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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 the EC Comics story "Judgement Day", where 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 Twenty-Four-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 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:
    • The Vorlons claim to use their strange-looking exo-suits to survive in other environments, although later it is revealed that the real reason is to hide their true Energy Beings meet Starfish Aliens look from outsiders.
    • The Gaim are Insectoid Aliens, the Gaim ambassadors are the only humanoid ones according to background material (as they are all genetically designed by their queens) but still have insectoid features. They use a full body armor not so much to hide their look (other insectoid aliens walk without them) but because they can't breed in the environments that most races find comfortable. The name of the race is an homage from J. Michael Straczynski to Neil Gaiman as the Gaim's helmet looks like the one use by The Sandman.
    • On Lower-Deck Episode "A View from the Gallery", the station is attacked by alien Faceless Mooks who look like a Red Stormtrooper.
  • 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 Woman Who Fell to Earth": The antagonist 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 Post Apocalyptic Steampunk-looking mutants.
  • The Breen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine a race that is entirely hidden behind a suit and long-snouted helmet. Worf mentions that no-one has ever seen a Breen without the suit and lived to speak of it. The suit is known to be a refrigeration suit, 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 suit 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 
  • 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.
  • The Suspended from They Came From Beneath The Sea! are a weird mixture of this trope and Mobile Fish Bowl. 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.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect:
    • The volus live in a high-pressure greenhouse atmosphere, forcing them to use full body suits when dealing with other species.
    • The quarians (pictured) are a wandering species and after centuries of living in sterilized environments they lost most of their immune system, thus they always use enviro-suits, to protect them from disease or infection, when dealing with other races.
  • 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.
  • In the Dawn of War games, the only Tau unit without a face-concealing helmet is the Ethereal, who wears robes anyway.
  • 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.
  • The Terraniux Mercenaries of Unreal are enclosed inside their combat environment suits probably since they can't survive in the Earth-like environment.

    Western Animation 
  • Trollans in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, 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.