Lethal alien species in Science Fiction movies are, to put it simply, the aliens that kill humans by default. They can't help it. They kill humans because they are hardwired to do so. They can't do any other way.
An encounter with them results in the ultimate demise of one of the species.
You can't reason with them, negotiate, parley, or exercise any of the finer points of human communication skills, verbal or non-verbal.
You either kill them, or they kill you. There is no middle ground. Not for them, not for us.
And no matter how badly you kill them, they can always kill you worse.
We saw them do it. We know they are going to do it again. We go to the movies because we expect them to do it more grossly than they did it the last time. Some of us might even feel let down and annoyed if they think they didn't get enough of that for their money’s worth.
However, sometimes we want to watch them do it for another reason – it is something that lingers in the back of our mind, in some deep corner of our simian brain. Perhaps we go watch the movies with lethal aliens because we humans like challenge, even as an onscreen experience.
We want killer aliens to do their worst, pull their guns, claws, teeth, tentacles, you name it, at us because we thrive on challenge, and we grow bored if are occasionally not presented with one.
How do they do it? What makes them so lethal?
Lethal alien species beat us at our favorite game - evolution.
Mostly lethal types of aliens kill us by turning tables on our evolutionary advantages.
Sounds funny, but lethal alien species seem to exploit the very same things that make us humans so good at what we do best, what we have been doing for so long – adaptation and survival. In short, opportunism is a byword for most of these guys.
Let's take a look at the way(s) these guys turn our strong points against us.
Next, we are diurnal animals. Sleep at night, active by day. Too bad our eyes lost the ability to see in the dark.
By contrast, our dependence on light made us vulnerable to the attack of Moorwen, an alien species which utilizes some kind of a light organ to attract unsuspecting victims.
Of course, sometimes you just come across a killer alien that combines several of the above characteristics or does not fall under any of the above categories.
Some aliens are just too difficult to define – for simple reason that they are too... alien. Too strange, too elusive, or too hungry.
No matter under which guise lethal alien species appear, no matter their structure and behavior, no matter the devastating effect they have on humans, they all, it must also be mentioned, have one collateral benefit – they draw out the hero from amongst our midst. Someone smart enough, or brave enough, or selfless enough, to jump down the dragon's throat.
What lethal alien species do time and again is compel us to redefine the limits of humanity, they test our resilience and ingenuity. Or, as a character in Starman said: "You humans are at your very best when things are worst."
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