that are non-moving as well as moving
    • In nature there are several types of symmetry: Radial, Biradial, and Bilateral (us), and radial: Most vertebrates are radial in symmetrical arrangement. This doesn't mean that they'd have to have two eyes, they could have four, or six
    • While I suppose such a creature could have tentacles and be shaped like an octopus, with only a skull for protection: Bones are hard and would require less work of the muscles in a land environment; the creatures of this type usually also have a spine.
    I'd say the best aliens I've seen in Star Trek would be the following (not in order)

    TOS
    • Talosian

    TNG
    • Barash (Future Imperfect -- cliche, I know)
    • Ferengi
    • Fek'lhr (Devil's Due)
    • Tarchannan Mutation (Identity Crisis)
    • Antedean

    ENT
    • Xindi Reptilian
    • Xindi Arboreal

    Other
    • Antarian Mankiller (ST: Judgement Rites)
    • Prothean (Mass Effect)

    What would you say would be the
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The Horta, of course.

    Not counting, for the sake of argument, noncorporeal energy beings of the sort seen in "Metamorphosis," "Day of the Dove," "The Lights of Zetar," etc.
     
  3. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With the criteria listed, I'll go with Tholians.
     
  4. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

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    The pipe-cleaner chicken aliens from Catspaw, and the pancakes from Operation: Annihilate.
     
  5. wildsulu

    wildsulu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Cool question, I want to nominate 4 categories:

    (1) Planet wide creatures: My favourite is the smart planet-wide fungus from Enterprise. It's alien in structure and in communication. It's only weak point is a lack of tool use. Potentially the Founders also fall in this category and they do have tool use, so maybe their mastery of all aspects makes them so powerful. The pancakes from TOS also fall in this category. I like them a lot but AFAIK the pancakes communicate telepathically or by radio waves which makes less sense.

    (2) Aliens with alien priorities/thoughts. With that I mean aliens that have priorities in life that differ a lot from humanoids. My favourites are the Sheliak from TNG. They have little regard for the lives of humanoid federation settlers. Apparently they think it's OK to kill thousands if that gets them their planetary resources. They are very difficult to communicatie with, even when they are apparently biological individuals. The Founders also fall in this category. And maybe the Tholians too, but I've always thought that their hot temperature is a problem for evolution.

    (3) Space dwelling species like for example 'Tin Man' from TNG. I can image how it would evolve on a gas planet: starting in a dense area, eventually evolving into the vacuum of space. I think for tool use 'Tin Man' was dependent on humanoids who chose to live in his "space ship body". Man that sounds weird.

    (4) Bird/Reptile/Fish species. In my opinion, on earth bird species have shown the most intelligence, so I'll go with birds. I'll vote for the chicken aliens from Catspaw (TOS). Reptiles are related to birds so the Xindi Reptilians are also a winner.

    Bonus: Let's not forget the Trill and less benevolent parasites :)
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Are you asking for the best or most Alien race seen in ST?

    For most Alien what about the Medusan's (TOS: "IS There In Truth NO Beauty") or the Kelvan's (TOS: "By Any Other Name")
     
  7. maneth

    maneth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The most alien for me are definitely the Founders. They don't even have a central nervous system.
     
  8. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had also the Tholians in mind.

    And I´d like to add Christopher´s Cosmozoans
    or Star Jellies
    or Chrystalline Entitiy
     
  9. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore Commodore

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    The shapeshifters from Enterprise. They seemed very intelligent but it doesn't look like they had built a civilization of any kind. They couldn't defend themselves against the hunters, even though the latter only attacked them in small hunting parties. I mean it's like it never occurred to them that they could pull their resources and organize a massive ambush of the hunters. That's rather alien to our nature.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    According to The Chase, that not true. At least not in the trek universe, intelligent life was by design and not the produce of random selection.

    :)
     
  11. wildsulu

    wildsulu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    good one! I just wonder what their shape or anatomy is supposed to be. Please don't show me a picture ;)
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    At least in the Milkay Way Galaxy.
     
  13. wildsulu

    wildsulu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Doesn't that argument only apply to the humanoids? Or maybe only to the races shown in 'The Chase'?
     
  14. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder how first contact with the Medusans went?

    "Don't look at us!!"


    "What? AHHHHHHHH!!!!!":lol:
     
  15. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Tribbles; How do they function?
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't count Fek'lhr. One, he's a myth and probably doesn't actually exist in the Trek universe. Two, when we do see him, it's just someone else disguised as him.
     
  17. CuttingEdge100

    CuttingEdge100 Commodore Commodore

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    Greg Cox

    1. Why the Horta

    2. The non-corporeal entities don't seem to have an evolutionary pathway


    Tosk

    They seem more radial in symmetry -- but technically octopus are actually bilateral with radial features.

    I'd say they definitely could qualify as a product of evolution -- however the idea of an exo-skeliton could present problems
    • Exoskelitons are generally made out of chitin: It does not grow; the creature must shed the skin and grow a new one at which point it is highly vulnerable
    • If it had a skeliton underneath as well it'd be okay

    Push The Button

    1. Pipe-cleaner aliens from Catspaw?

    2. The neural parasites don't seem to have the means to manipulate objects


    wildsulu

    I never saw the episode, but I cannot say an intelligent plant-wide entity of this sort isn't impossible as it could establish through it a neural network which may not be centralized but sheer processing ability could do the job.

    It would probably be unable to become a space-fairing civilization though...

    Communication? I never saw the episode...

    Actually, they were originally supposedly solid.

    Interestingly there are certain basic drives that would be uniform throughout nearly all life... though societies would vary radically.

    That's because they don't see them the same: I remember there was a book in which an alien race decides to exterminate mankind because it figures that we could never empathize with a non-humanoid.

    Also some people have the attitude that if you're not in my group (my race, my culture): You don't count -- especially if your views threaten mine or contradict mine.

    [quote\And maybe the Tholians too, but I've always thought that their hot temperature is a problem for evolution.[/quote]1. How hot an environment do they live in?

    2. We do have thermophilic species (archaebacteria mostly, admittedly they are single cells); silicon could work like carbon too.

    Like aliens forming in the liquid layers and turning from there into various worms, and slugs, some skates and stuff? I can't say it's impossible, but the problems I could see would be
    • Obscene temperatures: It's very hot down there (if I recall thousands of degrees) and I'm not even sure if thermophiles could take it.
    • Obscene pressures
    Yeah, you'd think the species who flew in it, created it. It's not that weird an idea as eventually an advanced computer would start to become sentient and rather than it being a slave to us, it would be a companion of ours.

    Still, we would sadly view it as disposable if it stopped serving our needs, and it'd probably know that

    Avian based species are definitely possible: I'm not so sure if they could fly though.

    Sounds good.


    MacLeod

    Well, I was mostly thinking of alien races that could be sentient and if not capable now, would be capable of space-flight.


    maneth

    The founders however are fairly unrealistic unless technologically based: Shape-shifters can change size and mass at will which defy physics.


    T'Girl

    That seemed more of an in universe explanation for the creatures looking all like people.

    Plus, even if that were so: The people who founded everything must have evolved.


    Kevman7987

    They seem mammalian because of their fur, but there's no rule I know of that states fur cannot evolve for different reasons.

    Truthfully it would have made more sense for the tribbles to have been the product of genetic engineering gone wrong or something
     
  18. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore Commodore

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    True, but it's not like she's wearing a Fek'lhr suit, is it?
     
  19. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^It's a hologram. Picard wore it too, remember?
     
  20. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always appreciated it when STAR TREK went out on a limb and treated us to aliens like the Crystaline Entity or the Rock Monster from TOS who introduced Abraham Lincoln to the franchise. The Horta's another one. I always liked the energy beings, like the Medusean that made any man go criminally insane, if they openly fancied Dr. Pulaski. The Sheliak and the Antedean dignitaries come to mind, also. My personal favourite has always been the Selay, from The Next Generation's "Lonely Amongst Us." It's very charming seeing these snake heads on what appear to be Human bodies under glittering robes and how they hisssssssss all the time, when they're not talking. They were entertaining, especially when they lassoed Riker, in the darkened hallways, because they wanted to chomp on the other delegates who looked like weasels or mice, or whatever ...