Alien Shares a Wildly Disturbing Fact About Facehuggers’ Biology

Warning: contains spoilers for Alien #4!In the Alien franchise, the “facehugger” is the earliest incarnation of the extra-terrestrial species known as Xenomorphs, with their creepy spidery design and signature face-embracing breeding technique making them one of the most terrifying Hollywood monsters ever conceived. And now, in the series’ comic continuation, a disturbing fact about what a facehugger does after it impregnates its host is confirmed!



Scaring the daylights out of audiences when it was first seen attaching itself to a crew member of the Nostromo, the facehugger is the organism responsible for the first leg of transformations that eventually yield one of the most efficient killing machines in the universe, the Xenomorph.

New facehugger biology information about ovipositioning in a read out

Already believed to somehow provide oxygen to its hosts while still attached to their faces (as the act of breathing on their own is impossible given the circumstances), Alien has finally shared an official piece of information about the facehugger’s biology that explains how they keep their victims safe and healthy via something called “filtering sacs.”

Related: “Battle of the Monsters:” Alien’s New Xenomorph War Promises Their Ultimate Prey

Facehuggers Impregnate Hosts But Also Keep Them Alive With “Filtering Sacs”

White facehugger impregnates a person on the floor

A biological reveal taken directly from Alien #4, by Declan Shalvey and Andrea Broccardo, this series has dealt with yet another incident involving the deadly Xenomorphs, this time on the frozen planet of LV-695 in the year 2195. Following a family of researchers looking into water sources for a faceless company, the group is soon beset by an all-white facehugger buried in the snow, leading to an unsettling fact about how its impregnation technique, or the “process of oviposition,” works. Telling fans in the text block at the beginning of the issue that after a facehugger uses its “ovipositor” to insert its embryo, its fleshy wing-like appendages, or “filtering sacs,” kick in to keep their hapless victim “viable,” this Alien fact makes the facehugger’s biology even more intriguing yet disturbing to think about.

Needing to keep its host alive at any cost until the second stage of its evolution has fully developed, the idea that facehuggers impregnate their victims and then, in a twisted and temporary display of symbiosis, make up for its host’s inability to breathe and function by using itself as an in-between is a biological confirmation that makes total sense for this alien species. Providing oxygen and anything else needed to ensure the incubating chestburster can pop out of its victim without issue, a facehugger’s entire creature design is in service to this cause and is an aspect of its physiology that has benefited its survival for generations.

Facehuggers Ensure Their Host Is Healthy While Chestbursters Incubate

Alien: frozen Facehugger.

So while it’s obvious a facehugger would do its best to keep its host viable for reproduction reasons, the fact that they’re not just impregnating someone and then simply waiting for their time to be spent is a unique aspect of this species that only adds to their horror. Alien’s facehuggers are already disturbing creatures that haunt the depths of space, and now fans have another morbid detail about their biology to be terrified by!

Alien #4 is now available form Marvel Comics.

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