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For this type of being, sustenance goes well beyond organic matter—or any kind of matter, for that matter
. More dangerous than Alien Locusts and those who feed on blood, Life Energy
, or planets
, what it eats does not even exist tangibly, for it feeds on existence itself
. Such individuals often are Eldritch Abominations
or display The Power of the Void
See also Reality Warper
, which is about controlling reality instead of eating it, Abstract Eater
which is the super trope to this, and Clock Roaches
which are guardians of causality that eliminate things that threaten it. The eaters' feeding habit may cause Ret Gone
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Anime and Manga
- Shakugan no Shana: The Denizens of the Crimson World are monsters from another world who consume the "power of existence" of humans. If they eat your power of existence, you're Ret Gone'd from reality. Interestingly, the majority of the cast are such monsters, and a significant number of them try to find a way to get around their morally-indefensible diet. They eventually find a way, thanks to Snake!Yuuji.
- The Anti-Monitor of The DCU destroys and absorbs the energies of many universes to become stronger. The instability of the few universes eventually causes the creation of the pre-New 52 New Earth.
- Shazam: Mister Mind almost became this in 52, bringing the 52 alternate universes in existence (their main differences being the parts of the respective realities which he "ate").
- All-Star Superman had the Chronovore, a monster that eats time. When it feeds, the surrounding environment and creatures suffer Rapid Aging.
- While Unicron appears to be a "mere" Planet Eater, he actually feeds off of existence itself in his bid to eliminate all of reality and be truly alone. The dark god has already devoured more than a fifth of the multiverse. He actually managed to devour all creation once, but it grew back while he slept.
- The Neverending Story. The Nothing is consuming the land of Fantasia. If it isn't stopped, Fantasia will be destroyed.
- The Bigger Bad of The Atrocity Archive is an infovore, an extrauniversal intelligence that feeds on quantum information, causing the Alternate Universe it was summoned into to gradually collapse.
- "The Space Eaters" by Frank Belknap Long begins with a conversation between the narrator and his friend on such Eldritch Abominations:
"Suppose there were a greater horror? Suppose evil things from some other universe should decide to invade this one? Suppose we couldn't see them? Suppose we couldn't feel them? Suppose they were of a color unknown on Earth, or rather, of an appearance that was without color?... What could we do? Our hands would be tied. You cannot oppose what you cannot see or feel. You cannot oppose the thousand-dimensional. Suppose they should eat their way to us through space!"
- Stephen King's The Langoliers had an airliner fly through a "time rip", landing at an airport with all its passengers but ten disappeared. The ten passengers, who were all sleeping during the passage through the rift, were all stuck in time such that time did not move forward (although they could move within that frame). Eventually, they saw mysterious ball-like creatures with sharp gnashing teeth literally "eating" the surrounding existence itself, approaching them....
- In Discworld, the Things from the Dungeon Dimension want to invade the Disc because their home is sorely lacking in reality. They believe invading the Disc and consuming its reality will make them more real, though it's stated to be as futile as the ocean trying to warm itself with a candle.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- The Eldrazi titans were exactly this before being trapped in a physical form on the plane of Zendikar by three powerful planeswalkers. Now they simply nom Zendikar from the inside, turning everything they meet to dust.
- While each variety of atog has its own diet, the chronatog is the most bizarre and is described as feeding on time... somehow. In the card game this is represented by the player skipping his next turn.
- Mage: The Awakening: The Abyss as a whole constantly gnaw at reality, for it's a stillborn universe.
- Unicron from the Transformers eats universes. In every continuity he's the same individual, at some different point in his existence. Some universes he devours, others are saved from him, and he's shunted to the next one to begin the cycle anew. According to the Transtech Cybertronians, Unicron has succesfully terminated 1,176,325 universes so far (out of 15,962,782 catalogued by them).
- Chrono Cross has the Time Devourer, the main antagonist of the game and the fusion of Lavos and Schala from the previous game.
- Sonic the Hedgehog has two:
- Marathon Infinity has W'rkncacnter, who as soon as it escapes from its prison in the sun screws with reality just by existing, and THEN it starts eating.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Alduin the World-Eater, whose raison d'etre is to devour the universe at the end of time to make way for the next world. In the current one, according to some theories he jumped the gun: it wasn't time for the world to end, which was why first the Tongues, then the Dragonborn were able to defeat him. He also seems less interested in destroying the universe and more interested in ruling it.
- Neo-Exdeath from Final Fantasy V, who says he/she/it will consume all memories, dimensions, and existence. Then he/she/it too will dissapear, forever.
- The Maelstrom, a force of pure chaos and destruction itself, from LEGO Universe.
- In the FreeSpace 2 mod Blue Planet, overheard thoughts of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens reference something they call an "ontovore". The word's etymology suggests that it refers to something which consumes existence. They also refer to the same thing as an "acatalepsis event". Not a whole lot is known about it, and it's implied that even thinking about the subject is dangerous to one's mental health.
- Black Holes, while not alive, are so dense and massive that spacetime itself is distorted in an infinite curvature, resulting in a gravitational pull that consumes everything, even light.