Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

In the sci-fi movie “Arrival,” Amy Adams plays the role of a cool linguist who can communicate with multi-legged aliens called heptapods. But can aliens really look like this?

At first glance, the aliens from “Arrival” look more convincing or “harder” than other types of science fiction films. Why? Well, these creatures have tentacles and a complex language of communication. In addition, their language is real, because it was invented specifically for the film.

Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

In the earlier films, aliens seem rather funny and outdated. Agree that it is difficult to believe in the reality of the existence of creatures from “Beyond the Limits of the Possible,” that look more like rubber dolls. But the blame for the “obsolescence” of the image is not the modern science, because there is no real biological area that studies the potential type of aliens.

In addition, from the point of view of real science, contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life is unlikely and even considered practically impossible. The Fermi Paradox explicitly states that we do not see hints of the presence of aliens in the Milky Way, because they simply do not exist.

Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

An alien with several tentacles in the movie “Prometheus”

It turns out that since rational aliens never existed, there was no real scientific research that could provide possible images of creatures. What is the basis of the assumption that the extraterrestrial guests have tentacles? Everything is based on logical thought: the life we ​​know would develop in the ocean. Creatures in the ocean have tentacles. Therefore, a more realistic image of aliens endowed with cosmic tentacles. In Ted Chan's story “The Story of Your Life” (the basis for the “Arrival” scenario), the main character reflects on the problem of communication with aliens. She is not surprised that heptapods have tentacles, because thanks to cinema and books, this feature seems to us to be something familiar.

In the short film of 1977 “If lions could talk,” writer Paul Park notes that when trying to describe an alien, mankind has to be taken as a basis and passed through the lens of fantasy. He's writing:

The words that we put in someone else’s mouth, the feeling in someone’s heart, the tools in the hands of others, what can they be, except as an imitation of our words? ”.

The heptapods end up in the narrative, because they can see something human and attractive, which makes you forget about the terrible appearance. The viewer is no longer interested in looking at ink and inscriptions. We are fascinated by the presence of heptapodes of the heart and emotions.

Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

Cover “Coelestis”

Park believes that the stories about aliens show not only exotic creatures:

When a writer presents an alien species, he extrapolates what people would be like if they could share the alien morphology”.

The park managed to create an interesting story with an amazing idea: to introduce the newcomer who was forced to become human. The story of “Coelestis” tells of aliens who have been forced to change their appearance and become human for many years. The story tells about the girl Catherine, who was not originally a man. And it turns out that the plot is built on how the alien develops “alien” qualities in himself. It is important to understand that we have no idea how aliens think or look, so any story is based on fantasy and repelled by human nature. In the novel by Stanislav Lem "Solaris" the question of overcoming impossible communication gaps ends with a sad failure.

Communicating with heptapods in “Arrival” evokes pleasant feelings, because people are convinced that the aliens are real, and they are at the same level of communication. The central place in the plot is given to the nuances of the language, which enhances the sense of reality.

Why extraterrestrial beings in science fiction portray with tentacles

When the main character writes the word “person” on the board in “Arrival”, she holds a mirror for the heptapod. And although the reflected creature has tentacles, there are many human characteristics in these newcomers.

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