Follow TV Tropes


Meat Moss

Go To
"Like what the place has done with me?"
"What the hell is that? It looks like the ground there is alive..."
James Raynor, StarCraft

Usually occurring in sci-fi Body Horror works, Meat Moss is when an inorganic, usually mechanical, structure is overgrown with a thick fleshy biomass. The origin of this tissue can be the bodies of victims altered by The Virus or a particularly aggressive form of Alien Kudzu, or it could even be the "natural" state of a Living Ship. The end result is always, however, the disturbing architectural counterpart to the Cyborg.

An excellent way of saying "This is The Virus's territory" or "The heroes are on a techno-organic spaceship", though it does raise questions as to how this biomass is sustaining itself, as well as its purpose other than as scary set decor. This, in turn, however, makes it also an excellent way to demonstrate that you're in an Eldritch Location or some other place where the usual rules of reality don't apply. The Rule of Scary and the Rule of Cool go a long way toward maintaining the suspension of disbelief.

This tends to overlap with Wetware CPU, particularly in the case of the Living Ship variant, in this case the tissue itself being the wetware in question. It can also overlap with Human Architecture Horror as people being incorporated into the biomass significantly dials up the horror aspect. In more benign settings, may involve a somewhat squicky Brain/Computer Interface. Frequently used for evil settings thanks to one of its parent tropes, Evil Is Visceral. When it's divine punishment, you have the Bloody Bowels of Hell. Sufficient amounts of meat moss can also result in a Womb Level. In the most unsettling and disorienting forms of Organic Technology or Worlds of Chaos, Meat Moss may be intertwined with Alien Geometries.

Compare Festering Fungus, which displays the same traits in vegan form, and Transformation Horror, which can resemble this on a smaller scale, and ultimately lead to this if allowed to progress unchecked. Compare/Contrast Mordor, which may contain this sort of twisted lifeform, or none at all.

A Sub-Trope of Body Horror.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Weaponized by Wu Gui in 3×3 Eyes: her powers allow her to create and manipulate flesh constructs from the people she stabs with her rod, but she can also stab the ground or a wall to generate a mass of rapidly-expanding flesh she can manipulate as she sees fit, usually by creating dragon heads to maul her opponents.
  • All over the place in A.I.C.O. Incarnation, and integral to the premise. A large section of Tokyo has been evacuated and cordoned off due to an outbreak of "Malignant Matter", which is basically hostile, semi-intelligent Meat Moss that spreads like wildfire and can only be harmed with special weaponry.
  • Depending on how amiable they're feeling, the interior of more evil Living Ships in Lost Universe can suddenly shift from their normal Standard Human Spaceship to sprouting squelching masses of tentacles.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the secret entrance to a laboratory is an organic "wall" that had been painted to match the surrounding structure. Kaneki discovers it entirely by accident, when he strikes part of the wall with his kagune....and it reacts by revealing a fleshy tunnel. The others in his group mention that such "technology" is a trick ghouls have used to make the underground 24th Ward a labyrinth difficult for humans to navigate. Near the end of the series, a scouting party sent to the investigate the deepest parts of the 24th Ward discovers the ruins of the original Tokyo, covered in the petrified remains of an ancient biomass.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman (1989) has a particularly horrible incident in one of the early issues where rogue dreams have converted a still living man into this and draped him all over the walls of his dream-junkie daughter's apartment.
  • A heartwarming example in Stormwatch: a village is accidentally hit with a biochemical that can activate superpowers (or it's intended to, and at least radically alters the human body). When a team is sent to investigate, they find the church overgrown with this, with a fleshy beacon outlined with fingers. One of the team figures out that those affected by the biochemical evacuated the other villagers there and then covered them over as they mutated into Meat Moss, and pulls it away to reveal the survivors.
  • Wonder Woman (2011): When the First Born takes over Olympus he redecorates the place with a flesh and blood theme, some of which was donated unwillingly by Olympians he killed.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Aliens features a particularly gruesome and memorable version when the marines are searching the infested colony on LV-426. Subverted in that it's not flesh, but some sort of hard resin.
  • Event Horizon: Some decorates the bridge of the eponymous ship, although a skull fragment amongst the gore is meant to imply that it's all that's left of the original crew.
  • The Orgoscope in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an entire space station and corporate headquarters built from living tissue. While the inside is relatively sterile and has a more user-friendly appearance, the exterior is almost entirely flesh and skin. It even has giant eyes that act as security cameras.
  • Living Hell can be considered the ultimate example. The plot of the movie is about a viral corruption that feeds on energy to grow exponentially. It threatens to engulf the Earth if it is not stopped before the sun rises.
  • In the Pirates of the Caribbean series, many of Davy Jones' crew end up becoming literal parts of the ship, able to talk (sometimes) but not move.

  • In BioShock: Rapture, this was the unfortunate result of one of Tennenbaum and Suchong's wilder genetic experiments. They had tried to give a man the powers of a sea creature; instead they gave him the power of being wallpaper. The description puts the Body Horror in the game proper to shame.
  • The Vord in Codex Alera, being Expies of the Zerg, live on a substance called croach, which has a waxy consistency. Its main purposes seem to be storage of nutrients (like beeswax) and to sustain within itself an atmosphere that the Vord find ideal.
  • In The Expanse, areas infected by the alien Protomolecule end up covered in this, absorbing anyone unlucky enough to be there at the time. It's not helped by organs and limbs still maintaining their shape and being used for the Protomolecule's purposes.
  • After the Polypond War in the Great Ship novel The Well of Stars, the outer hull of the Greatship was covered in the living ocean that made up the Polypond. In the short story Hatch, scavengers prowl above the now mindless ocean of the Polypond, hunting down the fantastic creatures that periodically spew out of it to extract the rare elements necessary to keep their isolated civilization afloat.
  • The buried tower in The Southern Reach Trilogy, which is made of living tissue. It's able to hide its true nature to a degree and appear as stone to the casual observer, but people who have been "contaminated" by Area X are able to see it as it truly is.
  • Zones of Thought: A rare benevolent example occurs in A Fire Upon the Deep; the Old One filled one of the rooms of the Skroderider's ship with this. It turns out to be a complex biotech weapon used to combat the Blight.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), the Cylon Basestar's landing bay Boomer delivers the nuke to (shortly before she shoots Adama) has this look. Justified in that Cylon Basestars of this type are implied to have major biological components, and their fighters are biologically controlled. The inside of their fighters looks like this as well, as seen when Starbuck crawls inside one she shot down in order to pilot it back to the fleet.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Witch's Familiar", it turns out that the sewers of Dalek cities are lined with Dalek tissue that's too decayed to be useful. They're also fully aware of this, and very angry with the living Daleks who put them there.
  • In the Helix episode "274", adding growth factor to a petri dish of monkey blood infected with The Virus results in an explosive growth of black biomass that coats and fills a small observation chamber and threatens to shatter it until veterinary pathologist Doreen releases Deadly Gas therein.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • A carpet of rotting flesh covers the ground in Grixis.
    • In New Phyrexia, the interior of the completed Lumengrid is covered in pulsating, organic tissue.
  • In the Tharkold realm of TORG, Technodemons use alteration magic coupled with their reality's perverse World Laws to produce what they call pain sculptures and pain gardens: living beings melded together, with their responses to pain and pleasure magically reversed. The end result is a writhing mass of gibbering, screaming flesh which gains pleasure from receiving pain and inflicting it on others (including other bits of itself), but agony from doing biologically necessary things such as eating.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • Many vampires of Clan Tzimisce use their magic fleshforming abilities (flesh and bones, actually) to sculpt humans or other vampires into screaming furniture and living decoration for their lairs, which results in this trope.
    • The Tzimisce Antediluvian itself is an example of this trope, having taken root and grown into a miles-long fleshmass infestation underneath New York.
  • Warhammer 40,000:

    Video Games 
  • The Shadow from Amnesia: The Dark Descent leaves a tough leather-like mass similar to muscle, that can even pulsate in places. Standing on it for too long hurts Daniel.
  • ANNIE: Last Hope have plenty of green meat moss growing all over interiors of buildings, as result of the crab virus.
  • Arknights: "Stultifera Navis" introduced the Nethersea Brand, which is a type of luminescent microscopic organism that grows in areas infested with the Seaborn. The Brand empowers the Seaborn enemies and inflicts damage to operators standing on it, and periodically spreads unless player operators are deployed on infested tiles to stop the spread.
  • Present near the end of Beneath a Steel Sky, seen as evidence of the "evil under the city" once the protagonist descends below ground level. It is even involved in a couple of puzzles.
  • The DomZ from Beyond Good & Evil mark the things they've taken over with long, dark green tendrils. Everything from machinery to people.
  • Breath of Fire IV. You'll eventually come across a false Endless made from Nina's sister. To reach her, you'll have to climb through the bowels (heh), of a building slowly being filled with her presumably still-living flesh, eventually leading to a brief Womb Level.
  • This is what constitutes a Save Point in Carrion. The Villain Protagonist is a formless alien horror not unlike a shoggoth, and it can infest cracks in the walls of the research facility it's being kept in, causing a maw and some tendrils of flesh to grow out of it.
  • The penultimate missions of the games' namesake in Darkest Dungeon echo this. While the first mission features relatively-unspoiled yet foreboding obsidian architecture, by the time of your second excursion these structures are saturated with bulbous, toothy, eye-covered growths; products of the Heart's exponential, otherworldly growth. It gets worse; by the third mission, there is nothing left around you but throbbing flesh, as you fight your way through the creatures' cosmic bowels. In these same missions, the Meat Moss can take shape as enemies in combat; writhing, patchwork amalgamations of flesh and architecture that can move and react to your attacks just as easily as any ambulatory foe. Enjoy!
  • Dead Space: It's growing all over the ship in the first game, referred to as "The Corruption". According to the Apocalyptic Log, the scientists figured it was a 'habitat modifier' — in other words, terraforming. This is only partially true, the bad news is that moss is actually the dust — that is, shed human skin cells — on the ship being converted by the Necromorph virus. It also shows up in sporadic locations of the much-less confined Space Station setting of Dead Space 2, but strangely is entirely absent from Dead Space 3.
  • Deep Rock Galactic's Season Three introduces a "lithophage" known as the Rockpox to Hoxxes IV. Spread via spiky comet fragments, it produces a carpet of tangled, spiky growth studded with yellow pustules that spread from a central Contagion Spike to cover nearby cave surfaces. Your dwarven miners seem to be immune, but the infection is capable of parasitizing the local Glyphids into twisted drones that defend the infected site and spread the contagion further. Thus, you get special events to call down pods of equipment to hose Rockpox infection sites with disinfectant foam, or destroy a newly-arrived comet and retrieve its fleshy "plaguehearts" for study. Little is known about the Rockpox, but it seems to have some degree of intelligence, as purging one area of infection elicits a reaction from other areas, and it looks like the comets are deliberately aiming for untainted parts of Hoxxes rather than landing at random.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: After it was overrun by demons, surrounded by Deathfog, and abandoned, Bloodmoon Island is blanketed in a disconcerting but harmless substance that resembles blood vessels. It grows out of a corrupted Wise Tree that had grown from a demon-possessed elf's corpse.
    Spirit of the tree: Please — don't judge me for the sickness my roots have spread.
  • Doom has featured fleshy textures and flats since the first game, as an indication that the location is being subverted by the presence of demons. Doom Eternal gives this meat moss a proper title, Hellgrowth, and marks it as a terraforming agent for the demons, tied to gore nests and the Tentacle enemies. In The Ancient Gods it's shown that after a demonic invasion is eradicated, any Hellgrowth remaining dies and petrifies.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins features this trope in the Circle of Magi tower as a symptom of the abominations' presence. Red and pink-colored chunks of meat, complete with short spikes, are beginning to cover the pillars and walls of the tower. The corruption gets worse as one goes higher into the tower, and if the music isn't playing, you can hear the squelching noises of the Meat Moss as it grows.
    • The similarity between this and the corruption left by the darkspawn is noted by at least one companion.
  • The final dungeon in Dragon Quest VII, the Cathedral of Blight/Dark Palace, looks like the inside of a demon, complete with fleshy walls and floors, bone-like structures, and rooms that look like organs. In the PS1 version of the game, the party can even be transported to other parts of the dungeon by means of a fleshy mouth-like organ that swallows them up and spits them out elsewhere.
  • Duke Nukem 3D had a non-interactive, non-controversial, and very olive-green form of this from Episode 2 onward. Then Duke Nukem Forever introduced the slappable titty walls.
  • Evil biomes in Dwarf Fortress can have writhing fleshy 'grass' or blinking eyeballs on stalks in lieu of more traditional ground covering plants. Your livestock will happily graze on it nonetheless, until one of the biome's other hazards destroys everything.
  • The direlict ship in Environmental Station Alpha has various piles of pulsating flesh that damage you when you touch it.
  • Evolva: The towers you have to destroy in several levels? If you watch the initial cutscene, you'll see that the Parasites create them through dilatations from its tentacles. Which means they're made from the same matter as the tentacles.
  • Everywhere in Exit Limbo: Opening, thanks to the outbreak of a mutagen leak, which causes entire walls to be coated in flesh and exposed organs.
  • In Fallout, you find loads of this stuff at the bottom level of the Cathedral's vault. It's part of the Master, who's been mutated by FEV into a Muck Monster.
  • In Final Fantasy V, Exdeath's Castle after the illusion is dispelled is shown to be made up of fleshy walls and doors.
  • In Fire Warrior, Chaos Taint manifests as random patches of fleshy and bony growths that secrete rivers of pus. It can also be seen infesting the Chaos variant of the bolter; giving it a carrying handle that looks like a length of femur, a row of fangs for iron sights, raw musculature growing on the receiver, and two or three finger-like protrusions coming out of the front like bayonets. The gun actively wails in agony when fired
  • Most of the basement in Fobia: St. Dinfna Hotel is filled with fleshy growth on the walls and floors, with tumor-like organs coming out the ground. Also, swinging intestine-like tubes from the ceiling.
  • The Flood from Halo do this to heavily infested areas. In the Halo 3 manual, it's implied that they do this to collect enough organic matter for the shapeshifting "pure" Flood forms that aren't based on an infected body. In the early stage of contained infestations, the effect is usually just a few cocoon-like clumps in the corners, but in Halo 3, we get to see an entire city-ship that the Flood has had full control over for quite some time, even converting the doors into sphincters.
  • Beast-Subverted ships in Homeworld: Cataclysm are covered in these. They're organic computers made from the unlucky ship's unluckier crew.
  • In Horizon Forbidden West, it's eventually revealed that Ted Faro, the Corrupt Corporate Executive of Faro Automated Solutions and the man responsible for the total extinction of life on Earth in the backstory, has become a mass of this wrapped around his personal bunker's geothermal reactor, unable to move and constantly moaning in pain. While the game never shows just how he looks, the characters' horrified reactions at seeing him are more than enough to conclude it's not a pretty sight.
  • Iron Meat deals with a mutant outbreak that results in the mutation's residues, flesh-like growth, spawning all over assorted objects. Even the game's poster and "Game Over" is covered in the moss!
  • KOJOUJI: Some rooms in the factory and lab have some sort of organic matter growing on the walls, floor, and ceiling.
  • Belial's Laboratory in Lands of Lore 2, which has rivers of blood and slime running through it and hideous organic... things. You have to traverse an actual Womb Level to get to it.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, organic outgrowth called Malice can be seen in different areas as a result of Calamity Ganon's corruption. Sometimes this growth has eyes and fanged mouths.
  • According to Word of God, the Meat Moss in Lone Survivor is actually just moss, but it's made to invoke this trope because of the low-resolution graphics and lighting.
  • The Marathon: RED total conversion has these areas infected by The Virus.
  • In Metro 2033, D6's reactor level is absolutely covered in a thick layer of Biomass, which spawns Giant Amoebas and acts as a boss monster.
  • Phazon from the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Phazon is an unusual blue substance with biological properties. It grows like a fungus or plant and the space pirates process it into other solid and liquid forms we see for use in weapons and biological experimentation. It is also hinted to have some form of lower intelligence akin to hive-minded single cells, which in large enough groupings (such as the freaking planet made of the stuff) can become sentient.
  • Minecraft:
    • Until it was Jossed by Notch, Netherrack was thought by some to be this, or blood covered stone. It's actually just Red Stone with moss on it. Many custom texture packs still take that interpretation and run with it.
    • As of Update 1.19, Minecraft now features a rather unassuming form of meat moss, the Sculk, an eerie pitch-black block with faint spots of bioluminescence that coats the aptly named Deep Dark. Oh, and it screams when you break it.
  • NanoBreaker has walls filled with grey and silver flesh coating, as a result of the nanomachine infestation.
  • The final level in Phantasy Star Online has the player descending into spaceship that was buried in the ground in an attempt to seal away a great evil. As you keep going the metallic walls gradually become more organic until the the whole level feels more like you're walking through a living creature.
  • The rat swarms of A Plague Tale: Innocence save the bones from any animals and people they devour and embed them in... stuff they coat every surface with, that burns the throat. This is called "rat nests" but resembles nothing so much as blackened meat moss, even having tendrils extending out from larger masses.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has Hives which are buildings covered inside and out in a red biomass. It does in fact serve a purpose: strengthening the Hive by weaving through and around the buildings' walls, to protect the creatures growing inside.
  • Rage (2011) has sections of the hospital level covered in a growing... something. It's implied that it has a connection to the mutants but not explained.
  • Resident Evil:
  • Possibly subverted in Resistance, in which you encounter growths that appear to be this only for them to explode, revealing themselves as egg sacs full of the game's Goddamn Bats.
  • SAR: Search and Rescue, a video game which rips off the entire premise of Aliens, brings the organic moss from the films into the game as well. Notably the final stages where entire walls and floors are coated in layers upon layers of living flesh.
  • The eponymous Scurge from Scurge: Hive has infested the base with red biomatter covering patches on the floor, often filling pits or forcing jumping puzzles over what would be an easy walk across a room. Standing on the biomatter rapidly speeds up your infection rate, and greatly slows down your movement.
  • In SIGNALIS, the appearance of Meat Moss becomes more and more symbolic. At first it only appears in a kitchen in the early game, but it is nearly everywhere in the Dark World that has replaced the bottom of the mining colony being explored. The symbolism comes from the fact that the person that protagonist Elster-512 is looking for was dying of cancer, and the game is implied to take place in her Dying Dream. It gets dialed up to eleven with a "New Game Plus" taking place in the apartment complex this young woman grew up in, and as each section is explored it becomes overrun with more meat moss that makes returning there impossible.
  • Skeleton Krew have your player dealing with a mutant outbreak in an intergalactic prison ship, where the mutation had caused massive amount of fleshy, tumor-like moss growing all over the prison's interiors with piles of meat embedded on various structures.
  • Zombie ships in Space Pirates and Zombies are a mass of human ships glued together with the stuff, invoking both a creeping infestation and a Body of Bodies aesthetic.
  • Meat Kudzu in Space Station 14 is a rapidly spreading substance created alongside some flesh monsters when a Meat Anomaly is left unchecked.
  • In Star Control, the Umgah ships appear to be fully organic, but they aren't. They're plain old mechanical starships whose interiors are completely covered in living, fleshy organic material. This is one case where the Meat Moss is not a sign of malevolence: it's a little creepy, but the Umgah only do this because they enjoy tinkering at all times with bioengineering, and this gives them plenty of material to work with.
  • StarCraft:
    • Zerg buildings can only be built on slowly spreading Zerg Creep, and they have an entire building tree of turret-analogues dedicated to spreading it (because both Zerg and Protoss have similar building mechanics, Terrans end up being the oddball race which can put buildings anywhere). In-game fluff describes Zerg buildings to be literal organs and Zerg "bases" as whole a literal organism, so creep is somewhat closer to a fluid circulation system — minerals and gas are "digested" at the central Zerg organ (Hatchery/Lair/Hive) and then fed to the other organ-buildings in the base through the creep. Without the creep's nourishment, these organs slowly starve and fail. It is stated that Creep is used as food for Zerg larva, and Zerg units can also be fed in this manner — being on creep boosts their metabolism, making them move and regenerate faster. Certain units (like the Queen and the Hydralisk) have their "feet" specially adapted to moving on this creep as well.
    • In-game, when playing as a non-Zerg race, it is usually safe to assume that Creep = Zerg territory, and that they can see everything you're doing on while you're on it. Infested Terran buildings are somewhat justified in that Zerg cannot manipulate tools, so they need the entire thing hardwired into their command network of telepathic overlords to make any use of it.
  • In Stray (2022), places with particularly high zurk populations begin to become coated in flesh-like material and organic webbing, with pustule-like growths that are actually zurk egg pods (which may burst to release more zurks). Deep in the Sewers, the most infested area of the whole game, the meat moss has red eyes that will track you as you move.
  • In System Shock, it's justified by it appearing in Beta Grove (simulation of a park, so it has the necessary equipment for plant life). No such justification for the biomass covering much of the interior surface of the bridge module (SHODAN's final stronghold), which is an unhealthy-looking white, like mold or fungus.
  • This also appears in System Shock 2 and gets worse and worse as you near the body of the Many. It starts with some veining on the walls of the vessel, then goes on to blobs of biomass, and continues like this until whole levels are made of biomass and there are just a few objects and rooms that have survived the assimilation. Computerised doors also begin to disappear around this stage of the game, as they are replaced by biological, Dilating Door-esque flesh gates, which are referred to in several audiologs as "sphincters".
  • Terraria has the Wall of Flesh, a powerful end-game boss. The 1.2 update introduced the Crimson, a variant on the Corruption that replaces the dark-themed monsters with flesh-and-blood themed ones such as the Blood Crawler and the Face Monster.
  • UFO: Aftermath has the Biomass, an organic growth set in place by Planter ships that will take over your bases if it reaches them. It spreads astronomically fast, and you lose the game if it spreads across the whole planet, but you find a way to counteract its growth not too long after it's first spotted.
  • Warframe has various ships infested with the Technocyte plague, which deforms its victims into horrible, metallic monstrosities. Any ship with the plague present has disgusting patches of slug-like cilia. The Infested Ship tileset is a shattered Corpus freighter which has been completely overrun by the Technocyte plague; huge gray and red growths cover most of the walls, and interfere with the ship's gravity generators.
  • Wildcat Gun Machine has plenty of organic growth from the alien infestation everywhere, some which actually seals exits shut. You're required to hunt down every alien core and destroy them, which leads to a cutscene of the meaty moss dissolving allowing you to exit an area.

    Visual Novels 

  • In Awful Hospital, most Parliamentary beings percieve the entire world around them to be coated in bright pink, putty-like flesh, and at the Burgrr counter, Miss tells Fern how she saw it on Earth during its last days, describing it as "ground beef kudzu".
  • Deep Rise takes this to the logical extreme in the form of Flesh Fields.
  • There are several patches of this around the facility in Ruby Quest. Guess what the "cure" was made from?

    Web Original 
  • In the Creepypasta titled The Dogscape, literally everything on Earth has turned into parts of dogs. Trees, fruit, oceans... everything.
  • Hamster's Paradise has the shroomors, a form of free-living cancer that functions similarly to a fungus and grows on decaying carrion. It descended from a virulent, Zombie Apocalypse-causing plague that drove a race of Always Chaotic Evil sapient hamsters (the Harmsters) to extinction, but with the extinction of its original host, it has now become far more benign and even serves to help decompose dead organic matter. Later on, some shroomor spores managed to find their way into the sub-Arcuterran cavern system where one strain develops a symbiotic relationship with chemosynthetic bacteria that allows it to become completely independent of animal carcasses and start growing on the walls of the cave like actual moss and being fed on by some of the native troglofauna. This new strain actually ends up being named meatmoss due to this lifestyle.
  • The Horror from the Vault has the titular creature create this, infesting a clearing in the woods it calls home with it. It's made from animals, all somehow still alive and trying to escape despite having all their bones and organs removed. It also creates pods of flesh-covered organs containing a stem culture that keeps them alive, which can begin spreading if nourished properly. The scientist who discovered this had to burn the samples when they subsumed a lab table.
  • In Mortasheen, this can be any of the following: fungi, bacterial mats, bloodsponge, snotmoss, barnacle maggots, cancer, eyes and possibly crabgrass, which may be just normal crabgrass but given the setting probably consists of real crabs. The inhabitants often cultivate these substances outside their houses as lawns (and have biomechanical lawnmower-beasties to keep them at the right length).
  • This is quite common in SCP Foundation, with the most well-known instance being SCP-610: "The Flesh That Hates".
  • The ship in A Shock to the System (Roleplay) is infested with "a greenish biomatter" that looks like both meat and mould.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The radio station sound booth in Desert Bluffs is covered in and made out of bloody flesh.

    Web Videos 
  • Gemini Home Entertainment makes frequent use of some kind of organic growth, shown to take various forms ranging from bizarre to downright horrifying:
    • The 'Woodcrawlers' are one-eyed Giant Spider creatures the size of a small car, made to spread the Iris' influence; despite their size they supposedly can travel freely without making a sound.
    • The Nature's Mockeries are carnivorous 'plants' that are the result of humans succumbing to Deep-Root Disease.
  • Vita Carnis (dog-latin for "living flesh") involves a growth of reddish biomatter referred to as "Crawl", discovered in the 1930s all over the world, and it's determined to be naturally evolved on Earth (but implied to come from elsewhere). The crawl (which resembles lengths of intestines) is actually quite beneficial, drawing up nutrients from deep within the soil and decaying quickly into rich compost when it dies. It's also quite healthy, if gross-tasting. However, sometimes it utilizes those nutrients to fuel the growth of various creatures, such as the dog-like Trimmings, the scavenging Meatsnakes (grow up), and the predatory and exclusively anthropophageous Mimics. The crawl can also grow gigantic tumors with snaring Combat Tentacles, which are referred to as "Harvesters" and semi-sessile giants called "Hosts" (named after their mind-control powers, as in "Host of a party" rather than "Meal Ticket for parasites"). Monoliths are a group of seven titanic, sessile humanoids made out of strands of crawl, guarding the Singularity, which is implied to be in control of all the creatures under the Vita Carnis taxonomy. The hostile variants of VC's (mimics, hosts, and harvesters) are only found in North America, and are implied to be an immune response to the Canadian government exploiting crawl as a foodstuff.

    Western Animation 
  • In the finale of The Owl House, "Watching and Dreaming", Belos fuses his body with the Titan's heart, and subsequently starts growing across the entire Titan. The resulting corruption spreads slowly at first, but then picks up the pace and starts spreading at a speed nobody would be able to outrun on foot. The corruption itself is part of Belos's decayed form, and looks kind of like a green fungus or lichen — if fungi or lichens were sentient and covered in eyes.
  • The bottom floors of Project Cadmus in the pilot of Young Justice (2010) appear to be made (or covered) in some sort of biological product. It's not quite clear why, since the floor in question also had working (and fully metal) elevators and bank-vault-esque doors, as well as a metal floor in the room for Project Kr. It's possible that it was meant to be an incubator for unborn Genomorphs.

    Real Life  
  • Several varieties of mold can give walls this kind of look.
  • Biofilm is basically loads of bacteria that have had a population explosion, and due to the nature of bacteria, are extremely resistant to medicines, as the outer layer absorbs the chemical, dies, gets eaten, and replaced. It usually grows on medical implants and teeth. Fortunately, as of yet, they can't form Combat Tentacles.
    • Exceptionally thick biofilm, called a microbial mat, covered the bottom of most of the ocean for much if not most of Earth's history (starting fairly soon after the beginning of microbial life 3.7 billion years ago). The mat only disappeared in the Cambrian (about 600 million years ago), when animals learned how to burrow into the sand (which broke up the mat by opening up channels for oxygen to permeate the soil, poisoning the anaerobic bacteria).
  • Slime molds can look like this, along with being very slowly mobile.
  • Snottites, icky cave formations that are actually bacterial colonies feeding on the mineral water dripping from the ceiling.
  • The so-called Raleigh Sewer Monster certainly gives off this sort of effect. They're actually large masses of tubifex worms that group together in the absence of natural soil. As for why they're pulsating like that, they're photosensitive, so they're recoiling from the massive amounts of brightness and heat from the camera. Poor bastards.
  • HeLa is a type of cancer that is cultured in laboratories for experimentation. note  It grows at a rate of about a ton per year, all told, and can overrun other petri dishes in the same labs it's kept in if decontamination protocols are lax. One can only imagine what could happen if a researcher was lax enough to contaminate themselves with it...
    • Luckily, HeLa cells were discovered to not cause cancer when injected into prisoners and the poor in the 1950s to 1970s.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Organic Wallpaper


Belos possesses the Titan

After hitching a ride in Raine's body, Belos makes his way to the castle, and despite Raine's best efforts, fuses with the Titan's heart in order to possess the entirety of the Boiling Isles. The entire island quickly becomes overrun by rapidly growing lichen, choking out and consuming all life, and Belos fashions himself a body that more closely resembles a dragon in order to "cleanse this perdition himself".

How well does it match the trope?

4.72 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheCorruption

Media sources: