Most parasites use a single living being as their host, which they use to grow, develop their bodies, and finally create many new parasites which will invade another host.
These guys, however, will employ a whole planet
as their host. Just as our parasites feed on our nutrients to grow, these guys will deplete the planet of its natural resources (this is likely to bring bad consequences for the planet's inhabitants), and use them to complete its reproductive cycle, spawning more of its race. Once the cycle has been completed, the newborn will somehow leave the planet to find another one, where they will start a new cycle. Destroying the planet when leaving it is optional.
Compare Planet Eater
, where the parasite consumes the planet just to obtain nutrients and does not require it to reproduce, and Planet Looters
, which are more similar to thieves than to parasites.
Anime & Manga
- The Big Gete Star from the Dragon Ball Z movie The Revenge of Cooler probably counts, since it was a mechanical life form that was trying to absorb New Namek.
- The Tree of Might from the movie of the same name is another such example, though it devouring the Earth is only a means to harvest its fruit.
- In Toriko, the entire Gourmet World was spawned by such a parasite. A meteorite infused with Gourmet Cells struck the original planet Earth long ago. The Gourmet Cells fed off the energy of Earth's mantle and grew new landmass. Gourmet World is a giant tumor that dwarfs its host.
- In the Marvel Comics Alternate future Earth X, it's revealed that Celestials gestate their young inside of planets, and genetically manipulate the dominant species to turn them into superpowered protectors for their child.
- In 52, one of the possible futures that Rip Hunter foresees (and successfully averts) involves Mr. Mind spawning 52 giant extradimensional parasites that feed off the mental energies of entire universes.
- Perry Rhodan has the Guan a Var or "sun worms", whose natural habitat is hyperspace. They drain entire stars of their energy at a frightening rate (three of them are seen to burn through the reserves of one star with an inhabited system in a matter of mere days, though that was admittedly after millennia of imprisonment and starvation), reproduce, and move on once the star has gone supernova or otherwise become useless (to both them and pretty much anyone else). They're also, despite being descended from once highly intelligent organic starships, basically just dumb animals that can't even perceive the effects of their actions because their senses no longer extend into normal space.
- H.P. Lovecraft (of course) had the Dholes, titanic worm-things which burrowed beneath worlds to slowly devour them from the inside-out and multiply until nothing but a shattered husk was left. Fortunately, the closest they got to Earth is the Dreamlands.
- The Star Trek novel "Prime Directive" gets points for parasitic complexity with a three-species symbiosis: Species A secretly bases on worlds which emit radio transmissions, feeds the Cold War paranoia of the locals through UFO sightings and signal manipulation until the hapless natives nuke each other, then seeds the newly-radioactive environment with Species B, an algae which uses gamma rays the way most plants use sunlight. Species A's signals eventually bring Species C, an immense spacefaring cloud which consumes the algae, and then provides A with transportation and life-support on the way to the next target. The unlucky world is left an irradiated wasteland with much of its organic chemistry sucked away. Spock identifies all three species as non-sapient, and determines that the time needed to evolve their incredibly complex behavior proves they are relics of a prior iteration of the universe.
- Blake's 7: Zil is one of a humanoid species of parasites who live on the surface of a living planet called "Host."
- The Giga Shadow of Lexx spent thousands of years regenerating under the surface of the Cluster world, as well as ruling the Light Universe through His Shadow and feeding on the Human Sacrifices given by his loyal followers.
- Doctor Who: The 6th Doctor episode "The Twin Dilemma" featured the Gastropods, a race of nearly indestructible creatures who devastated entire planets, but whose eggs couldn't hatch unless seared by a supernova first, limiting their spread.
- In Kamen Rider Gaim, the Helheim Forest proves to spread its seeds like wildfire, and there is a very real threat that if the dimensional portals aren't closed, this invasive species could end up turning Earth into a new Helheim. We know because this is what happened in the formerly-Earthlike world now known as Helheim. Oh, and the monsters used to be that world's people and animals, as anything that eats the fruit of the plants becomes an Inves monster and ends up spreading the seeds further still. Earth has ten years left.
- Call of Cthulhu boxed set Spawn of Azathoth. If a Seed of Azathoth strikes a planet, it can penetrate it and grow into a Spawn of Azathoth the size of a star. All that's left of the planet is shattered ruins. The former fifth planet of the solar system suffered this fate: its remains are the Asteroid Belt.
- Star Fleet Battles. Starswarm robots burrow into planets and use raw materials underground to create more robots. Once enough new robots are made, the swarm leaves the planet and heads into space.
- The Parasite from Evolva. A giant egg comes to the planet, develops lots of tentacles, creates an army of aliens, and uses the planet's resources to make new eggs, supposedly to send them to other planets.
- Lavos from Chrono Trigger. Similar to the previous example, but he doesn't create an alien army, is instead exploited by the planet's mages (doesn't end well), and we get to fight some of the offspring before they're launched to other planets.
- The Old Gods from Warcraft are planetary parasites that merge themselves to a planet and slowly corrupt it. Whether this would eventually destroy the planet is unknown, as the Old Gods on Azeroth were sealed away by the Titans (they could not be killed, having already corrupted the planet to such a degree that removing them would've required the destruction of Azeroth).
- Jenova from Final Fantasy VII.
- Metroid Prime 3 reveals that the origin of Phazon is a possibly-sentient planet known as Phaaze, and that it sends seeds over to other planets in order to infest them with Phazon.
- Master of Orion II had the space eel, a space monster that would target planets to use as spawning ground. Left to its own devices, eventually you'd end up with two space eels.