Most living or living-adjacent creatures tend to be made up of many visually and practically different sorts of things, each serving a different role in keeping the creature alive. Organic beings have skin, flesh, bone, and many different kinds of organs, tissues and integument, while mechanical entities contain many different mechanisms, constituent metals, wires, microchips and so on, each playing an important role in keeping the whole system going. Some entities, however, are exceptions. These beings are made up of a single sort of substance, existing as masses of some sort of base material without any recognizable organs, tissues or the like — and yet living all the same.
Physically, in addition to their homogenous natures, these sorts share a number of traits. They tend to have fairly simple and crude bodies, often with bulky proportions; ones made from solid materials are generally big and hulking brutes, while ones made from fluids or particulate matter are usually Blob Monsters with only loosely shaped arms and heads. They're also rarely very mentally sophisticated, and tend to be either instinct-driven or simply mindless. This is mainly an extension of their simple, basic natures — just as they lack the more complex and organized bodies of other beings, they also lack organized form or complex intelligence.
One of the main strengths of these beings is that, since they're made out of uniform, undifferentiated matter, they have no specific organs, sensory areas, veins or nerves, or equivalents thereof that can be targeted in combat. Thus, ones made out of hard substances, such as stone or metal, are typically juggernauts with no vulnerable areas. Ones made of fluids or of loosely aggregated substances like sand or mud may not hit as hard, but attacks will typically pass harmlessly through their bodies. By contrast, specimens made out of more fragile substances like glass will typically be presented as something of a joke or, at best, as literal Glass Cannons. Even the strongest of these creatures, however, may be specifically vulnerable to something that interacts destructively with the thing they're made of — ones made of combustible or meltable substances may be greatly damaged by intense heat, for instance, while living metal or water will often be vulnerable to electricity conducted through their bodies.
Offensively, these entities' abilities are typically determined by what substance they are made of, which may often lead into Poor, Predictable Rock when these things lack range outside of their core gimmicks. Rocky or metallic ones will be offensive juggernauts best suited for pounding enemies to dust with meteor-like blows; fluid specimens may instead attempt to envelop and suffocate foes. Ones made out of toxic substances may be able to poison foes in combat in addition to any further abilities they have, while ones made from caustic or heated substances may be impossible to even touch safely. Individuals made of jagged or breakable materials typically end up as living aggregations of blades, slashing and gouging with every blow.
A Super-Trope to:
- Crystalline Creature
- Evil Living Flames
- Living Lava
- Muck Monster
- Murder Water
- Rock Monster
- Sentient Sands
Compare Elemental Embodiment and Golem, which often overlap with this. For people who can wholly or partially turn into these things, see Elemental Shapeshifter. See also Animate Inanimate Object, which typically consists of multiple distinct parts and substances but which also lives despite any obvious means to do so.
- New X-Men: Academy X: Cessily Kincaid, aka Mercury, is a mutant whose entire body is formed of liquid metal.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami has made ice golems, which are basically statues of herself, in ice, except the interior is filled with water-powered ice hydraulics controlled by a magical stone inside.
- Under the Northern Lights: Tursakalfar are large masses of living ice that calve off of the Jokulvakt glacier every winter; most fall into the sea and drift away, but a few go rumbling off across the landscape instead. They're mindless beings and normally wander about aimlessly until they melt or break up, but they as long as winter lasts their movement causes them to repair themselves as they accrete snow, ice and turf onto their bodies; they regenerate faster the colder it is, and during particularly harsh winters can actively grow in size.
- Hercules: The Titans are colossal entities made out of inanimate matter and just barely humanoid — while the ice and rock titans are recognizable human-like, if respectively extremely skeletal and hulking and ape-like, another titan is a mass of magma with no legs and small, stumpy arms and head, and the fourth is simply an enormous living tornado with baleful red eyes.
- Film.Terminator 2 Judgment Day: The villain is the T-1000, which is described in-universe as "a mimetic polyalloy" — put in layman's terms, "liquid metal". The mimetic part means it can assume the shape and appearance of anything it touches; it can mimic a human being (it likes to assume the form of a police patrolman) or even a patch of linoleum flooring.
- Red Dwarf: In "DNA", the crew accidentally create a monster through a DNA manipulation machine which is a humanoid made out of mutton vindaloo. Naturally, being made up of vindaloo, it has a Weaksauce Weakness to lager.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh: Ekindu is made of mud, but looks like a regular man and doesn't appear to differ biologically from regular humans — at least in terms of function and mentality.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Elementals are often portrayed this way, with the four main kinds especially being depicted as living, only roughly humanoid masses of air, fire, water and earth.
- Golems are often created out a single base substance, which can greatly affect their abilities, immunities and danger level. Clay, stone and iron golems for a traditional base triad of increasing strength and danger level; clay golems are healed by acid damage, which is simply absorbed within their bodies, while iron golems are healed by fire damage, which softens and reforges their metal shells. More exotic types include snow golems, which are easily melted away, and golems made from Fantasy Metals, which are often the most dangerous kinds around.
- Dwarf Fortress: A number of very rare, very powerful entities, namely demons, titans, and forgotten beasts, are randomly generated in nature and appearance. Many resemble regular, if monstrous, organic beings, but many others are composed of a single substance, which can be organic or inorganic. Their threat level tends to vary based on their component substance; ones made from liquids, gases or powders such as smoke, water, snow or ash are extremely fragile and easily killed; ones made out of fire are just as fragile, but set anything they touch aflame and also explode when killed; ones made out of rock, glass, gems or low-grade metal are much tougher and more dangerous; ones made from weapons-grade metals like bronze, iron and steel are immensely dangerous and powerful beings.
- God of War: Several of the Titans are made up of their elements. For example, Perses consists of walking lava and Oceanus is made out of water and lightning.
- The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The Golems of the Deep are primordial entities made of various inorganic substances, such as stone or ice.
- Slugma and Magcargo are slug-like masses of Living Lava.
- Avalugg is a living, walking glacier, and its pre-evolution Bergmite is a smaller variant of the same.
- Geodude and its evolutions are animated clumps of rocks and soil, while Roggenrola and its evolutions are made up of various proportions of crystals and boulders.
- Grimer and Muk are living piles of purplish toxic slime.
- The Legendary Golems, Regice, Regirock and Registeel, are humanoid beings made entirely out of, well, ice, rock and steel.
- The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: One Monster of the Week is Claylossus, a giant, hulking behemoth made entirely of lumpy clay.
- Infinity Train: since the Train's denizens are all Hard Light projections, they can take pretty much any form even if it's biologically impossible. The denizens of the Crystal Car are all made of crystal, including the wildlife. One recurring character, Randall, is made entirely of water; it's implied that all the water on the Train is actually him. M.T. from Book 2 is apparently made of solid stainless steel, befitting her nature as a former reflection.