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Enclosed Extraterrestrials

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An Enclosed Extraterrestrial is a kind of alien whose entire race seems to cover their bodies from head to toe, whether by clothing, attire, armors or even especially designed artifacts. Sometimes this is done because they have some biological need, others just don't want any stranger to see their real looks because of some sort of cultural taboo, or because they are Energy Beings or Starfish Aliens choosing A Form You Are Comfortable With.

Often done for budgetary reasons (as it saves you time and money from complex make-ups and/or body painting), when correctly used may create some truly creative design and give the creatures a truly alien look. Sometimes combined with Uniformity Exception in order to save money on expensive makeup. Contrast with the exact opposite Exposed Extraterrestrials.

May overlap with Mobile Fishbowl, which is when aquatic beings survive on land by wearing or carrying water with them. Super-Trope to Little Green Man in a Can.


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    Comic Books 
  • Inverted in Judgment Day (EC Comics), in which a human astronaut visits a planet of robots to determine their fitness to join the Galactic Federation and keeps his helmet on for the entire visit. He eventually decides that the robots are not ready to join because some robots discriminate against others because of the color of their casings. In the final panel he takes off his helmet, showing he is a black man.
  • Superboy (1994): While most of the slaves on the alien Kossak's ship are wearing very minimal clothing in addition to their slave collars a handful are in full body covering suits with helmets presumably because they couldn't survive the ship's atmosphere without them.
  • Tech Jacket has the Geldarians, who are always wearing their Tech Jackets as 24-Hour Armor due to their weak bodies, but their helmets are retractable.

    Films — Animation 
  • Battle for Terra has the peaceful inhabitants of planet Terra raided by an alien Generation Ship. The invaders wear flight suits with full helmets, as they cannot breathe the heavy Terrian air. In fact, the Terrians actually swim around in their atmosphere. The aliens are revealed to be humans who have become Invading Refugees after a nuclear war left Venus, Earth, and Mars uninhabitable.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Jawas and the Tusken in the Star Wars franchise cover all their bodies with heavy clothing, hoods and masks, among other things. In the expanded universe is explained that, at least in the case of the Tusken, showing any kind of skin is an absolute taboo.

  • The Star Kings: The H'harn from Return to the Stars are completely covered with cloaks whenever interacting with humans. The reason becomes obvious when one undresses to mind-meld with the protagonist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Daleks are actually Octopoid Aliens inside their iconic metallic armour.
    • The race of Ice Warriors, originally native to ancient Mars, consider it the ultimate disgrace to remove their armored body-suits. Thus, the Eleventh Doctor knows the situation has become really dire when one resorts to doing this in "Cold War".
    • The antagonist of "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" is a Stenza, who come from a planet much colder than Earth, with a body temperature low enough to freeze humans on skin contact. As a result, he wears a suit of armour. However, downplaying the trope, he can expose his hands and face briefly with no ill effects.
  • Trolls in The Shannara Chronicles are fully covered in post-apocalyptic Steampunk-looking suits.
  • The Breen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are entirely hidden behind suits and long-snouted helmets. Worf mentions that no one has ever seen a Breen without their suit and lived to speak of it. The suits are known to be refrigerated, regulating a cold environment for the wearer, and the Breen are known to have no blood. The most common belief among the races of the Alpha Quadrant is that the Breen homeworld is a frozen wasteland, which is why they need to wear refrigeration suits. However, Weyoun once refers to the Breen homeland as being quite comfortable, maintaining the mystery of the Breen and their suits. An Expanded Universe novel, Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game, claims that the Breen wear the suits to promote equality between the different species of their Confederacy by forcing them all to have the same external appearance.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Invaders", a woman living alone on a farm is menaced by two small aliens in form-concealing armor. At the end of the episode, we learn that the 'aliens' are actually human astronauts, and the woman is a giant alien.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Suspended from They Came From Beneath The Sea! are a weird mixture of this trope and Mobile Fishbowl. They get their name because they are always encased in enormous masses of psychoreactive slime, which they can control with their thoughts to make it function like a cross between a Blob Monster and exoarmor. They need this slimy shell because in their natural state they have no prehensile limbs and they can't breathe oxygen, so the slime-bubble keeps them alive and lets them use its pseudopods to interact with the world.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Tau's body armor tends to be a lot more enclosing than those of other factions (they still indulge in Helmets Are Hardly Heroic, just not to the extent of the others), including their basic troops. Their helmets' Cyber Cyclops appearance can also unnerve some of the humans they deal with.

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Wonders: Planetfall, the ancestors of the Dvar were forced to constantly wear their extreme environment exo-suits to survive the Death World they were stranded on. About fifty thousand years later, their descendants cannot survive without them outside of Dvar dwellings.
  • In Dawn of War, the only Tau unit without a face-concealing helmet is the Ethereal, who wears robes anyway.
  • Destiny:
    • The Cabal are rhino-like humanoids with Space Marine troops, covered completely in armor, and with a few exceptions (headshots cause their helmets to fly off and reveal their face for normal troops, Dominus Ghaul, the Consul, Calus, and Caiatl), none of them show their faces.
    • The Fallen are Space Pirates who have a lot of their units wear helmets or other headgear that only show their eyes, and at first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking said eyes are just eyeholes or optics. The Dregs of House of Dusk are an exception, showing their face and hair in full, revealing the Scary Teeth they have.
    • Averted for the Hive, who, while looking like they wear chitinous armor at first glance, are actually effectively nude, given that the armor is actually part of their bodies.
  • Mass Effect:
  • No Man's Sky has the Anomaly race that the player starts every standard game as, who are the only race in the game who exclusively have helmets for their head options. All the other race options abide by this save for the head, as no below-the-neck options reveal the wearer underneath.
  • The Terraniux Mercenaries of Unreal are enclosed inside their combat environment suits probably since they can't survive in the Earth-like environment.
  • XCOM 2:
    • The Andromedons are unable to breathe oxygen and the atmosphere of their own planet is toxic to humans. As a result, the ones encountered during the game all wear Powered Armor with samples of the gases they breathe sealed inside them. Depleting an Andromedon's health results in the suit's glass-like "helmet" shattering, with the alien inside briefly spasming as they quickly suffocate... leaving the player with the suit itself now operating autonomously.
    • The Gatekeepers are largely shapeless tentacled blobs that always keep themselves within spherical metallic shells. That being said, while they spend most of their time in the closed-up state, they do open their shells and "expose" their bodies to the environment whenever they exercise their psionic powers, only to immediately close it up as a free reaction the moment they're struck with enemy fire.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: In Ultimate Alien, P'andor's body is completely covered by armored Containment Clothing to contain his unstable Energy Being body. It's unknown if this is the norm for his species, as he was sealed in the suit as punishment for previous crimes. However, in Omniverse, an artificial Half-Human Hybrid of this species wears something similar that also covers him from head to toe. Ben's NRG form, taken from scanning P'andor's DNA, keeps the suit and wears it most of the time, but (starting from Omniverse) is capable of exiting it at will and displaying his true form more often.
  • Trollans in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), of which Orko is the most famous one, are all cover in heavy clothes except for their ears, eyes and hands, and in their culture showing their faces is so intimate that is the equivalent of kissing.