Body Snatchers

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Nomad Parasites, also known as "Pod People" and "Body Snatchers"; they originally appeared in the 1955 novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney.


Description

The Body Snatchers: They were alien, they were seed pods, they wanted human bodies, and they took them....

"...Parnell showed me some large hulls, or pods of some sort, apparently vegetable in origin.... The things he showed me looked like very large seed pods, as they'd have looked to anyone, I'm sure. The old man, Parnell, told me they'd come drifting down from the sky, which I didn't doubt - where else would they come from? - though Parnell seemed amazed. They didn't seem at all remarkable to me, except possibly for their size. Some sort of seed pod was all I could say, though I admitted that the substance they were filled with did not resemble what we ordinarily think of as seeds...."
— Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

For half a minute longer, I stood staring at the thing on the table. "Well, for one thing, you don't often see a body like this, dead or alive. In a way, it reminds me of a few tubercular patients I've seen: those who've been in sanitariums nearly all their lives... you can't live an ordinary life without picking up a few scars, a few nicks here and there. But these sanitarium patients never had a chance to get any: their bodies were unused. And that's how this one looks... it looks UNUSED... it looks VAGUE... formless, characterless."
— Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The Body Snatchers are a race of nomadic, extraterrestrial parasites originating from a long-dead home world, and a series of other worlds they have since invaded and depleted. Realizing that it was only a matter of time before each planet's resources would be completely depleted, the nomads evolved the ability leave a planet's atmosphere and drift through space in the search of a new world to colonize. For millennia, the pods floated in space like spores, propelled by the solar winds, some occasionally landing on inhabited planets. Once there, they would replace the dominant species by spawning emotionless replicas; the original bodies would then disintegrate into dust once the duplication process was completed. The Pods' sole purpose in life was that of individual survival, with no attention given to the civilizations they conquered or the resources they squandered. The duplicates had lifespans of only five years, and could not sexually reproduce; consequently, if unstopped, they will quickly turn Earth into a dead planet and move on to the next world - such a consumption was apparently the fate of the civilizations that once-inhabited Mars and the Moon.


Heresies and Controversies

  • Even if the Nomads had never made it to Earth, their scientists speculate that the human race shares the same destiny, as humans are on a similar evolutionary path, different from the Nomads only in details, and destined to overrun and exhaust the Earth, before evolving into a space-born race of nomadic human locusts or kudzu, driven by the cold instinct of survival to consume and lay waste to one world after another forever until either all competition has been assimilated and everything else is gone, or a better survivor out-competes humanity; some of the Nomads indeed believe that humans are already showing signs of evolving into such super-invasive species. (implied from claims made by a Nomad lecturer from the novel)
    • Perhaps the variety of trans-human forms found in the "Cthulhu Mythos" - Deep Ones, Little People, Serpent People, Ghouls, etc. - are a reflection of such a human evolution into the ultimate invasive species. (fan speculation)


Associated Mythos Elements and Keeper Notes

Nomad Parasite "Body Snatchers" contain no direct or implicit references to the "Cthulhu Mythos", but Keepers might associate this race with the following mythos elements:

References