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What is the greatest fictional animal companion of all time?

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Gizmo

Mar 20, 2015
Gizmo

Although some may assert that gremlins are not animals, there’s something decidedly pet-like about the pint-sized and huggable Gizmo. Known for his resonant singing abilities, his piano-playing skill, and his odd purring noises, he became the most desirable fictional pet for any children of the 1980s. Despite being a member of the gremlin species, he was also crucial in defeating the mastermind of the “evil” gremlins, since he was clever enough to engineer a pulley system and operate kitchen devices. Gizmo’s charm is perhaps the most memorable thing about the character, transcending his animatronic design to deliver a believable and lovable performance. And if ticket sales aren’t enough to prove the popularity of this mogwai, then one must only look at the sheer volume of plush toys and dolls made in Gizmo’s likeness.

Origin: Gremlins | First Appearance: June 8, 1984 | Physical Description: A small, fur-covered creature with pronounced ears and mammalian features. | Why They Mattered: Saved Billy (and by extension, the nearby town) from the wrath of rogue gremlins. | Human Companion: Billy Peltzer | Fun Fact: Howie Mandel, most recently known for his hosting role on Deal or No Deal, was the voice of Gizmo.

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Pikachu

Mar 20, 2015
Pikachu

Whether you played the Gameboy titles, traded the cards, or watched the animated series, there’s little doubt that you haven’t encountered this yellow ball of static at least once in your life. Pikachu was one of the most adored and sought-after Pokemon in the entire series, likely due to his famous bond with the trainer Ash. Children of the 1990s will have no trouble remembering the squeaks and pips of Pikachu, and as most can tell you, the character’s appeal only grew as Pikachu expanded into other media forms. Video games featured the yellow brawler as their cover, films turned Pikachu into a hero in their own right, and waves of holographic cards cemented the character’s legacy as an adorable but powerful asset in any player’s deck. To this day, no reboots of the Pokemon television series have been bold enough to cut out this fan favorite.

Origin: Pokemon Red and Blue | First Appearance: February 27, 1996 | Physical Description: A vaguely rodent-like creature with yellow skin, rosy cheeks, and a xigzag tail, often wreathed in electrical power. | Why They Mattered: Accompanied the Pokemon trainer Ash throughout his entire career as a duelist, and often served as the trainer's frontline warrior. | Human Companion: Ash Ketchum | Fun Fact: Pikchu's name combines two onomatopoeic Japanese words: "pika," which describes electrical fizzing, and "chu," resembling a mouse's squeaking.

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Kazooie

Mar 20, 2015
Kazooie

It’s easy to see how Kazooie could have been a forgettable tool for Rare Limited’s game developers. Many platform-based N64 titles relied on pets as little more than transportation methods, and a few featured them as even less-involved plot elements without any dialogue or emotion. Banjo Kazooie was one of the first titles to combine the rider and mount into a single entity, expecting the birdlike Kazooie to work in tandem with the bearlike Banjo in every one of its levels. Kazooie was more than an attack and movement partner, however. She was a source of comedic relief, a counter to Banjo’s innocent personality, and a contortionist capable of squeezing into the world’s smallest backpack. Although Kazooie never spoke – not in a human language, anyway – she was one of the most expressive characters in the N64 lineup.

Origin: Banjo Kazooie | First Appearance: June 29, 1998 | Physical Description: A red and yellow bird with long, thin legs, a head crest, and plumage resembling a mythical phoenix. | Why They Mattered: Assisted Banjo in his rescue efforts and enabled him to overcome impossible barriers, often by increasing his companion's speed and jumping abilities. | Human Companion: Banjo | Fun Fact: Despite being named after the kazoo, a real-world instrument, Kazooie is only shown playing an instrument which resembles a bugle.

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Brian

Mar 20, 2015
Brian

In most media depictions, a dog is a loyalty and steadfast companion, eager to provide love and comfort in any situation. In Seth Macfarlane’s animated hit Family Guy, however, the dog is an atheist cynic with relationship and drinking problems. Brian lent the show a sense of realness and witty commentary, even if the rest of the Griffin family was designed to be a panel of oddities and over-the-top humor. His mishaps with Stewie formed some of the show’s most legendary plot arcs, and also created one of the strangest (but most effective) dog-and-human relationships in modern entertainment. Whether it’s his sarcastic delivery, his love of Frank Sinatra, or his closeness to Seth Macfarlane’s true personality, Brian is one of the most beloved and adoption-worthy characters in animated comedy.

Origin: Family Guy | First Appearance: January 31, 1999 | Physical Description: A white-haired, bipedal dog with a red collar and flopping ears. | Why They Mattered: Provided a voice of reason and logic to an otherwise nonsensical family, typically by offering financial or moral advice. | Human Companion: Stewie Griffin | Fun Fact: Brian was the first Family Guy character to make an appearance in Seth Macfarlane's other animated project, American Dad.

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Blood

Mar 20, 2015
Blood

Harlan Ellison’s vision of a post-apocalyptic world is curious and bleak, but most of all, it’s bizarre beyond measure. Blood, a telepathic Australian sheepdog with a constant need for food, was the perfect match for his woman-craving owner, Vic. In A Boy and his Dog, the pair roamed across a devastated world, trading human faculties for canine senses in a bid to survive the wasteland and mutually profit. Blood was a level-headed, rational creature with a critical eye for his master’s habits, and proved instrumental in finding and seeking out an underground utopia. While Blood and Vic’s bond may have seemed like a superficial relationship to outsiders, the depth of connection was later revealed in one of cinema’s most absurdly comedic scenes of cannibalism. Blood’s role as a scavenger and survivor was lauded by both readers of the original stories and viewers of the film, and the fascination can be explained with Vic’s final words in the novella: “A boy loves his dog.”

Origin: A Boy and His Dog | First Appearance: April, 1969 | Physical Description: A long-haired, white Australian sheepdog with barely-visible eyes | Why They Mattered: Possessed the extraordinary gift of telepathy, enabling him to join his human companion in post-apocalyptic scavenging and philosophical debates | Human Companion: Vic | Fun Fact: The dog actor who played Blood entered the film world on The Brady Bunch, where he played the family's dog (Tiger).

6

Sam

Mar 20, 2015
Sam

Simply mentioning an animal companion in a film is enough to make a grown man cry, provided they’ve seen I am Legend. Many post-apocalyptic films and novels feature a dog as the protagonist’s sidekick, but few were able to create the bond shared by Will Smith’s character and his canine confidant. For the first half of the film, the audience grew attached to Sam by watching their daily routine, including treadmill exercise alongside Dr. Neville and tinned tomato products. Even without speaking, Sam became an integral part of the story, and Neville’s last connection to a lost family and civilization. Years after the film’s release, most people have probably forgotten the details of the plot – but no dog lover will ever Will Smith singing a final song to Sam.

Origin: I Am Legend | First Appearance: December 14, 2007 | Physical Description: A dark-haired German shepherd with cropped ears and a muscular frame. | Why They Mattered: Served as Dr. Neville's only confidant and fellow living creature after the outbreak of a crippling disease. | Human Companion: Robert Neville | Fun Fact: While Sam is a significant part of I Am Legend's film adaptation, the dog found in Richard Matheson's original novel appears, becomes infected, and dies within the span of a few chapters.

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Cheshire Cat

Mar 20, 2015
Cheshire Cat

In most modern tales, anything with piercing eyes, massive fangs, and a penchant for tree-slinking is likely to be a murderous creature. But for Lewis Carroll, the Cheshire Cat was a fond and riddle-loving introduction to the world of Wonderland, greeting Alice and accompanying her through her strange journey as a sort of ever-present guide. The Cheshire Cat’s trademark stripes and haunting grin have been immortalized in various film interpretations, as well as American McGee’s Alice, a series of video games which take Wonderland in a sinister new direction. As one might imagine, the Cheshire Cat and its devilish smile require little tweaking to exist in such a story. Whether viewed as a light-hearted trickster or a nightmare-inducing predator, the Cheshire Cat is one of the most famous animal characters to ever emerge from British literature.

Origin: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland | First Appearance: November 26, 1865 | Physical Description: A long, striped cat with a wide, toothy grin, commonly paired with expressive (and crazed) eyes. | Why They Mattered: Guided Alice through her various tribulations and riddles in Wonderland, often taunting or seeking to aid the girl. | Human Companion: Alice | Fun Fact: Although Lewis Carroll popularized the Cheshire Cat, there are a large number of cultural references and art pieces predating Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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Argos

Mar 20, 2015
Argos

Everlasting dedication is one of the traits most commonly desired in a dog, and Argos was the originator of this ideal in literature. His owner, Odysseus, left for a 20 year adventure around the world, which left the dog to a life of neglect and starvation. After Odysseus’ home was filled with suitors for his mother, Argos was further shut away from everyday life, but refused to abandon hope of his master’s return. When Odysseus finally appeared at the palace incognito, he shared a final and heartbreaking moment of recognition with Argos, which allowed the dog to finally die after decades of faithful waiting. An updated homage to Argos marked a rare moment of seriousness on the animated show Futurama, where a dog waited decades – without success – for the return of its master. While these dogs may be fictional, their determination and commitment live on in society’s image of the “ideal companion.”

Origin: The Odyssey | First Appearance: 7th Century BC | Physical Description: Never recorded, aside from basic canine features. | Why They Mattered: Demonstrated exceptional loyalty to his master, remaining alive and vigilant for decades after Odysseus' disappearance. | Human Companion: Odysseus | Fun Fact: While the dog's exact age was never revealed, the length of Odysseus' disappearance makes Argos well over 20 years old.

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Garfield

Mar 20, 2015
Garfield

One does not need to be a cat lover to enjoy the Garfield section in the Sunday paper. In fact, those who despise cats are an equally valid audience for these comic strips. Garfield is one of the most cynical and blunt animal characters in comedy, and his passionless humor – which often stuck out in sharp contrast to his dog companion, Odie – was ultimately what drove his success. Despite the outward appearance of apathy from the lasagna-addicted cat, there were many layers to Garfield’s personality and disposition, and it often came out through a deep love of food. Garfield has another reason to be the centerfold of every cat fan’s calendar: he was one of the progenitors of “intelligent” cats in animation and media. In fact, according to creator Jim Davis, he was conceived to offer competition to a slew of canine counterparts.

Origin: Garfield | First Appearance: June 19, 1978 | Physical Description: An orange-haired tabby cat with a round figure and oversized paws. | Why They Mattered: Brought a sense of cynical and deadpan humor to comic strips and animated TV. | Human Companion: Jon Arbuckle | Fun Fact: Garfield's sardonic personality was modeled after creator Jim Davis' grandfather, James Garfield.

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Lassie

Mar 20, 2015
Lassie

This collie is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known and idolized dogs in fiction. With a legacy spanning books, radio plays, films, and television programs, Lassie was the quintessential rescue dog, and performed so many heroic duties that she practically became a trope. While a great number of children were saved from the bottoms of wells due to this dog’s heroism, several films explored Lassie’s more “eclectic” side, including battlefield forays and experiences with the legal system. Lassie also represented one of the first superstars to emerge from the world of animal companions, proving that readers and viewers were willing to watch an animal-centered show as long as its characters and plots were compelling enough. Lassie’s fame endures in the world of dog naming, where millions of collie owners reach for the name out of tradition alone.

Origin: The Half-brothers (short story) | First Appearance: 1859 | Physical Description: A rough collie with a white mane and similarly-colored paws. | Why They Mattered: Rescued countless children from the bottoms of wells, the freezing cold, and even Nazi-occupied territory. | Human Companion: Varying, most famously Joe Carraclough | Fun Fact: After the death of Lassie's original actor, Pal, new actors were found among the collie's children and grandchildren.

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Epona

Mar 20, 2015
Epona

Although Epona falls into the video game category of “animal companion as transportation,” the Legend of Zelda was clever in how it presented Link’s treasured horse. In her earliest forms, Epona was a simple and often nameless horse. The N64’s Ocarina of Time, however, was quick to change that dynamic. Rather than having the player purchase Epona as a nameless and forgettable method of swift travel, the game forced the player to compete in a series of trials to simply win the horse, creating an automatic bond through the shared gauntlet. Epona came equipped with a rich and detailed backstory, which could be assembled and understood by Zelda fans which had played multiple titles in the series. Epona was also one of the earliest examples of a persistent animal companion in the 3D world of gaming, making her feel more alive and realistic than creatures like Yoshi.

Origin: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time | First Appearance: November 21, 1998 | Physical Description: A chestnut-colored horse with a set of grayish hooves and a white mane, usually depicted with an affixed saddle. | Why They Mattered: Assumed the role of Link's closest friend, and also acted as his trustworthy steed in battle and peacetime. | Human Companion: Link | Fun Fact: Epona, a goddess within the Gaulish pantheon (and found in Roman circles), represented horses, mules, donkeys, and fertility.


GOAT Staff Score - Animal Companion

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Loyalty (25%)Uniqueness (20%)Interactions with Companion (20%)Charisma (20%)Desirability as Real-World Pet (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Gizmo511971143830
Pikachu 810410941815
Kazooie 67391035680
Brian 36811331620
Blood4866731605
Sam10173829590
Cheshire Cat19108129580
Argos11351525530
Garfield24115224480
Lassie9224623475
Epona7512419395

GOAT Verdict:

Gizmo is the greatest fictional animal companion of all time
You can’t feed him after midnight. You can’t offer him water. You can’t expose him to bright light. There were a host of rules accompanying the possession of a mogwai – in this case, Gizmo – but it’s a simple price to pay for owning one of these creatures. Viewers around the world were heartbroken to discover the fictional nature of the mogwai, and despite improvements with the latest science and technology, we’re no closer to creating one of these fur-covered friends than we were in 1984. Gizmo represented the height of filmmaking magic, and was popular enough to spawn a sequel to the original film, turning Gizmo from a potentially gimmicky character into a whimsical and essential ingredient for the series. Some of Gizmo’s greatest attributes were his resourcefulness, his cute factor, and his model’s physical design, which also allowed him to participate in the film’s more chaotic scenes as more than a puppet cowering behind cover. Regardless of all of the rules and impracticalities of ownership, Gizmo is the greatest animal companion of all time.

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What is the greatest fictional food of all time?

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Soylent Green

Dec 17, 2014
Soylent Green

It’s portable. It’s stylishly-colored. It’s inexpensive. Best of all, it’s extremely nutritious and contains only organic plankton. The obvious problem, of course, was that soylent green wafers were everything except the latter. In the most basic sense, soylent green was a food, and those who ate it were pleasantly surprised by its nutrient-dense and satisfying ingredients. Crowds clamored to get their hands on soylent green, since it was considered the tastiest and most nutritious in a line of soylent products, including soylent red and yellow. Aside from a few minor missteps in its base components, these tiny wafers were the optimal solution to overpopulation, a lack of food, and a rapidly-depleting Earth. Some modern brands have attempted to create replica versions of soylent green, but it’s doubtful that the taste could be the same without one special additive.

Year of Appearance: 1973 | Franchise Origin: Soylent Green | Production Company/Author: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description: A thin, green wafer, supposedly formed from millions of energy-rich plankton | Intended Dining Audience: Citizens of a near-future, overpopulated Earth | Real-world Equivalent: Wheat crackers or seaweed chips

2

Lembas

Dec 17, 2014
Lembas

Author J.R.R. Tolkien was a combat veteran as well as a renowned fantasy author, and while many of his wartime experiences informed The Lord of the Rings in its theme and content, one must wonder if his experience with military rations influenced Lembas. Wrapped in an attractive green leaf and almost never given to non-Elves, Lembas was a staple of the Elven people, famed for its exquisite taste and nigh infinite shelf life. Sharing these squarely-shaped loaves was a sign of great trust between an Elf and their friend, and in a way, Lembas came to represent the mysticism of the Elves as much as a sense of bonding and cultural connection. Even if the flavor was only average, there are very few Lord of the Rings fans who would pass up teatime with an Elf and their lembas offerings.

Year of Appearance: 1954 | Franchise Origin: The Lord of the Rings | Production Company/Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Description: A long-lasting, extremely nourishing baked good meaning "waybread" in Elvish, commonly sealed in a leaf-wrapping | Intended Dining Audience: Immortal elves, travelers | Real-world Equivalent: Hardtack

3

Narnian Turkish Delight

Dec 17, 2014
Narnian Turkish Delight

Upon first glance, many might assume that Narnian Turkish delight is the same as standard Turkish delight. The crucial distinction, however, lies in the flavor and addicting composition of the Narnian variety. C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe presented Turkish delight as a sweet, heavenly dessert that could only exist within Narnia’s magical confines. When children around the world discovered that it was a real treat, they tried it - and were swiftly repulsed. Real Turkish delight tends to be made with flavors such as rose and pistachio, and the Narnian version’s elevated levels of sweetness and White Witch-concocted additives made it a far more appealing and mystical substance. Turkish delight may exist in grocery stores and specialty shops around the world, but the enchanted dessert from Narnia can never be replicated in this world.

Year of Appearance: 1950 | Franchise Origin: The Chronicles of Narnia | Production Company/Author: C.S. Lewis

Description: Enchanted and impossibly delicious cubes of Turkish delight, created with a supernaturally addictive flavor | Intended Dining Audience: Edmund, as part of the White Witch's nefarious plot to uncover information | Real-world Equivalent: Turkish delight

4

Melange

Dec 17, 2014
Melange

As any fan of the Dune franchise can tell you, the spice must flow. Melange, produced by the sandworms on the planet of Arrakis, was so important that it was simply known as “the spice,” surpassing all other contenders for the label. Melange had an appearance and scent resembling cinnamon, but its effects were wildly different. Melange granted its users the ability to see into the future for a short period of time, influencing their judgment and enhancing their mental capabilities beyond any other known substance. Without melange, the space-faring navigators were unable to make trips through deep space, and the God-Emperor Muad’dib was unable to rule over his people with total foresight. Dune sparked an interest in the questions of prophecy and future vision, and although melange was eventually portrayed as a dangerous catalyst of madness, nothing could stop legions of Dune fans from lusting after its power.

Year of Appearance: 1965 | Franchise Origin: Dune | Production Company/Author: Frank Herbert

Description: An incredibly rare and aromatic spice capable of inducing brief bouts of prescience and mental focus | Intended Dining Audience: Wealthy and powerful stakeholders on the planet Arrakis, space-faring navigational pilots | Real-world Equivalent: Cinnamon or turmeric

5

ToMacco

Dec 17, 2014
ToMacco

Some food hybrids make natural sense, such as peanut butter and jelly, or beans and rice. Others are simply created for the sake of entertainment, such The Simpsons’ tomacco plants. A tomacco, as demonstrated in the series, is a blend of a tomato and tobacco, which creates a glossy red exterior and a desiccated interior. Residents of Springfield were repulsed by its taste, but the vegetable’s addictive nicotine content kept them coming back for more. In fact, the plant was even desired by a massive tobacco conglomerate throughout its starring episode. Although the tomacco may have been disgusting in regards to taste, it also represents one of the strangest hybrids ever seen, and it served as the inspiration for a scientifically-minded fan who managed to create a real-life tomacco.

Year of Appearance: 1999 | Franchise Origin: The Simpsons | Production Company/Author: Fox Broadcasting Company

Description: A hybridized blend of tomatoes and tobacco, granting the product a red exterior with a dried brown interior (accompanied by a revolting and habit-forming flavor) | Intended Dining Audience: Nicotine-addicted buyers at Homer's farmstand, later the young demographic for a cigarette company | Real-world Equivalent: Tomato or tobacco

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Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

Dec 17, 2014
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

It may be hard to believe, but a candy with flavors such as earwax and grass is one of the most appealing treats in a fantasy franchise. When these treats say “every flavor,” they truly mean it, since their flavors run the gamut from the enticing to the nauseating. Readers and filmgoers were first shown these curious jelly beans on the Hogwarts Express, when Harry Potter and his friends decided to enjoy a few magical candies before arriving at school. Part of the intrigue behind these candies was how diverse their flavors truly were, since one bite could leave you gagging, and another could make you crave more. They were a perfect introduction to the world of wizardry as a foreign culture, but also provided a sense of familiarity and common interest in the world of sugary treats.

Year of Appearance: 1997 | Franchise Origin: Harry Potter | Production Company/Author: J.K. Rowling

Description: Bean-shaped confectionaries with flavors ranging from peppermint to vomit | Intended Dining Audience: Potential wizards aboard the Hogwarts Express, visitors of Diagon Alley | Real-world Equivalent: Jelly beans

7

Krabby Patty

Dec 17, 2014
Krabby Patty

Nothing makes an underwater hamburger more appealing than branding its naysayers as heretics. The Krabby Patty, as prepared and delivered by the infamous Spongebob Squarepants, was one of the most nostalgia-fueled fictional foods in cartoon history. Generations of viewers were tempted by the cartoon diners’ overwhelming desire for the burger, and even more were drawn in by the Krabby Patty’s trademark secret recipe. Despite numerous recipe-heist attempts, the burger’s delicious secrets were never revealed, leaving viewers to gauge its overall taste through Spongebob’s attention to detail and impeccable cooking performances. In fact, the Krabby Patty’s reputation for excellence was able to make viewers forget that its underwater preparation probably left it beyond soggy. There may not be anything that’s particularly noteworthy about the burger on the surface, but the Spongebob mythos turned this fast food staple into a cultural icon.

Year of Appearance: 1999 | Franchise Origin: Spongebob Squarepants | Production Company/Author: United Plankton Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Description: A hamburger with lettuce, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, cheese, and a secret sauce which has never been revealed | Intended Dining Audience: Patrons of the Krusty Krab, located in Bikini Bottom | Real-world Equivalent: Diner-prepared hamburgers

8

Klatooine Paddy Frog

Dec 17, 2014
Klatooine Paddy Frog

If something is good enough for a Hutt crime lord, it’s good enough for the average sci-fi viewer. In Jabba’s palace, a variety of strange creatures rejoiced in the festivities and musical numbers, but an even stranger selection waited in the liquid-filled bowls around Jabba’s dais. One of these peculiar critters was the Klatooine Paddy Frog, a small and decidedly ugly-looking amphibian treated like roasted cashews. Throughout the palace sequence and in expanded universe material, Jabba ate handful after handful of these creatures, which had such an off-putting taste that they were typically soaked in a flavored liquid before being served to the Hutt. These frogs may not be making the grocery list for Sunday dinner, but they’re one of the most exotic finger foods in the entire galaxy.

Year of Appearance: 1983 | Franchise Origin: Star Wars | Production Company/Author: Lucasfilm

Description: Slimy, tentacle-bearing amphibians consumed by Hutts, typically marinated in flavored brandy before serving | Intended Dining Audience: Hutt crimelords, including the infamous Jabba the Hutt | Real-world Equivalent: Goliath frogs

9

Gagh

Dec 17, 2014
Gagh

Some foods are enjoyed for their fine consistency, while others are appreciated for a subtle and elegant flavor profile. In the world of Star Trek, however, some delicacies were consumed while still alive to savor the creature’s death throes. The Klingons, known as the trademark warrior species and forehead models of the Trek mythos, enjoyed bowls of serpent worms known as gagh. Gagh tasted horrendous, even to most Klingons, and found its value in the actual feeling of the meal, much like the consumption of raw oysters. Outsiders occasionally tried gagh, and some (such as Jean Luc Picard) declared the dish to be a matter of acquired taste. The dish could be roasted or stewed, but most diners preferred to consume the gagh while raw, if only to savor the creature’s last moments in their full glory (and horror).

Year of Appearance: 1989 | Franchise Origin: Star Trek: The Next Generation | Production Company/Author: Paramount Domestic Television

Description: A dish formed from raw or stewed serpent worms, considered enjoyable due to the spastic movements during the worms' deaths | Intended Dining Audience: Klingon warriors, rarely humans or other species able to ignore its taste | Real-world Equivalent: Fried maggots or worms, occasionally prepared in Southeast Asia

10

Scooby Snacks

Dec 17, 2014
Scooby Snacks

Anybody who has spent an appreciable amount of time around children knows that dog treats are a curious fixation. Most of these treats resemble baked goods for humans, and if dogs are so eager to have them, why not humans? These treats, made famous by the dog detective Scooby Doo, elevated this fascination to a new level. Anywhere this cartoon crew went, a box of Scooby Snacks was never far behind. In many cases, a Scooby Snack seemed to endow the eater with a sense of courage and motivation, which helped significantly in the battle against ghosts and ghouls. From time to time, Scooby Doo’s partner Shaggy would also partake in the treats, which raised one question: how do they taste to a human? And perhaps more importantly, how many children have eaten dog treats to answer this question?

Year of Appearance: 1969 | Franchise Origin: Scooby Doo | Production Company/Author: Hanna-Barbera Productions

Description: Small, densely-formed dog treats that comes in an attractive green package | Intended Dining Audience: A mystery-solving and articulate canine, frequently fellow detective Shaggy | Real-world Equivalent: Dog biscuits


GOAT Staff Score - Fictional Food

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Perceived Taste (30%)Foreignness (20%)Aesthetics (20%)Prevalence in Franchise (15%)Franchise Reception (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Soylent Green710710337745
Lembas85841035710
Narnian Turkish Delight10295430655
Melange6459933630
Tomacco5862526535
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans3646827500
Krabby Patty91108230460
Klatooine Paddy Frog4913623455
Gagh1721718330
Scooby Snacks2337116300

GOAT Verdict:

Soylent Green is the Greatest Fictional Food of All Time
The truth cannot be concealed any longer: soylent green is people. Created from the remains of deceased humans, these unassuming green wafers provided the main fuel source for an overpopulated society with far too little concern for their food. Although the wafers looked relatively appealing, the discrepancies in their plankton protein numbers ultimately unraveled the human element behind their manufacturing, and the system collapsed. Until that point, however, soylent green was a viable food source to both the film’s denizens and the viewers in the theater. Audience members, even to this day, likely tried to imagine what soylent green tasted like, and how recognizable its starring ingredient could be. If not for the wafer’s unfortunate additive, it could have solved the problem of world hunger in a lasting manner. Waves of imitation crackers and gag products have emerged as a result of soylent green’s clever design, and the film’s main theme of eating without thinking has carried the wafer’s legacy into the 21st century.

What is the greatest cryptid of all time?

1

Loch Ness Monster

Dec 11, 2014
Loch Ness Monster

In the world of grainy video footage and still photographs, the Loch Ness Monster (also known as Nessie, to its many fans) is the reigning champion. Although the most famous image of the Loch Ness Monster was revealed to be a hoax just before the death of its photographer, the search for the fabled sea creature has only intensified over time. Throughout the 20th century, teams of scientists and researchers combed the loch multiple times, typically with the aid of sonar equipment and submersibles. The creature even attracted Hollywood producers, and due to several filming mishaps, full-size replicas of the Loch Ness Monster sank to the bottom of the loch (and were never recovered). Numerous theories have emerged in the debate over the creature’s origins and possible survival tactics, and if nothing else, these dialogues signal that the legend of Nessie continues to grow beneath the loch’s waters.

Origins: Debatably identified in 565, when an account by Saint Columba reported an attack by a sea-serpent on the River Ness. | Sighted In: Loch Ness, in Scotland | Appearance: An aquatic and serpentine creature with dark and glossy flesh, typically reported to possess limbs or fins of some sort | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 2,040,000

Encounter Details: A 1970 submersible expedition into the Loch's depths, initiated as a joke, picked up sonar signals from a massive fleeing object. | Strange Fact: In 1933, a motorcyclist claimed to have struck the creature on a shoreline road.

2

Bigfoot

Dec 11, 2014
Bigfoot

There have been so many reported sightings of Bigfoot – alternatively known as a Sasquatch – that the creature itself borders on parody. The creature’s image has become so prevalent that it is, in essence, the epitome of the “monster-hunting” phenomenon, which has branched into mainstream television and internet circles. Driven by the grainy appearance of an ape-like creature in the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, thousands of determined Bigfoot seekers have combed the forests and mountainous expanses of Canada and North America. Although the majority of these expeditions result in no proof of the beast, and the “evidence” gathered is typically little more than a set of large footprints, the hunt for Bigfoot and his Sasquatch kin is more alive than ever before. So long as the fascination around this forest-dwelling creature remains, the world’s longest-running hide-and-seek match will continue in the hills of North America.

Origins: Unknown, based in legends from the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest. | Sighted In: Northwestern US, Canada, occasionally Eastern US | Appearance: An apelike creature with a prominent brow and forehead, typically hairy and extremely tall | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 27,100,000

Encounter Details: A 1924 account described a band of apelike creatures (potentially referring to Bigfoot's species) assaulting a mining cabin with rocks and attempted entry. | Strange Fact: In 2012, an attempted hoax ended in tragedy when a ghillie-suited impersonator was struck by a car.

3

Kraken

Dec 11, 2014
Kraken

Since its inception, the Kraken has appeared in the nightmares of sailors around the world. The depth of the ocean can be daunting enough on the high seas, but the prospect of a colossal, tentacle-wielding beast beneath a vessel is horrifying. Centuries after the Kraken’s first appearance in Norse sagas, it was reportedly seen throughout the seas around Scandinavia and the Atlantic, where it was believed to prey on passing crewmen and sink ships with ease. Many contemporary depictions of the Kraken have added especially alien features, including horns or a razor-toothed maw, since its initial shape (which is similar to a giant squid or octopus) has become normalized and less intimidating. If you ever venture across an ocean and try to imagine what waits beneath the waves, however, the Kraken’s original form will be more than enough to haunt your dreams.

Origins: Featured in a 14th-century Norse saga known as Orvar-Oddr, presented under a different name. | Sighted In: Multiple oceans, coasts of Greenland | Appearance: An enormous octopoid creature (or cephalopod) capable of devouring entire ships | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 21,600,000

Encounter Details: A 1781 description of the creature, written by a Swedish author, likened the Kraken to the biblical Leviathan. | Strange Fact: Krake, the Norwegian root of the word Kraken, refers to a sickly or warped animal.

4

Spring-heeled Jack

Dec 11, 2014
Spring-heeled Jack

The stories surrounding Spring-heeled Jack may seem more like urban legends than cryptid reports, but the otherworldly nature of this far-leaping entity suggests something more mysterious and physical than just folklore. Spring-heeled Jack was spotted throughout London, Liverpool, and some surrounding areas, and the number of reports was so staggering that it prompted an official response from community leaders and law enforcement. In some stories, Spring-heeled Jack wore the clothes of a dapper gentleman, but in others, he was dressed in a fisherman’s oilskin coat to disguise his burning red eyes and haunting features. Most of the public (and pop culture) has let Jack slide into obscurity, but the accounts of his reign of terror are still an indelible part of London, and make him one of the most acrobatic cryptids in existence.

Origins: Victorian-era reports of a ghost or demonic entity stalking the streets of Liverpool and London. | Sighted In: London and Liverpool, in England | Appearance: A thin, well-dressed urban wanderer with red eyes and sharpened nails. | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 430,000

Encounter Details: An 1877 crowd in Lincolnshire supposedly surrounded the creature, which was cloaked in a sheep skin, and forced it to leap away in retreat. | Strange Fact: The Lord Mayor of London addressed the creature in an 1838 hearing, and after an overwhelming response from the public, dispatched policemen to hunt down the responsible entity.

5

Chupacabra

Dec 11, 2014
Chupacabra

The only thing scarier than a vampire is a vampire in the shape of a hairless dog (or a scaly, cold-blooded humanoid, if you ascribe to other reports). The Chupacabra, a blood-sucking and nocturnal hunter originally reported in South America, is one of the most bizarre but frequently-encountered cryptids of all time. Although there have been dozens of reports of this creature, with many occurring in the Southern US, most are simply a misidentified and sickly canine. The Chupacabra’s name refers to sucking the blood of goats, but this creature has been attributed to attacks on livestock of all varieties, including sheep and hens. While there has never been any concrete evidence presented in the search for a Chupacabra specimen (alive or dead), many South American farmers still swear by its existence.

Origins: Reportedly the cause of a 1995 attack on eight sheep in Puerto Rico, which left the livestock with multiple puncture wounds and devoid of blood. | Sighted In: Southern US, numerous South American nations, the Caribbean | Appearance: Ranging from a small, reptillian biped to a hairless and vaguely canine creature | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 994,000

Encounter Details: Multiple Chupacabra sightings, which involve a hairless specimen attacking livestock, have been identified as canines with severe mange. | Strange Fact: Skeptic Benjamin Radford asserts that the Chupacabra's reported sightings were based on descriptions of an alien creature from the film Species.

6

Yeti

Dec 11, 2014
Yeti

As the eastern counterpart to Bigfoot, the Yeti has a web of legends, mysteries, and expeditions around him. Some of the earliest mentions of the Yeti come from pre-Buddhist texts throughout Nepal and Tibet, and although the creature is reportedly most active in these countries, there have been scattered sightings throughout China, Russia, and beyond. The Yeti’s white fur and intimidating build are enough to strike fear into the heart of any mountain climber, but one of its most terrifying aspects is its extensive folklore reputation. The Yeti, to the indigenous peoples of the Himalayas, was a deity of hunting and killing in the frigid mountain ranges. While there may not be any photographs of this albino creature in existence, there are some cases where it’s more comforting to know as little as possible (especially when a creature’s fur is the same color as the snow that surrounds you).

Origins: Component of Lepcha religion, serving as a God of the Hunt and stalking the Himalayas. | Sighted In: Russia, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia | Appearance: A towering creature with simian features and pale fur | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 48,500,000

Encounter Details: An accomplished trekker spotted a hulking Yeti-like creature in 1832, but later declared it to be an orangutan. | Strange Fact: A 2011 science conference, hosted in Russia, declared 95% certainty of the creature's existence.

7

Mothman

Dec 11, 2014
Mothman

West Virginia, which may seem like a relatively uneventful state, also has the honor of hosting one of the most unsettling cryptids on record. Mothman, which was originally reported as a humanoid creature with wings and glowing eyes, has evolved into a local legend due to its bizarre appearance and wave of activity in 1966. After a few weeks of frequent sightings and contact with the citizens of Point Pleasant, Mothman seemed to drop away from the public eye, and was only mentioned again because of a bridge collapse the following year. Multiple novels and films have expanded upon the Mothman’s reputation and legacy within the sleepy community of Point Pleasant, but for those who lived through the hysteria of 1966 and can still recall tales of its appearance, there’s no need for embellishment.

Origins: A series of 1966 reports from West Virginia | Sighted In: Point Pleasant, in West Virginia | Appearance: A flying, bipedal creature with humanoid limbs and glowing red eyes | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 596,000

Encounter Details: In 1966, a contractor reportedly shined a flashlight into the creature's eyes, only to find that they were eerily reflective. | Strange Fact: Point Pleasant erected a 12-foot statue of Mothman, crafted from metal, in 2003.

8

Jersey Devil

Dec 11, 2014
Jersey Devil

The general appearance of New Jersey may not seem like a breeding ground for cryptid sightings, but in the forested lower portions of the state – known as the Pine Barrens – there are plenty of eerie hiding places. The Jersey Devil is commonly depicted as a winged creature with the head of a goat or a deer, and has reportedly been sighted throughout the Pine Barrens for hundreds of years. Because of the creature’s impressive speed and flight abilities, it has commonly been the subject of close capture attempts and hunting tales, but there has never been tangible proof of its existence (including a body). While the Jersey Devil may not appear in any photographs or brief clips of film, evidence of its legacy can be found in gift shops throughout the state.

Origins: Known as a dragon-like creature to the indigenous Lenni Lenape tribe. | Sighted In: New Jersey's forested coastal plains | Appearance: A winged, incredibly swift creature with claws and a mammalian head | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 6,890,000

Encounter Details: Numerous witnesses claimed to see the Jersey Devil in 1909, and police were reportedly able to fire at the creature (without success). | Strange Fact: One of Napoleon Bonaparte's brothers reported seeing the Jersey Devil on his property in 1820.

9

Beast of Bray Road

Dec 11, 2014
Beast of Bray Road

A creature with the appearance of a bipedal bear or werewolf may be an obvious cause for sensation, but the surprising aspect of the Beast of Bray Road is that its legacy has persisted for over fifty years without contemporary reports of the creature. In 1936 the most popular and frequently-cited incident occurred with this man-beast hybrid, and the story was later converted into a newspaper piece and nonfiction book publication. In 2002, the infamous Gable Film emerged, and appeared to depict an attack by the Beast of Bray Road. Although the authenticity of the film was finally refuted by the creators, it served as a powerful reminder of this cryptid’s legacy in small-town Wisconsin, and prompted another generation of potential monster-seekers to take up the search.

Origins: A 1936 report out of Wisconsin. | Sighted In: Rural Wisconsin | Appearance: Either as a hulking, bear-like creature, or a bipedal canine (popularly known as a werewolf in local newspapers) | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 106,000

Encounter Details: A 2002 hoax film recreated the appearance of an old home video, and showed the "Beast" attacking a man on a deserted road. | Strange Fact: In the 1990s, a newspaper reporter and skeptic set out to dismantle witness claims, but later became convinced by the story and published books on the topic.

10

Kelpie

Dec 11, 2014
Kelpie

The Loch Ness Monster, in the worldwide sense, is Scotland’s most famous creature. Within Scotland, however, the Kelpie is a cryptid of equal note, and has its roots in centuries of folklore. The Kelpie follows a trend of culture-specific monsters bound by a theme of mischief and water, and may have found its origins in scaring children away from the water’s edge. The Kelpie’s two main forms were an attractive human and a horse-like body, often outfitted with fins for swimming, or a covering of algae. The Kelpie could lure its victims into the water using its alluring humanoid appearance, where it would then drown the victim. The Kelpie is a constant presence in Scottish tales and literature from previous centuries, and with all the attention focused on Nessie, it may finally find some breathing room in the lochs of Scotland.

Origins: Scottish folklore, which spoke of a water-dwelling demon that appeared in both human and equine forms. | Sighted In: Lochs and ponds throughout Scotland | Appearance: Alternating between a human and horse-like form | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 990,000

Encounter Details: Sir Walter Scott's 1810 poem, The Lady of the Lake, describes a river demon rising from the water. | Strange Fact: Kelpies may have been fabricated as a method of scaring children away from dangerous bodies of water.

11

Kappa

Dec 11, 2014
Kappa

Japanese legends are practically overflowing with oddities and curious creatures. The Kappa, which belongs to an overarching family of tricksters and demonic entities within Japanese folklore and traditional storytelling, is a creature marked by its childish but reptilian appearance, as well as a turtle-like carapace. Its scaly body may create the appearance of aquatic mastery, but the Kappa – according to folklore – is powerless without the reservoir of water in its skull cavity. Japanese children (especially in older generations) are always prepared for a duel with the Kappa, which is prone to anything from tripping villagers to drowning younger victims. Of course, the Kappa is too outlandish and attention-seeking to secretly exist in the modern age, but considering the Kappa’s horrendous “pranks,” perhaps that’s a good thing.

Origins: Japanese folklore, which depicts Kappa as capable of either mischief or outright violence | Sighted In: Japan | Appearance: Youthful and humanoid, but with reptilian skin, a carapace, a beak, and a flattened skull containing water. | Number of Google Results for “Name”: 80,900,000

Encounter Details: Lacking distinct sightings, but in popular legends, Kappa are known for dragging curious visitors underwater and drowning them. | Strange Fact: Friendly Kappa will reportedly irrigate farms and bring fish to their human allies.


GOAT Staff Score - Cryptid

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Sighting Prevalence (30%)Historical Significance (20%)Eerieness (20%)Realism / Existence Potential (15%)Contemporary Legacy (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Loch Ness Monster109591144880
Bigfoot1173111042845
Kraken611108742825
Spring-heeled Jack810117137780
Chupacabra9395935720
Yeti58210833620
Mothman7273625525
Jersey Devil4484525495
Beast of Bray Road2176319355
Kelpie3612214290
Kappa1541415285

GOAT Verdict:

The Loch Ness Monster is the Greatest Cryptid of All Time
The Loch Ness Monster’s claim to fame is not necessarily in its veracity, but in the widespread wishful thinking that defines its existence. Thousands of filmmakers, researchers, biologists, and zoologists have descended on Loch Ness over the past centuries, and whether their outlooks are skeptical or accepting of the creature’s presence, the fact remains: Nessie is a cultural phenomenon. Its origins may stretch back to the pre-medieval times, but the expeditions to uncover this sea beast have only grown more involved and more resource-intensive in modern times. Millions of dollars in radar, sonar, and aerial reconnaissance assistance have been poured into the search, and despite the continual failure to unearth any appreciable evidence, the scientific community seems just as interested in settling the mystery as Nessie’s devoted fans. The Loch Ness Monster may be a prehistoric creature that continues to thrive, it may be an elaborate hoax, or it may be a demonic creature lurking beneath the waters of the loch, carefully avoiding all detection. Whatever the true case may be, the Loch Ness Monster is the greatest cryptid of all time.

0

What is the greatest fictional alien species of all time?

1

Xenomorph

Nov 19, 2014
Xenomorph

When you hear the word “alien,” this may be the first creature that comes to mind. Envisioned by H.R. Giger and brought to life in Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, Alien, the Xenomorph is a perfect example of a species created to kill and reproduce. The Xenomorph lingers in the public consciousness because of its inherently foreign nature and design, lacking any sense of empathy, understanding, or even justification. All of its life stages are strange and violent, from the spindly face-hugger and its egg-laying within the host, to the chest-burster which tears through the victim’s ribcage and slithers free. The Xenomorph evolved to kill in all conditions (even space), and is generally only spotted moments before launching an assault on the bearer of a bleeping motion tracker. Worst of all, there is almost nowhere to hide from this species. Air ducts make a handy highway for the creature, and nuclear power cores only serve to insulate its eggs.

Debut: 1979 | Franchise of Origin: Alien

Physical Appearance: Fully mature specimen has a bipedal stance, a segmented torso and tail, a long and curved skull with a protruding tongue, shiny black exoskeleton and no visible eyes. | Abilities: Agile and capable of movement in confined spaces, can survive extreme cold and heat, produces acidic blood, pervasive and able to quickly reproduce. | Crowning Achievement: Destruction of the Nostromo (and its crew) by a single specimen.

2

Mimics

Nov 19, 2014
Mimics

Most people who saw the Mimics in All You Need is Kill, or the more popular film adaptation,Edge of Tomorrow, probably wished that they could borrow the aliens’ powers for a day or two. Operating with a central mind and lieutenants known as Alphas, the Mimics can reset the day entirely if they lose an Alpha, or sense that defeat is imminent. The result is a streamlined and horrifying process of error correction, enabling the species to carry out assaults without a casualty or misstep on the frontlines. The Mimics employed one of the most innovative methods of tactical intelligence ever shown in a manga or film, and their big screen appearance –twitchy, flailing, and burrowing with impossible speed –only made them more unsettling in some of science fiction’s finest action sequences.

Debut: 2014| Franchise of Origin: Edge of Tomorrow

Physical Appearance: Quadrupedal, black creatures with circular, razor-toothed maws and and a defensive covering of tentacles. | Abilities: Chronological manipulation and reversing the day's timeline to enhance battle planning and tactics, lightning-fast maneuvers and attack methods. | Crowning Achievement: Conquest of Mainland Europe using the Omega's time looping.

3

The Borg

Nov 19, 2014
The Borg

A myriad of memorable aliens have come from the Star Trek mythos, including the fan favorites: Klingons and Vulcans. Most of the species that the franchise created were humanoid in appearance, because makeup and special effects tend to be much more costly for more “outlandish” designs. Fortunately, a second-season episode of The Next Generationrewrote the rules of cookie-cutter alien design in unveiling the Borg, a collective based around assimilation and conquest. Characterized by murky green light, pallid skin tones, and hodgepodge machine prostheses all over the bodies of the assimilated, the Borg presented one of the largest threats ever shown to the Federation. Rather than seeking a reasonable end to their means, or even the political submission of the Federation, the Borg pursued a course of complete assimilation throughout the universe. Their collective mind enabled them to wage one of the most destructive wars in Trek history, and came close to eradicating the concepts of identity and personality in the process.

Debut: 1989 | Franchise of Origin: Star Trek

Physical Appearance: Based largely on the appearance of the assimilated host, but marked by pale skin, cybernetic attachments, emotionless faces, and exposed electric or hydraulic prosthetics. | Abilities: Centralized thought structure, can withstand extreme physical damage, capable of wiping personality and memory from assimilated subjects and building impenetrable space stations. | Crowning Achievement: Assimilating Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

4

Yautja

Nov 19, 2014
Yautja

For every type of prey, there must be a hunter. This is the philosophy that forms the backbone of the Yautja warrior, better known by its informalname of Predator. The Predator may be known in contemporary media as the eternal enemy of the Xenomorph, lurking among the shadows and treetops for the perfect opportunity to take home a cylindrical skull. In their original form, however, the Yautja were presented as the perfect hunters of both aliens and humans, and sought prey that they consideredworthy of the hunt. Despite the primal presentation of Yautja, they are a sophisticated and space-traversing species. Their armament is practical and lethal, consisting ofadvanced technology such as shoulder-mounted lasers and wrist-fitted explosive devices, as well as more basic weapons such as spears and sharpened discs. Be careful of their camouflage – you can never really know how many are around you right now.

Debut: 1987 | Franchise of Origin: Predator

Physical Appearance: Muscular, bipedal hunters with ceremonial dreadlocks, fanged mandibles, oversized skulls and pale, spotted skin. | Abilities: Multiple modes of vision and scanning, invisibility and cloaking aids, target-tracking energy weapons, extreme strength and durability. | Crowning Achievement: Aiding humans in the defeat of a Xenomorph Queen.

5

Bugs

Nov 19, 2014
Bugs

Bugs, for some reason, have never lost their “fear factor” in pop culture. Even in Robert Heinlein’s original novel, the Bugs (known alternatively as Arachnids, or Archies) are a force to be respected and feared, even if their name begs for some revision. These yellow-and-black beasts wereable to put their hive-mind to good use and conquer multiple planets, including Pluto, before setting their sights on Earth. In the film version of Starship Troopers, these Bugs had their swarming capabilities on full display, overrunning Mobile Infantry defense posts in mere minutes and pausing only to extend their vast tunnel network. Despite their simplistic appearance, the Bugs often demonstrate military tactics and logic in how they situate their Brain, which control the blitzkrieg operations and help to orchestrate their conquest. Heinlein’s creations may have started out in a serialized novel, but they linger in the minds of arachnophobes everywhere.

Debut: 1959 | Franchise of Origin: Starship Troopers

Physical Appearance: Striped yellow and black flesh, with a vaguely arachnid appearance and prominent head and front limb protrusions. | Abilities: Communicates with central hive-mind, can make use of organic spaceships for interstellar travel, capable of fielding larger and stronger varieties of the basic shock trooper. | Crowning Achievement: Razing of Buenos Aires during the Bug War.

6

Iridans

Nov 19, 2014
Iridans

If there’s anything more intimidating than a two-legged, armored killing machine with a screeching chest flap, it’s an identical creature withthree legs. Multiple species emerged from The Culture series, including the Idirans, a religiously-motivated species bent on conquest and resisting the Culture’s influence. The war between the Idirans and the Culture proved to be catastrophic in nearly every aspect, with hundreds of billions of casualties and an infrastructure that was essentially burned to the ground. The Idiransand their hardline views on religion and society drove them in war, and their reinforced outer plating carried the brunt of the combat. Their hermaphroditic forms enabled them to reproduce rapidly and fill the ranks with willing, murderous troops for the war against the Culture.When outside of fighting, however, the Idiransare biologically immortal. In the proper arena, it seems, the Idirans can even defeat death.

Debut: 1987 | Franchise of Origin: The Culture

Physical Appearance: Tall, tripedal hermaphrodites which have a third limb protruding from the chest, as well as an outer covering of keratin-like material to shield them from physical damage. | Abilities: Functionally immortal, able to receive and survive traumatic injuries, can produce deafening noises from a chest appendage. | Crowning Achievement: Launching a war against The Culture, which would later result in approximately 850 billion casualties.

7

The Heechee

Nov 19, 2014
The Heechee

Much like the Protheans of Mass Effect fame, the Heechee are a species built upon enormous feats of engineering brilliance and dominance, such as advanced spacefaring vessels and machinery capable of converting basic elements into human-friendly meals. The Heechee’s aesthetic presentation may not be as impressive as some of its competitors, but the true achievement of the species lies far from the corporeality. In fact, most members of their species came to shun their physical bodies.The Heechee perfected a method of storing a mind within the digital realm, granting them immortality while their consciousness remainedactive within the system. The Heecheeare masters of space, time, and burrowing deep underground to sleep in their cocoon beds. Before the pale giants of Prometheus, the Heecheewere the lone epitome of “galactic engineers.”

Debut: 1977 | Franchise of Origin: Gateway

Physical Appearance: Short, humanoid creatures with dark and sleek skin, exceptionally wide legs, and ornamental patches of color all over their bodies. | Abilities: Broadcasting of thoughts and ideas over long ranges using specialized equipment, engineering knowledge that aids in the construction and maintenance of faster-than-light ships. | Crowning Achievement: Perfecting the upload of a being's consciousness into digital archives.

8

The Zerg

Nov 19, 2014
The Zerg

One of the most dreaded tactics in gaming history is the “Zerg rush.” More accurately termed a Zergling rush, the strike relies on a small number of cheap, swift bugs to tear through an enemy base at the start of a Starcraft match. True to their lore, of course, the attack capitalizes on speed, surprise, and thousands of tiny teeth to secure victory. The Zergare a collective force of species engineered for brutality and infectious conquest, benefitting from all of the traits in deadly insects and taking none of the drawbacks. In their game of origin, the Zerg represent a highly adaptable faction with mutations rather than upgrades, and a foe with enough mobility to punish anybody who leaves a hairline fracture in their defenses. The Zerg are living proof that more is generally better.

Debut: 1998 | Franchise of Origin: Starcraft

Physical Appearance: Varying widely between species types within the Zerg collective, but largely defined by insect traits such as arthropodic movement, chitin coverings, numerous limbs, and egg sacs. | Abilities: Marshaling of tremendous numbers, recruitment and assimilation of various species into the collective army, terraforming of planets with the use of creep. | Crowning Achievement: Converting Sarah Kerrigan into the Queen of Blades during the Great War.

9

Krogans

Nov 19, 2014
Krogans

An alien species doesn’t necessarily need a hive mind or ten legs to be intimidating. In fact, they can be just as terrifying when they kick down a door with a shotgun and tear things apart with their bare hands. The Krogan, one of the largest and most powerful races in Mass Effect, represent a lifetime of bitterness and training for combat. Despite their infection with the Genophage, which severely limited Krogan birth rates to stem their recruitment abilities, the Kroganremain a proud and deadly race operating within a clan structure. Krogan warriors tend to pack several sets of organs and possess an immunity to fear and nerve damage, enabling them to literally break through enemy lines and turn Collectors into insect pulp. If you played Mass Effect and had the good sense to recruit a Krogan into your party, you were rewarded with some of the gruffest voices and darkest humor in gaming history.

Debut: 2007 | Franchise of Origin: Mass Effect

Physical Appearance: Hulking, powerful creatures with a wide and prominent head, small eyes, and a scaled exterior, lending them an amphibious or reptilian appearance. | Abilities: Enhanced peripheral vision, duplicate internal organs, biological countermeasures for pain and paralysis, accelerated reproduction rate. | Crowning Achievement: Enduring the Genophage, which reduced Krogan birth rates to below 1%.

10

Shai-Hulud

Nov 19, 2014
Shai-Hulud

Worms may not hold much status on Earth, but in Frank Herbert’s Dune, the massive sand worms that patrolled the sands of Arrakisare elevated to the status of divine beasts. The Fremen, living in moisture suits and eventually raising the boy who became Muad’Dib, revereShai-Hulud, which is better known as “giant-slithering-sand-worms” to the average reader (or viewer). These worms naturallyaid in the production of the miracle spice known as mélange, and are able to suddenly leap from the sands to swallow aircraft or spice-harvesting rigs in a single strike. Although rare, some among the Fremenare even able to ride the worms and use them as an efficient – albeit dangerous – form of transportation, symbolizing mastery over the desert and its unrelenting sands.

Debut: 1965 | Franchise of Origin: Dune

Physical Appearance: Incredibly massive worm-like anatomy, outfitted with durable outer skin and thousands of teeth within its maw. | Abilities: Produces the mind-altering substance called melange, can travel quickly beneath the sand, digests silicon and carbon-based entities. | Crowning Achievement: Swallowing a spice harvester whole.

11

Trandoshans

Nov 19, 2014
Trandoshans

For the average moviegoer, the only recollection of a Trandoshan may be the yellow-skinned bounty hunter named Bosskonboard the Imperial Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back. In the expanded universe, however, the Trandoshan has a rich and predatory history. These lizardlike hunters arethe natural enemy of the Wookie, and dedicate their existence to honorable murder and the pursuit – or service – of life debts. Their deity, the Scorekeeper, is an omnipresent force in Trandoshan society, and pushes the hunters to kill in exchange for eternal glory. Some of their other endeavors include slaving and mercenary work, which only increases their reputation as bloodthirsty and tireless creatures. If you ever need to hire a bounty hunter, the natural choice would be the species with a religious (and ultimately zealous)attachment to the lifestyle.

Debut: 1977 | Franchise of Origin: Star Wars

Physical Appearance: Bipedal reptilian creatures with snubbed noses, sharp teeth, beady eyes, and cranial ridges. | Abilities: Skillful tracking of targets, regrowth of amputated limbs, enhanced vision with infrared capabilities. | Crowning Achievement: Enslaving Kashyyyk during the reign of the Galactic Empire.


GOAT Staff Score - Fictional Alien Species

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Uniqueness (30%)Deadliness (20%)Strange Factor (20%)Technological Prowess (15%)Icon Status (15%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Xenomorphs10111121145935
Mimics111094135785
The Borg76109739770
Yautja 6788938735
Bugs49731033635
Idirans84610230620
The Heechee92411329600
The Zerg3856830560
Krogans2527420365
Shai-Hulud5131616335
Trandoshans1315515260

GOAT Verdict:

The Xenomorph is the Greatest Fictional Alien Species of All Time
The title of its origin movie alone should provide proof that the Xenomorph is the quintessential alien species. Everything about its design supports the notion of something strange, panic-inducing, and invasive. The creature moves in gravity-defying leaps along walls and metallic vents, and its eyeless, skinless, tongue-striking anatomy further amplifies the notion that the Xenomorph has nothing in common with the fleshyhumans it hunts. It dwells among the spaces that humans cannot and will not enter, and strikes without warning.In addition, the creature’s drive to reproduce and expand its numbers is mindless, driven by the most basic and pitiless sense of survival instinct. There is no reasoning with the creature, and no way to bargain for your life. The Xenomorphturns your body into an incubation chamber, and turns murder into reproduction. The sheer body horror of having an egg forced down your throat – and subsequently waiting to have your chest wrenched open –gives the Xenomorph a well-earned air of fear, exoticism, and disregard for emotion. In every sense, both literally and figuratively, the Xenomorph is an alien – and the greatest one, at that.

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