One of the more common flavors of Planet Looters
, in this case aliens are after one specific resource that Earth certainly has in abundance, water.
Involves some Fridge Logic
as there is water in a variety of other more easily accessible locations in space. All comets and a variety of asteroids and moons have water in great abundance and are much easier to land a spacecraft on than Earth, as well as lacking those pesky hairless apes. Hence it rarely appears outside of Hollywood.
Anime and Manga
- The Back Story of the anime Green Legend Ran tells how aliens approached Earth, and while in the process of essentially taking over through religious means, sucked away most of Earth's natural resources, including lots of oxygen and about 99% of the water.
- In Battle: Los Angeles the alien invaders seem to be sucking up the oceans.
- Seemingly inverted in Oblivion2013 where humanity is trying to drain the Earth's water as fuel for fusion in preparation for a Homeworld Evacuation. Until it turns out that the protagonist is a cloned slave unwittingly helping an alien machine drain the oceans and kill what's left of humanity.
- In the film adaptation of Enders Game Graff suggests that the Formics wanted to invade Earth for water, which their desert-like homeworld doesn't appear to have much of. Though they do attack a fleet of Formic ships harvesting ice from a gas cloud at one point. Note that this was not even discussed in the book, the theory there was that they were trying to colonize.
- David Bowie's character in The Man Who Fell to Earth is an alien who's come to Earth for water. In the brief scene we see of him at home with his family, they're all wearing skintight suits to keep their sweat in.
- While this isn't confirmed in-story during War of the Worlds (2005), director Steven Spielberg told Newsweek magazine in an interview that the aliens might be attacking for water.
- The Ice Pirates: While it's not an invasion that's the key to the movie, water is indeed the most valuable substance in the universe to the point of being the movie's MacGuffin.
- In Olaf Stapleton's Last and First Men the Martians invade Earth during the reign of the Second Men in order to steal water, along with plant life and diamonds. Then again it was written back when people thought Venus was covered with oceans of water (apparently too far from Mars) instead of lava.
- Downplayed in Animorphs. In the third book the kids see the Yeerks regularly send down supply ships to retrieve water and oxygen for their ships in orbit, but it's not the main reason for their invasion.
- In the Isaac Asimov novella The Martian Way human settlers on Mars use water from Earth to power the nuclear reactors in their spaceships. To stir up anti-Martian sentiment an Earth politician says that Mars is using too much of Earth's water so they're being cut off. In response the Martians go to Saturn and haul home one of the ice chunk asteroids which make up Saturn's rings, providing them with enough water to last 2000 years. The Martians snarkily offer to sell Earth some to "make up for" the minuscule amount of Earth water they've used over the years.
- In V the Visitors are after Earth's water, and the fact that humans are delicious too doesn't hurt.
- In Star Trek: Voyager the Kazon will kill, steal, or trade hostages for water. Note that they're also the only species so far that the Borg have refused to assimilate because it would weaken the Collective.
- One spotlight challenge on Face/Off required the creation of aliens whose home planets are in great jeopardy. Naturally, one of the planets is running out of water.
- A Calvin and Hobbes strip parodies this with a poem Calvin wrote about a flying saucer stealing the Earth's water and air.
- Downplayed in Half-Life 2. When close to some docks, if the player looks really close, they can notice that the dock isn't anywhere close to the shore, implying that there's less water in the ocean than before. Word of God also states that The Combine have placed a giant portal at the bottom of Earth's oceans, which is sending the water to other Combine-conquered worlds.
- In an episode of Doctor Snuggles called "The Remarkable Fidgety River", a race of aliens are stealing cubes of water from the ocean and taking them to their home planet. It turns out to be subversion, however, as the aliens meant no harm - they thought the water was rubbish because it had so much garbage in it. When Snuggles explains that the plants and animals on Earth need the water, the aliens promptly agree to give it back.
- The second season episode "When Strikes Mutilor" from Hanna-Barbera's SWAT Kats has a huge alien craft sucking huge columns of ocean water within sight of Megakat City. The aliens that normally man this craft are Technical Pacifists and are being held prisoner by the Space Pirate Mutilor, who has no qualms about disrupting Megakat City's ecosystem.
- An episode of Team Galaxy called "H2-Oh No!" featured an aquatic race stealing water from various planets due to the fact that the planet is in a system that has six suns, which constantly evaporate the planet's water supply.