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Author Topic: Do they have an odor?  (Read 10203 times)
The Companyman
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Do they have an odor?
« on: May 15, 2008, 06:14:23 PM »

Self Moved

As in most reptiles, animals, mammals, various birds, insects and fish.

Every-thing has it's own unique smells and odors. Musk, natural secretions, and body odors.

Through thermoregulation, and thermoconformation: does the Alien produce an/a specific odor?

In appearance ( various ) it seems to have a shine, or a flat colored pallet. When it seems to be shiney, is it slimey? Sweaty?

Is the hive a form of convection or conduction? That could add to varied body temperature to bring of odorific overtones?

Discuss.
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Hieronymus
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 07:05:05 PM »

Interesting thread.  I don't think smell has ever come up in the films.  It might be worth noting that the marines never mentioned anything about a smell when approaching or entering the hive on LV-426; on the other hand, they might have been too concerned about the presence of huge gobs of secreted resin all over the place.

Of course, they never mentioned the smell of death, either, and there were plenty of bodies in there, some several weeks old.

Also, if the aliens had a characteristic reek, Ripley probably would have noticed a distinctive odor on the Narcissus.

It's still possible that the aliens have a smell, of course, but my guess is that it's weak enough that the smell of one specimen could be missed if you're not familiar with it.

So, what would it smell like?  My guess is that it would be a very sharp, sour smell, thanks to their acidic biochemistry.  Of course, it could go the other way, with them secreting some kind of basic substance as a by-product of whatever process keeps their blood acidic, in which case they would have a peculiar, "soapy" odor.

I'm going to say that they have a faint odor of vinegar and rotten eggs, just because it seems like a unique but plausible combination.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 07:09:03 PM »

This is why I've always had a problem with lovecraftian beasts presented on screen (not that I'm intending to draw parallels, but now I mention it, who better to design Lovecraft's beasts than Giger)

In anything Lovecraft related I've read, the beasts have always had a foul oder associated with them. I suppose I've always assumed Giger's alien would do likewise. I have no support for this viewpoint - it just looks like it would carry a stench. Hopefully Thedus, Deezel or someone else so inclined may be able to offer more argument and less conjecture. Thinks

edit: or maybe Hieronymus could answer while I'm typing my response Wink
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 07:09:21 PM »

Alien 3 novelization says no. So I'm going by that.
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The Companyman
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 07:18:14 PM »

Interesting thread.  I don't think smell has ever come up in the films. 


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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 07:40:19 PM »

Quote
In anything Lovecraft related I've read, the beasts have always had a foul oder associated with them.

I managed to work Deep Ones into a Call of Cthulhu script I wrote a few years ago.  The stench of them played a role in the film, but aside from the characters actually wrinkling their nose at the smell, it can be difficult to portray on screen.

As for Aliens - I tend to think not.  If they had a strong whiff, it'd give their position away - and we would've seen someone in the films react to it by now.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 08:24:09 PM »

I find it interesting that the aliens seem to have no apparent odor.  Initially, I would agree with Hieronymus and think they have a sour odor to compliment their low Ph physiology, but the aliens seem to clash with convention n that they are extremely active and have no visible heat signature.  ...if their bodies are able to shield thermal radiation then it's possible, I suppose, that they could also shield against other outwardly recognizable tell tails.  Odor is trackable - the perfect organism would limit want to limit it's "visible"/trackable presence as much as possible.

On the flip side: the aliens on LV-426 would most likely reek! They were living in a hive of very moist stagnant air with hundreds of dead and rotting bodies for about a month!  To be honest it's amazing none of the Marines puked from the thick permeating stench of death in the nursery.  And just from spending so much time in that environment I would think the smell would cling to them.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 08:36:12 PM »

Unless the hive material has a way of neutralizing odor.  The bodies are all covered in a slimy film.  Maybe it's an adaptation to help conceal the location of the hive. 

Though Jones was grumpy in Alien before he got put in the cyrotube, possibly because he could smell the alien.  Then again, he didn't notice the alien until he actually saw it just before it killed Brett. 

I don't know, I like th idea that they are odorless.  Adds to that creepy "not of nature" quality about them.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 09:04:09 PM »

Quote
They were living in a hive of very moist stagnant air with hundreds of dead and rotting bodies for about a month!

Except none of the bodies we see are particularly rotten.  Even with the heat.

Preservative in the hive resin?
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 11:00:19 PM »

I think the only time I've ever seen a reference to the aliens smelling was in the comics. If I recall correctly they smelt bad. Can't remember anymore specifics, though. So, I guess I really don't have anything to add... Shifty lookin' bugger...
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 11:11:29 PM »

Scott commented that he thought the thing should smell really frickin' awful. Like sewage and decay thrown in a blender and shit out, then eaten by a dog and vomited everywhere awful.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 11:22:27 PM »

I prefer that idea.
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 12:07:36 AM »

Maybe it only stinks up close. Which would totally explain Lambert not moving and Sanaa Lathan's expression when she spears one.

Just throwin' it out there Whistle
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 12:10:24 AM »

Something that smelled that bad would provoke some sort of nasal reaction though.

Although, maybe Jones growling was simply translated as... 'U NEEDZ BATH SRSLY KTHNX'
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Re: Do they have an odor?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 05:46:13 AM »

Maybe it only stinks up close. Which would totally explain Lambert not moving and Sanaa Lathan's expression when she spears one.

Just throwin' it out there Whistle

Would the predators reek less? She clearly has no problem with Scar's musk.
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