'Alien' Horror: 9 Terrifying Xenomorphs from the 'Alien' Movies

Extraterrestrial Terror of 'Alien'

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Since the first slimy Xenomorph burst from the chest of Officer Kane in the 1979 original "Alien" movie, several other versions of the extraterrestrial monster have terrorized space travelers in the nearly 40-year-old sci-fi saga. From chestbursters to facehuggers, here are the creepiest creatures from the "Alien" movies. [The Best Scary Movies That Take Place in Space]

Up first: Neomorphs


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The latest addition to the Xenomorph family makes its debut in "Alien: Covenant" (in theaters May 19). Director Ridley Scott envisioned the Neomorph as a combination of the original Xenomorph and the prehistoric-looking goblin shark found on Earth.

Next: The Queen


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She's big, she's scary, and she lays evil eggs: Meet the queen of the Xenomorphs. Much like the queen of a beehive, this queen is larger and stronger than the other aliens in its family. The first queen of the "Alien" saga appeared in the 1986 movie "Aliens," and were later featured "Alien: Resurrection" and "Alien vs. Predator."[If Aliens Visit, Don't Expect a Hollywood Ending, Ridley Scott Warns]

Next: Evil eggs


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The Xenomorph egg, or Ovomorph, is the earliest stage in the lifecycle of the various monsters in the "Alien" saga. Queens can lay the eggs, but other Xenomorphs can also create them via a process called "eggmorphing," in which they transform a victim into an egg by trapping them inside a cocoon.

Next: The hug no one wants


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As the name implies, this Xenomorph will hug your face—but not as a display of affection. This long-tailed, crustaceous alien shoves a slimy appendage down its victim's throat to impregnate them with an alien embryo. It then detaches from the new host and dies shortly afterward. But it certainly doesn't end there…

Next: Chestbursters


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The next phase of a Xenomorph's life cycle has another self-explanatory name. After a Facehugger implants an embryo, this little alien violently erupts from the host's body. Chestbursters are responsible for some of the most bloody and gut-wrenching scenes of the "Alien" movies. ['Alien: Covenant In Utero' Lets You Experience a Neomorph Birth in VR]

Next: A genetic mixup


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What happens when you mix a human with a Xenomorph? This horrifying, slimy killing machine, apparently. When scientists attempt to clone Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in "Alien: Resurrection"—following her shocking extraterrestrial death in "Alien 3"—the clone somehow winds up with an alien embryo in her body. The scientists then extract that embryo, which grows up to be a Xenomorph Queen. That alien then gives birth to this ghastly human-alien hybrid.

Next: Dog aliens


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Otherwise known as "Dog Aliens" or "Bambi Bursters," this type of Xenomorph spawns when a Facehugger takes a four-legged animal as its host. Runners made their first appearance in the 1992 film "Alien 3," when an alien emerges from the crew's canine companion, Spike.

Next: Pointy head, pointy teeth


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Named after a bishop's hat, this pointy-headed and terrifyingly toothy alien appears in the prequel film "Prometheus" when a Trilobite impregnates an Engineer—an intelligent, human-like extraterrestrial the crew encounters on the moon LV-223. The trilobite was an octopus-like Facehugger that Elizabeth Shaw ripped from her own body.

Next: A horrifying hybrid


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This Predator-Xenomorph hybrid appears in the "Alien vs. Predator" movies and is the result of a Facehugger impregnating a Predator. Also called a Proto-Xenomorph, it looks a lot like the other aliens in the saga, but sports what looks like a long, tentacled hair. These things are bigger, stronger and arguably scarier than human-born aliens.

Freaked Out Yet?

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Which of these creepy "Alien" monsters terrifies you the most? Do you think you could beat any of these Xenomorphs in a fight? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.