Aliens: do they exist? And more importantly, what do they look like? Some scientists think they could resemble people, while others theorize they could be machines. There's another possibility, too: they could look like sci fi aliens. The creative minds in Hollywood have populated TV shows and movies with a vast menagerie of aliens, from the nightmare-inducing to the downright adorable.
If Earth is going to be invaded, it's important to consider what time of extraterrestrial leader you'd want. Maybe you prefer your masters to be collected and logical, like the Vulcans on Star Trek. If cuddly aliens are more your thing, Wookiees and Asogians are both represented here. And then there are the more hostile creatures. The Xenomorphs from Alien and Harvesters from Independence Day aren't exactly peaceful, but they sure know how to get things done.
Check out this list of different kinds of aliens in film and on TV, and vote up the creatures you would most warmly welcome as your new alien overlords.
Aliens From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
"I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape... I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important." - Roy Neary (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977)
- Slender humanoids with large heads and comparatively small bodies. Most are about the height of human children, but the leader is much taller, with extremely elongated limbs.
- Highly intelligent space-faring race that has expressed great interest in humanity for decades, if not centuries.
- Routinely abduct humans for presumably benign reasons.
- Implant images and sounds in the minds of those who have encountered them.
Vulcans From Star Trek
"You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours." - Spock (Star Trek, "The Immunity Syndrome," 1968)
- Humanoid race physically similar to humans, but much stronger, faster, longer lived, and with pointed ears, green blood, and a heart where the human liver is located.
- Telepathic species capable of entering another's mind by touching their head and transferring their soul into another body upon death.
- Centuries-old culture that idealizes logic and demonizes emotions.
- Technologically advanced space-faring civilization that has partnered with humanity.
Yautja From Predator
"We begin finding our men. We found them sometimes without their skins... and sometimes much, much worse. 'El cazador trofeo de los hombres' means the demon who makes trophies of men." - Anna (Predator, 1987)
- Tall, muscular, resilient humanoids with reptilian skin and arthropod-like facial mandibles.
- Highly intelligent and technologically advanced species that travels the galaxy in search of dangerous prey to hunt for sport.
- Typically outfitted for the hunt, with bio-mask, plate armor, heated wire mesh bodysuit, and wrist gauntlet for controlling plasma weaponry, adaptive camouflage and self-destruct explosives.
- Strict code of honor that demands they spare the life of a hunter of any species that is found to be a worthy adversary.
Na'vi From Avatar
"We have an indigenous population of humanoids called the Na'vi. They're fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin that will stop your heart in one minute - and they have bones reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber. They are very hard to kill." - Col. Quaritch (Avatar, 2009)
- Three-meter tall bipedal humanoids with vaguely feline features and smooth cyan skin from the moon Pandora.
- Neural tendrils within their hair braids that allow them to connect to kinetic signals of plants and other creatures.
- Omnivorous hunter-gatherers who ride six-legged direhorses and dragon-like banshees and "steer" them via neural links.
- Live in clans inside ancient trees containing natural hollows.