Created By: MarqFJA on October 2, 2010 Last Edited By: MarqFJA on January 11, 2013
Troped

Bizarre Human Biology

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Trope

Launching within 48 hours.

Tags: Rolling Updates

Indexes: Otherness Tropes, Speculative Fiction Tropes

Laconic: Bizarre Alien Biology for humans. (A/N: Gah, need a better laconic definition. Any suggestions?)

Maybe the character was born a Mutant, or belong to a Human Subspecies, or have gone far enough up the Evolutionary Levels, or underwent extensive Bio-Augmentation of the essentially permanent kind... Or perhaps they were even created as an Artificial Human from the get-go. The bottom line is, this human character's biology, while not technically alien, cannot be considered "normal human" by any stretch of the term, be it due to having extra organs (duplicate or not), wildly different biochemistry, abnormal nutritional requirements, or even possessing completely new cellular organelles.

The trope can come into two flavours:
  • Standard: These are fictitious in principle, and thus typically the domain of Speculative Fiction.
  • Truth in Television: some of the detailed aspects of our biology can be downright bizarre to us, even if they technically make sense. Additionally, there are real-life medical conditions that technically result in abnormalities to an otherwise healthy human biology (see Real Life section).

Note that not all Human Subspecies, Mutants, Bio-Augmentation, etc. lead to Bizarre Human Biology. They are only possible ways for attaining this trope.

Compare and contrast Bizarre Alien Biology, which may overlap with this trope in cases of Half Human Hybrids or Panspermia.

Examples (Standard flavor)

Comic Books
  • The Ultimate Marvel version of Mr. Fantastic's body is an infinitely extensible fluid-filled sack containing, in place of an alimentary canal and other organs, just a squishable bolus of microbes that perform all metabolic functions. Yes, we know; Fails Biology Forever. Chalk it up to Rule of Cool and leave it at that.

Fan Work
  • While Rei Ayanami is canonically known to be at least partially human, the specifics aren't made clear. To compensate, Fanfics tend to depict her with either this trope, Bizarre Alien Biology, or both, each in various ways. To list them all would be a herculean task, given the size of the fandom; one notable aspect, however, is whether or not she has an S2 Engine/Organ, and its exact role in her physiology.

Films
  • Star Wars: All living species in The Verse possess "midi-chlorians", mysterious organelles which have some intricate connection to the Force.

Literature

Live-action TV
  • The Sebeccans in Farscape are humans decended from Super Soldiers who were genetically engineered by aliens long ago. They have improved physical strength and eyesight (humans are apparently practically blind by the standards of other races) but fewer redundant organs an an extreme (seriously) weakness to high temperatures.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Examples (Truth in Television flavor)

Video Games

Real Life
  • Situs inversus is a congenital human condition where the internal organs are in reverse of where they normally are (heart on the right, liver on the left, etc.). Absent any actual congenital defects, such individuals can lead otherwise perfectly normal lives.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • October 1, 2010
    TheBigSock
    Human soldiers from Old mans war have green skin, cat eyes and nano-bots instead of blood.
  • October 1, 2010
    Lullabee
  • October 2, 2010
    MarqFJA
    Added. Any comments on the description?
  • October 3, 2010
    Glucharina
    Our Humans Are Different? (More like a joke suggestion)
  • October 4, 2010
    ginsengaddict
    Truth In Television - Our biology is naturally bizarre.
  • October 4, 2010
    MarqFJA
    Ah, no. The trope is about being "bizarre" in comparison to normal human biology; whether any facet of human biology is bizarre to us humans is a totally separate concept. On second thought, I retract that statement. Adding it now.
  • October 5, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Shouldn't it be Bizarre Humanoid Biology then?
  • October 5, 2010
    Bisected8
    The Sebeccans in Farscape are humans decended from Super Soldiers who were genetically engineered by aliens long ago. They have improved physical strength and eyesight (humans are apparently practically blind by the standards of other races) but fewer redundant organs an an extreme (seriously) weakness to high temperatures.
  • October 5, 2010
    MarqFJA
    ^^ No. The trope is about human biology, not humanoid biology. If the character/race is not at least of a Human Subspecies, that they don't qualify.
  • October 7, 2010
    Arha
    I don't know, this kind of seems like it should maybe be multiple tropes. There are Slow Mutants like in the Dark Tower series, and then you have transhumanism like in Hyperion or Ilium. Or people attaching extra limbs and stuff, or X Men mutants.
  • October 7, 2010
    MarqFJA
    It's the human-specific counterpart to Bizarre Alien Biology. If aliens with extra arms don't qualify for Bizarre Alien Biology, then humans with extra limbs don't qualify for Bizarre Human Biology.

    Not all Human Subspecies, Mutants, or Bio Augmentation leads to Bizarre Human Biology, BTW.
  • October 12, 2010
    MarqFJA
    Does this look launchable?
  • October 12, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Real Life: Some people have their internal organs in reverse of where they normally are (heart on the right, etc.). I don't know the technical term for it but I'm sure there is one.
  • October 12, 2010
    berr
    I would like to note, We have no trope (yet) for Transhumanism per se. Just throwing that out there.

    I referenced it on another trope page (where it was a relevant subtrope) in hopes of inspiring someone to do a trope for it.
  • October 13, 2010
    Arivne
    ^^ @random surfer: the medical name appears to be Situs inversus.
  • October 13, 2010
    MarqFJA
    ^^^ Thanks. That's a very good suggestion. *thumbs up*

    ^^ There is Transhuman Treachery, but AFAIK, that's it. Transhumanism could be covered by either Human Subspecies or Evolutionary Levels... or it could be a Sub Trope of either/both.
  • October 13, 2010
    DorianMode
    The Ultimate Marvel version of Mr. Fantastic is an infinitely extensible fluid-filled sack containing, in place of an alimentary canal and other organs, just a squishable bolus of microbes that perform all metabolic functions.
  • October 25, 2010
    MarqFJA
    If nobody thinks the trope needs working on, I'm launching within 48 hours.
  • January 11, 2013
    Thecommander236
    Okay, one: The Adeptus Astartes of Warhammer 40K have a zero context example. Try "The Adeptus Astartes, the Traitor Astartes, and Proto-Astartes (AKA Thunder Warriors) are based on the DNA of the Primarchs of their legions (or formal legions for the Astartes since they broke up into Chapters). The Primarchs and the Adeptus Custodes, the guardians of the Emperor, got their DNA came from the Emperor himself. The Marines of all units have secondary hearts, an organ that allows bone to absorb ceramite and grow larger (the ribs merge into overlapping plates), and organ that boosts muscle growth, an implant that controls the last two implants and increases the body's hemoglobin levels, as well as fifteen other implants that help Marines do anything from breathing in poisonous air, low oxygen areas, or water to regulating body temperature to filtering out poison to solidifying blood almost immediately at contact with air. All Marines (except the Thunder Warriors) and the Emperor can theoretically live forever. In the Emperor's case, this may have to do with Shamanism."

    For Real life example:

    • May people have traits that are genetic throw backs to earlier developments in our evolution. For example, a small number of people are born with small, weak tails at birth. Another small group of people have hair that grows all over their body and develops like fur. For the former, the tail can easily be removed. For the latter, the person has to shave often. The latter could also have lead to reports of Big Foot and it's international counterparts.
    • Siamese twins are a case of twins, triplets, etc. being not completely separated at birth. Sometimes this occurs when one of the infants their dying siblings in the womb. Other times each child is alive and sentient. This can lead to tragedy as separating the children may kill one of them, but fore-going the procedure will have them branded as out casts. The degrees of this vary from people have extra digits to extra limbs to extra genitals.
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