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[[quoteright:320:[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/320x240_3718.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:It's silicon-based, lives in molten lava, and makes ear-splitting dolphin-shrieks capable of piercing even the void of space. Not all alien races can be [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute cute]] or [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe sexy]].]]

->'''Zyzyx:''' Now, Grakkus there is none too quick on his feet. It's probably because he leads such a... ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedimentary_rock sedimentary]]'' life.\\
'''Eldred:''' ...''Never do that again.''
-->-- ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}''

Sometimes in science fiction, you'll find aliens whose bodies replace carbon with silicon. In hard science fiction, the plausibility of this trope rests on carbon and silicon being in the same family of elements: the ability to form four bonds opens the door to a vast array of potential complex nanostructures.

Silicon biochemistry would be wildly different though: you can't replace carbon with silicon in known biomolecules and get anything functional. Even the small "hydrosilicon" molecules are much more reactive than their carbon counterparts. Plus, carbon is actually not so common on the earth, with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_elements_in_Earth%27s_crust SECOND most abundant element being...wait for it...silicon.]][[note]] silicon dioxide is the most abundant compound on earth but as the name suggests, oxygen is at least twice as abundant as silicon.[[/note]] If that kind of life ''were'' able to form, it's reasonable to assume it would have done so here (as you know, it didn't).

It's somewhat more chemically plausible to base life on silicates (silicon oxides), which have a huge variety in nature. These species would either have to exist at molten-glass temperatures, or be very slow (literally geological). Silicate based lifeforms would definitely be more StarfishAliens than RubberForeheadAliens.

Most of the examples below are not hard science fiction. [[RuleOfCool Authors have a lot of fun with the possibilities.]] Sometimes other elements are used, which don't have to be in Group 4 of the periodic table.

See also: LivingStatue, {{Golem}}, RockMonster and BodyToJewel. Nothing to do with [[MechanicalLifeforms silicon chip based lifeforms]] or GagBoobs.




[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Tekkamen from ''Anime/TekkamanBlade'' look like they are simply wearing PoweredArmor after their TransformationSequence, but it's explained in-series that they are actually transmuted into crystalline-based entities.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'': Silicon-based Data lifeforms were [[spoiler:responsible for the mysterious happenings]] in one of the two stories of the eighth volume. But they live on without their bodies. How? That's classified, apparently.
* ''Manga/{{Blame}}'' features a race called the "Silicon Creatures" or "Silicon Lives". Like the rest of the cast, they're actually just advanced cyborgs who "evolved" from humans, but they're so heavily altered that it's hard to say if the fleshy-looking parts of them are really flesh or not anymore.
* In ''Anime/Gundam00AwakeningOfTheTrailblazer'', the Extraterrestrial Living metal Shape shifter is hinted to be this... for a series that never had aliens, they are supposed to be the MechaMooks of the story.
* In ''Manga/ProjectARMS'', the alien life form Azreal is silicon-based. The discovery of it is what gets the Egrigori to kick-start their various ARMS experiments. [[spoiler:It also saves the day at the end, when it's revealed that Azreal is nearly immortal because of its silicon makeup, which leaves it very lonely and more willing to sympathize with the protagonists than Keith White (who wants to kill everyone on Earth and essentially condemn Azreal to an eternity alone).]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Rot Lop Fan, from ''[[GreenLantern Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual # 3]]'', is stated to be a silicon-based life form in a galaxy with no visual light spectrum. He looks like a frog.
** In another DC Universe story by Creator/AlanMoore collected in the same book, there is a rare example of a more realistic portrayal of silicon lives as they would exist at Earth-like temperatures. When their planet is invaded by the power-hungry Spider Guild, the silicon beings, resembling giant stone statues of men, don't even notice because they move at a geologic pace.
* Blok from ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}},'' as well as Strata from its sister title, L.E.G.I.O.N.
* Stonians, from ''Astonishing Tales #22'' and ''Strange Tales #74'', are silicon-based lifeforms.
* ComicBook/{{Superboy}} (Kal-El) had to save a race of silicon-based aliens called the Vulxans in ''The New Adventures of Superboy #7'' (1980).
* In "Under the Volcano", a comic story published in ''[[Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse Doctor Who Adventures Magazine]]'', the Doctor and Rose run into a silicon-based species called the Chalderans.
* Babe and his race of people from ''ComicBook/AtariForce'', who grow to become ''literally'' mountains as they get older.
* Martinex of the original ''ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', a [[TranshumanAliens transhuman alien]] from the HumanSubspecies that was engineered to live on Pluto. He basically looks like a human-shaped diamond; apparently this helped him live comfortably under Pluto's harsh climate.

* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': In the ''[[http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/71213-Stargate-Dark-Frontier-2.0 Dark Frontier]]'' fanfiction, the Shade are a strange hybrid of carbon- and silicon-based life: they are mostly carbon-based but use a powerful acid to digest any mineral in order to build and repair a silicon-based exoskeleton. Their unusual composition also gives them the ability to use ammonia and ''sulfuric acid'' for what we use water. Oh, and they are cold-blooded, capable of draining anything from alkaline batteries to energy shields in order to stay alive for months without feeding in any environment. The biggest ones (few thousand miles across) strip mine entire planets for naquadah and trinium, also draining the planetary core for heat; when they move on, the planet is essentially a dead husk locked in an eternal ice age while the metals are used to build planetoids which serve as hatcheries. Despite being living creatures, they are apparently capable of entering hyperspace.

* Xenomorphs from the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' franchise are apparently silicon based.
* Gorignak from ''Film/GalaxyQuest''.
* ''Film/LostInSpace'' features silicon-based spider-like lifeforms.
* The Silicates in ''Film/IslandOfTerror''.
* The giant space slug in ''[[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Star Wars V ]]'', which is officially called an exogorth, is silicon-based, as are the winged creatures inside it, which are called mynocks. This detail is not mentioned in the film and comes from the [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]].
* There are several [[{{Fanon}} fan theories]] that the Kaiju from ''Film/PacificRim'' are silicon-based.
* The titular [[{{Kaiju}} Smog Monster]] from ''Film/GodzillaVsHedorah'' is mentioned in passing to be an alien mineral-based lifeform, comprised of a form of crystallized carbon that bonds with waste particles and fluids to become an animate sludge.

* ''Sentenced to Prism'' by Creator/AlanDeanFoster. Most life on Prism is silicon based. Foster has a lot of fun with the possibilities: natural FrickinLaserBeams, rich colouration, lots of armour, a casual approach to being on land or underwater (the inhabitants consider water 'thick air') and so forth.
* The Creator/IsaacAsimov short story "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Talking_Stone The Talking Stone]]" was about SiliconBasedLife forms called "siliconies" that lived on asteroids. They survive by absorbing gamma rays from radioactive ores.
* Stanley G. Weinbaum's short story "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Martian_Odyssey A Martian Odyssey]]" had a silicon-based life form that consumed silicon and excreted silicon dioxide bricks.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': Played for laughs, but [[AllTrollsAreDifferent Trolls]] qualify. It is specifically noted that, as silicon-based organisms, they function like supercomputers, with processing speed (and thus intelligence) being inversely proportional to temperature. One of them uses HulkSpeak at room temperatures, but when locked in a freezer for a while, almost came up with a unified field theory. They also count in either base four or binary because of that.
* The third ''YoungWizards'' book has a planet of silicon-based life forms, the fact of which ends up being extremely important. [[spoiler:As it turns out, they can function like extremely complex computers.]]
** Later books mention in passing that to some silicon-based species, chocolate is an aphrodisiac.
* ''The Dancing Meteorite'' by Anne Mason includes a flashback to humans' first encounter with silicon-based life, which the human explorers think is just part of the landscape until it rises up and attacks them.
* Ullerans in Creator/HBeamPiper's ''Uller Uprising''. The concept is made more believable by using siloxanes (alternating silicon-oxygen chains), some of which are pliable at what we consider room temperature. Piper didn't come up with idea - he was presented with an introductory essay by Dr. John D. Clark describing life on both Uller and Niflheim (see entry below under "Other Elements".
* ''Dark is the Sun'' by Creator/PhilipJoseFarmer: Phremompit is a silicon based lifeform native to an asteroid, coming to Earth in a meteor shower. He eats radioactive rocks and moves on natural treads. Unfortunately, he drills through many people before learning his morse-code communication lazer is turned up a bit too strong for the mushy-bodied earthlings.
* In Creator/BenBova's ''Venus'', it's discovered that such a lifeform inhabits the titular planet. It has a massive underground body, and tentacles a few kilometers long which it uses to search the planets surface, for food or whatnot.
* The vampiric beings from ''Literature/TheStressOfHerRegard'' appear to be this trope, although it's slightly too early in history for the characters to describe them in terms of modern chemistry.
* In MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', the prehumans.
* In ''Jimsy and the Monsters'', a short story by Walt Sheldon, a scientist uses teleportation to bring two silicon based organisms to Earth.
* In the Literature/StarfleetCorpsOfEngineers stories, the planet Sarindar has a silicon-based biosphere.
** From the same series, a sapient race called the Strata.
* In ''Literature/TheLaundrySeries'', there are creatures living in the Earth's mantle-- codeword DEEP SEVEN, or "Cthonians". True to the more realistic version of this trope, they freeze to death at any temperature where rock is a solid. [[CosmicHorrorStory True to the general tone of the Laundry Files]], they're massively more technologically advanced and numerous than us, have insanely powerful war drones that ''are'' fully capable of coming up to the surface to squash us, and may realize any day now that they have ''very good reason'' to want us squashed.[[note]]They even scare the crap out of BLUE HADES, who ''also'' meet the description in the previous sentence exactly.[[/note]]
* In ''Literature/TheOsmerianConflict'', one of the alien species are the Silicians. As their name suggests, the major element in their bodies is Silicon in the form of Silicates.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Tholians of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', as seen in the page picture (taken from ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''). The original Trek just showed the head. The Horta are also this trope.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** Tiny, sentient silicon crystals. To them, we're "[[CallAHumanAMeatbag ugly bags of mostly water]]".
** The extinct Martian insects that are sometimes displayed on computer screens were, according to certain reference books, also silicon-based lifeforms.
** The "Crystalline Entity" that wiped out all life on the planet Data was found on.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS02E12TheAlternate The Alternate]]" The protagonists find a silicon-based, [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting]] organism while exploring [[NumberedHomeworld L-S VI]] in the Gamma Quadrant. The organism is said to have a similar biology to Odo and there are structures on the planet that are near-identical to those on the Changeling homeworld, suggesting some relationship between it and the Changelings but it is never expanded on.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' "Observer Effect": Sato and Tucker are infected with a silicon based virus while excavating a Klingon garbage site. In a case of NoBiochemicalBarriers, the alien virus was not only very effective at infecting carbon based life-forms despite the different chemistry but it also had infected and killed Cardassians and Klingons.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': The creature from "Firewalker" was a silicon based fungus-like creature that exploded from people's throats to spread its spore.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has several examples, including the Kastrians from "The Hand of Fear" and the Ogri from "The Stones of Blood".
* ''[[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disneyland]]'': "Mars And Beyond" briefly mentions silicon based life in a segment about what life on Mars would look like. It suggests that it would take the form of crystalline structures that rise during the day, then shatter into oblivion in the cold Martian night.
* In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the extinct Sekkari were apparently a silicon-based lifeform.
* Although no actual life form appears, Sheldon of ''TheBigBangTheory'' builds a model of a hypothetical silicon-based DNA analogue.

* Creator/CarlSagan explored this question in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa79YA0PqdE this video]]: "I wonder if we'll ever find a specimen of life based not on organic molecules, but on something else -- something more exotic." He goes on to describe himself as a "carbon chauvinist."

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''
** [[http://scpclassic.wikidot.com/scp-227 SCP-227 ("Silicon-Based Lifeform")]]. This deleted entry described a vaguely humanoid 10 meter high creature with a polyp-like head. Its siliconate skin makes it ImmuneToBullets.
** [[http://scp-wiki.net/scp-229 SCP-229 ("Wire Weed")]]. Foundation scientists tentatively identified SCP-229 (a mass of wires and electrical cables) as a form of silicon-based life.
** [[http://scp-wiki.net/scp-440 SCP-440 ("Sand-Based Ecology")]]. Several types of creatures are made up of SCP-440, which is an anomalous form of sand. The sand is made up of silica (silicon dioxide).
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-507 SCP-507 ("The Reluctant Dimension Hopper")]]. On one of SCP-507's trips he ended up in a dimension with living, moving crystals based on silicon. They're described as looking like crustaceans and may be connected to SCP-440, which also creates crustacean-like silicon-based life.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-553 SCP-553 ("Crystalline Butterflies")]]. The title creatures have a silicon-based biochemistry and are composed primarily of calcium and silicate compounds.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1073 SCP-1073 ("Computing Microbes")]]. SCP-1073 are sapient silicon-based microbes that can receive and understand radio waves.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1107 SCP-1107 ("A Signal")]]. A group of asteroid-like bodies in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud around the solar system contain unusually pure silicon and silicate based crystals. They absorb solar radiation and use the energy to generate radio signals. Analysis of the signals indicates that they're not only alive, but intelligent.
** [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/spc-3284-j SCP-3284-J ("Lava Sharks")]]. These are shark-like creatures that live in lava pools and can swim through them the way normal sharks swim through water. They don't need to eat but attack and consume living creatures anyway.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** Crystal spiders from ''TabletopGame/DarkSun''.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' has many creatures native or related to Elemental Plane of Earth and Quasielemental Plane of Mineral both consisting of (and feeding on) some or other mineral matter.
** The Shardmind from 4th Edition are an entire race of humanoid new age psychic crystals.
** 1st Edition ''Monster Manual II''
*** The Sandling is a silicon-based creature from the Elemental Plane of Earth.
*** The Storoper has a silicon-based rock-like body.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}''
** Classic ''Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society'' #15 article "The Bestiary". Doyle's eel is a silicon-based life form that eats metal. If it infiltrates a starship it will try to eat metals, silicon and some plastics, which can cause serious damage. It will also try to lay eggs and hatch out more of them which will cause even more damage.
** Marc Miller's Traveller supplement ''Milieu 0 Campaign'', chapter "The First Wave". In one of the Survey adventures the {{PC}}s can encounter large rock-like creatures that are silicon life-forms. They are serpent-like and can project lava jets as a weapon.
* Towsers in ''TabletopGame/MyriadSong'' may look like oddly colored dogs, but their bodies are composed of silicon and rare earths. They eat polysiloxanes, are immune to metal-based poisons, and can get oxygen from carbon monoxide (carbon ''dioxide'' is still deadly though).
* ''TabletopGame/StarFrontiers'' adventure [=SF1=] ''Volturnus, Planet of Mystery''. The Eorna created silicon-based life in the form of large crystals. Their attempts to make the crystals intelligent failed as whenever they reached semi-intelligence they TurnedAgainstTheirMasters.
* Chaosium's supplement ''All the Worlds' Monsters'' Volume III. The Zend-Avesta is a [[{{Telepathy}} telepathic]] silicon based life form that gets its energy from sunlight and looks like a spherical white globe hovering in the air.
* ''Lords of Creation'' RPG, ''Heroes'' magazine Volume 1 #1 article "Survival Run of the Starnomads". The flamewolf is an alien creature resembling large wolves made out of rock. They are silicon-based life forms with saliva and blood that burst into flames in the presence of oxygen.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/GunmanChronicles'' uses it as a plot point, where [[spoiler:Silicon lifeforms can't digest Carbon lifeforms]].
* The [[http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Chenjesu Chenjesu]] in ''VideoGame/StarControl'' are essentially sapient crystals. They are living [[SubspaceAnsible hyperspace receivers]] more sensitive than most sentients who tried managed to build and [[PlanetOfHats make pretty much anything]] from crystalline materials.
** The Taalo in the games' backstory as well, though they were living rocks rather than specifically crystals. Their unique physiology is what enabled them to make friends with the Ur-Quan (who, being predators, usually feel an overwhelming instinct to eat other creatures they come into contact with... but rocks don't provoke that instinct).
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion'': The Silicoids. The wildly divergent biochemistry of silicon-based organisms is reflected in the gameplay. Silicoids do not need to farm to produce food, thus freeing up their population to conduct research or construction. In addition, they are immune to the effects of pollution and can live on even the harshest planets without a problem. On the down side, their slower metabolism means slower population growth, and their vastly different psychology makes it nearly impossible to deal with other races diplomatically.
** Also, the Space Crystal monster, which flies around and exterminates the population of colonized planets.
* ''MetroidPrime'' Hunters has this in Spire, whose race (the diamonts) are silicon based lifeforms. ''Super Metroid'' has Crocomire.
* The Gastro, from ''VideoGame/TheMaw'', are silicon-based organisms.
* ''SwordOfTheStars'' has the Swarm, beelike things that spawn from asteroid hives and fire plasma, as well as sending out Silicoid Queens to build new hives. They are DemonicSpiders, especially in early game or with small groups, but reward you with a fair amount of resources if you clear a hive.
* Technically, most Rock-type {{Pokemon}} count, as several of them are literally made of rocks. Same goes for many Ground-type Pokemon.
* The Silacoids from ''VideoGame/{{X-COM}}: UFO Defense'' are simple silicon-based life forms that look like lumps of purple lava. They have rock-hard skin that is immune to fire damage and attack by biting. Because of their extremely high body temperature, they leave burn marks on the ground as they move, sometimes setting fire to nearby objects.
** In ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', researchers are forced to admit that they have no idea whether the Cyberdisks are living or purely mechanical, but conclude that if they ''are'' living, then they're probably silicon-based lifeforms. [[spoiler: The Sectopods, on the other hand, ''are'' alive, and ''are'' silicon-based.]]
* The Meteor Heads from ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}''. They are flying Mooks that spawn at meteorites and [[GoddamnBats attack en masse]].
* Crystals in ''VideoGame/VGAPlanets''.
* ''VisualNovel/MuvLuv'': [[spoiler: The BETA's creators are this, and believe that [[FantasticRacism only Silicon Based Life is real life]]. To the degree that carbon based life isn't even considered alive. In other words, the BETA don't even think they're fighting a war. From their point of view they're recycling resources.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'', on the alien ship there are breasts growing out of the wall. Duke will make a quip if you slap them, one of which is "Hmm, some strange silicon(e) based life form."
* The Kessok from ''VideoGame/StarTrekBridgeCommander''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}'', the wizard Grakkus is made from living rock.
* ''VideoGame/WildStar'' has the Granok, made of "living rock," and the Osun, made of metal. Both are {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s.
* An enemy in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' are "crystalisks", which are tripodal organisms made of living rock and crystal -- the base of each leg features a large patch of golden crystal, their only vulnerable spot, and they drop over a dozen valuable crystal shards upon death. One quest, leading into a long-abandoned mine called the Caustic Caverns, revolves around recovering an ApocalypticLog that reveals that the crystalisks are actually highly intelligent and were friendly when humans first arrived. The security forces for the first mining expedition even made friends with them. When the profit-orientated mining officer demanded that the crystalisks be harvested, the security officers tried to revolt, but crumpled after their leader was killed. The crystalisks angrily rose up in self-defense and slaughtered the mining team, resulting in the closing of the mine, and they've been hostile towards humans ever since.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'': A halfway house between this and regular life: Sergeant Schlock, who is carbosilicate (i.e. based around both carbon and silicon). In a bit of realism, his biology and biochemistry is pretty clearly shown to be fundamentally different from traditional carbon-based life.
* ''{{Vexxarr}}'' has two silicon-based species, both living in space. "Rock crabs" such as "Sid" ('''Si'''licon '''d'''ioxide, get it?) are practically indestructible and feed off of radiation, while silicoid predators eat rock crabs and explode if fed cake. Both species are typically found roughly human-sized but grow to the size of asteroids.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/InvasionAmerica'' has a genetically-engineered species called manglers. A baffled human scientist describes the discovered bones of one as a "silicon analog" rather than carbon-based.
* This trope is invoked in the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' when Homer encounters an alien.
--> '''Homer:''' I'd be happy to answer your questions about the alien. Any questions at all.\\
'''Dr. Hibert:''' Is the alien carbon based or silicon based?\\
'''Homer:''' Uh ... the second one. Silliphone.
* Diamondhead and his {{expy}}, Chromastone, in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}''.
** Echo Echo too.
* In one episode of the ''WesternAnimation/FlashGordon'' animated series, Ming the Merciless created a silicon based monster and unleashed it on the heroes. The heroes weapons had no effect on the creature because, in their words, they were shooting sand.
* The gems seen in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' appear to be female humans, [[AmazingTechnicolorPopulation if a bit oddly-colored]], but their true forms are the magical gemstones embedded in their bodies. The rest is a projection made out of HardLight which they can [[FromASingleCell replace]], [[VoluntaryShapeshifting reshape]], or even [[FusionDance combine with others]] as needed. Steven, being a HalfHumanHybrid, is the only exception. It bears noting, of course, that only ''some'' of them, such as Peridot and the Quartzes, are Silicon-based life. Ruby and Sapphire are Aluminum-based (although they ''fuse'' into a Silicon-based organism), while Pearl and the Diamonds are actually Carbon-based just like us.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Silicon is more abundant than carbon on the Earth's surface, and yet Earth life is almost exclusively carbon-based. Compared to carbon, silicon only presents an advantage in temperatures around 150C, where silicon bonds would remain stable while their carbon counterparts break down. It is speculated that such silicon-based life would use siloxane backbones (alternating silicon-oxygen chain), as siloxanes can form a wide variety of polymers, and would probably use sulfuric acid as a solvent and respire fluorine gas. Such life would be [[MadeOfExplodium prone to exploding]] on [[NoBiochemicalBarriers contact with an earth-like atmosphere]].
** Hypothetical sulfur and fluorosiloxane based-life would live in even hotter environments and, at the hotter end, use molten rock as a solvent.
* While life on Earth is carbon-based in its molecular structure, one origin-of-life theory posits that organic molecules could've initially begun copying themselves on the surfaces of wet clays. As clays do contain silicon, this would make "silicon-based life" true in a literal sense.
* Sponges use silicon in their skeletal structure while grass uses silicon as an abrasive to render itself less palatable as a food source and diatoms use silica to produce their frustules (hard outer coatings).

!Other Elements

* ''Film/{{Evolution}}'' has nitrogen-based life. Since this makes them giant piles of azides, they are literally MadeOfExplodium. Cleverly enough, evolution has turned this into an advantage: extreme heat catalyzes their rapid cellular reproduction and growth. Combined with rapid mutations, this is why they seem to evolve before our eyes [[EvolutionaryLevels (such as a field of them suffocating in our atmosphere, with one able to gasp for life long enough to start producing more offspring already better able to breathe our air, then growing wings and flying away).]].

* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': While they don't discuss what element they're based on, the Venber in one story are "not carbon-based" as they melt above freezing temperatures. Probably ammonia. It's been speculated that ammonia-based life could exist on extremely cold planets.
* ArthurCClarke
** A nineties story references "germanium-based consciousness," albeit as a long-complete AssimilationPlot by previously carbon-based aliens. (Germanium is directly below silicon on the periodic table.)
** The lifeforms on Jupiter in ''[[TheSpaceOdysseySeries 2010 Space Odyssey]]'' are hydrogen based.
** Another story explores the possibility of hydrogen based creatures on the surface of the sun.
* In one Creator/IsaacAsimov story, it's mentioned that some of the native bacteria on the Spacer planet Aurora have fluorocarbon rather than hydrocarbon chemistry.
* Creator/HBeamPiper's ''Uller Uprising'' briefly mentions life on the planet Niflheim. It's carbon-based, but uses fluorine in place of oxygen. Water is replaced by hydrofluoric acid and carbon dioxide by carbon tetrafluoride. Piper didn't come up with idea - he was presented with an introductory essay by Dr. John D. Clark describing life on both Niflheim and Uller (see entry above under "Silicon").
* The Outsiders of Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' series are effectively bags of cryogenic superfluid helium. Their life functions and intelligence are entirely dictated by the interaction of currents inside their bodies.
* ''Literature/TheOsmerianConflict'' gives us the titular Osmerians who are primarily made up of the metal Osmium. However we are never told how the molecule is represented in Osmerian anatomy.
* The Jan in ''Alien In a Small Town'' are described as having both silicon and carbon in their chemical makeup. They are extremophiles who are most comfortable in Earth's polar regions. Temperate temperatures are hard for them to endure, and the tropics would kill them.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode featured ammonia-based alien brain worms that rode to Earth on an asteroid in prehistoric times and were hiding out at the North Pole. How they were able to take over the bodies of the human scientists that were trying to study them, despite the fact that not only is their biochemistry obviously incompatible, but being inside a human body for any length of time should have ''melted'' the little bastards is never adequately explained.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E4TheKrotons Krotons]] are tellurium-based.
** The Raxacoricofallapatorians (the Slitheens' species) are calcium-based.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has sulfur-based aliens. The aliens themselves didn't show up as anything more than a picture, their automated probe was xenoforming an earth like planet into something their ecosystem could inhabit.
* One episode of ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' features a boron-based alien.

[[folder:Tabletop [=RPG=]s]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Space'' has suggestions for hydrogen- and sulfur-based lifeforms as well as silicon-based ones.
* ''TabletopGame/StarDrive'' uses a page in its ''Alien Compendium'' sourcebook to explain six different classes of biochemistry, based on "liquid medium," "reagent for cellular respiration," and "compounds or elements that can create very complex organic molecules," which correlate well with the GURPS supplement described above. Furthermore, each type is only found on certain classes of planets. These classes are Class 1: "Terran (habitable)," Class 2: "Minimal (minor life support required due to climatic extremes, atmospheric conditions, etc.)," Class 3: "Extreme (major life support required due to intolerable climate or atmosphere)," Class 4: "Space (including asteroids, rings, etc.)," and Class 5: "Jovian (extreme life support required)."
** The series of life are Series 1: Water medium, Oxygen reagent, Carbon structure, Class 1/2 environment; Series 2: Ammonia medium, Hydrogen reagent, Hydrocarbon structure, Class 3 environment; Series 3: Water medium, Chlorine reagent, Carbon structure, Class 2/3 environment; Series 4: Sulfur dioxide medium, Sulfur trioxide reagent, Carbon structure, Class 3 environment; Series 5: Sulfuric acid medium, Oxygen reagent, Silicone structure, Class 3 environment; Series 6: Sulfur medium, Sulfur dioxide reagent, Fluorosilicone structure, Class 3/5 environment; and Series 7: anything that doesn't fit into the biochemistries described above.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' the unknown surface of Venus, deep below the mists and incredibly hot, is inhabited by the Triodi, powerful psychic crystalline creatures that feed on the chemical soups that form there. These creatures' corpses are the source of the Venusian''s psychic crystals. They are incredibly territorial and dislike the 'meaty' creatures above them. Thankfully they don't know about other sophonts, yet.

* The [[ProudMerchantRace volus]] of ''Franchise/MassEffect'' hail from a planet with an ammonia-based biosphere and a high gravitational field. This means that the volus can't survive in the oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere most other races, including humans, hail from. Volus need to wear high-pressure suits at all times, which not only lets them breathe gasses that are more tolerable to their physiology, but also keeps them from bursting open in a low-pressure atmosphere.
* The planet Freaze from ''VideoGame/{{Meteos}}'' has extremely cold temperatures; -120 degrees F is the highest temperature. Its StarfishAlien inhabitants are more along the lines of of 40-meter tall sentient glaciers than organisms in order to live in such a harsh environment.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In 2011 [[http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20906-lifelike-cells-are-made-of-metal.html it was proven that metal oxides can function in a manner similar to carbon compounds in the formation of life.]]
* Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria exist on Earth. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_sulfur_bacteria purple sulfur bacteria]] are photosynthetic, anaerobic, and are found in hot springs or stagnant water. They do not use water for reduction and thus do not produce oxygen. Instead, they oxidize hydrogen sulfide to produce elemental sulfur which in turn may be oxidized to produce sulfuric acid.