Alien Movie Universe

How David Created the Xenomorph. (Containing Advent information)
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Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-13-2017 6:05 PM

I’m a massive fan of the Alien films, (even the ones everyone hates). I have seen Alien: Covenant a few times now and read the official novelization. I fully recommend any fan of Alien: Covenant to read the novel as it expands on some of the limited information in the movie.

Something was bugging me (pun intended) about the scene in David’s lab when he is explaining to Oram what he was doing with his experiments. We see a scene where David looks down the microscope at some amber, containing what looks like tiny wasp-like insects, sticking long feeding tubes into some small grub like creature. Having debated this point with a few posters on this forum, namely Kethol, whom I credit with showing me the error in my previous edits of this topic, I have noticed that these wasp-like creatures are the *same thing* as those tiny clouds of black things we see coming from those fungal egg sacs. They are called “motes” in the novel, but the movie does not really make it clear that what we are seeing are tiny tiny insects, which infect both Ledward and Hallet. David calls them “the shock troops of the genetic assault”. I was initially sceptical that the insects in the amber are the same as the motes, but having read the novel and seen new evidence from the Advent material, I can conclude they are indeed the same. Here is a screen grab (thanks to Kethol for this) of David drawing one of the motes, breaking away from the swarm. It obviously looks like one of those waspy insects from a head on perspective, pumping eggs into the skin of some creature through its mouth, just as a facehugger would act. -


I was also sceptical that actual insects (even alien insects) could be so extremely tiny as to fly, as a group into a human ear hole, such as Ledward’s. Well I was wrong there as well. According to Wikipedia, the smallest insects in the world are indeed a type of tiny wasp called “Fairyflies”, which can be as small as 0.139 mm, with the smallest flying insect being 0.15 mm long. Insanely tiny. So obviously the motes in Alien: Covenant would work as tiny flying insects.

When we see these tiny insects enter Ledwards ear, they seem to simply burrow into his skin, rather than using mouth tubes to infect him with a Neomorph. Obviously this is how they attack a larger victim. A smaller victim, such as another insect, would require the tube method of infection. This we see frozen in time in David’s amber. -

I think these insect parasites came about when the black goo, infected some local fungus type creature. This alien fungus, before it was infected and mutated, possibly bred by growing fruiting bodies (the most visible part of the fungus), then expelling spores into the environment, just as Earth fungi do. But the black goo mutated it and caused the spores to become these tiny parasitic wasp insects. This is similar to how Holloway’s sperm became a trilobite and Shaw’s eggs became the xenomorph eggs (more on this below).

David claims that he has tested the tiny insect like “motes” (as the novel calls them), on different creatures, which has led to his “beautiful bestiary” of differing kinds of neomorphs which popped out of them. These are David’s early experiments and most are not linked to his eventual xenomorph eggs. -

The novel states that David has a dead xenomorph egg and facehugger in his lab already. He tells Oram that he had to kill it as it became aggressive. He also says it had “nothing to do with” him and it was created previously by the Engineers. Thus the novel has David trying to recreate the Xenomorph which the Engineers had already made. Ridley Scott has changed this however and has stated it was David who originated the xenomorphs.

David was not using ‘Genetic engineering’ to make the Xenomorph. His lab seems no where near equipped for the task of complex gene splicing etc. David’s lab seems to be of only 19th century level complexity. David also claims in the novel that he lacks genetic engineering knowledge which the Engineers had in their creation abilities.

From the evidence presented in the novel, the movie and the new Advent extended material, we now know that to create (or recreate) the Xenomorph, David infected the possibly sleeping Shaw, with the black goo. Thus causing the mutations we see on her corpse. David calls Shaw his most “beautiful subject”. By subject, he means experimental subject in this context. It seems only logical, knowing the effects of the black goo in Prometheus, that the goo mutates its victim and affects their reproductive system. In Prometheus, the black goo caused Holloway’s sperm to mutate into a squid-like trilobite, which later grew inside Shaw. By extension it must be assumed that if the black goo infects a female (Shaw), then it would effect her egg cells, mutating them into the xenomorph eggs containing the facehuggers which we see. I think David probably overdosed Shaw with the black goo and that is what killed her.

David tells Oram that he was doing “cross-breeding” or “hybridizing” for his “genetic experimentation”. I have been thinking about the artwork relating to Shaw, from David’s workshop and what it all means etc. Obviously it is very difficult to decipher, but overall, the artwork seems to indicate that David was trying to mix the DNA of the mutated Shaw, with that of a neomorph, which had emerged from some other creature, which was infected by the motes.

From the new “Advent” extended material, we see basically a rough overview of what David was doing in his lab in order to form the xenomorph eggs. We see him taking various small samples from parts of dead neomorphs on his table. And mixing them together in a dish with what could also be Shaw’s mutated eggs. David mixes in some of the black goo, which possibly acted as a catalyst to bond the Shaw and neomorph DNA together, due to mutations of both genomes happening in close proximity. This mix then grew into a hybrid xenomorph egg and he repeated the process. He says in Advent that he was “tweaking” the creature for aggression etc. He probably did this by mixing tissue samples from different kinds of neomorph with Shaw’s mutated eggs, in order to get the resulting aggressive facehuggers he desired. This explains what David meant by “crossbreeding, hybridization” and that he wanted Oram to see his “successes”. It also explains one of David’s drawings, which shows what looks like a neomorph inside a cell..pressed up against another cell with a mutated Shaw inside. -

I think this drawing is a symbolic or simplified image of what David was trying to achieve. Mixing the mutated Shaw DNA with the neomorph DNA, using the black goo as a catalyst. I think even without this DNA mixing, Shaw’s infected eggs would have grown into xenomorph eggs on their own, but this addition of neomorph DNA to her egg cells, was just an act of tweaking by David. -




This drawing shows Shaw with her midsection opened up. Obviously David was interested in her ovaries. -


Another point to note is this scene in David’s lab, which seems to show small versions of the xenomorph eggs. I’m not sure what these are but they are either the result of David mixing different sorts of neomorph DNA with Shaw’s eggs to create smaller xenomorph eggs…or they are just standard xenomorph eggs that David has killed at an early stage of development, for whatever reason. -


Towards the end of the Advent material, we see the revelation that David wants to use Daniels to create his xenomorph Queen. I don’t know what this might involve, but I’m guessing one of those facehugger embryos he has stored in the freezer, is a Queen facehugger, and when he thaws it out, he will cause it to grow somehow, and then stick it on Daniels’ sleeping face, thus implanting her with the first Alien Queen. This is a bit like Ripley, who got Queen facehugged in her Cryotube, at the start of Alien 3.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope this contributes to clearing up some misunderstanding of this Xenomorph origin story. Special thanks again to Kethol for contributing to my understanding of this canon. We still disagree on a few small points however.

17 Replies


MemberDeaconAug-14-2017 3:53 PM

Indeed its interesting for sure, i think there are so many clues and stuff over the last two movies that kind of contradict each other a little?  It gets you thinking do they have a ACTUAL idea of how all this works?

The Spores i assumed are the result of the Black Goo infecting some type of Fungi, we see the Crashed Juggernaught had crashed up the side of the mountain and scrapped inside some, dirt and other debris from the Mountain...  The Mountain has a Stream running down it and the Juggernaught has crashed over this, and so parts of the water from the stream is flowing over the Juggernaught and leaking inside, while some is flowing under the Juggernaught.

This stream works its way all the way down to the stream Bed.

Ledwood was infected by stepping on a Spore that was by the side of the Stream, where naturally by the side of streams we get various kinds of Growth, which include Moss/Algae and indeed Spores/Fungi which happens on Earth too.

So i assumed some Black Goo infected the Water which then infected any Spore/Fungi/Mold growing near by the Water to then Evolve into the Spores.

Hallets infection was again via Spores growing from near Moss/Mold by the side of running water.

And so i assumed as Mold/Fungi are not Technically Plants, they are infected and become the Spores in Alien Covenant.

We see Davids lab also has a number of Urns and so he has also been using the Black Goo to Experiment on things too.

I saw the Spores as releasing Tiny infected Particles that infect the Host by Combing together to form a Mass of Particles/Cells and then take DNA Traits from the Host to Evolve this matter into the Neomorphs..

I say this because if its a individual Mote/Particle, then how come the infected Hosts did not Grow more than One Organism?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberDeaconAug-14-2017 4:04 PM

But i have not seen any of the Books etc...

And so the Nano-Wasps is interesting, some concept work do seem to indicate the Spores Release Nano-Insects and so what i had logically thought about from seeing the Movie and how the Goo worked in Prometheus could be Wrong..

If we go to the Nano-Wasps...  Maybe this could fit, as i think we need to look back to the Origins of the Goo.

This comes from Jon Spaights Alien Engineers, where the Sacrificial Cup has Millions of Nano-Scarabs who swarm over the Host and they consume the Host, eating away in their Millilons at the Host until there is nothing left.. The Hosts entire Molecular Structure consumed by these Nano-Scarabs.

These Scarabs then have Stored in them, the Sacrificial Hosts DNA/Genome... and it is show a Scarab with Engineer consumed DNA bites a Early Female Primate and injects the Cargo of Engineer DNA.... the Primate mutates and Evolves into a Hybrid part Engineer and Part Primate and thus leads to Mankind.

Latter Fifield knocks over a Urn with Scarabs and some of them Bite Him and Inject him with DNA that Evolves him into something with Xeno DNA... Thus its logical those Scarabs within that Urn had consumed some Organism related to the Xenomorph.

Prometheus gave us the Goo but the concept and idea appeared to be the same as Jon Spaights Nano-Scarabs.

When David examined the Ampoule and took out some of the Black Stuff, it formed into like a Goo on his finger and we could see movement inside, like there was Nano-Parasites in it.

We see latter Holloways Eyeworm and other concept/prop work he eventually started to have these growing from out of his Skin....

This leads us to the possibility that Holloways Sperm was infected with these Parasites... or that indeed these Parasites are actually Nano-worms and Holloway passed these to Shaw Womb like transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Disease

And so indeed having some Nano-Organisms as the Carrier of the Parasitic Mutagen could be what we are seeing.  I had a Source from 2.5+ years ago who gave a in-depth explanation to the Xenomorph Parasite Origins and indeed now we see all this concept work it does add up with what they claimed.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberChestbursterAug-14-2017 4:20 PM

@BigDave - "And so the Nano-Wasps"
"Jon Spaights Nano-Scarabs"
"like there was Nano-Parasites in it"
"these Parasites are actually Nano-worms"

I think you have nano fever BigDave. Not sure where you are getting all those nano prefixes from, but those all could be seen with the naked eye. They are not nano sized organisms.


MemberDeaconAug-14-2017 4:40 PM

I was meaning as far as the Spaights idea, and the Black Goo.

Even the Spore Motes seemed well Microscopic and so maybe Nano is Technically the wrong Term ;)

I have only studied Alien Covenant from seeing it 3 times at the Box Office and so indeed from what i saw the Wasps are indeed small but no were near tiny as far as like Sperm Cells etc

So my Bad for using Nano-Wasps ;)

Back to the OT.... i think they did not have to make things so complicated in Alien Covenant.  Prometheus was Dead Simple Really if people had some kind of attention Span.

And so any budding Scientist wishing to experiment with the Black Goo and noting what was known from Prometheus..  And so if you was DAVID then surely the Starting Point would be to look at the Fifield/Hamerpede Infection and then Ponder what became of Dr Shaws Trillobite.

The closest we saw to a Xenomorph was the Deacon, birthed from the Trilobite which was a Human/Xeno-strain Hybrid Face Hugger of Sorts.

So David would have some idea this Trilobite was the result of either

a) Black Goo (Parasite) infecting Holloways Sperm that infected Dr Shaws Egg Cell.

b) Black Goo (Parasite) infecting Dr Shaws Egg Cell after being transmitted to her via Holloway.

To Re-create Option A David would need some Humanoid Sperm, but to Re-create Option B David would just need to get some Black Goo (well the Glass Vial component) into Shaws Womb.

Which i think Ultimately is what David had done at some point, he had tested the stuff with her Eggs.. But then he would also cross hybrid this with other creations until he had Perfected his Experiments.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberChestbursterAug-14-2017 8:20 PM

"I was meaning as far as the Spaights idea, and the Black Goo"

Spaiths did not say they were nano sized in his script either, or in his Blu Ray commentary. In the movie you can visibly see the individual motes flying in swarms. Tiny, but visible to the naked eye. The swarms move in waves, like schools of fish or flocks of birds.

"To Re-create Option A David would need some Humanoid Sperm, but to Re-create Option B David would just need to get some Black Goo (well the Glass Vial component) into Shaws Womb."

Why would David need to re-create either?

"Indeed its interesting for sure, i think there are so many clues and stuff over the last two movies that kind of contradict each other a little?  It gets you thinking do they have a ACTUAL idea of how all this works?"

It is clear to me they mapped out exactly how all the various forms of the pathogen worked back when they made Prometheus. Lindelof said there were drafts with things specifically spelled out but Ridley wanted to pull back and not reveal everything directly. He wanted people to be doing exactly what we are doing now.

Same with Covenant. One of the writers, Harper I think, said as much the same about that script. He said if you shroud something in mystery, you still have to know exactly what is going on. He said he could write a small book on it, because they had to figure everything out in order to know how much to reveal, and how much not to.





Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-14-2017 9:33 PM

Hi, thanks for reading my article (again), it's been through 3 edits now lol. I might edit it further if new evidence appears, but I think I'm burnt out for evidence now. @ Kethol, I've accepted your idea that the spores from the pods are the tiny wasps in the amber, but I would need much more evidence to believe your other ideas.

I don't think there are various types of goo, just one, that mutates to get round the body's defences, of different hosts. David explains this in the novel (quote below).

I also don't think the sacrifical Engineer is giving off tiny insects. That is just particles of black goo, becoming airborne. The novel is quite clear that after the black goo infects something, it leaves the victim, (like the flu virus) becomes airborne and drifts off to infect another victim. Let us not mix up the seperate ideas of the airborne black goo...and the airborne spores from the pods. It's different things.

Here is a major David quote from the novel, talking to Oram in his lab. It fully explains how the black goo works. Note, no mention of tiny insects here, just airborne particles. Also note, he says "original liquid", not liquids, and "the pathogen", not pathogens. -

"How could your body's own immune system possibly defend itself? A genetically engineered counter-virus, for example, or a human body's own white blood cells, would immediately be met by the pathogen adapting itself, to counter the counter, and so on. As a weapon or a method of biological cleansing, it is simply impossible to defend against. The original liquid atomizes to particles when exposed to the air. It then reproduces in whatever host it happens upon, and eventually gives rise to more liquid, which at the approprite time atomizes, and so on and so on, the cycle repeating itself almost endlessly."

So yes I accepted your spore/wasps idea due to hard evidence you showed me (David's drawing from Advent), you require more evidence to prove your 2 other points. Thanks for your help anyway.


MemberChestbursterAug-14-2017 10:49 PM

The spore/wasps idea was not mine. That is in the movie, book, and Advent. And sorry, I have not read this article. I assumed you were just repeating what you wrote in the last one.

"I also don't think the sacrifical Engineer is giving off tiny insects. That is just particles of black goo, becoming airborne."

No idea if they are 'insects', but they are tiny flying organisms like the motes. They move independently and in swarms. They literally stream out of various orifices from that Engineer and form into swarms. Anyone with an HDTV and Covenant Blu Ray can see this easily, but it is obvious from the stills I posted as well.

Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-14-2017 11:01 PM

I've edited a lot of my original theory to include new evidence as it appeared. Yes I know the insect spores were not your idea, but you pointed the evidence out to me. We can agree then that the insect spores..and the airborne black goo are different things. That's all I care about. We just need to find agreement on there being different kinds of the pathogen, which I find very difficult to accept for now.


MemberOvomorphAug-15-2017 3:28 AM


Thanks for continually working on this.  I was wondering where my last replies from a week or so ago went, but you must have started a new thread.  Some thoughts:

1.  I am still having the most difficult time with the egg sacs origins.  I guess I could technically buy that the mutagen turned existing fungi into a sac of sorts, since it's not technically flora (though it's not fauna, either).  But it's REALLY difficult to think it could turn fungi into little wasp-motes, even as the science in the movie goes with the do-almost-everything goo.  I could buy that the wasp-motes my use the mutated fungi egg sacs as a home/hive of sorts, and that they were laying dormant (conserving their energy) waiting for a host since apparently everything else had died off.  But in my theory that would bring up the origins of the wasp-motes, themselves.  I guess the easiest explanation of that would simply be that they are mutated native mini-wasp, but the evidence of them would be neomorph creatures (or even just carcasses) around the planet, right?

2.  As for how they infect their host, Dave brought up what I thought was a good question: If each of these creatures carries an egg, and they are all infecting the host, why don't we see a whole bunch of neomorphs growing in a host instead of just one?  Do they cannablize each other inside the host until there is only one?  Another problem I had with the wasp-mote theory is that we see them essentially dive into the human body.  Where do they end up?  Do they all just die in the host's body once they lay their egg(s)?

I do like how much has been explained, as almost none of this was obvious from the movie by itself.  But, it does still leave some holes, IMO.

Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-15-2017 4:04 AM

@ Waltermorph

Hi, thanks for reading. Yeah I asked for my previous threads to be deleted by the admin, because my theory has moved on, since I now consider the wasps to be the "motes". Anyway I will answer your points based on this theory.

1. It works something like this - The black goo mutates different creatures in different ways, but it has similar effects. It affects the host's reproductive system. So for Holloway, one of his sperms was infected, which mutated into the trilobite (within Shaw after they had sex). I don't know why only one was infected, or if many of his sperms were infected and combined together, but as David says, the black goo is a form of artifical A.I. It sort of knows how to mess with different organisms on a molecular level. With Shaw, we see that her eggs were infected, which grew into Xenomorph eggs (David also tweaked these by adding Neomorph DNA as we saw in "Advent"). Now we get to the possible fungus which would have been infected. On Earth, most of the fungal organism lives underground as a bunch of ... connected thread things, in the soil. The mushrooms and pod type things we see on the surface, are actually the reproductive system (genitals) of the fungus. So it stands to reason that the black goo was infecting the genitals of the fungus, as it does with other creatures. A normal fungus (on Earth as well as possibly alien fungi in this case) give off spores as a means of breeding. So if Holloway's sperm became the trilobite, it's not hard to see how a similar mutation could cause fungal spores to become tiny parasitic insects. Ok there are a lot more insect/spores than just the one trilobite (and who knows how many eggs came from Shaw), but as David says...the goo causes a different reaction with every genome it meets. That's how I explain that part.

2. Maybe those waspy insects have different techniques for infecting small and large victims. If it's a small victim such as a maggot or other insect...just one of the wasp motes injects a DNA ball (or "egg") into it. If its a larger victim, a whole bunch of motes simply dive in at once and inject their DNA balls. I don't think that what they inject are actual "eggs", but packets of DNA which "re-write the DNA" of the victim, as David puts it. So it doesn't matter how many motes are rewriting your DNA, it still ends up doing the same thing - causing you to spawn a neomorph. That's my take on it. Without any further information from Fox or Ridley Scott, that's all I can see evidence for.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your input.



MemberChestbursterAug-15-2017 4:09 AM

Sorry, I don't buy that David created the xenomorph. As I see it, the creature has either existed since long time ago, or it was created by the engineers. David re-creates (or creates something similar). The eggs, Space Jockey, and Derelict on LV-426 are ancient and connected to the outbreak on LV-223.

Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-15-2017 4:15 AM


That's possible. The Alien: Covenant novel states that David already had dead xenomorph eggs from the engineers, and was just recreating them using his own methods. Ridley Scott seemed to have changed this when he was quoted as saying that David created them. But either could be true at the moment, until we get 100% confirmation.


MemberOvomorphAug-15-2017 6:00 AM


If the facehuggers and trilobites inject eggs, why would the wasp-motes not also do the same thing if we're entertaining the motes as living "wasps?"  If the good cause fungus to reproduce "meat," then these wasps would be nothing more than the delivery mechanism for whatever egg they carry, not the "egg" itself.

I mean, you don't get infected from a facehugger by it biting you and changing your DNA.  It's not the physical contact, it's the reproductive cycle of the creature that yields the its next stage. 

I guess this is what I'm having a problem with.  If the theory of the swarm as "meat" is to be entertained, then the swarm is carrying eggs to be gestated in the host.  The swam can't both me individual creatures and "eggs" at the same time.

Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerAug-15-2017 6:24 AM

@ Waltermorph

I guess it boils down to what David says in "Advent". He says that the goo causes a different reaction with each genome it infects, so we can't compare the insect-motes with how facehuggers and trilobites work, because they are from very different genomes that got mutated (fungus rather than human). There are similarities, both motes and the others act as stage 2 of a life cycle, but the rest is very different. Motes inject something that re-writes the host's DNA to produce a neomorph. facehuggers and trilobites implant something else in the host. It's just different genomes.

By the way the main thing that swayed me on the insects being motes thing was this drawing of David's, seen in Advent. I didn't believe it at first, but this clearly shows a mote breaking from the swarm and implanting a DNA ball/egg. You can see the insect's face, above the legs if you look closely, it's a frontways on drawing. It's DNA ball/egg is moving down its mouth tube into the victim -


MemberOvomorphJun-12-2020 6:02 AM

Shaw said that she can't give the life because is infertile and don't producting humans Eggs. 

Yog Sothoth

MemberFacehuggerJun-12-2020 9:55 AM

Exactly, Which is why I think it was Holloway's mutated sperm which became the "Trilobite".


MemberOvomorphJul-03-2020 3:53 AM

Yog, that is not confirmed yet, but I think like that also.

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