Maybe the character was born a Mutant
, or belong to a Human Subspecies
, or have gone far enough up the Evolutionary Levels
as part of the goal of evolution
, 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 from a purely scientific POV. Additionally, there are real-life medical conditions that result in technical abnormalities to an otherwise healthy human biology (see Real Life section).
Note that not all
cases of Human Subspecies
, 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
Examples (Standard flavor)
Anime And Manga
- Italy's Idiot Hair in Axis Powers Hetalia is shown in the comic to be an "erogenous zone". It's unclear if the note was referring to his scalp reacting to the hair being pulled, or if he has actual feeling in the hair, but the fandom tends to run with the latter, and usually applies the same principle to the other curl-bearing nations. At least one fic goes to the logical extreme of the hairs being sensitive and has one bleed when severed. Also, Norway's curl actually floats around, detached from his head.
- 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. It's definitely Artistic License - Biology, though fans chalk it up to Rule of Cool and leave it at that.
- Plastic Man is inorganic after his Origin Story; this actually makes him immune to Brainwashing, since his brain itself is apparently plastic.
- Post-Extremis, it was revealed that Tony Stark had managed to change how his insides were organized.
- Batman villain Killer Croc is allegedly a human who was born with a very rare skin disease, but many artists have started to make him less and less humanlike and more reptilian in appearance, sometimes having a crocodile snout and tail. One writer has Hand Waved this as being a mutation in his disease that grants him traits of more primitive animals.
- In ''Flat Tire with Bad Guys, Kenshin was revealed to have nucleated red blood cells which could take on the function of white blood cells in a pinch. In fact, any cell could take on any function, if need be. They can form new organs wherever and whenever they're needed. And Jack O'Neill's antigens. It's because he's a hanyou, and Youkai, in the Urban Legends universe, are a Human Subspecies created by the Ancients, whom Vathara envisions as Abusive Precursors.
- 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 notably common issue, however, is whether or not she has an S2 Engine/Organ, and its exact role in her physiology.
- Diaries Of A Madman: Navarone ends up as this due to various magical experiments. A backfiring spell results in him gaining pegasus wings, and an Emergency Transformation results in him gaining several plant-like characteristics.
- Star Wars: Humans, as well as all other living species in The Verse, possess "midi-chlorians," mysterious organelles which have some intricate connection to the Force.
- The Sebeceans 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 and an extreme (seriously) weakness to high temperatures.
- Also, their women can delay pregnancy once an egg is fertilized (until such time as it is convenient to grow the baby), and pregnancy is accelerated once it is actually begun.
- Warhammer 40,000's Adeptus Astartes. To wit they have aside from the normal human organs 19 implanted organs: A secondary heart. An organ that increases bone structure and makes their ribcage bulletproof. note An organ that makes their muscles grow vastly larger and more powerful. An organ that increases their blood's clotting ability. An organ that allows them to only need 4 hours of sleep and can go for two weeks without any sleep at all. A pre-stomach that can neutralize otherwise poisonous or indigestible foods. An organ that allows them to "learn from eating". note A third lung. An implant giving them far-superior vision to humans. An implant that makes them immune to motion sickness and the ability to consciously filter sounds. An implant that allows them to enter a healing coma/suspended animation. note An implant that controls the amount of melanin in their skin.note An organ that quickly filters the Marine's blood, rendering them immune to most poisons. note An organ that enhances a Space Marine's sense of taste to such a high degree that he can identify many common chemicals by taste alone, a Marine can even track down his target by taste. An implant that allows a Space Marine to sweat a substance that coats the skin and offers resistance to extreme heat and cold and can even provide some protection for the marine in a vacuum. An organ that allows the marine to spit a blinding contact poison, the poison is also corrosive and can even burn away strong metals given sufficient time. Implants that are the base for the the other organs. And finally an implant that allows a Space Marine to interface directly with his Power Armor. Many Black Library writers and 40K characters use the term "posthuman" to refer to Astartes for a reason.
- In Parasite Eve, the protagonist Aya possesses a more benign/passive form of the "evolved" strain of mitochondria serving as the franchise' Big Bad, which are not only a self-aware Hive Mind that can hijack their "hosts" and act like The Virus, they possess actual superpowers, which include Spontaneous Combustion and Body Horror transformations!
- The Pain in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater uses weaponized bees as part of his quirk. One of these bee types are "bullet bees", which are bees which he grows within his body. He attacks with them by spitting them out like bullets at an enemy, which bore into their targets and eat their flesh from the inside out until they are removed.
- In the Enemy Within expansion for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you can use 'meld' to, much like the Astartes mentioned above, extensively modify your soldiers' bodies. You can give them chameleon skin, two hearts, regenerative bone marrow, leg muscles to allow them to jump like fleas, aim-correcting eyeballs; the list goes on and on...
- In Quantum Vibe when Seamus is originally introduced he has some physiological abnormalities due to a botched rejuvenation, gigantism combined with a metabolic disorder that made him morbidly obese, nerves in his hair, and the ability to fart at will. He had most of the problems fixed during the Luna arc, though he's still pretty tall.
- Souther (or however you want to romanize it) in Fist of the North Star has situs invertus totalis (see Real Life section below) - which means that Kenshiro's first attempt to defeat him fails utterly. You see, when the organs invert, so do the pressure points Hokuto Shinken relies on...
- In the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, the titular man with the golden gun is a Professional Killer named Scaramanga, who aside from using a golden gun and requesting a million dollars for every hit, is distinctively known for having a supernumerary nipple (see Real Life section). James Bond uses a prosthetic when posing as him to a man who has hired Scaramanga, but never met him.
- In the mystery story "The Image in the Mirror" by Dorothy L. Sayers, a key plot point is that one of the characters has situs inversus.
- Situs inversus, especially the totalis version, is a congenital human condition where the internal organs are in reverse of where they normally are (heart with apex on the right, liver on the left, etc.). Absent any actual congenital defects, such individuals can lead otherwise perfectly normal lives.
- Ironically, it's the milder versions of this condition that can be life-threatening, as when a heart that's inverted in an otherwise-normal chest tries to pump blood into the lungs with its stronger side and to the body with its weaker one, rather than the other way around.
- There are also quite a few other congenital birth disorders, from practically invisible (webbed fingers/toes), mostly harmless (hare lip, extra finger(s) or toe(s), alopecia (lack of hair)), debilitating (limb deformities), and probably not going to survive for long after birth, if the infant even lasts that long (born without most of the brain).
- About 1/400 people has their kidneys fused into a horseshoe-shape, which is mostly asymptomatic. Mel Gibson is one notable carrier.
- HeLa is an immortal, single-celled organism with 82 chromosomes. It's a culture of cancers cells drawn from a patient in the 1950s, which has continued to undergo cell division and grow, bizarrely unaffected by the Hayflick Limit, and at this point the number of such cells grown has easily surpassed the number of cells in the original donor's body.
- An... interesting and technically correct description of intercourse popped up in Something Awful (a middle-school teacher requested things to make her sex ed class memorable):
- 7 Terrifying Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy
- Genetic chimerism in humans came to light when two new mothers — one in Massachusetts, the other in Washington State — gave birth to children whose initial DNA tests showed that the women's husbands were the biological fathers, but that they were not the biological mothers. Further tests showed that both mothers had two different DNA profiles in different parts of their bodies.
- Wisdom tooth extraction is an experience that is apparently universal to your average teenager or vicenarian. If they aren't getting them removed, then lucky them, they never grew them at all! And then there are those who never had them removed because they had so much room in their mouths that the wisdom teeth were able to grow in and settle in as happy and comfortably as any of the other teeth they grew. Some even have more than one set of wisdom teeth in there.
- Played With in the case of double-jointed people. They are not actually an example of this, but they sure do look like it when bending their limbs in odd directions.
- A supernumerary nipple is a third nipple that grows on the human body, with a rate of about 1 out of 18 males and 1 out of 50 females. They typically appear on the "milk line" of the human body, but have been known to develop as far away from the chest as a person's foot, and depending on the type are frequently mistaken for moles. Notable people who have supernumerary nipples include Mark Wahlberg and Zac Efron