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Energy Beings
aka: Energy Being

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"You can't beat the Drej. They're pure energy!"
Korso, Titan A.E.

Creatures that dispense with the need to have a body altogether.

Energy Beings are frequently Sufficiently Advanced or Precursors; in fact, non-physicality is a common prerequisite, though they may take on A Form You Are Comfortable With. Often times this means that when they "Touch" a corporeal being it has interesting side effects. Other times they are the result of when a species Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.

Even cheaper and simpler to pull off than Rubber-Forehead Aliens —  they're usually just a blurry blob of light superimposed onto the screen, or maybe a cloud of colored smoke, or they may be outright invisible — which explains why Energy Beings and Human Aliens so often dominate the demographics of the Final Frontier. The Angelic Aliens and Starfish Aliens especially may appear in this form.

Never mind that being "made of energy" makes as much sense as being "made of weight". This shows that many still don't know what the word "energy" really means.

It is also considered nonsensical because "energy" beings usually act more like floating clouds of luminescent gas, so a better term to use here might be "gaseous beings" — or they might just plain be made of stars.

They may often be used as a way to represent gods, angels, the afterlife, and similar subjects without dealing with the religious connotations normally attached to them.

Of course, Energy Beings share many characteristics usually ascribed to concepts such as spirits and souls, often making them an example of Sufficiently Analyzed Magic.

See Made of Magic for a more fantastic version.

See also: Evolutionary Levels and Hollywood Evolution, as well as Ball of Light Transformation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The spirit forms of the Clow Cards in Cardcaptor Sakura, though they usually take the form of humanoids (often, though not always, beautiful women) or animals. Of special mention is the Illusion Card.
  • Digimon can be seen as this, being sentient computer programs. In the Digimon Tamers continuity, when a Digimon enters the "Real World", it is necessary to construct bodies assembled out of nearby elements in a process called bio-emergence. Similarly, humans and any other physical matter are automatically converted to data upon entering the Digital World.
  • Atomsk from FLCL is a Phoenix-like energy being that several of the characters are pursuing for their own reasons.
  • The Getter Rays from Getter Robo are an energy being, though they rely on possessing Humongous Mecha for various reasons.
  • Some versions of Ghost in the Shell involve something akin to the typical "ascension" story, but instead of some nebulously defined "Pure Energy", they're made of computer data, which is marginally less silly.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has something similar with the Data Entity, a non-physical being which created Yuki Nagato in order to be able to communicate with humans. It's really made of information rather than energy.
  • The Rynax in Kurau Phantom Memory are even being used as an energy source, leading to a lot of misery for them.
  • The Protodeviln of Macross 7 started out as such. They came from a universe in which no matter exists, and everything is energy. When they were pulled into this universe to serve as a power supply for the Protoculture's Ehvil series of living superweapons, they possessed said superweapons to use as bodies. The Protoculture had not considered the possibility that the energy they were pulling from that other universe could be intelligent.
  • A fairly unusual example are the Tailed Beasts of Naruto. Each of the Beasts is a mass of chakra guided by a malevolent intelligence, but each one assumes the physical form of a massive, feral beast. When sealed into a jinchuuriki, no body is left behind as it's entirely composed of chakra.
    • What makes the Bijuu unusual is that their bodies are solid enough to interact with the world. The entire body is composed of "chakra-flesh" dense enough that mortals can interact with and even eat it as in the case of Ginkaku and Kinkaku. However, the energy is volatile enough to kill most people.
    • The origin story reveals they're fragments of Life Energy from a truly massive Eldritch Abomination. The one who defeated it severed the beast's chakra into nine parts and then imposed the image of a beast on each fragment, likely so they wouldn't merge of their own will. So while they are Energy Beings, they're forced to maintain a physical form.
  • The Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion, despite their typically rather imposing physical presence, are said to have both "waveform" and particle properties, not unlike light. This despite the fact that genetically, they're supposedly closer to humans than chimps are. Metaphysically, some are essentially... literally, beings made of light or... other abstract concepts that the human mind cannot mathematically comprehend.
  • Several characters with Logia powers from One Piece. Take for example, Ace, Kizaru, and Enel.
  • In Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, Tory's Energy Being friend is eventually revealed to be a second Deoxys.
  • In Psyren people become this when they master the Nova branch of PSI. Asuka teaches this powerful skill to Ageha and Amamiya.
  • Kain from Tenchi Universe
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from Lagann-hen. It's only physical parts are the Kamina-esque shades. The Anti-Spiral is also this, being the gestalt mind of a hibernating species of Well-Intentioned Extremists.
  • The President in Wish Upon the Pleiades is this, but takes on the form of an imagined alien he finds in Nanako's mind.
  • The☆Ultraman has an Arc Villain called the Spirit Parasite, a powerful, sentient ball of light who can possess and infect different life forms, turning them into giant rampaging kaiju in the process.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio "...ish", the Doctor encounters two sentient bits of language — the Ish, which serves as a singularity of linguistic meaning so strong it warps and destroys all meaning around it, and the Omniverbum, the hypothetical longest word in the cosmos which does the same for reality itself. At one point the Omniverbum chases the Doctor down a hallway despite being fully abstract.

    Comic Books 
  • A subset of this trope, especially in comic books, is the idea of the "man in the can" — the energy being who needs to be kept in a containment suit, lest he lose all coherency and possibly wipe out Detroit. Examples include:
    • Wildfire from Legion of Super-Heroes.
    • Captain Atom.
    • Fuji from Stormwatch, who wears a suit that looks like a giant robot and provides some... interesting side effects. Due to his form being extremely sensitive to vibrations, he has an orgasm every five minutes. This is explicitly said to be because he is made out of plasma (ionized gas), not Pure Energy. It's later revealed that his bosses found out about the orgasms and had his suit outfitted with dampeners.
    • Johann Krauss of the Hellboy spinoff B.P.R.D. (and the films of the main series) is composed of "ectoplasm" (a "spiritual energy" similar to Mana) in a containment suit.
  • In All Fall Down, Siphon briefly becomes one of these before the end.
  • In the Doctor Who Magazine comics, the Mondas Cybermen eventually evolve into these.
  • Negative Man from Doom Patrol has the ability to release an energy form capable of amazing feats, but only for one minute at a time. From the same comic we have the Bandage People, who while similar to Negative Man share no other similarities, and instead are humans who were mutated by the Builders to be almost completely invisible energy enclosed in bandages.
    • For that matter, Antibody from D.P. 7 has basically the same ability.
  • E-Man is about an energy being alien who comes to Earth and can turn himself into whatever he wants.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Parallax is made of fear, but it acts just like an energy being as does Ion (made of Willpower) and The Predator (made of love).
    • Green Lantern Dkrtzy Rrr is described as a "bio-sentient mathematical equation". Apparently, only the Guardians of the Universe are capable of noticing his presence at meetings.
  • Quite a few appear in the Marvel Universe.
    • Two notables are Living Laser, a photonic being made of light, and Klaw, who is composed of solidified sound. Both were human supervillains who got an upgrade into energy beings.
    • X-Men's Phoenix, originally just Jean Grey with a God Mode power upgrade, was famously retconned into an alien Energy Being after they wanted to bring back Jean but have her not be guilty of mass murder.
    • And Wonder Man, too (technically, he's made of ionized matter, which contains a lot of energy).
    • The Celestials are composed of a very intense and powerful form of energy — which is intangible and can't do much of anything on its own. It makes a very handy source of energy for the Humongous Mecha that they essentially "wear".
    • Stardust, one of the later additions to Galactus' ever-growing list of Heralds, already was an energy being before being imbued with the Power Cosmic. In fact, he and his kin were invisible to the naked eye.
    • Venus Dee Milo of X-Statix is another Energy Being in a bag, though not having a body doesn't stop her from becoming an international sex symbol.
  • In Silverblade, the Executioner is a creature of pure spiritual energy which can only manifest by possessing a suit of armour.
  • Super Sonic in Sonic the Comic is made of pure Evil Chaos Energy.
  • Superman:
    • Superman briefly became an energy being for a reason vaguely explained as overdosing on sunlight. Being Superman, his new energy powers were just as off the charts as his Flying Brick powers. He once magnetized the Moon to keep it from crashing into Earth. He could turn into a solid being though, which was handy for Clark Kent.
    • After Superman's time as an energy being, there was Sharon Vance, Strange Visitor, who was awoken to her powers after her plane was struck by lightning. She's basically the same as Superman during his time as an energy being.
    • All-Star Superman features a brief appearance by things that look like energy beings, but it turns out they actually have some physical presence. Their energy patterns are contained inside some kind of biogenic crystaline structure filled with a conductive gas. In layman's terms, they're living neon signs.
    • In The Immortal Superman, Kal-El travels to the year 101,970 and faces a synthetic electrical life-form spawned by a strange kind of pulsating energy.
    • The Plague of the Antibiotic Man: In order to fight Superman, Amalak creates an "electro-surrogate", a human-like being made of green energy.
    • Supergirl's Greatest Challenge: A planetary explosion caused by a super-bomb turned its mad scientist of a creator and another animal into massive energy beings. Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes called them Positive Man and Negative Creature because their "bodies" were composed of positive and negative ions, respectively.
    • When the Eradicator first took physical form, it was in the form of this due to the device he was contained in being tossed into the sun. When he was resurrected following Superman's death, he was in this form again until he built himself a new body.
    • Cyborg Superman became an Energy Being with the power to possess machines (his preferred form being a cyborg clone of Superman) after exposure to cosmic energy. He's effectively immortal since energy is indestructible. The driving force behind his villainy is his weariness with life and his inability to die. Most of his heinous acts were merely attempts to goad powerful superheroes like Green Lantern and Superman into finding a way to kill him. He once even joined forces with a Omnicidal Maniac cosmic superbeing because it promised Hank it would kill him afterwards.
    • In Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey, Doomsday was once defeated by a species whose royal family sacrificed themselves to become a being of pure energy called the Radiant, which Doomsday was entirely defenseless against. Unfortunately, they didn't destroy his body, and when it was recovered and woke up, Doomsday was now immune to energy attacks as well, as the former victors discovered to their horror.
  • Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen sometimes behaves as though he were an energy being, even though he has a perfectly physical body. On the other hand, he doesn't seem to need it too much, since he quickly makes himself a new one after being disintegrated again at the end of the story.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has the Phoenix Force, and the original Dark Phoenix (Surtur) is described as having become an Eldritch Abomination version of this.
    • The Elder God of Chaos and Dark Magic, Chthon, also functions as this — or at least, the fragment of him active in Book I does.
  • The Azturi, the unique species created for Kingdom Hearts Keyblade Masters, are an entire race of energy beings. They all look like Genie from Aladdin, except different colors. They're a dying breed, with Gummi (the mentor of the Keyblade Masters) and Genie being the only two Azturi left in the physical world.
  • Intercom has Disgust and Joy state this in not so many words. Saying their bodies are made of "particle thingies". This does come with some Mundane Utility benefits, such as being able to dry themselves after a bath or being able to overcome being squished in a short amount of time. Another neat feature of this is that if Riley Lucid Dreams without a reality filter, this means she takes on this form in her own mind as well.
  • In Resonance Days, everyone is technically this. Because the fic is set in the afterlife, the characters all left their bodies behind long ago and exist only as souls. Since the mind struggles to comprehend that, however, everyone instinctively form their souls to look like their bodies did in life (plus or minus one or two extra traits in the case of Witches). These "bodies" feel and function exactly as they did in life, but if you were to cut into them (even in places where you can feel the bone under the skin) it would just go straight through and release a gaseous substance called Soul Vapors. Realizing this tends to come with some existential crisis and self-harm.

    Films — Animated 
  • The evil Drej from Titan A.E. appear to be solid beings, but are actually composed of plasma-like energy. This ends up proving handy when they are lured into a trap that siphons away their energy to power the Titan, a ship built to recreate Earth after the Drej had destroyed it years before after an apparently Self-Fulfilling Prophecy warned them that humanity would destroy THEM.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Darkest Hour is about invisible energy beings trying to suck all energy from planet earth.
  • The Id Monster energy being from Forbidden Planet is invisible except for the brief scene where it's limned in the crackling energy of a force field it's trying to break through. Note that, at that time, this was neither a cheap nor a simple effect — and it looks awesome -– but for the rest of the film, it is invisible.
  • The eponymous homicidal Caterpillar (no, not that kind) in Killdozer! is possessed by an energy being.
  • In Noah, the Fallen Angels started out as beings literally made of light but became encased in stone as punishment for their transgression. Under all that rock, they are still beings made of light. All it takes is for the rock to be pulled off for them to return to Heaven.
  • In Pixels, Violet and her team speculate that the aliens are this. The fact that they can mate with humans is either a subversion or a Voodoo Shark.
  • In Star Wars, it is possible for certain Jedi to achieve immortality as "Force Ghosts", that's blue glowy energy beings, after they die, their bodies dematerializing instantly in the process. The spiritual techniques necessary for that transformation were discovered by the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn. The Sith and other darksiders, on the other hand, go for the more ordinary undead ghost forms.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur is a non-corporeal entity who can collect the powers of any mutant he possesses. He still needs a body to actually exist.

  • In Andrew M. Greeley's Angel trilogy, the eponymous angels are immense creatures of (mostly) energy who stand somewhere between humans and God on the evolutionary scale, and willingly act as agents for God.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • The high spirits from Astral Dawn are eternal beings with vast power, composed of astral energy. The high spirits evolved from the normal non-corporeal state all humans and other living things assume when their bodies stop functioning or are destroyed. As the energy that once occupied a physical body, they retain the thoughts and experiences gained in that life.
  • The creature in The Colour Out of Space is a bodiless something that's released from the inexplicably colored bubbles in a meteorite and possesses and gradually drains all the life from a farm and its inhabitants. Eventually, the creature gains enough strength to fire itself out of a well and back into space, appearing as a geyser of shimmering alien light as it does so. But then the hero sees a second, weaker entity trying to escape as well, only to tumble back down again. Then the abandoned farm is turned into a city reservoir...
  • In The Dresden Files, Bob, Harry's resident arcane supercomputer and magical database, is a spiritual entity composed purely of energy and thought, to the point that simply being exposed to sunlight (which weakens magical enchantments) can kill him outright.
  • In Eragon, strange beings called "spirits" crop up occasionally. They are weird little floating balls of... something... that float around and are most plot-relevant when they are fueling evil Shades.
  • His Dark Materials presents its angels as something akin to Energy Beings, being made of a sentient particle known as Dust, which is analogous to RL's dark matter/energy, instead of organic materials. Needless to say that, lacking a truly solid form, they are usually very prone to die.
  • Several races in The History of the Galaxy either originally were or evolved to Energy Being level. One such being is implied to be the origin of biological life in the galaxy (maybe even the universe) via accidental Panspermia. The novel quite clearly refers to the entity as "God", even though it's most definitely not immortal and can only exist in powerful magnetic fields of gas giants (in fact, according to the novel, many copies of the being have been created on various gas giants). Another similar race, the Evolgs, similarly evolved when disorganized magnetic fields of a planet became something more coherent. The Emulotti were Human Aliens until they were under threat of extermination by the Shvergs. The Evolgs helped the Emulotti by showing them how to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. At least one human was forcibly turned into energy by an Emulotti machine.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (the books, radio show, towel...) makes one or two throwaway references to "super-intelligent shades of the colour blue". Color being a form of light, it makes this an "energy being" concept if anything even more bizarre than that suggested for most regular instances of the trope (which may well have been the whole point). Starfish Aliens indeed.
  • In Imminent Danger and How To Fly Straight into It, the Triila qualify as this, appearing as small balls of light. They are also extremely intelligent and lack any form of empathy, making them very dangerous.
  • The eponymous character of It is generally portrayed as You Cannot Grasp the True Form. The closest the human mind can come appears in the climax, as a Giant Spider. When Stuttering Bill initiates the Ritual of Chud, "It" flings him through It's mind into a "darkness beyond the universe", towards where It's true form resides as a swirling mass of Orange Light.
  • In The Librarian, this is Nick's true form, though it takes on a humanoid shape.
  • The Lyth in The Licanius Trilogy painfully had all of their physical material stripped away when a massive weapon malfunctioned. They live on (immortally) as beings made entirely of Essence.
  • The Quasing in The Lives of Tao appear in their natural form as formless masses of light. But because they cannot survive prolonged exposure to Earth's atmosphere, they are only seen in that form when leaving a dying host.
  • The "Rakasha" from Lord of Light are the prior native race of the planet that had discovered a technique for "strengthening the flames of the mind that they may burn independently of the body." They can manipulate electricity, among other abilities, and still interact with the material world.
  • Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor has an unusual take on this trope in the Melters, who do appear to have matter bodies or a matter medium — a mineral called meltmassif, which is electroconductive — and which perceive the electrical activity in human bodies to be like themselves. Problem is, the meltmassif is completely undifferentiated and doing just about anything to it does not hurt the Melters, and Melters always seek to mix their meltmassif so their individual signals merge. They have no concept of how it's different for others. In the end they are freed from the meltmassif and become proper energy beings... or die. It's Star Wars, and everyone is a "luminous being" functioning in a shell of matter already.
  • Macroscope by Piers Anthony features an unusual take on the energy being. Near the end of the book, it is revealed that an ancient civilization's members had long ago transferred their consciousness into the interference patterns produced by the reflection the alien signal makes against normal matter. In effect, they aren't even energy, but instead just a pattern floating above an energy field.
  • The eponymous Angels in Matthew Swift used to be these, back when they were living in the telephone wires. Then Matthew got better and they're stuck with him.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy features the energy-based hive mind Ly-Cilph, whose evolutionary history the author spends a few pages summarizing. The antagonists of the series, body-snatching souls invading from The Nothing After Death, also seem to be made of energy.
  • In Once, the faerefolkis seem to inhabit bodies born of energy rather than matter, whose demeanour and intent human senses proportionately interpret. Multicoloured sparks of light, part of "the hidden life-force of all that exists", arrive to heal protagonist Thom Kindred of stroke-induced weariness.
  • Piers Anthony used a race of these in OX, mostly as an excuse to toss in references to Conway's Game of Life. No rationale for why a cluster of disembodied energy nodes would work like Conway's cellular automata is provided, but give Piers his credit: at least he tried to base his Energy Beings on something coherent, which is more than other users of this trope seem inclined to do.
  • The Starchild Trilogy: The sentient, living stars in Rogue Star fall somewhere between this and Cosmic Entity. They are literally stars, fusing hydrogen, and they have powers near those of a Reality Warper.
  • Yet another sci-fi trope pioneered by Edward E. "Doc" Smith, whose Skylark Series included the "free minds" One through Seven, who've spent the megayears since their transformation wandering the universe in search of interesting new experiences. Their power is immense — One converts a human into Freemind Eight, then changes its mind and casually conjures him a new body and a starship, accurate to the last cell and circuit, just to get rid of him.
  • The Precursors from The Space Odyssey Series fit into the description, having somehow woven themselves into the very fabric of space-time. The protagonist of the first novel/film also becomes one of these due to the aliens' interference.
  • In The Space Trilogy, the eldils are essentially Judeo-Christian angels, or their cousins. They are imperceptible energy beings whose forms exist on a radically different wavelength than ours — for them, gaseous matter doesn't exist, and liquids and solids are gaseous, so the planets of the Solar system are just clouds. To them, light itself is the water through which they swim, and the Sun is their wellspring. "Visiting" a planet means moving into one of those moving clouds and then keeping pace with its orbit to maintain the appearance of standing still, while using some sort of projection to interact with wispy, ephemeral creatures they cannot fully see (i.e.: us).
  • In The Star Dwellers and its sequel Mission to the Heart Stars, by James Blish, humans makes contact with energy beings that are created in the births of stars and look like globes of orange light. We dub them "angels," and as the stories go on, the name feels more and more uncomfortably appropriate.
  • Skewered in The Biology of Star Trek, which points out at least three ways in which these could not exist: their time perception would have problems due to existing at the speed of light, there wouldn't be anything that could hold any kind of genetic code, and any form of sentience would have significant difficulties because all the brains we've encountered have been material.
  • The Feyori from Theirs Not to Reason Why, who live for thousands of years and play intricate games using matter-based sentients as pieces.
  • In the sequel to Those That Wake, this is what people in the neuropleth become.
  • The Fredric Brown short story "The Waveries" features probably the most realistic take on this trope, decades before Star Trek. The eponymous waveries are literally living waves on the electromagnetic spectrum, and because they are waves, they interfere with technology (making electronics impossible) and are not sentient beings.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Amazing Stories (2020): In "Signs Of Life" the aliens appear to be electrical beings, as seen as two leave Earth and then the one inside of Sara brings her back, enhancing the defibrilation paddles with its own energy.
  • A recurring element of Andromeda is that various celestial bodies have sentient avatars, energy beings who can manifest in humanoid form or as data.
  • The Vorlons from Babylon 5 appear to be mostly energy beings, although they apparently still have some degree of physicality left, too. In "Mind War", super-psychic Jason Ironheart, having undergone a Deadly Upgrade, gives up corporeal existence to become pure psychic energy. According to "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", at least part of humanity appears to be destined to go this way, too, within the next one million years. Note that the far-future human seen in this episode looks like an ordinary man at first, then turns into a cloud of glowing particles which fly into a human-shaped encounter-suit. Similarly, precursor being Lorien is a quite physical humanoid when he feels like it, but can turn into a glowing cloud (possibly his true form) for travelling through space. This suggests that all these beings are basically physical creatures that have gained the ability to turn into a more or less gaseous/plasma/energy form at will. The episode "Soul Hunter" and the film The River of Souls confirm this suggestion: the Soul Hunters trap souls in spheres because of it.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, people perceiving Dawn as The Key tend to describe her as a green Energy Being.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Mutants", the natives of the planet Solos have a very unusual cycle of evolution, or something. A year on Solos is 2000 Earth years, and each change in its seasons every half-millennium (with aid from a crystal enthused with thaesium) massively altered the Solonians. Each spring, they were akin to humanoids, while when it turned to summer, the Solonians underwent metamorphosis into energy beings.
    • "Planet of Evil" features one of Anti-Matter.
    • "The Idiot's Lantern": The Wire used to have a physical form, but it was executed by its species for undisclosed crimes and escaped as electricity.
    • "The End of Time": Rassilon's grand plan was for the Time Lords to become these upon the destruction of reality.
  • In Earth: Final Conflict there are the Taelons and the Kimera. The first seem to be primarily energy based but not entirely in the glowing squid squad as yet. The Kimera however look to be entirely energy — except when they feel like it and pretend to be some matter based life form. And the entire being based on energy thing is a key part of the Taelons' story line.
  • Farscape: Stark's true form is pure energy that he can shape into the form of a humanoid body so he can interact with others. In one episode he's executed by disintegration which just returns him to Pure Energy. He returns two episodes later having reconstituted his physical form.
  • In The Journey of Allen Strange, this is the title character's true form.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
  • The Outer Limits (1963):
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "The Second Soul", the N'Tal are symbiotic energy beings who cannot survive outside a host body for more than two years.
    • In "Joyride", the NASA astronaut Colonel Theodore Harris encounters energy beings who have the appearance of violet lights on both of his trips to space, in 1963 and 2001.
  • Power Rangers
    • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Zordon was this in his last two years of life as a consequence of the method he used to free himself from his can. He was still in the can, as it was all that was holding his energy body together, but at least he could have people move the can around for him, rather than being stuck broadcasting to a fixed point.
    • Sam, the Sixth Ranger in Power Rangers S.P.D., was originally a human from a Bad Future. He became this trope as his timemachine malfunctioned and disintegrated his body. This plot point was introduced because of Executive Meddling; the higher ups did not want to hire another actor to play this ranger, forcing the staff to come up with a solution to still include him.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • The Sufficiently Advanced species "The Ancients" have "Ascended" to a higher plane of existence, resulting in their existing on this plane only as Energy Beings. Daniel Jackson also 'dies', but actually 'ascends'.
      • The Ori are the Ancients' Evil Counterpart who reside in another galaxy. They're a race of Scary Dogmatic Aliens who demand blind worship and order their followers to launch a crusade against the Milky Way.
      • In "Legacy", Daniel suspects that some dead Goa'uld are not in fact dead but have become energy beings. They haven't, he's becoming delusional because of some alien technology that got into him. Ironically, this later turns out to be exactly the case with Anubis.
    • In Stargate Atlantis some Replicators try to dispense with their nanite bodies and become energy in an effort to simulate ascension. It doesn't work — or at least, not very well. They become digital, living data, but that's about it. This makes them similar to an entity encountered by the SGC on one of the Milky Way planets that possessed Carter.
  • Star Trek has had a bunch of these, including a few which simulated physical bodies — like the Organians, Trelane, the Q, the Prophets, the Koinonians — and at least one group who wanted to get back into physical bodies.
  • The angels in Supernatural are, as Castiel describes, "wavelenths of celestial intent". For energy beings, they do act very human, though.
  • The aliens of Tracker (2001), or at the very least, Cole and Zin. It's never clarified for sure with the others. All of them are possessing human bodies (except one who possesses a dog). Cole extracts their "essense" and stores it in crystals. It's safe to say that all creatures from that area of space are energy beings in one way or another. In fact, Cole is the only one who manifested his own body based on an underwear ad. The rest took the bodies of people on a train. It's possible that nothing material can pass through a wormhole, so this may have required all the escapees to be turned into energy. All of them still possess their racial abilities (e.g. Cole's hyperspeed and Zin's Telekinesis).
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Chameleon", an energy being hitches a ride on the space shuttle Discovery and is unknowingly brought back to Earth. It has the ability to absorb any object or person into itself and transform itself into either them or anything from their memories. For instance, after absorbing Crew Chief Brady Simmons, it imitates both him and his wife Kate. Later, it absorbs the weapons expert Dr. Vaughn Heilman and changes into a nuclear bomb in order to coerce the NASA scientists studying it into releasing it.
    • In "What Are Friends For?", Mike is a being of light who appeared to Alex Mattingly and later his son Jeff as a young boy with whom they could play when they were lonely. Before he leaves, Mike tells Alex that he has "always existed in this place" and will always do so.
  • All the title heroes of the Ultra Series fall under this category to varying degrees depending on the continuity. The Showa Era Ultras have bones and organs, but are primarily made of light. However, in other continuities, the Ultras bleed light instead of blood.
    • An episode of Ultraman 80 has a flashback to three millennia ago, with a "Warrior of Light" — an anonymous Ultraman — defending humans from the ancient monster, Tabra. This warrior is a humanoid made entirely of light and is implied to be Ultraman Eighty himself, although the episode doesn't really confirm it.
    • Some of their enemies qualify. Two notable examples are Big Bads the Yapool from Ultraman Ace who are made out of the Minus Energy as are all their creations, and Chaos Header from Ultraman Cosmos who is an entity of evil light that corrupts other beings.

    Marionation and Puppet Shows 
  • In Captain Scarlet, the alien Mysterons who are at war with Earth are seen only as rings of purposefully-moving light.
  • Fraggle Rock: The Ditzies are tiny flying creatures who are seen only as specks of light. They are the source of all light in Fraggle Rock.

  • Ohm from The Chimera Program arc in Cool Kids Table is made entirely of energy.

  • Journey into Space: Discussed in Journey to the Moon/Operation Luna. Lemmy theorises that the Time Travellers may not have physical bodies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS: Discussed in GURPS Space. The book proposes the idea of plasma-based life that lives inside stars, many miles tall.
  • Pathfinder has the Conrasu: shards of cosmic power that construct bodies of living wood to contain their essence. They tend to look like the decorations of some lost jungle temple than a living being. They are also a playable ancestry/race.
  • Rocket Age: These can be created by adding the Immaterial trait to a creature.
  • Warhammer 40,000:

    Video Games 
  • Atlas Reactor has three examples of beings made of not-entirely-meat: Aurora is a human who was disintegrated and learned to mimic the Reactor's powers of Resurrective Immortality. Orion was a human who performed an experiment on himself that infused his body with Reactor energy. Finally, Quark seems to be the Reactor's 'offspring' and doesn't resemble any kind of biological life. The degree to which these characters are still human also seems to be proportional to their relative sanity: Aurora is a megalomaniac, Orion is convinced he's a god, and Quark's mentality and moral code doesn't resemble that of a human in the slightest.
  • Blue Planet: The Vishnans. The protagonist says they could be called Energy Beings, but to do so would be to miss the point. They do not have corporeal bodies as we know them. Instead they "possess" inanimate matter of their own creation to serve as an instrument of their will in the physical universe. The Shivans are similar, except that while the Vishnans exist outside of local time-space, the Shivans are innately part of local time-space. One character says that "The Shivans were not made. They were calculated." when discussing their origins.
  • City of Heroes: Kheldians. However, they cannot survive for more than a decade as pure energy though so they inhabit organic hosts. Peacebringers and Warshades (reformed Nictus) do this with the consent of the host, the Nictus just take over whichever body they please. Kheldians (and as a result Nictus) can't take over a body unwillingly though, because the host can eventually just kick them out. However, Nictus get around this by kidnapping them and breaking their will in various ways so that they will become compliant hosts.
  • Commander Keen 5 features a race of extragalactic energy beings called the Shikadi as the main antagonists. They want to use a quantium explosion dynamo to blow up the whole galaxy.
  • Conquest: Frontier Wars: While the Celareons are indeed energy beings, they cannot survive outside containment suits, which are crafted for them at "birth". They, essentially, spend their entire lives in metal suits. Their early stories claim that they were artificially evolved to their present state by an ancient race, who also taught them how to make the containment suits.
  • Cookie Clicker: Building fifteen Prisms unlocks the Rainbow Grandma upgrade, which turns some of the grandmas into photonic beings.
  • Darkstalkers: The character Pyron seems to be made from pure energy.
  • Dead or Alive: While Alpha-152 is never stated to be anything other than a superpowered clone who went through weird genetic experiments, she is still depicted as a typical energy being, with a shiny and shimmery body seemingly made out of liquid or gel.
  • Dota 2: Io is the very essence of the fundamental forces that hold the world together. In a more meta example, Io's in-game model is purely made of particle effects.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Ideal Masters are immortal beings who were once powerful mortal sorcerers during the Merethic Era. After finding their mortal forms to be too weak and limiting, they entered Oblivion as beings of pure energy and settled an area of "chaotic creatia", forming the Soul Cairn. The Ideal Masters are most infamous for their trafficking in souls, especially "Black" sapient souls. All souls trapped in soul gems end up in the Soul Cairn and are considered property of the Ideal Masters. The Ideal Masters do not usually manifest within the Soul Cairn, but have been known to take the form of giant soul gems through which individuals can communicate with them, and through which they can drain the souls of approaching mortals.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • The Augur of Dunlain was a brilliant student of the College of Winterhold, who liked to experiment with very deep magic. But one of these experiments went wrong, causing him to transform into an energy being.
      • In the Dawnguard DLC, you can travel to the aforementioned Soul Cairn and meet the Ideal Masters in the...well, not flesh...but crystalline soul gem form.
  • Evolve: This is the original and true nature of the monsters, who lack physical form in their home dimension. After humanity started destroying their dimension by accident, they pushed into our dimension and formed physical bodies. Since they had no concept of bodies, they mimicked existing things like animals and inorganic materials for the base and used widespread mental impressions from humans to put the pieces together into something considered frightening.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Starting with Final Fantasy VI, the series generally presents Ultima Weapon as an Energy Being. In VI, its self-introduction includes the phrase, "... I do not bleed, for I am but strength given form...", and its Summon Profile in Dissidia says that "[i]t neither harbors nor represents life, but is rather a manifestation of pure power."
    • The lands in Final Fantasy XIV are often littered with Sprites, small elementals that are born of concentrated Aether. They are mostly annoyances that can add a little danger to using Area of Effect attacks or be farmed for crystals for crafting. A number of minor sidequests have you gathering cores from them that civilian quest-givers use for various tasks.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light: The Zoltan are green humanoids made of energy. They even provide one bar of energy to the system they stand in, making them useful as support, but have less health than other races, which makes them bad at combat. They also explode on death in the Advanced Edition.
  • Iron Marines: One of the villain factions is the Raad, who are sentient unstable plasma from another dimension. They wear containment suits in order to survive in our galaxy, and said suits also channel their energy into Elemental Powers. Destroying their suits tends to have... explosive results. The Hero Unit Fate also turns out to have been a Raad, but defected to the humans for personal reasons.
  • Jak and Daxter: Subverted. The first time we see a Precursor, it appears to be made out of glowing blue-white fire. It later turns out that they're instead fuzzy orange mustelids. Daxter was overjoyed.
  • League of Legends: Xerath was once a man, then ascended to a being of pure arcane energy, then was imprisoned within a sarcophagus for his reckless abuse of magic. Now he is mobile once again, but still not entirely free due to the remaining enchantments placed upon him.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: At first, the Elemental Spirits appear to simply be huge armored warriors with elemental auras. However, as their armor becomes increasingly damaged during their battles, it becomes visible that beneath it there is nothing but elemental energy.
  • Mega Man Star Force: Every alien character is a sapient pack of radio waves. By combining with a human, the fusion also becomes a radio being. This describes the eponymous Mega Man as well as every single boss, as apparently mere waves are no match for radio humans.
  • Meteos: The Thirnovans/Trinovans are only half-energy, which is also why they apparently only have one form.
  • Nuclear Throne: Radiation-based energy beings called Guardians are Elite Mooks found mostly late in the game, coming in various forms. There's also a friendly playable version, called Horror, unlocked by defeating it in battle. Due to their nature, they drop lots of rads, the game's form of XP.
  • In Otherspace, the Riftwalkers seem to act as Orz-like 'fingers', as they're extradimensional puppets made purely of psionic energy. Fortunately, they use telekinesis to hold up a shell of dust particles so we can have A Form You Are Comfortable With.
  • Phlegethon has giant demons made of light, resembling featureless, glowing humanoids. They can somehow be hurt by bullets (and even bleed), but it takes around 40 shots to finally kill one.
  • The Infi-nut from the Far Future levels of Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time. It's a Hard Light Wall-Nut spawned from a projector which can periodically regenerate itself as long as the projector exists.
  • The Pokémon Rotom is a being made of electrical energy and is an Electric/Ghost type. It can enter and possess electric appliances and can even use these forms in battle. Its typing changes depending on what it inhabits.
  • In Portal 2, one of the alternate Cave Johnsons in the Perpetual Testing Initiative states that Aperture's experiments inadvertently turned all of mankind into energy beings. He is enthusiastic about this because it brings them one step closer to humanity's ultimate goal... becoming pillar of salt beings.
  • Raging Blades have a few areas where you fight hovering, sentient balls of light, which dies in a single slash but can electrocute you upon being touched.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
  • The Kibblins from The Spirit And The Mouse are sentient balls of electrical energy with adorable faces, whose bodies crackles constantly with energy. You seek their help to restore power after a nationwide blackout.
  • Starbound has the Novakids, a race of humanoids made from superheated stellar gas (thankfully contained in a magnetic field). Their origin and purpose are largely unknown, and nobody know exactly how they work, not even themselves.
  • The Pkunk in Star Control claim that the Ilwrath used to be perfect beings of shining light, which would seem to fit this bill, before they became too perfect and wrapped around to pure evil spider beings. It's never actually established whether this is actually true, like most of their other bizarre claims or just random Phony Psychic posturing, though.
  • The Archons and Dark Archons from StarCraft. Affectionately called blue and red balloons respectively by some players, they are made up of psionic energy and are created when two high or dark templar, powerful psychic protoss, merge together. As they lack substance, they're tragically fragile without their energy shields, meaning they may be less useful than the sum of their parts if you're facing an enemy that can deplete shields. Generic archons are made from two high templar, two dark templar make a dark archon, and, in StarCraft II, two of either templar can come together to make a regular archon. Interestingly, at least one dark templar, Ulrezaj, knows of a way to become an especially potent dark archon consisting of multiple templar. The result was probably one of the most powerful beings in the setting.
    • Tassadar apparently became an immortal being made of pure light after his Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the first game.
    • Ulrezaj was a dark templar scholar who found a crystal containing the knowledge to make a powerful Dark Archon. Presumably, he destroyed the crystal after reading it.
  • In Stellaris:
    • The big risk that comes with toying with Jump Drive technology is the risk of opening a portal to another dimension, populated by strange beings known simply as The Unbidden. And they see a galaxy full of living things filled with energy themselves as a gigantic all-you-can-eat buffet.
      "... prey..."
    • Creatures of the Shroud are essentially beings made up of psychic energy. When one manifests in this dimension, it's usually as a huge mass of glowing light known as a Psionic Avatar, which has destructive power to rival entire starfleets. Whether they're hostile or not depends on who summoned them, and how successful that summoning was.
  • In Sword of the Stars, these exist in node space, which is used by humans and Zuul for FTL travel (except the former use naturally-occurring tunnels, while the latter know how to make their own, albeit unstable ones). Whenever human or Zuul fleets meet in node space, they battle in this Negative Space Wedgie. If the battle lasts long enough, strange clouds of energy will appear and converge on the ships, doing damage to them on contact. They are immune to ballistic and missile weapons, so if that's all you have, tough luck. Energy weapons can harm them, though. Occasionally, they get pissed and may attack a random planet in the galaxy, even one belonging to a race that doesn't use bode space. Presumably they're just lashing out at the intrusion.
  • Lambda in Tales of Graces. His actual nature is left quite vague. Basically he's immortal, incorporeal, and living in Richard's head. Or Asbel's, eventually.
  • The wisps in the Ultima series are composed of energy and spend their existence gathering knowledge across the various planes of reality. In Ultima Underworld, one can give you a truly devastating spell, Armageddon, which destroys absolutely everything in the game. Including doors and stairways, so that you cannot escape the room.
  • Warframe: One of the theories in-universe trying to explain how a single Tenno can use and occupy several Warframes of different builds and genders was that they were some sort of energy beings, able to travel between bodies and change them at will. Gets subverted during The Second Dream, when we find out that the Tenno are actually flesh-and-blood humans whose mind is remotely projected onto a Warframe body. And then double subverted during The War Within, where we learn that Tenno exist in a "border" state between the physical world and the Void which grants them their innate powers, including the ability to dash-teleport as well as phase in and physically posses other bodies, including their Warframes. So, while they are not pure energy beings, they are not completely corporeal either.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Naaru, although they do appear somewhat crystallized. They're also the closest thing in the setting to angels.
    • The Ethereals, who are essentially Azerothian goblins from space, embody this trope a bit more; their material shapes are created by wearing mummy-style wrappings and other elements of clothing.
  • X-COM:
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the Outsiders, beings of "almost pure energy" that materialize out of glowing orange crystals.
    • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified features Ethereals as energy beings. They are somewhat different than their XCOM: Enemy Unknown cousins but still possess impressive Psychic Powers. In fact, it's revealed near the end that the Player Character is not William Carter but Asaru, the Ethereal controlling him. The Big Bad also has an Ethereal under his control, but Carter manages to capture her. For some reason, they turn out to be vulnerable to ballistic fire, as Carter shoots and kills Shamash, the other Ethereal, with a regular pistol after she suggests destroying Earth.
  • The Nebulas in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 are beings made of pure ether, the substance that builds the world. They tend to be a pain in the ass to fight, having high physical defense and the nasty habit of self destructing once their health gets low.
  • In Xenogears, the Wave Existence is an energy being from another dimension that was trapped in the Zohar Engine that powers Deus. Most of the 10,000-year long history of the world was shaped by the Wave Existence's attempts to free itself via its Contact 'Abel' and his reincarnations (Fei being the latest) and Deus' attempts to keep it imprisoned while cultivating humanity so they could become the new spare parts it needs to repair itself.

  • Gosh the Butterfly of Iron in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is described as a "living space warp" made of a different form of energy than matter.
    "Okay, so... if matter is a form of energy, think of a different form your physicists haven't..."
  • Kill Six Billion Demons has two varieties living in the Void Between the Worlds: the Angels, axiomatic immortal spirits of cold white flame, who require enchanted stone armour to exist in the physical world; and Devils, whose individual identities are bound to their Masks and their powers to their Names, and who revert to chaotic black fire if their masks are destroyed. Unusually, within the Void, they're much more solid than most visiting humans who project their souls there.
  • Last Res0rt doesn't state this explicitly, but Efreet are basically Djinn who've sacrificed their bodies for the sake of gaining more elemental powers. They still like running around in their "original" bodies, though...
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: In "Good Genes", a guy complains that his sister got all the good genes in the family. Since it turns out she's a superintelligent Energy Being, it's a bit hard to argue.
  • Spontaneous Combustion has its main character, Brightly, as a being made of pure light.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • 3Below: Many aliens are Hard Light around a Core that serves as a Heart Drive.
  • Amphibia: The Guardian's true form from is essentially a cloud of iridescent energy and light.
  • Ben 10:
    • As an alien trope, you know there is an example: the Anodites. They are alien beings made of Mana and able to manipulate it for a variety of purposes, including taking a physical form. It's discovered that Ben and Gwen are quarter Anodite in Ben 10: Alien Force. Specfically from Verdona Tennyson, their grandmother and Max's wife. She also offered (or rather insisted) on trying to get Gwen to do the same when first met, but eventually backed off. Gwen's Anodite lineage also explains why she is a naturally talented magic user. However, it does make it harder for her to fight a pure Anodite... such as Sunny Tennyson, her and Ben's cousin from Verdona's side of the family and a troublemaker.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien has a radioactive Energy Being in P'andor. But considering he apparently has DNA to scan (where Anodites don't), it's called into question whether he's really "Pure Energy" or not. However, when produced in the Omnitrix (to make NRG), it also reconstructs the containment suit that P'andor was in (though for P'andor, it's because he was a criminal) which helps them control their powers and presumably not affect their environment.
    • Diagon is this as part of his vibe of being an Eldritch Abomination. In his own words, his essence is power. Vilgax defeats him by exploiting this and using an energy draining machine, the same one Vilgax use to take the powers of ten former champions seen earlier. Since Diagon is power, Diagon is absorbed by Vilgax and he becomes a being himself until Ben uses Ascalson to seal the power in it. With Azmuth destroying the sword, it's safe to say Diagon is not coming back.
    • The members (read: entire species) of the evil Brotherhood of Makuta have evolved past the need of physical bodies. They still need a shell or armor of some kind however, or said energy will disperse, killing them. Still, being made of energy gives them plenty of abilities, like being able to move into other bodies; and mind-control people with their energies. They have also padded their armor with Protosteel, since there's no body that needs space anymore. This made a painful experience for the Makuta Icarax, as he was devolved into his biomechanical form again by the Mask of Life, making his armor way too small to fit his reformed organs.
    • One of the books mentions the Avohkah, basically sentient lightning living in the universe's core. The Toa Mata drive these things out shortly after being created.
  • Futurama:
    • "Love's Labors Lost In Space": Amy Wong tries to set Leela up with M-5438, an entity of pure energy from another dimension that, according to Bender, is "big on musical theater, if you know what I mean".
    • "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" has Melllvar (yes, that's spelled correctly), an energy being who was the living embodiment of the Star Trek Fanboy stereotype, and was keeping the original cast alive on its planet. Melllvar borrows mostly from the energy being in Star Trek's Original Series episode "Metamorphosis", who had fallen in love with Zefram Cochrane and was keeping him alive and young on its planet.
    • "A Clockwork Origin": Nano-bots planted in a lifeless planet by the Professor undergo Mechanical Evolution overnight, each day being a different level. The stage right after the "20th Century human civilization" analogue is of gaseous robotic life that considers the struggles of solid beings beneath them.
  • Gravity Falls: Bill Cipher. He is an Eldritch Abomination who resides in another dimension, and has been stated to be "a being of Pure Energy".
  • Invader Zim: The Meekrob may be energy beings... when they're not manifesting themselves as giant shoes. Of course, it needs to make sense even less than anything else in Invader Zim needs to make sense, since they're a simulation created by Zim's Lotus-Eater Machine. However, other episodes confirm the Meekrob were real and notes from Word of God do note that Dib would've allied with them for real to fight against the Irkens, especially in the would-be finale, Invader Dib.
  • Jade Armor: Following her Heroic Sacrifice to defeat the Crimson Lord for good, Xin Qi lost her body but managed to survive using her chi to transform herself into a being of pure energy. Though she ended up stuck in the city's power grid.
  • Jonny Quest: In "The Invisible Monster", the title creature is "a mass of energy that somehow came alive". It uses Vampiric Draining to obtain all kinds of energy, including Life Energy.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: In "Mind Over Matter", an "energy vampire" called Gigawatt threatens to absorb all of the electricity on Earth. He claims to be a lifeform of pure energy, but after Jenny shorts him out with water from a fire hydrant, he shrinks down until all that's left is his lightbulb-shaped head.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "The Wisp of Wickedness", a demon has a laboratory accident that results in a tremendous explosion. As a result he's reduced to a ball of energy with the ability to possess other creatures and make them do evil deeds.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series:
    • In "Beyond the Farthest Star", a being made out of magnetic energy tries to take over the Enterprise.
    • In "Bem", one of these protects a primitive species from outside interference.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: Played for Laughs in "Envoys", where the episode opener has a ball of energy infiltrate the Cerritos and threaten Mariner and Tendi. Before it even finished talking, Mariner pounces on it and tries to force it into a container. The being quickly switches from threats to pleading, promising to give Mariner whatever she wants, stating that it can turn some of its energy into any object. Mariner demands a new tricorder. The entity obliged, growing smaller as its energy is converted into mass. Mariner then demands a power pack for the tricorder, and the entity produces that too, becoming a tiny speck. The women leave, and the entity tries to attack Captain Freeman, slamming into her and dissipating.
  • Steven Universe: The Gems have bodies made of Hard Light that appear as technicolor humanoid women. The only part of a Gem's body made of matter is their gemstone, which serves as a Heart Drive and renders them functionally immortal as long as it's not shattered. When a Gem's physical form sustains heavy damage or has the gemstone removed, they will "poof", that is, release their physical forms and retreat into their gemstones to regenerate a new body, which can take anywhere between hours to weeks. The only exception to all of this is Steven, who is a Half-Human Hybrid, and as such has a half-organic body. When his gem is removed, he barely has the energy to stand, while his gem forms a Hard Light projection of himself that it uses to return to him.
  • Superfriends: In one of the Zan-and-Jayna episodes, alien bad guys report to their boss, over interstellar picturephone, that the Super Friends are foiling their plans. Their boss casually replies, "I'll teleport you an energy creature." (Said energy creature is less like an Organian and more like a walking molten lava monster, however.)
  • Teen Titans (2003): The villain Overload is an electric monster controlled by a circuit board. In the final battle, Killowat absorbs the energy and the chip is frozen.
  • Transformers: Primus and Unicron from the various series were originally Energy Beings before being sealed into planets, which they later took on as bodies. As the Transformers themselves are descended of Primus, they could be also considered such (a Transformer's true self is its "spark," and those can be removed and manipulated), but their bodies are usually much more important to them, with destruction of their body causing their spark to fade.

    Real Life 
  • In a sense, you are an energy being, because 99.9999999% of your body is really empty space. If you were to remove all of the empty space contained in every atom, from its electrons to its nucleus, in every person on planet Earth and compress us all together, our volume would be smaller than a sugar cube. So why does our mass stay the same? Energy! Almost all the mass of our bodies comes from the kinetic energy and binding energy of fundamental particles called quarks and gluons, that make up the atom. Why don't we fall through the floor? Because space isn't empty, its filled with wave functions and invisible quantum fields (Zero-point energy). You can't fall through a solid floor because the electromagnetic force of your body's electrons is pushing away at the floor's own electrons.

Alternative Title(s): Energy Being