Why are most aliens humanoid?

This week will see a series of short posts that ask a question and give a short, simplified answer. Like the blog series baseball joe at fox sports, too short for a full post yet too long for the twitter…

Why are most aliens humanoid?

In a lot of mediums, aliens are mostly humanoid. (see: Star Trek, Star Wars, Alien, Predator, The Marvel Universe, etc. etc.)

Why is this?

I simply think it’s because we can’t imagine anything else. And don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stories with wildly different aliens, including some of the ones I mentioned above.

But it’s also this:

It’s hard to imagine anything else and make it work in a story. Even the some of the weirdest aliens are still more or less humanoid.

So what can we do to fix it?

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2 thoughts on “Why are most aliens humanoid?

  1. The best example I can think of for non-humanoid aliens is Mass Effect. There are giant, lumbering, four-legged elephant-like things, as well as floating jellyfish brains. As long as you give them some way of communicating, you can begin to empathize with them. Or not. If you think empathy is for suckers, don’t do that.

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