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Human Subspecies

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As the trope Human Aliens describes humans that are literally Aliens, Human Subspecies are genetically "alien" but related to humanity to some degree. Quite simply, they are biological variants of regular humans. They are typically a result of evolution or other scientific developments, causing a derivative of Homo sapiens to form, or a completely new species of the genus Homo — or even a new genus altogether! Unlike Human Aliens, Human Subspecies do not have to look like humans, and may not even be recognized as human at first.

There are generally three types of Subspecies:

  • Those modified through genetic or technological engineering. This tends to be the most common.
  • Those as a result of regular evolution (or at least as far as the author understands it) — the genetic descendants of Homo sapiens.
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  • Those related to us via a common evolutionary ancestor.

Those who are offshoots of today's humans are often termed Homo superior note  if they are supposed to be a significant improvement (or they perceive themselves as such, if they're the ones calling themselves that). However, this is not necessary — writers could use other Latin or Greek words for use in their work. If the derivative humans are a literal subspecies, then the scientific name would come after "Homo sapiens". For example, regular humans are H. sapiens sapiens, a hypothetical subspecies of human could be named H. sapiens hupothesis.

Heavyworlders and Lightworlders are often portrayed as this.

This should not be confused with "regular" biologically augmented humans, or Transhuman Aliens. To be considered a subspecies, they need to have some biological difference from baseline humanity.


Often, the two subspecies will be treated as different Evolutionary Levels (ignoring that the whole evolutionary levels concept is biologically inaccurate), and will engage in a Clash of Evolutionary Levels.


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  • An anti-smoking PSA from 1985 depicts a future world with a rather disturbing human subspecies known as the natural born smoker, who has plenty of adaptations against the harmful effects of smoking. These include a larger nose to filter out impurities, self-cleaning lungs, highly developed index and middle fingers, smaller ears (because they don't listen), secondary eyelids to protect from the irritation, and an in-built resistance to conditions like heart disease, lung cancer, and thrombosis.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Elfen Lied gives us Homo diclonius, the result of mutant ovaries. They have neko ear-like bone horns and enlarged pituitary glands; besides that, they're a cross between humans (most of what they are), social insects (for Silpelits in how they age), viruses (how they reproduce, for the most part) and gods (the vectors).
  • Gosick: The Gray Wolves are petite, have long blonde hair, green eyes and Super Intelligence. As they're cross-fertile with baselines but not completely hidden from the outside world, the women really shouldn't wander off. Not that Cordelia Gallo had a choice.
  • Gundam:
    • It's hypothesized that Newtypes are the next step in evolution. However, considering how vague Newtype abilities are, and how people become one, it's difficult to say if it's a result of a genetic adaptation. Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam and After War Gundam X present a counter-hypothesis: Newtypes are simply people whose bodies have adapted to live in space rather than on Earth. Nothing inherently superior about them. In fact, Crossbone's Newtype protagonist points out the difficulty he has living on Earth, where the extreme gravity (from his perspective) makes him incapable of something as mundane as walking a few miles without getting utterly exhausted.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Innovators, which are humans that have undergone a number of beneficial mutations through exposure to GN Particles. The only reason they didn't appear earlier is that GN Particles don't occur naturally on Earth.
    • Subverted in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Patrick Zala believes that the genetically modified Coordinators are a superior new species. In reality, Coordinators are simply genetically engineered Designer Babies. His rival Sigel Clyne points out the error: "We never evolved."
  • In Interviews with Monster Girls, the demi-humans can be called this, being humans born with traits of fantastic creatures.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure:
    • The Pillar Men, the main villains of part 2 of the manga and the second half of the anime, were a tribe of pre-history Mesoamerican Horned Humanoids who were physically harmed by sunlight, but had long lifespans and advanced technology. As such, they were worshiped as gods by early humanity. The four Pillar Men in the present only survived by using the Stone Mask, which gave them immortality and Body Horror-tastic body-manipulation powers. Kars, the leader of the four and the creator of the Stone Mask, wiped out the rest of the tribe when they tried to kill him.
    • The Rock Humans of part 8 are a species of humanoids who can turn into rocks, have Super Drowning Skills, and name themselves after mountain ranges.
  • Land of the Lustrous takes place far into the future after humanity has gone extinct. It is said that the three sapient species around are their remains, metaphorically known as the flesh, bone, and spirit.
    • The "flesh" is the Admirabilis, a race of sea slugs. On land, they appear as small snails/slugs, but when underwater they can transform into humanoid forms. Females are translucent, humanoid jellyfish-like, while males are black humanoids with Combat Tentacles.
    • The "bone" is the titular Gems, a race of sentient, humanoid gemstones. They are immortal and genderless. Most of their thought and mobility seems to be down to their "inclusions", making them a sort of Genius Loci.
    • The "spirit" is the Lunarians, the main antagonists of the series. They look like heavenly beings from Buddhist lore, and appears every once in a while to attack the Gems and take them to the moon. They're literally ghosts, human souls unable to pass into the afterlife since there are no living humans left to pray them onward.
  • Macross: Inverted; humans, Zentraedi and indeed most known sentient races are subspecies/descendants of the Protoculture. Humans and Zentraedi in particular are so genetically similar that they're treated more like different races then distinct subspecies, to the point where they're capable of easily interbreeding; the tremendous size difference between the two is from some sort of easily-reversible process.
  • In Monster Musume, this is both the politically correct and actual classification of the "monsters" of the series. For the most part they act like humans with physical quirks; in fact, humans and some extra-species have always reproduced together, notably with the Always Female species but seemingly able to with every species, and the zombie extra-species is, in fact, composed of actual former humans anyway.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: According to Word of God, Angels and humans are different subspecies of a common template; humans are even given the designation of Lilim, the Eighteenth Angel.
  • One Piece: The numerous races/tribes that inhabit the world are all but explicitly stated to be various offshoots of humanity that have evolved into new subspecies. There's a lot of variety; they range from normal humans, human but with small deformities (third eyes, unusually long limbs, vestigial wings, etc.), to animalistic people, giants, and Lilliputians who bear little resemblance to baseline humanity. They're all apparently still close enough genetically to interbreed with each other, judging by the fact that we see multiple types of hybrid. In something of an inversion, the Minks don't see themselves as a separate species or subspecies, they view humans as one type of Mink (specifically monkey Minks with less hair).
  • RahXephon: The Mu are suggested to be either this or simply another race of humanity: they are physically indistinguishable except for their literally blue blood and can interbreed with humans without any problems. The backstory even suggests that they co-existed on Earth millions of years ago with regular humans, before a Reality Warping experiment gone wrong shifted them into another universe.
  • Saint Seiya: Lemurians are a human subrace from the continent of Mu. They look like humans except for strange eyebrows and have telekinesis. They are famous for their alchemy.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: The titular species. Their exact origins are a mystery, something that Touka states she would like to study in the future, but the two species are closely related enough to make organ transplants and interspecies reproduction possible. Humans that receive a Ghoul's organs become a powerful Artificial Hybrid heavily favoring the Ghoul half, while in theory it is possible for a hybrid child to be born between a human woman and a male Ghoul.
  • Subverted in Vandread. Taraks and Majerans think that this is true of themselves, but they're actually just ordinary men and women whose societies are completely separate, such that neither group ever meets members of the opposite sex (reproduction is achieved via cloning). They were set up by the humans of Earth to be harvested for spare biological parts.

    Comic Books 
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire: Humanity has a reputation for creating these, either to colonise distinct environments or just for the fun of it. Buck himself belongs to one such human offshoot species; the Hoffmanites, huge, bulky, powerful bruisers who were engineered to live on planets with gravity in excess of four times Earth gravity. At least two other subspecies appear during the comic's run, in the form of the Silverrunners (centaurs) and PSmith (clone-based Hive Mind) — both of these races were seemingly engineered for the fun of it.
  • Crossed has Homo tortor (Torturing man), a prehistoric subspecies based in Indonesia who, well, torture people. Known as the Blood Men by their victims, they created an empire based on causing suffering on an unheard-of scale, up until they get hit by the Crossed virus and the supervolcano they live on explodes. Maybe. The entire story was written by a paleontology professor who eventually caught the virus.
  • DC Comics:
    • In the pre-Crisis continuity, ancient humans had interbred with a naturally-magical sub-species called Homo Magi, and this is the origin of any ability to wield magic safely instead of having to bargain for it from a supernatural patron. Since the ability to wield magic this way comes from a complex of genes that are recessive in normal humans, it manifests only rarely. In theory any human being can learn how to wield ritual magic and magic that comes from invoking an eldritch god or similar supernatural force, but that sort of magic is incredibly dangerous. This is what differentiates Zatanna and her innate magical power from ritual spell-casters such as Felix Faust who must wrangle their power from supernatural sources. DC Comics does have Metahumans too, which are Humans that have been modified through scientific or non-scientific means, such as evolutionary processing, genetic experimentation, birth, training to gain powers, wish granting, enchantment, blessing, etc without their physiologies being altered. Superhumans mainly use superpowers, whereas Homo Magi mainly use magic, though they are both based on modification, unlike mutation, where a being goes through physical transformation and deformation. However, there does exist Metahuman-Homo Magi hybrids as well, yet Jinx, Artemis, Blackbriar Thorn/Druid, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe/Misfit, Deborah, Giovanni Zatara, and June Moone/Enchantress are good examples of this, as they use both magical and regular superpowers.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes: Several alien races (like the Carggites and Bismollians) that look suspiciously identical to humans (but with superpowers) are handwaved as people given superpowers, forming colonies on new planets in case Earth should ever need help from an alien invasion.
  • In Hack/Slash, the ancient conspiracy known as the Society of the Black Lamp has deliberately created these over centuries of specialized breeding of humanity. Four species are known to exist; the aquatic Poseidons and night-vision'd Hades are only mentioned in passing, but the other two are relevant to the plot. The Artemis strain are humans that have been bred into twisted, vaguely lupine monsters as a result to create a superior guardian and hunting beast. The Venus strain are uncannily beautiful and naturally docile, due to having been engineered as the ultimate race of sex slaves.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Mutants, Human Mutates, Atlanteans, Eternals, Deviants, and Inhumans. These came about via (in order) random mutation (prenatal for mutants, post-birth for mutates), divine intervention (Poseidon saving his worshipers from drowning), cosmic alien intervention (Celestials designing unchanging Eternals and ever-changing Deviants) and regular alien intervention (Kree experimenting on humans to help kick start their own inability to mutate).
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: The original guardians have it that the more human-like alien species are the descendants of humans who gained superpowers and settled other planets. In fact, out of four original characters, only one (Yondu) could be called a genuine alien.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): The Overlanders, who resemble humans with four fingers, were created when the first Xorda attack caused most lifeforms to be severely mutated; this is also what caused the first Mobians to be created from regular wildlife. For the longest time, it was thought that they were what's left of humanity. Then Sonic Adventure came out, and was adapted into an arc. Baseline humanity managed to survive in hidden cities that survived the Xorda.

    Fan Works 
  • Ambience: A Fleet Symphony and Ambience: Platoon (Moebius Four) depicts shipgirls as this. Somewhere between heavy Bio-Augmentation / Genetic Engineering is the New Nuke and Ridiculously Human Robots, indistinguishable from human from the outside yet with superhuman abilities, more than a few of them consider humanity to be Other.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Mutants, magic wielders both wanded and wandless, Atlanteans, Eternals and Deviants (neither have been seen, but the Eternals, at least, have been mentioned). It's also been observed that a considerably sized number of people of European ancestry have got a bit of Asgardian blood in them (among others). They're not the only population where this happened, with most pantheons embracing the Really Gets Around aspect — and, considering that they're gods, a number would have gone out of their way to have the children of gods. However, it is a bit more prominent due to the fact that the Asgardians fought a number of wars on Earth and were present in greater numbers and armies tend to make a contribution to the local gene pool.
    • The sequel, Ghosts of the Past, also makes mention of The Inhumans, and reveals that the Fae were originally human (or at least a closely related species) which migrated to the Nevernever hundreds of thousands of years ago and adapted to thrive there. It's also later established that the Jaffa exist, though in this universe they were, like the Inhumans, created by the Kree as a warrior caste.
  • Mass Effect: Clash of Civilizations: It turns out that the asari do not just look like humans, but the two species are all but genetically identical. The asari, and a species native to Thessia known as a "shia", are genetic cousins of humanity and dogs, respectively. It's later revealed that they were created by ancient human empire shortly before its destruction by the Forerunners and seeded on a world far beyond known space, in the hope that humanity would endure in some form far from the sight of its destroyers.
  • Resurgence reveals that the Faunus are in fact an offshoot of humanity. During the war with the Grimm, humankind split into two factions: one that was sought out the technology of their ancestors, and one that preferred to rely on the natural world, honing their natural abilities and eventually developing the first Semblance. Over time, their reliance on Semblance over technology, affinity to the natural world, and exposure to ancient Dust from years hence led to them developing their animal attributes.
  • Remnants: Faunus are a sub-species of humans whose aura mutated generations ago. As a result, they're more specialized than ordinary humans.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The troglydytes from Bone Tomahawk are inbred to such an extent that they qualify as a separate species, if they were ever human in the first place.
  • The Cannibal in the Jungle is a Found Footage mockumentary special showing an expedition to Flores in 1977 that goes array when the team is stalked, harassed, and then hunted by a tribe of what the locals call "Ebu Gogo", Homo floresiensis. A follow-up expedition in 2015 strongly implies they're still out there.
  • The Descent has the Crawlers, pale carnivorous hominids that according to Neil Marshall are cavemen who never left the caves and have since adapted to survive entirely in darkness but have become mindless predatory animals.
  • Implied in Society. The titular society of outwardly human monsters can distort and mutate their bodies in anatomically impossible ways, even being able physically merge into each other (which they call 'shunting') while literally consuming a hapless victim by assimilating his body mass. When Bill calls them "alien scum", they claim that they didn't come from outer space and that their inhuman traits are simply the result of "impeccable breeding" — however, one Society member claims that they've "been here as long as you", implying either a separate species native to Earth or a divergent evolutionary path. Word of God is that they are descendants of humans who were taken over by a parasite that turned them into a different species, and that shunting is how they add diversity to their excessively inbred bloodlines.

  • Alastair Reynolds:
    • House of Suns goes even further, with the galaxy completely colonized over millions of years by a human diaspora, evolved and adapted in countless ways including squid/whale-looking aquatic forms, colossal vacuum-dwellers, and sapient weather patterns. The central characters are still reasonably recognizable as human only because they've spent so much of the intervening time flitting around at relativistic speeds, and thus have had a much shorter subjective experience of the intervening eons.
    • Revelation Space universe presents us with several "species" of humanity created through genetic engineering and Nanotechnology. They range from the virtually-unmodified Skyjacks to the neural-implanted Demarchists to the wildly-altered Ultras and Conjoiners.
  • Alien in a Small Town has the Tesks (short for Grotesques), genetically engineered as "cannon fodder" in a war, generations ago. They've had a hard time fitting into peaceful human society since the war's end. Ironically, because of their heightened senses (an animalistic sense of smell and awareness of body language), they tend to be highly empathic.
  • All Tomorrows has an superior alien race conquer a spacefaring human empire, then re-engineer the inhabitants of various colony planets back into animalistic forms. Some of these post-humans eventually re-evolve sentience and rebuild a new galactic civilization... although by the time that they re-establish contact with one another many of them have evolved into organisms that barely resemble humans, such as the Sail People, resembling giant swimming pterosaurs with prehensile tongues, or the Modulars, which are colonies of tiny human "cells" that work together to form a single organism. The only other non-humans are a civilization of intelligent reptiles, who are descended from terrestrial lizards turned feral. That said, they eventually take up the cultural mantle of humanity, and are happily "adopted" into the new empire.
  • Ambergris: The Partials consider themselves to be a human subspecies. Whether they actually are, or if they're just cyborgs with fungus instead of machinery is debatable.
  • "Amina" deserves mention for the rational approach it takes toward Amina's race, the "Free-people". They appear to be a variant human or at least hominid species, with certain modifications, most notably sharper teeth and fingernails, a tendency toward litters and the greater number of teats that logically follow from that. Unlike H. P. Lovecraft's Ghouls, they don't seem to have any magical or psychic abilities. This is startlingly-modern for Edwardian Era weird fiction.
  • Animorphs: The Nartec are a race of amphibious humanoids with gills, blue skin and webbed hands who inhabit a city beneath the ocean. They are descended from humans who lived in a city that sank beneath the waves, and over time adapted to their new home — a process sped along by the fact that the glowing rocks they use to light up their city are highly radioactive. Unfortunately, the same radioactivity has cursed them with a host of genetic illnesses and resulting short lifespans, resulting in most Nartec being horribly frail or dying young, and the Nartec as a whole being headed for extinction — something they try to prevent by harvesting fresh DNA from baseline humans, with whom they're still compatible.
  • Arrivals from the Dark has a variation in the form of Human Alien Subspecies. Two species of Human Aliens have deliberately engineered their race into various subspecies for different reasons. The Faata did this after their astronauts return from deep space exploration to learn that their civilization was destroyed by a cataclysm. Instead of a thriving civilization, they find degraded savages barely surviving off the land. Determined to keep this from happening again, they turn the planetbound Faata into servant subspecies with various tasks (soldiers, pilots, breeders, etc.), and enhance themselves to live for centuries. The Kni'lina's civilization was nearly wiped out by a plague ravaging the planet's only continent. The Kni'lina on islands quarantined themselves and began working on genetic therapy treatments that would make them immune to the plague. Due to the isolation, each island ended up with a slightly-different treatment that effectively turned them into subspecies. These clans are not able to interbreed. The clans became the basis for modern Kni'lina society. However, there is a large group known as Zinto, who are actually descendants of those Kni'lina who survived the plague on the mainland without resorting to genetic treatments. Being the baseline species, they are able to interbreed with other clans. However, this is forbidden under the pain of death, as it would destroy the modern clan structure and remove the ruling Ni and Poharas clans from power. Another planet of Human Aliens was found where the ruling clans also used genetic engineering to make themselves physically distinct from the people below them. Some of those changes turned them horribly ugly (e.g. giant noses, enormous ears, long breasts that reach the ground).
  • Black Man: There are several subspecies, with the most common being bonobos (hyperfeminized females, lacking aggressive tendencies and having highly developed interpersonal skills as well as a somewhat servile nature) and the titular thirteens (hypermasculine males, a "genetic throwback" to the hunter-warriors of the early hunter-gatherer culture and quintessential alpha males turned Up to Eleven). There are also other variants: specialized, enhanced thinkers with autistic tendencies or extremely energetic, focused individuals who require very little sleep, but need to hibernate in winter for several months to compensate, for instance. However, the book focuses on the thirteens, who were artificially created as Super Soldiers/elite commandos, but later are seen as so dangerous to baseline humans that they are prohibited from interaction with human society and are given the choice of being exiled to Mars or being interred in reservations or "tracts" (essentially open air prisons), if they stay on Earth. They have a hyperdeveloped neural system and a slightly different neurochemistry, as well as an enlarged "area thirteen", being the brain area responsible for alpha male traits in the book. This results in the average thirteen being both physically stronger and more mentally acute/cunning than the average human, but also in being overly aggressive, unable (or rather, very unwilling) to follow orders or be subordinate to anyone and having a lack of social empathy, being only interested in his own benefit. All of this can be somewhat overcome by force of will (as the protagonist, Marsalis, and Sutherland show), but the tendency is always there. Despite the comparatively minor actual biological changes, the thirteens are different enough (and scary enough) to be considered as a subspecies (and, quite often, non-humans) by the baseline population, which they reciprocate by calling humans cattle or "cudlips" and also viewing themselves as a separate, superior species.
  • Blindsight: Vampires were a subspecies of human who had a deficiency of some vital protein unique to humans and evolved to obtain it by consuming other humans. They were completely sociopathic, had super-savant level mathematical abilities and spacial perception, and could hibernate for decades, among other things. However, their subconscious math skills resulted in a "glitch" that caused them to have potentially fatal seizures when they saw right angles, and so went extinct as soon as humans discovered architecture. Then a somewhat less-than-ethical biotech company in the mid 21st century discovered and recreated them, without the protein deficiency but leaving their predatory instincts intact, and giving them drugs to suppress the crucifix glitch.
  • In Courtship Rite, the afterword reveals that the centuries of isolation combined with genetic manipulation have led to the Getans only sharing about 98% of their genes with mainstream humanity — about the same as chimpanzees!
  • Crest of the Stars: The Abh were engineered to be space explorers they have a third eye and some modifications to the brain so they can navigate better in three dimensions. Also longer life and adaptions to cope with extended periods of microgravity with periods of high acceleration, since they were created before the In-Universe discovery of Faster-Than-Light Travel and Artificial Gravity. Interestingly, the Abh still consider themselves to be 100% human, and do not acknowledge claims that they are "alien" in any sense.
  • The Death Gate Cycle takes place in a far-flung future involving some sort of nuclear cataclysm. Elves and dwarves evolved from human stock during this time, as did a Mage Species (two of them in fact) which could use magic. Note that only the dual Witch Species can interbreed.
  • The Descent features hadals, aka Homo hadalis, a human species that lives Beneath the Earth in the caverns of the sub-planet. Descended from Homo erectus, they once had a relatively advanced Iron Age civilization millennia before humans did, but they have since degenerated into vicious underground savages with a penchant for abducting people as slaves and food.
  • Discworld:
    • Dwarves are probably a short subspecies of humanity (unless humans are a taller dwarf subspecies), at least if dwarfish creation myths are to be believed. They are definitely close enough to have children; Nanny Ogg has dwarf ancestry. For their part Dwarfs don't consider themselves a separate race at all, just a different culture. Case in point: Captain Carrot Ironfounderson is considered a dwarf by other dwarves, despite being better than 6 feet tall, because he has completed all the requisite rites of passage.
    • Discworld's Orcs were magically engineered/bred from humans, as seen in Unseen Academicals, because the goblins were deemed not to be vicious enough to serve as ancestor stock.
  • Dune: Genetic engineering is commonplace, and modified humans take many shapes and fill many roles, some of them rather disturbing.
  • In Emergence, a new subspecies, Homo post hominem, comes into existence about two generations after the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919. It's theorized by characters that the flu somehow mutated genes in women whose grandchildren would wind up as "hominems" (as the subspecies is referred to). One hominem character who's too old for that theory to apply thinks that said virus might have caused this mutation in more isolated cases before the epidemic. Hominems are stronger and faster than humans, with total immunity to human disease and much quicker reflexes. They also have much more acute senses, including seeing in the infrared range (the narrator, herself a hominem, comments that finding out her vision extends into infrared explains a lot about why human acquaintances couldn't see in conditions that weren't a problem for her). They're theorized to have a longer lifespan than humans, all depicted hominems exceed human intelligence, and they breed true (a mating between h. sapiens and h. post hominem always produces a hominem offspring).
  • Existence: Autistic people are determined to be a separate subspecies of human, chimeric neanderthals are recreated as well. Uplifted dolphins and Ridiculously Human Robots are considered to be human, too.
  • The Expanse: Generations of living in radically different environments means that Martians and Belters are already showing signs of evolving compared to Earthers (regular Earthbound humans) — both require less oxygen to breathe due to living in controlled environments and a higher resistance to radiation due to lacking a natural atmosphere capable to blocking it out. Belters especially show signs of divergent evolution in that, due to the very light gravity of the asteroid stations and planetoids in the Belt compared to the inner planets, their skeletal systems grow longer, thinner, and more brittle, leaving them as, essentially, Light Worlders.
  • Friday: "Living artifacts" (kobold dwarfs, men with four arms) are this trope, while "artificial persons" are genetically engineered humans.
  • George R. R. Martin: Some stories in Thousand Worlds setting mention genetically altered humans on the planet Prometheus. As long as they can still interbreed with regular Homo sapiens, they are considered to be still human.
  • Hainish: Humanity and all sapient lifeforms are descended from colonists from Hain, and the various species are all thus branches of the greater human family. Some are essentially humans under different names, but others (such as the short, hairy and lucid dreaming Athsheans and the Gethenians, who are sexless by default and only become temporarily male or female to breed.
  • Halo: The Forerunner Saga, which takes place 100,000 years ago, uses this trope heavily. Several real human subspecies, including Denisovans and Homo floresiensis (Florians), are present, coexisting with "Chamanune" (Homo sapiens) daily. They are easily identifiable from sapiens (Florians have no chin, big eyes, fur on their faces, and live for hundreds of years; Denisovans have square heads, "spare" bodies, and lots of reddish facial hair), with their own unique traits, customs, and cultures. Others are seen, and some others are named, but not featured prominently.
    • One minor character in Halo: Primordium, Mara, is a Gigantopithecus. Not technically human (she's described as looking like a giant gorilla, though her species is most closely related to orangutans), but she's definitely sentient; she's the one who tells Riser (who's the only one who can understand her) to have everyone call her Mara.
    • Humanity is actually noted as being especially diverse compared to other species. The only reason there aren't dozens of subspecies alive today is because the Ur-Didact turned most of them into Promethean slaves.
  • Harry Harrison's short story "Final Encounter" has a team with members of two Human Subspecies looking for nonhuman intelligence. At the end, the very promising new species, which can't even breathe the same air we do, turns out to be of Earth descent too — one group was expanding and searching clockwise around the galaxy, the other counter-clockwise.
    "We are alone", Hautamaki said, looking at the massed trillions of stars. "We have closed the circle and found only ourselves. The galaxy is ours, but we are alone."
  • In The Hollows, vampires and werewolves are humans that have been mutated by a virus. Elves are an inversion: they were once a completely different species (probably even belonging to a different order) but used magic to become capable of breeding with humans, eventually thinning the line between them. Then a virus came along that affected only humans.
  • Honor Harrington: There are a wide variety of distinctly different groups of humans (though all still identifiably human), generally due to genetic engineering. These include Super Soldiers and their descendants, slaves engineered for particular traits, Heavyworlders of varying degrees, a planet populated by albinos (an unintended trait due to their other genetic tweaks), and other, more subtle differences. The central protagonist of the series is herself genetically tweaked to be a sort of mild Heavyworlder and could also be considered a super soldier because of it.
  • Hothouse: Numerous offshoots of humanity exist in the distant future, at varying levels of intelligence and adaptation to their often hostile environments.
    • The main kind seen are a diminutive, green-skinned people who live in the depths of the world-forest's canopy.
    • The Fishers, also referred to as tummy-belly men, live symbiotically with large stout trees to whom they're connected by long umbilical cords. They depend on their trees for almost everything, and possess very limited intelligence.
    • The Arablers were a people with limited agricultural skills who settled the edges of the world's night side. They were largely displaced by further waves of migrants, and by the story's time have become entirely non-sapient beings kept as carriers, servants and beasts of burden by a species of sapient dolphins.
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • "The Rats in the Walls" contained a reference to "human pigs" who were bred underground by medieval cultists as food stock.
    • He also wrote at least one story about cave-dwelling humans who degenerated into savage monsters.
  • James Byron Huggins' Hunter features one of these as the main villain. The "beast-man", twice referred to as Homo scimitar but otherwise unnamed, is an extremely aggressive and almost invincible Monstrous Humanoid with outright superhuman abilities — the strength to kill a rhino bare-handed, virtually bulletproof skin, total immunity to disease, and a lifespan speculated to be almost a thousand years. They started out as a predatory human species that steadily augmented their already-superhuman strength and aggression with a special flower until they became the monsters seen in the book. They're extinct in the present day, but one of the scientists secretly researching their genetics turned himself into one by injecting himself with their DNA.
  • Hyperion Cantos: The Ousters were originally a small group of humans who decided to modify their own bodies to suit foreign environments instead of the other way around. Fast forward several thousand years, and some people don't even consider them human anymore.
  • The Innsmouth Legacy: The protagonist Aphra never stops correcting people that Deep Ones are also human, just a branch of it.
  • In Cordwainer Smith's The Instrumentality of Mankind, to survive on alien worlds, some humans have been so modified that they look more alien than human. Inverted with the Underpeople, who are animals modified to act and look human.
  • Jackelian Series: Craynarbians and graspers are variants of humanity whose ancestors adapted to harsh conditions, the former to a Hungry Jungle and the latter to life underground. Ursines may be another variant of humans, or at least are believed to be primate-descendants. Gill-necks are the product of a much older evolutionary split between terrestrial and aquatic humans, and claim that they were the original ones.
  • Known Space:
    • The Pak, who are actually our ancestors Homo habilis. They eat a special root to become Protectors, superhumans that watch over the rest of their bloodline. Humanity sprang from a Pak colony gone awry. Humans can also become Protectors, with the added advantage of being more intelligent and able to work with other (human) Protectors. They hate us because we don't smell right due to having mutated so much; the special root didn't grow right on Earth, so we mutated far too much without any Protectors to keep us in line. Human Protectors' ability to work together is probably a consequence of another of their quirks: a significantly heightened tendency to adopt the entire species as their bloodline (it seems to come naturally to human Protectors, whereas for Pak Protectors it is a rare reaction to the already rare situation of losing one's entire bloodline but somehow still surviving). It tends to be easier to work together if you have the same goals.
    • In Ringworld, the eponymous megastructure is inhabited by an unknown — but, given the size of the place, probably staggeringly large — number of hominid species, all descended from Pak breeders, same as humans. They are highly diversified as a result of the Ringworld lacking large megafauna, resulting in the a great deal of diversification as the hominids adapted to become grazers, scavengers, seal-like fish eaters, predators of other hominids, etcetera.
  • Last and First Men follows millions of years of human development and dozens of human offshoots, including humans capable of flight and ones adapted to live on the surface of Neptune (this being when Neptune was still thought to have a solid core). The first few species aren't too dissimilar from our own, but the Eighteenth Men, the last strain to arise, bear about as much resemblance to modern humans as we do to mice.
  • Learning To Live With Orcs: Fourteen distinct fantasy species, including elves, dwarves, and orcs, are offshoots of humanity.
  • Lensman: The Valerians are a Heavyworlder subspecies, making them, by default, badasses. Similarly, the Family D'Alembert, of the eponymous but less-well-known E. E. "Doc" Smith series, were also heavy worlders, albeit of a slightly different physical type — Stout Strength, as compared to the Valerians' tallness.
  • The Long Earth: The Next, who are essentially natural versions of Khan. They have their origin in the stepwise town Happy Landings, where human/troll interactions led to some unusual evolutionary pressures, resulting in children with a very different brain structure. They are much smarter than regular humans and many of them are more sensible as well (Lobsang originally categorized their emergence on Datum Earth as being an unprecedented outbreak of common sense). They do, however, see themselves as fundamentally better than "dim-bulbs" and this disdainful attitude combined with intelligence leads toward a trend to charismatic sociopathy. Going further back in history: "trolls", "kobolds", and "elves" all share ancestors with humans, but they branched off at various points when their ancestors 'stepped' out into the Long Earth and generally never came back — "Datum" humans are the descendants of those that never left.
  • In Lucifer's Star, the Crius are a genetically engineered Beautiful Elite which also make extensive use of cybernetics to improve themselves. At least the nobility is since they run a Feudal Future. They're blown away by the Chel, though, who have engineered themselves to live in zero-gravity asteroid belts and who look more like The Greys rather than people. It's implied several other human subspecies exist as well. Bioroids sit in the middle of this trope and Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • In Magic Time, an Urban Fantasy trilogy by Marc Scott Zicree, when The Magic Came Back humanity was also affected and numerous people were altered into the ethereal fairylike "Flares" and the strong but physically twisted "Grunters" based on their personalities. One especially greedy corporate head even became a dragon.
  • Man After Man is all about this trope, with an incredibly huge array of different human subspecies evolving to replace now-extinct animals as numerous species of megafaunal grazers, predators and parasites of said grazers, eusocial desert-dwellers, anteater analogues, manatee-like aquatic forms and others. The results are, in fact, rather nightmarish.
  • Matador Series has the albino Exotics, bred as sex slaves with uncommon physical beauty and conscious control over their pheromones.
  • In "Mimsy Were the Borogoves", the anatomical doll from the future, presumably of a future human, has different organs compared to a present-day human. This includes a shorter digestive tract, no large intestine or appendix, a difference in the aorta, and a network that goes throughout the body, is attached to the lungs, but is not a circulatory or nervous system.
  • In The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket the titular protagonist encounters a race of men living on an island in the Antarctic Ocean whose bodies are pitch black all over, including their teeth and the "whites" of their eyes. Given that the color white is taboo in their culture (due to its association with a certain nearby Eldritch Location), it isn't hard to see how their appearance might have come about through self-selecting for increasingly extreme melanistic traits over the course of hundreds of generations.
  • Nasuverse: In Angel Notes, which takes place in the far future, there exist a hundred different subspecies known as "A-Rays", genetically engineered and/or evolved from baseline humanity and often possessing animalistic or fantastic attributes (we are shown winged humans, colloquially called angels, as well as several forms of beastmen). There are also "Liners", which are mostly human-looking but have been heavily altered to live in the toxic environment of post-death Earth. The two groups refer to themselves collectively as "The Human Race". Actual humans are extremely rare; the protagonist is believed to be the last.
  • Paradox: The Pelted were created by splicing genes from various animals into human genomes. They were originally designed as servants to humanity but after a number of demands for rights (and a scandal or two where a billionaire got knocked up by her "pet") they left earth in Generation Ships and colonized a number of planets, then developed FTL drive centuries later and invited humanity into their Alliance.
  • Perry Rhodan: All the Human Aliens native to the Milky Way Galaxy can trace their ancestry to Lemuria (Earth until ca. 50,000 BC), its colonies, and their colonies in turn. There are also the descendants of colonists who started out from present-day Terra and developed in a fairly diverse variety of ways. Some are more suited to interbreeding than others; Terran/Arkonide pairs can canonically have children despite one parent having an internal chest plate in place of ribs and a somewhat different brain structure, but somebody from Siga, whose ancestors ended up shrinking to only a few inches tall over a number of generations due to an anomaly in their sun's 5-D spectrum, would obviously make a poor match to anybody more "normal-sized".
  • Planet of Adventure: The planet Tschai, besides being home to five alien species — the immigrant Chasch, Wankh and Dirdir and the native Pnume and Phung — also hosts several populations of Transplanted Humans. While several tribes and nations are still effectively Earth-normal, the aliens keep human client races, the Chaschmen, Wankhmen, Dirdirmen and Pnumekin, who have come to physically resemble their respective rulers through combinations of selective breeding and surgery in desire to emulate their masters.
  • The Princes of the Air: One of the planets visited by the protagonist is an ocean world with no dry landmasses, so the people who live there have been modified to be able to live underwater.
  • Robert Reed:
  • Seveneves: Genetic engineering causes the Seven Races to diverge. The Blues/Dinans are closest to "rootstock" homo sapiens, while the Reds/Aïdans have drifted the farthest. Then you have the Diggers and Pingers.
  • Shannara: The Trolls, Dwarves, and Gnomes are humans mutated by the consequences of nuclear war. Elves are commonly believed to be the same, but are actually descended from real faeries.
  • The Ship Who: The Kolnarians, who descend from a penal colony established on a Death World.
  • Star Trek: A series of books by David Mack reveals origins of the Borg to be humans crossed with a superpowered Grey who had transformed her body into catoms (programmable matter which is real). The Grey loses her body and then her mind and possesses the humans in an attempt to save herself... what little of herself is left. She and the humans are then tossed thousands of years into the past and across space.
  • Star Wars Legends has a great many "near-humans", descendants of far-flung colonies sent out in the days before hyperspace travel was possible. Many were translated into the Disney canon as well.
    • Many of them physically look like baseline humans with only cultural differences, but there are some, like blue-skinned and red-eyed Chiss and the red-skinned Zeltrons, who have striking external differences as well. In the most extreme case, the Twi'leks — blue-, green- and red-skinned aliens with twin "tails" sprouting from the back of their heads — are hinted to have originated as the result of genetic tampering with ancient humanity and can still have children with baseline humans.
    • Some don't have much if any visible different from baseline humans. For example, the Korunnai, Miraluka and Vahla are always Force-sensitive, but beyond that the only distinguishing features are that Korunnai always have brown skin, Miraluka are always blind, and Vahla are tall and slender (all traits that can appear in baseline humans).
    • According to some material, humans share a common ancestor known as the Kumungah with the Jawas and Tusken Raiders of Tatooine, with humans descending from the ones that were off-planet when the Rakata devastated it with an orbital bombardment and the others descending from the survivors on the surface, making the three species very close evolutionary cousins.
    • Though not human, in Legends canon, Neimodians are a Duros Subspecies — the Duros were one of the first species to develop spaceflight after the fall of the precursor empires, and went through a similar radiation as humanity did.
  • Spin by Robert Charles Wilson introduces the Martians who are descended from colonists who continued to evolve for thousands of years while Earth remained in slow-time. All of this time had forced them to adapt to a partially terraformed Mars, making them much shorter, very wrinkly, and relatively longer-lived (though that one is partly because of their advanced chemistry and nanotechnology).
  • Stephen Baxter:
    • Evolution: Humans evolve over time into mole-like and elephant-like forms, among others.
    • In the Manifold series, humanity's predecessors and subspecies are a recurring theme:
      • In Manifold: Space, the universe is full of intelligence. When the Gaijin Mechanical Lifeforms purchase strips of wilderness on Earth, they begin experimenting with human and proto-human DNA. When human civilization on Earth collapses, a number of subspecies crop up; cro-magnons and neanderthals crop up in Africa, the latter of which operate a natural nuclear reactor and are used by the Gaijin to maintain a superconducting loop on Io to generate fuel for a starship.
      • In Manifold: Origin, the Red Moon travels from universe to universe, scooping up hominids from Earth and moving them across the universes. On the Moon itself, Homo erectus, Australopithecus, neanderthals and Homo sapiens coexist. The Red Moon was created by the Downstreamers from Manifold Time to enhance human evolution and give them a fellow intelligent species.
    • Xeelee Sequence: Humanity often modifies itself to suit new environments. Particularly notable is Flux, where humans have modified themselves into becoming microscopic lifeforms to live within a neutron star.
  • The Sun Eater: While Solarian Empire's religion treats the Palatines as merely a superior extension to standard humanity, the protagonist Hadrian Marlowe considers the Palatines as inhuman as the Homunculi as they are so deeply changed that they can only viably procreate within their particular caste and in the royal family's case- amongst each other.
  • Tales from the Flat Earth has the Sea People, these humans are green-skinned and capable of living underwater when their wizardly ancestors decided to migrate there (magic behaves much differently in the sea, so living there protects greatly against the machinations of beings such as the Lords of Darkness and demons).
  • Taltos have common ancestors with humanity (they're primates) and even can interbreed with humans and pass as one, but aren't humans. According with the books they were known as the ancient Picts.
  • The Time Machine has the Eloi and Morlocks, two species descended from modern humanity as a result of society becoming heavily split between the workers and the elite. The elites, who spent their lives idling and enjoying themselves and did not lead lifestyles that required any physical or mental effort of them, eventually evolved into the Eloi, a species of child-sized, simple and unintelligent beings who spend their lives eating, resting and not doing anything much, and lack the mental capacity to strive for anything more. The working classes, who spent their lives tending to the underground machinery that kept civilization running for the benefit of the rich, became the apelike, cave-dwelling Morlocks, who instinctively still keep the machines running and provide for the descendants of their old masters, whom they now raise and eat like cattle.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: The prologue to The Lord of the Rings describes hobbits as "closely related" to man; Word of God sometimes referred to them as a "variety" or "separate branch" of humanity. In-universe, any such relation is lost to history and they consider themselves a separate race. There also used to be three Hobbit subspecies (Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides) that lived in different territories; Gollum is a Stoor. By the time of the main story the three had mostly recombined after all settling in the region of the Shire, surviving only as slight regional differences.
    • The fact that Elves and Men are capable of producing fertile offspring with one another suggests that they're also closely related enough to qualify as the same species. Tolkien himself noted this in his letters.
      "Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring — even as a rare event."
    • While Tolkien never settled on a canon origin for the Orcs, it's generally thought that they're a corrupted breed of either Elves or Men, so in either case they'd also be an example of this trope. This is further supported by the existence of the Uruk-hai, which implies that Orcs can be bred with Men.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • The Cetagandans are an Evilutionary Biologist race who are continually experimenting with genetics so as to "perfect" themselves. They still look human now but it's hard to say what the future holds for them.
    • The Quaddies are a people specifically engineered for zero gravity. Most noticeably, they have a second pair of arms where their legs should be, to allow them to climb instead of walk around the spaceships. Their bones are altered to prevent deterioration, and their pelvic arches have been modified for ease of giving birth in freefall. Normal humans shunned them so they fled and set up their own society after the invention of artificial gravity precluded any real need for their services. They're different enough genetically that they cannot reproduce with "downsiders" without the help of a laboratory.
    • The Betan hermaphrodites are described as "Betan egalitarianism gone mad" and are relatively normal except for the obvious. They're also a minority even on their home planet though they're much in demand as sex therapists. They're different enough genetically (incompatible sex chromosomes) that they cannot reproduce with "normal" humans without the help of a laboratory, but socially they're treated as a subspecies of normal humans.
  • Wraeththu features the titular species as yet another "next step" in human evolution, the first Wraeththu being either born from, or converted from, human males.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda:
    • The Nietzscheans (Homo sapiens invictus) have been modified enough to be considered a subspecies. Along with being taller, faster and smarter, they can breathe chlorine and have bone blades growing from their arms.
    • The Inari, modified to inhabit low-light volcanic worlds.
    • The Castalians (modified to survive underwater). Interesting, on their planet there is plenty of Fantastic Racism... diverted at "air-breathers", i.e. normal humans.
  • Babylon 5: The Centauri were the first alien race to (publicly) encounter humanity. They attempted to persuade humanity that they were an offshoot of the Centauri Republic and should thus come under their control. Garibaldi mentions that an eager humanity initially believed them until they had a moment to get a good look at an actual Centauri body, something which has made the planet a bit more skeptical about every alien race they have encountered ever since. The Centauri claimed it was a clerical error possibly to save face but also with obvious amusement at humanity's expense that they had managed to pull it off even for a little while.
  • Doctor Who: Several, including:
    • New Humans from the year 5 billion, who were originally created as lab rats on New Earth.
    • In "The Last of the Time Lords", the Toclafane are the last remnants of humanity, who strike a Faustian bargain to maintain their life.
    • It's also implied that the Futurekind are an offshoot of humanity, a devolved subspecies.
    • This eventually proves to be a major issue for the Cybermen in one of the Eighth Doctor comics — with the human gene pool steadily changed by interaction with other races and their conversion protocols still keyed to pureblood Human or Mondasian physiology, the number of usable converts drops to the point they find it easier to steal people from the past.
  • Farscape: Sebaceans turn out to be genetically modified humans.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Summit", humanity created a genetically engineered subspecies called Dregocians or "Dregs" to mine trion ore on the inhospitable planet of Dregocia. The Dregocians have yellow skin, yellow eyes to reflect the harsh light of Dregocia's sun and a third lung which allows them to breathe the planet's thin atmosphere. Although humanity attempted to breed leadership abilities out of the Dregocians, they nevertheless retained them. Five generations after their creation, the Dregocians seek their independence from the United Coalition and conduct numerous terrorist attacks to that end.
  • Prey focuses on a brewing war between Homo sapiens and Homo dominus, a newly evolved human species. One of the ways that the "domini" are different from regular humans is their complete lack of emotion. Their senses and reflexes are also much more animalistic than those of humans, and their intelligence is much greater. They are able to sense the electromagnetic pulses in nearby human brains, giving them low-level Psychic Powers. Females have four ovaries and reach reproductive maturity at the age of nine, while males can interbreed with regular humans with the resultant offspring being pure-blooded "domini", giving them a significant reproductive edge. Before the show's cancellation, it's revealed that both species have factions that are for peaceful coexistence, but there are also those who see no alternative to genocide.
  • Primeval: The Mer Creatures, savage and bestial amphibious predators from Future Earth that look something like a cross between a seal and an ape, are speculated to be descendants of humans.
  • Sense8 has the titular sensates, or Homo sensorium, a new species with the ability to sense each others' thoughts and emotions.
  • Sliders: Kromags are an example of a Human Subspecies sharing a common ancestor with modern humanity.
  • Stargate SG-1: The Jaffa, modified to be incubators of Goa'uld larvae. They are significantly stronger and longer-lived than baseline humans, but by design their immune systems cease to function when they reach physical maturity and they must rely on the larvae incubating in their stomach pouches to maintain their health, insuring that they always remain faithful to their Goa'uld masters. Additionally, much of the galaxy is inhabited by ordinary, vanilla humans, who haven't evolved or changed at all since being plucked off Earth by the Goa'uld exty thousand years ago.
  • Star Trek:
    • Despite the Federation banning genetic engineering on humans, they did allow a group of scientists to design their idea of Homo superior. With a very active immune system, psychic powers, and looking like young adults when they're only children, they're the ideal evolutionary step.
    • For an Alien Subspecies example, look no further than the Romulans, who split off from the Vulcans 2000 years ago and traveled for centuries on sublight to their new home on Romulus. It's also implied that several other encountered "Vulcanoid" (such as the Mintakans) races may be descendants of the exiles who have settled on other worlds.
  • The Tomorrow People (1973): The titular race is characterized in-universe as Homo superior, the next step in human evolution.
  • Wayward Pines: The "Abbies" (short for "Abominations") are future descendants of humanity in the fifth millennium. No one is quite sure how they came to be (except that the process appears to have started in the 20th century and may be related to climate change), but they appear to have reverted to a savage state. They have enhanced strength and reflexes, hunt in packs, and possess intelligence (enough to know how to cut backup power). The only normal humans that remain are those who have survived in The Ark as Human Popsicles, preserved by a man who foresaw humanity's extinction (he didn't anticipate Abbies, though), and remain within the titular walled town. As a rule, anyone who goes outside is quickly tracked down and killed by Abbies (although one man managed to survive for years). Additionally, female Abbies are few and far between. They appear to be far more intelligent than the males and are able to exert control over large numbers of males even across distances, implying Psychic Powers of some kind.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Medieval bestiaries posited the existence of a number of races of men with bizarre features, such as the Pigmies (people small enough to ride goats like horses), giants, troglodytic cave-dwellers, Blemmyes (headless cannibals with their faces instead located on their chests), the Sciapods (one-legged pygmies with enormous feet which they'd use as parasols when resting), the Panotti (who have ears large enough to use like cloaks), the Machlyes (hermaphrodites who are male on one side of their body and female on the other), the Nuli (who have backwards feet with eight toes on each), and the Cynocephali, who had the heads of dogs. These races typically lived in far-away places like India and Ethiopia — during the Age of Exploration, they often relocated to South America — where readers (and printers) of the time were extraordinary unlikely to have visited. As a result, there were few able to dispute the factuality of these purported beings.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ankur Kingdom Of The Gods is a setting that mixes Sumerian mythology and Ancient Astronauts. Taking place 25,000 years in the past, aliens control Earth(admittedly just small number of city-states while most of the planet is untamed wilderness), and created five subspecies of Humans as a workforce to mine for gold.
    • Adamu: essentially modern humans. Considered the most adaptable and currently the most common subspecies.
    • Gurmah: Neanderthals who are mainly used as soldiers/warriors because of their greater toughness.
    • Mahdi: Although slimmer than Adamu, Mahdi have enlarged craninums, granting them greater intellgicence. They are commonly employed as scholars, or other highly technicial professions.
    • Enkidu: Basically Sasquatch/Yeti. The physically strongest of all the subspecies. Similar to Shadowrun in that they are mostly peaceful and can understand, but not speak, human language.
    • Ba-lu: Generally only 3 feet tall and able to see in near total darkness, they were originally created as tunnel scouts. But their superior eyesight make them formidable marksmen, and may also work as craftsmen thanks to their natural dexterity.
  • CthulhuTech: The Nazzadi, fake Human Aliens created by the Mi-go as an advance force.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has been home to many different human subspecies, some of them playable, some of them not, across its various settings and editions.
    • The Mystara setting is particularly known for this trope, with isolated human variants like the Cynidiceans and Traldar appearing in several setting-specific adventures. Brute-men, a pulp-inspired version of Neanderthals, also exist as a potential player race in the Hollow World subsetting.
    • The Greyhawk is home to several, including the Lerara (Suloise who were trapped in the Greyhawk version of the Underdark and who have devolved into twisted albino creatures).
    • Skulks, a human subspecies that magically developed the ability of innate invisibility, have made minor appearances in all five editions, and have had player character stats in 2nd and 3rd edition.
    • The most ancient lore for githyanki and githzerai is that they are a human subspecies engineered by the illithids, which turned against them. Ironically, similarly ancient lore for the illithids is that they are also a mutated offshoot of humanity from the most distant future, who have traveled back in time to avoid the collapse of the universe into entropy.
    • Grimlocks are bestial, eyeless humans who have devolved in order to better survive in the Underdark.
    • 3rd edition introduced a wide array of human subraces; in addition to the returning Neanderthals, this edition introduced Azurins (humans with a particular knack for magic), Karsites (humans immune to — and thus incapable of wielding — all standard forms of magic), Illumians (humans evolved through the development of a unique arcane language, distinguishable by the arcane sigils floating around their heads), Aventi (bog-standard Atlanteans), Sharakim (cursed humans who look like orcs/small oni), Sea Kin (humans with aquatic fey ancestry), Elans (humans self-evolved through psionics), Maenads (humans with psychic powers and raging tempers), and Vashar (utterly evil humans descended from a failed, psychotic prototype human and his demonic lover).
    • The Ravenloft setting is, in 3rd edition, home to Calibans; an orc-like race of deformed, mutated humans tainted in the womb by spiritual corruption or dark magic.
    • The Eberron setting is home to Kalashtar, humans mutated by an ancient pledge that links them to a dream-spirit called a Quori. A sourcebook on the Kalashtar's homeland also introduces the Inspired, a subrace of humans created through breeding programs that mingled human, elven and fiendish blood to produce a species of humans specifically designated to lead an empire (and act as vassals) for the evil counterparts of the Quori who created the Kalashtar.
    • In Dragonlance, gnomes, kender and dwarves are all offshoots of humanity, and also related to each other, created by powerful divine magic. Gnomes were originally human servants of Reorx, God of Artifice, Craftsmanship and Science, but angered their patron by misusing his gifts for personal reasons; he cursed them with stunted forms and blasted minds that would prevent them from ever using technology successfully again. Many years later, a great gnomish army would purse a divine artifact called the Graygem of Chaos, but on the cusp of seizing it, the Graygem would inundate them with its raw chaos and transform them all into new races; those dominated by avarice became the first dwarves, and those dominated by curiosity became the first kender. Because of these origins, humans are capable of interbreeding with all three races.
  • Etherscope: In the Grimdark Gaslamp Fantasy setting, human subspecies replace the traditional fantasy races. Most of these are the product of the Eugenics League, a cabal of Diesel Punk Evilutionary Biologists focused on "positive eugenics" — using genetic engineering to produce "better" strains of humanity. With baseline humans being dubbed "Beta" in the League's terminology, they have produced Humanity Alpha (selectively bred for superior grace, beauty and minds), as well as the "Transgenic Strains"; human subspecies genetically spliced with animal DNA to serve as workers, after a Communist revolution in Great Britain was put down in a massacre that bordered on genocide of the working classes. Three such Transgenic Strains exist; the Gamma (the first series, spliced with mouse genes and extremely rebellious), the Epsilon (spliced with horse genes, extremely docile and obedient workers) and the delta (spliced with dog genes; a midway point between the servility of the Epsilon and the independence of the Gamma). The Earth of Etherscope is also home to the Fey, an ancient human subspecies distinguished by its natural affinity for manipulating occult energy, which rose up to found the lost antediluvian civilization of Lemuria.
  • Exalted:
    • Several sub-species of humans with specialized adaptations were created during the First Age. Some, like the winged Air People, were essentially art projects created by the more powerful and bored of the Solar Exalted, while other races were created to be slaves or soldiers of various types.
    • The basic view of Exalted is that pretty much anything descended from a human is a human; the main indicator of humanity in the setting is the presence of a two-part soul and the ability to exalt. As such, even if accumulated mutations and crossbreeding have left someone a bizarre cephalopod creature or they were the product of breeding with a Primordial, they're still as human as anyone else if the meet the basic metaphysical requirements.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Necromunda:
      • While relatively uncommon in the hives of Necromunda abhumans, such as Ogryns and Beastmen, are still present and often work as bodyguards and bounty hunters. Due to the discrimination they suffer in regular Imperial society, many abhumans gravitate to the underhive where their superior physical abilities often make them popular hired guns.
      • The Scalies were a race of large, reptilian abhumans that accompanied the 1st and 2nd Edition Scavvy gangs. Of limited intelligence, Scalies were nonetheless popular with their comrades for their massive strength.
      • The 3rd Edition background for House Goliath mentions that, due to years stimm-abuse and selective breeding, many members of rival Houses consider the massive Goliaths to be a strain of abhuman.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Space Marines start out as regular humans, but they are given so many modifications (artificially-grown organs with their own legion-specific genetic makeup) they become a separate species. As much as "species" applies to a group that can't reproduce, anyway.
      • There are a number of human subspecies called Abhumans who went down different evolutionary paths due to their environments. The most widely known are the Squats (descended from colonists of hostile planets who mostly lived underground), Ratlings (a result of people living for millennia on worlds with soporific climates and rich harvests, plus lots of inbreeding), Ogryns (the descendants of inmates of high-gravity prison planets) and Beastmen, as well as a number of more obscure and rare subspecies that show up here and there in the lore. With the exception of the Ratlings and Ogryns, most species of abhuman have lacked any presence outside of the game's background material since 1st Edition, as the Imperium of Man considers subspecies and mutants to be heretical due to deviating from the "pure form of Man", so they generally slaughter such people to the last man when they find them (they make grudging exceptions for Ogryns, Ratlings, and a handful of others due to how useful those groups are... and because hypocrisy is rampant in the Imperium from top to bottom anyway).
  • Gamma World: One early edition made so-called Pure Strain Humans too inherently tough to be plausible as Badass Normal, so a Dragon article suggested that they were actually a Human Subspecies that had benefited from pre-war genetic engineering. Those humans who weren't Designer Babies became the setting's mutants instead, some strains of which bred true enough to also constitute Human Subspecies. A later edition made "stock humans" and "pure-strain humans" into different subspecies, with the former being mutated and mixed just a bit, while the latter generally exist because they're either living in vaults of some kind or their people have intentionally kept the blood pure.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Azlanti Advanced Ancient Humans gain a +2 bonus to all of their ability scores, whereas standard humans only get the bonus to one. This is likely thanks to the aboleths, who genetically manipulated them and engineered the rise of their civilization.
    • The Azlanti had several descendants who diverged even further from their original forms, for a number of reasons:
      • The gillmen were abducted and augmented by the aboleths to survive the destruction of their civilization. While they look almost entirely human, they're amphibious, have gills on their necks and can't survive being out of water for long.
      • The munavri survived the shattering of Azlant itself and found themselves trapped in the Sightless Sea, a vast ocean deep Beneath the Earth. They settled a number of floating jade citadels to defend themselves from the many horrific denizens of their new home snd eventually evolved into a distinct species. They largely resemble albino humans, and are telepathic.
      • Other Azlanti sheltered into the shallower layers of Golarion's cavern systems. Some degenerated into the morlocks, barbaric brutes who live in primitive bands and are constantly warring with each other and everyone else; some came under the thrall of creatures from the Shadow Plane and became the mysterious Dark Folk, further split into several specialized castes of varying degrees of physical divergence from humanity; and others interbred with the underworld's many other species and became the mongrelmen, monstrous Beast Men with traits of almost every creature under the sun but also some of the Darklands' few peaceful and civilized natives.
  • Rifts:
    • The Coalition States have the Janissary project to create the next step of human evolution.
    • Psi-X Aliens are actually humans mutated by Desmond Bradford.
    • True Atlanteans are human, but have innate supernatural powers.
    • Ogres are the ancestors of humans from the world of Palladium Fantasy, and are interfertile with humans — crossbreeds are always ogres.
    • Amazons are related to humans but have innate supernatural powers and are all female — they mate with human and ogre males to reproduce; the children are always amazons.
    • Most psychics are also implied to be human subspecies, especially Psi-Stalkers and Mind Bleeders who actually have somewhat distinct non-human physical traits.
    • In the "Skraypers" setting, two subspecies have naturally evolved/developed on the planet Seeron alongside Homo sapiens sapiens; the Seermans (Homo sapiens olecrus), who have thick skin, bony protrusions on their elbows, brows, and chin, and latent psychic powers; and the Talus (''Homo sapiens talus"), who have short noses, high cheekbones, and more importantly, prehensile tails. Unlike nearly every other species in the game (except amazons and ogres), they are genetically human enough to interbreed with each other and baseline humans.
  • Shadowrun: Metahumans (elves, dwarves, orks, and trolls) are classified as subspecies of humanity, which is perfectly logical since the races can all interbreed and the metahuman strains in fact came into existence when very startled human parents started having clearly inhuman babies. There are also the metavariants, which are further subspecies of the main metahuman subspecies — for instance, gnomes are a metavariant of dwarf, dryads are a metavariant of elf, giants and minotaurs are variants of trolls and satyrs a strain of orks. Baseline humanity has one metavariant of its own, the nartaki, who are distinguished by having red, blue or yellow skin and four arms.
  • Skyrealms Of Jorune has humanity gain two subspecies as a result of living for generations on the mystical planet Jorune. They are the Muadra, a small and physically weak people but have the ability to manipulate the Ishos. Then there are the Boccord which are a people that are larger and stronger than regular humans. But as human offshoots, neither can use energy weapons unless they've been tampered. These powerful technological items were keyed for pure-strain humans.
  • Sláine: In the Mongoose rpg edition, the Warped Ones (including Slaine himself) are a human subspecies descended from a time when primordial beastmen mated with humans from the Land of the Young and can revert back to that inhuman form when Earth power runs through them - this is the Warp Spasm. This bloodline is growing increasingly thin, so the only true Warped Ones are from the Four Tribes of the Earth Goddess though characters with the "Blood of Heroes" feat have enough traces of Warped Ones ancestry that they can sometimes do the Warp Spasm.
  • Star Fleet Battles: It's been explicitly established that several planets were 'seeded' with early humans (and other planets with other species). These include:
    • The Alpha Centauri: a matriarchical culture that is as close to 'pure' human as possible while still having an altered game mechanic.
    • The Rigellians: life on a UV-heavy world resulted in dark blue skin, but still can have children with the others.
    • The Deians: pale blue people with blonde hair and the hat of covermodels.
    • And maybe the Cygnans, who are pretty close to human, and are known to not be native to their own world.
    • And dozens of minor worlds, such as several seen in TOS.
  • Traveller: Due to the Ancients seeding humans across the galaxy thousands of years ago there are many subspecies of "Humaniti" such as golden-skinned elfin Darrians and high-gravity adapted Bye-Ren. Though of the three major human races only the psionic Zhodani show any significant physiological differences, the Solomani (earth humans) and Vilani have interbred to such an extent as to be nearly indistinguishable (though Vilani originally were slightly taller and longer-lived).
  • Victoriana RPG: Early editions simply used the typical fantasy terminology of "race" for the different humanoid species. In its 3rd edition, however, the term is replaced with "subspecies", since, A: different subspecies are still prone to the visual ethnicity indicators that a real-world human uses as the basis for "race", and B: Charles Darwin argued that the ability for all these races to interbreed with each other (and humanity) marked them as distinct branches of the Homo sapiens species. They even gained distinct Latin species names in this edition (although the non-core species from 2nd edition were out of luck); thus the existence of Homo Sapiens Bestius (Beast Folk), Montis (Dwarfs), Aetheris (Eldren), Noctis (Gnomes), Furpes (Huldufolk), Magnus (Ogres) and Agrestis (Orcs). Humans in this world are called Homo Sapiens Communis rather than Homo Sapiens Sapiens, as a result.

    Video Games 
  • Anarchy Online has four playable subspecies, referred to in the game as "breeds": the Solitus, a Jack-of-All-Stats breed descended from modern humans, the Atrox, a genderless breed specializing in high strength, the Opifex, a breed adapted for stealth and high agility, and Nanomage, a breed developed for high intelligence. There were also some failed specimens that escaped labs and entered the wilds.
  • The manual of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura'' speculates that elves, orcs and ogres are all subspecies of humans who were mutated into new races by exposure to large amounts of magic.
  • Armada: 10,000 years of space travel divided mankind into six sub-species.
  • Chronicles of Elyria: The equivalent of races are the Tribes, twelve human subspecies that diverged due to evolutionary pressure from their home biomes, with the exception of the Neran.
  • The Elder Scrolls: The four races of Men in Tamriel are all different enough to have unique racial abilities and innate proficiency in certain skills. Three (the Nords, Imperials, and Bretons) all share a common ancestor in the Nedes, one of the indigenous human tribes (or a collective name for those tribes) of Tamriel. Additionally, the races of Men and Mer (Elves) also share a common ancestor even further back in history known as the Ehlnofey. Each race of Men and Mer can interbreed and produce viable offspring, which almost entirely takes after the mother, averting All Genes Are Codominant.
  • Escape Velocity: The Vell-os in EV Nova are descendants of an Indiannote  tribe led by a prince named Vell-os. They have various psychic powers, which they used to leave Earth for deep space circa 980 AD. They also have an organ that produces nanites which complement their powers.
  • Etrian Odyssey V explicitly refers to all party members, be they Earthlain, Celestrian, Therian, or Brouni, as humans.
  • EverQuest has 4 human races: The baseline human, the large barbarians, the scholarly erudites and the dragon touched drakkin.
  • Fallout:
    • Super mutants, "perfect" humans created by the introduction of Forced Evolutionary Virus. They're nearly ten feet tall, Made of Iron, and immune to radiation and most diseases. However, the FEV sees the half-chromosomes of reproductive cells as damaged and "repairs" them, meaning the Super Mutants are sterile. Also, radiation damage before infection makes them pathetically stupid.
    • Ghouls, zombie-like former humans with radical biological changes. Ghouls have no skin and little soft tissue, but their exposed flesh has hardened. They are less susceptible to drugs, healed by radiation, and functionally immortal. While not explicitly addressed, it is implied that they are too physically damaged (remember, no soft tissue) to reproduce.
    • Since virtually all humans whose ancestors were affected by radiation have some degree of mutation, the Enclave uses that as a justification to say that they (remnants of the United States government who were hiding out in an oil rig when the bombs fell) are a different species from the "mutants" of the wasteland. They view the emergence of this new species as a threat, and make plans to deal with that.
  • Imperium Galactica 2 reveals during the Solarian campaign that the various races you meet and fight with for dominance have all evolved from lost Solarian colonies, even those who look nothing like humans. The Kra'Hen are decidedly alien, as they are stated to have come from another galaxy. Strangely, the first game had many actual aliens. The difference can be explained as either a completely different universe or that the aliens were exterminated by The Empire and their worlds settled by modified humans.
  • Killzone: The Helghast, who adapted to the harsh environment of a Death World they were exiled to.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Hylians are a human subrace distinguished by their Pointy Ears, allegedly allowing them to hear the gods. It's rumored that they're descended from the gods themselves, which is proved to be partially true in Skyward Sword — they're the Lesser Goddess Hylia's chosen people, and the royal family is directly descended from Hylia's human reincarnation. There's also the Gerudo (first introduced in Ocarina of Time), a mostly female warrior race of Dark-Skinned Redheads who rely on marrying men of other races to reproduce, the males of which are born once a century. The Sheikah also gradually emerged as one: originally characterized as a "tribe" rather than a fully separate race, Breath of the Wild establishes that they are fairly distinct from Hylians and other humanlike races, as evidenced by traits such as Mystical White Hair, being Long-Lived, and having a natural affinity for Magitek.
  • Mass Effect: In an in-universe Alliance News Network article, a lost colony of human colonists are discovered in Alpha Centauri, having set off in 2070, nearly a century before mass effect technology was in use and alien life was discovered. Naturally they're a bit freaked out by meeting modern humans again and a later article reveals that one of them was captured by Cerberus for experimentation, due to some of their naturally occurring genes being now virtually extinct in regular humans.
  • Oxygen Not Included: The Duplicants you order around in the game appear to be one of these, modified for ease of fabrication, duplication and colonization. They're quite hardy physically and biochemically, quite tireless and generally less susceptible than usual to the pitfalls that come from hostile environments. However, they have a variety of superficial faults (such as the lack of noses) and some deep-set mental issues that come from both fabrication and being "born" mature, which makes them prone to profoundly stupid behavior even among the most learned sorts.
  • In Rising Angels, there are various other species alongside humans around which were created from them by way of genetic engineering. These include a Space Elves, a wolf-like species (with Kitsune as a sub-species), an angel-like species, a demon-like species, and others. Actual aliens don't appear to be around. There's bigotry around, not all of it in one direction.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri: Two types arise once the required technology and facilities are developed:
    • Homo Superior: equal parts technology and biology, it uses the best of both worlds.
    • Genejacks: genetically engineered to be the perfect worker, with strong body and little brain. It probably won't surprise you to know that Chairman Yang of the Human Hive was behind their creation.
  • Star Ocean: Hinted at; at least some of the Human Aliens are actually descendants of human Ancient Astronauts from the lost continent of Mu.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire has the Advent, post-humans that are very, VERY angry about their expulsion by the rest of the humans.
  • Star Control has the Androsynth, who are cloned from humans and Turned Against Their Masters, as they were essentially slaves.
  • Super Mario Bros.: A one-off character guide reveals that Mario (and by extension Luigi) is actually "Homo nintendonus", rather than Homo sapiens. This is never elaborated on or explained, though it may be responsible for some of their superhuman feats.
  • Super Robot Wars Z: The backstory of Super Robot Wars Z 3: Jigoku-Hen reveals that the Mycenae and Uchuu Maou are apparently humans that overcame the 12000 year loop and became higher beings through evolution. The role of higher beings is to guide their younger brothers (ie mankind) but Hades and his pals decided they wanted to rule the universe instead.
  • In The Tale of ALLTYNEX series, humans and Raiwat were once one species, but when a series of superweapons, the ZODIACs, went horribly wrong, one faction decided to bail out and settle on a faraway planet, Earth. Meanwhile, the folks who stayed on their home planet were forced to adapt to the harsh environments of their own planet caused by the ZODIAC units, evolve overtime into the anthromorphic Raiwat people they've become by the time they invade the Earth in RefleX.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: The Valkyrur appear to have been a subrace of humans who developed an extremely advanced society in the ancient past and were worshiped as gods by the regular humans. They appear to have possessed albino like physical features, had superhuman physical abilities activated by rage, were the only ones who could operate their own technology, and could make themselves explode with the force of an atom bomb.
  • Vega Strike has several in game and flavor materials, each has a faction consisting primarily of them.
    • Homo sapiens sapiens (duh) — Purists.
    • Homo sapiens cyberis, cyborgs — Mechanists. Not quite true to the trope, but in-universe it would be considered proper scientific nomenclature.
    • Homo sapiens pluralis, networked brain-to-brain even before birth — Andolian.
    • Homo sapiens superioris, humans visibly modified a lot, in a weirdly artistic way — Shapers.
    • Homo sapiens suprahomo, genetically polished and cherry-picked, but not quite supermen — Lightbearers, extinct as a consequence of Andolian and Shapers finding out about Spaceborn.
    • Homo sapiens cosmonatalis, custom-made by Lightbearers as space station slaves — Spaceborn.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Lydians (who have wings) and Somnians (who don't). They are definitely biologically compatible, though, as Ivy's and Mint's existences demonstrate.
  • Warframe: The game takes place in a future so distant that the modern-day era is practically forgotten, and biological engineering in the distant past gave rise to multiple varieties of humans.
    • The Grineer are a race of clones created to be slaves for the Orokin thousands of years prior. Universally sterile, the Grineer rely on ancient cloning techniques to replenish their numbers, which only further damages their genome as genetic errors are propagated generation after generation; this has forced them to make heavy use of cybernetic augmentations to repair their failing bodies, to the point where many of them look entirely inhuman, being little more than decaying organic heads mounted in mechanical harnesses. They see themselves as somewhat "apart" from the more conventional human beings inhabiting the planets of the solar system, their differences driving both an inferiority complex and a deep racial hatred of non-Grineer.
    • The Dax were an Orokin-created race of bodyguards and warriors, endowed with great power and strength, but utterly incapable of raising steel against their masters. By the story's present day, they seem to have all been wiped out (except for Teshin), having sided with the Orokin when the Tenno rebelled and killed nearly all of them. Most died in the insurrection, with the survivors presumably slowly dying off in the years after.
    • The Orokin themselves were very likely a distinct subspecies. Descriptions of them are vague, emphasizing mostly their immortality and unearthly, unsettling beauty, hinting that they were perhaps The Beautiful Elite taken to its Transhuman extreme. However, if Ballas' appearance is anything to go by, their standards of "beauty" were very different from ours; he looks entirely disturbing with his pupil-less all-white eyes, dark-blue skin and a monstrously elongated right arm. The game's primary concept artist said he was going for a "classical" Greco-Roman elegance in their appearance, as if the Orokin had designed themselves after the traditional image of gods.
    • The Tenno themselves used to be a large group of human children, until an FTL accident led to them all being exposed to the Void and mutated into psionic warriors. Its not entirely clear how human they still are. The Warframes they psychically pilot, meanwhile, are people infected by an Orokin-engineered variant of the Infestation, turning them into semi-robotic killing machines. They are definitely not human anymore.
    • Even the "regular" humans encountered (which seems to include the Corpus) show great distinction from modern humans, like near-universal lack of hair in males, enhanced agility exhibited by the hostages you rescue (they can keep up with the Warframes), and other general oddities.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: There are several varieties of "human" living in the world of Alrest. Lefterians, Ardainians, and Tantalese all appear to be "normal" humans, but the Gormotti have cat features like fur and claws, the Urayans have pale greenish skin with occasional scales and sometimes fin-like ears, and the Indoline tend to have bright blue skin, are tall and lanky, and have extended lifespans.

  • Alien Dice: The Rishan are humans abducted by aliens who have had superficial genetic modifications made to them. Sometimes, true humans will be born to Rishan parents.
  • Gifts of Wandering Ice: The Mute tribe is a human subspecies of Neanderthal origin.
  • Quantum Vibe: The future features innumerable different types of humans stemming from advances in cybernetics and genetics. Nicole specifically reads a piece about the Belt-Apes, large stocky humans genetically altered for optimum labor efficiency in the Asteroid Belt.
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Purps are a lab-grown, photosynthetic variant with, as the name might suggest, purple skin.
    • Parodied with the Gavs. All the Gavs are portal-clones of the creator of Nukees, but considering that there are 950 million of them, they effectively outnumber nearly all other human sub-genera and many entire species....

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: Something like 80% of life (at least within the Terragen Sphere) is descended from humanity, but intentional modifications have caused so much divergence that two human descended terragens can be less alike than a human and a tree.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-140 describes the Daevites, an ancient human civilisation in Siberia, northern Iran and Mongolia. They were a wicked people who practiced slavery, cannibalism and human sacrifice, and their government centered on the "daeva", a theocratic aristocracy who possessed increased longevity and Blood Magic, and whom the Foundation's researchers eventually determined to diverge from modern humans that they constitute a separate subspecies in and of themselves. The actual SCP object is a book detailing their history, and the book writes itself on contact with suitable fluid that can be used as ink (including human blood). As more is written, the Daevites retroactively survive longer in history; when the book was first discovered it said the Daevites were wiped out by Qin Kai, but the book now says they were wiped out by Genghis Khan, 1400 years later. Here's the real horror: there's more than one copy of the book out there and the one the Foundation has is continually being updated. The Foundation fears that should the Daevites' civilization survive past a certain point in history, it will have catastrophic consequences for the world.
      • However, SCP-6140 eventually reveals that the Daevite civilization is not only populated by actual humans, but is also actually a peaceful, civilised democratic socialist republic (it's even recognized by the U.N.). All the stories about their cruelty, stagnation and blood magic were all made-up by a deeply disturbed British historian who took a single historical event and blended it with Daevite mythology and his own prejudices. As the problems of cultural appropriation, racism, Orientalism, under-representation/deliberate exclusion and silencing of minority voices, and history revisionism is still very much Truth in Television, it's quite a cutting and sobering Reality Subtext.
    • SCP-752 is a collection of genetically engineered humans referred to as Eudaimoniacs. While physically identical to humans, their social structure is more like that of bees or ants than any mammal. Originally created to be a perfect utopia of altruistic people, their advancement came at the cost of their humanity, with lesser members working themselves to death. Their creators surrounded the cavern they call home with a shield that blocks all forms of radiation in the hope that it would ensure they never learn of the outside world. The Foundation has worked to ensure the shield is never breached, otherwise the 10,000 Eudaimoniacs inside would begin competing with humanity, leading to an SK-class dominance shift.
    • SCP-3288, "The Aristocrats", describes a strain of humanity originally descended from the House of Hapsburg, survived to the present day by living in underground sects. They originated from the Hapsburgs attempting to use sorcery to counteract the effects of extreme inbreeding so that they could keep their bloodline pure, which was only partially successful. Though nominally human, they are subject to a number of horrifying mutations including supernumerary teeth, abnormally long arms and fingers, ungodly physical strength despite appearing severely emaciated, and a compulsion towards cannibalism. Their "blood" is dominant over other humans — in an instance where SCP-3288 impregnates an ordinary woman, the offspring will be another instance of SCP-3288. A captured instance proudly claims that they will eat and rape all of humanity until only they are left. This is probably what got them reclassified as Keter.
    • A small number of SCP documents have mentioned something called Homo ignotus ("unknown humans"), an extinct species closely related to humans that the Foundation wants to make sure stays extinct, but so far, they have not been described so it isn't known why they are so dangerous. Supposedly, creating even a single specimen of them would cause a disaster.
  • Vilous: The three main races of the setting, Sergals (furry sharks), Agudners (basically satyrs), and Nevreans (Bird People) are all considered separate species and cannot interbreed, but they actually are all descended from a common ancestor race of humans (or Human Aliens) and they still refer to themselves as humans even though none of them resemble humans anymore.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The human ancestors Homo erectus actually did have several sub-species, and provide a strong counter-argument to racial theory by giving an example of what subspecies in a human species would actually look like. The different subspecies are so obviously different that for a very long time their remains were believed to belong to almost a dozen different hominid species; this was only resolved with genetic testing. Meanwhile, anthropologists can't even tell the "races" of modern humans apart from skeletons.
  • It was long debated whether Neanderthals were capable of interbreeding with Homo sapiens sapiens or not. The sequencing of the Neanderthal Genome in May 2010 effectively settled this debate. Yes, they could, and there was a little interbreeding; however, the populations generally remained separate: the amount of Neanderthal DNA disseminated to humans on the Eurasian continent is estimated to be as little as 1 to 4%. Modern Africans, on the other hand, have no Neanderthal DNA, as Homo sapiens who remained in Africa never encountered any Neanderthals.
  • Homo sapiens idaltu or "Elder human" was an actual human subspecies that lived in Eastern Africa between 160 and 150 thousand BC.
  • Possibly Homo floresiensis (sometimes called "Hobbit Man"). The jury is still out on whether they were a separate species, or if the specimens discovered were merely microcephalic humans.
    If floresiensis is legitimate, it's still to be seen whether it's a subspecies of Homo sapiens or a completely different species from another branch of the family. Neanderthals (and Denisovan humans, to a degree, at least they left DNA) on the other hand have left more remains to go on. They were pretty closely related to us and there is (some) evidence for small amounts of interbreeding.
  • Possibly the Denisova hominin (a.k.a. Homo denisova, H. altaiensis, or H. sapiens denisova), a potential extinct species or subspecies of archaic human who may have mated with modern humans as recently as 15,000 years ago.
  • The pseudoscience of racialism (sometimes also called scientific racism, race realism, or human biodiversity) is founded on the idea that the various ethnicities of the world are genetically distinct human subspecies (which isn't actually true; modern humans are a pretty genetically uniform creature, physical differences are limited to such things as relative bone density). While racism, the belief that one or more of these groups are "superior" or "inferior" to one or more others in some vague, undefined way is a separate idea, the two groups do overlap much more frequently than either would have you believe.
  • While the concept of race and subspecies in modern humans is soundly rejected by scientists, certain populations do have a large genetic distance for the sheer reason of not being in contact with others for eons. Ironically, even though they look "black", the Australian Aborigines are genetically more removed from Africans than Europeans, Asians, and Native Americans are. This is because their ancestors did not intermix with other humans in great numbers since they arrived at Australia c. 70,000 years ago, therefore keeping their genes distinct, while the others are descended from more recent emigrants from Africa mixing with the older ones (humans did not come out of Africa all at once, but rather in waves).
  • One racial theory that used to be popular was that Khoisan and pygmy peoples were different subspecies than most black Africans and therefore the rest of humanity. This idea even held some sway among people who generally believed that all living humans were part of the same subspecies. While there is a grain of truth to this (both groups diverge quite a lot from the majority of humanity), the idea of them being that different has since been discredited.
  • Although many scientists agree there's no serious evidence that the cryptid known as Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti actually exists, ZooBank, the organization that registers scientific names for species, accepted a registration for Bigfoot in 2013Homo sapiens cognatus ("cognatus" is Latin for "relative"). Should solid evidence for Bigfoot ever turn up, this will be the accepted name scientists use for them, although obviously it's open to change after actual study of Bigfoot determines how closely exactly it's related to Homo sapiens sapiens.

Alternative Title(s): Human Subrace