Although Groot took the world by storm after his appearance in first the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, he truly became an icon once he regenerated into "Baby Groot" for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2. After the sequel was released it seemed like everyone and their dog had a Baby Groot toy or t-shirt. Additionally, as a result of the sequel, the love and fascination with this humanoid tree creature from outer-space seem to have grown exponentially.
Thanks to the intriguing qualities and abilities that Groot possesses, we've seen the character in three of his most important stages of life. We've seen the lethal adult version of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, the charming but frustrating baby version in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, as well as the moody adolescent version of the character in Avengers: Infinity War, where he fought alongside some of Marvel's most famous superheroes like Thor. Now that Groot has truly joined the lexicon of most famous superheroes, thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems necessary to delve into the unique details and lore that surround this lovable character.
Based on appearances, Groot doesn't seem like he'd be that complex of a character. Since his first appearance in Marvel's Tales to Astonish #13 in 1960, Groot has shown that he's far more worthy than some may think. His powers make him one of the more powerful characters in Marvel history, as well as one of the most kind. However, not everything about him was meant to make us love him.
Without further ado, here are the 20 Weirdest Things About Groot’s Biology.
20 He Has The Power Of Elasticity And Plasticity
Much like Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic from the Fantastic Four, Groot has the ability to stretch his body in practically any position as well as any length.
Thanks to his tree-like body, his branches can twist, turn, and contort into even the smallest of crevices.
Both the comics and movies explore this ability in many different ways. Some include grotesque ways of disposing of a villain. Others demonstrate just how loving Groot is, like when he used his body to encase the Guardians of the Galaxy even though it meant his certain demise. This power makes Groot a formidable opponent due to the fact that he can strike to an opponent from a distance, therefore protecting his head and torso from hand-to-hand attacks.
19 He Can Rebuild And Regenerate Himself
In the comics, Groot has one of the most unique powers in all of Marvel. His ability to regenerate sounds very similar to Wolverine's power, but it's actually more akin to that of plants than anything else. All it takes for Groot to be able to regrow after being decimated by a villain is a twig from his body. At many points in the comics, other characters rescue a piece of a deceased Groot and regenerate him. Sometimes they find ways of doing this faster than it would normally take him to regrow.
However, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this power is slightly different. According to director James Gunn, the Groot after the climax of the first Guardians of the Galaxy is actually Groot's son, instead of just being a new version of Groot.
18 He Can Lift Thor's Hammer
Avengers: Infinity War made an engaging creative decision to make Groot the one who had the physical strength to bind the pieces of Thor's newly forged hammer, Stormbreaker. In addition, they also had him chop off his arm in order for a piece of him to become the handle of the hammer/axe hybrid. This way, no matter Groot's fate in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a bit of him will always be with Thor.
As much as some fans may have thought this was a strong choice, others questioned the logistics of this.
After all, Thor's hammer famously can only be lifted by him and those who are worthy of its power. This was all cleared up by a tweet from the directors of the film stating that Stormbreaker does not have the same rules as Thor's previous hammer.
17 He Descends From Royalty
Groot is part of an alien race called the Flora Colussus that dwells on the Planet X. The species is led by Arbor Masters, who bestow incredible knowledge on the inhabitants of the planet. Knowledge isn't the only thing that the Flora Colusses has going for him.
According to the comics, Groot is a descendant of an ancient sap-line that is considered royalty. Though he does not act upon this, he is labelled as a "King." In Annihilators #1, it's suggested that Groot is merely posing as a monarch, but this isn't confirmed to be true. Due to his heritage, Groot received extra knowledge from the Arbor Masters which made him far more intelligent than he appears.
16 He Hunted Humans
In the main Marvel comics canon, before Groot was made an honorary member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was actually a villain.
He was originally an extraterrestrial being who came down to Earth to capture and experiment upon humans.
Biologist Leslie Evans and his wife Alice were some of the first to come into contact with Groot and managed to destroy him with termites. However, it was later revealed that Groot survived this incident and was held captive in a Canadian zoo by The Collector. He would later escape and rampage through the street of New York City. He was then stopped by a band of superheroes and later reformed by S.H.I.E.L.D.
15 He's Possibly The Last of His Kind
Whether Groot is, in fact, the last of his species or not is highly debatable. It all depends on which canon one reads, or which animated television show one watches.
In multiple comics, it is stated that Groot is the last of his breed. These issues include Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord #2 and Guardians Team-Up #8, where it's presumed that Groot is the last Flora Colossi in existence, although it's not stated why that is. In the animated show, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, it's stated that Ronan the Accuser is the one responsible for destroying all of Groot's kind. In contradiction to all of this, when Rocket Racoon visited Planet X in Guardians Team-Up #8, he comes across many of Groot's kind.
14 When He Regenerates He Loses His Memory
Every good superpower should come at a cost. For example, Wolverine may have remarkable healing powers that give him immortality, but they also mean that he has to watch everyone he loves pass away before him. For Groot, his regenerative powers come at a cost as well. Every time he's wiped out and regrows from the remainder of his parts, he loses all of his memories.
This means that he has to literally and figuratively put his life back together each time he passes on.
This trait was explored in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, where Groot is regrown and becomes Baby Groot. This version of Groot is reported to have no prior memory of anything that happened beforehand, making it even more difficult for the rest of the Guardians to manage him.
13 Vin Diesel Also Voiced Baby Groot
Vin Diesel is not just a man of action, he's also clearly a very talented voice actor. As reported in Time, the Fast and the Furious star is not only the adult Groot for Guardians of the Galaxy, but also Baby Groot for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2. These recordings were also mostly unedited by the sound designers and sound mixers as the director clearly thought Diesel nailed the sound that Baby Groot was supposed to make.
This clearly made Diesel more than worth it, as he didn't even have to show up to do the motion capture of the character in the first movie. Not to mention, he only has one repeatedly line in all of the films. Though he did have to record the same line in so many different ways as well as different languages.
12 Jean Grey Telepathically Linked With Him
The Marvel movies have made Groot out to be something of a simpleton. It could just be because his language is so different, but even that is not enough to excuse some of his more bumbling moments. Even with this fact, he is always portrayed as heroic and loyal. The comics portrayal of Groot is a little more complex, as he has been shown to be far more intelligent, despite almost exclusively saying "I am Groot."
In All New X-Men #23, Jean Grey is able to telecommunicate with Groot, bypassing his complicated language.
While communicating with him via telepathy, Jean reveals that Groot is far more intelligent than he appears. In fact, he's a genius. This just shows that individuals are more complex than they may initially appear to be.
11 He's Become Venom
Although the Symbiotes are best known to have latched onto characters such as Eddie Brock and Carnage, they have also merged with surprising characters such as Rocket Racoon and Groot.
In 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy #22, Flash Thompson, AKA Agent Venom, joins the Guardians. However, he puts them all at risk since his Symbiote started acting erratically. Rocket and Groot attempt to contain the Symbiote but it gets all over Groot and causes him to trash the Guardian's ship. This version of Venom was particularly scary as it took on the form of Groot's iconic body and warped it into a frightening monster. Drax the Destroyer manages to separate the Symbiote from Groot, but it then moves to Rocket.
10 Vol. 2 Used A Life-Sized Baby Groot While Filming
In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, a stand-in in a motion capture suit wearing Groot's head was used during filming. This was good for having the proper eye-line for the actors who would otherwise be acting alongside an invisible character that would be created in post-production. Additionally, this worked well for the visual effects team who needed to see how the character would move in any given space as well as how the surrounding light would hit him.
Essentially, the cast acted alongside a toy during the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.
For the second Guardians movie, another stand-in was used. This time it was a tiny life-sized Baby Groot for the actors to react to.
9 He Could Actually Talk In Some Comics
Many might be surprised by the fact that Groot actually said far more than "I am Groot" in some of the comics. This is especially true of the early storylines. However, his speech changed over time and there's a tragic reason for it: Groot has a degenerative disease.
In fact, all of the Flora Colossi have the same degenerative disease as Groot. It's part of their genetic makeup. Essentially what happens is that over time their larynxes begin to close up so they lose the ability to sound out all words with the exception of "I," "Am," and "Groot." However, this explanation doesn't exactly explain why Baby Groot can only say those three words in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2.
8 He Was Exiled From Planet X
The species of alien that Groot belongs to is the Flora colossi who dwell on the Planet X and ruled by another group of beings. This origin is usually pretty consistent within all of the comic storylines.
In an alternate origin, Groot discovers that his fellow Flora colossi have been abducting living organisms from other planets for various nefarious reasons.
Groot truly begins to have a moral problem with this once he meets a young captive from Earth named Hannah. In a heroic moment, Groot manages to free Hannah and send her safely back to Earth. However, there are repercussions to this as his fellow Flora colossi ban him from Planet X. Groot is forced to wander the galaxy for years until he eventually meets Rocket Racoon and his life changes forever.
7 A Duplicate Was Made Of Him
Xemnu, a powerful alien titan who tried to conquer Earth numerous times in the comics, managed to make a duplicate of Groot early on. This duplicate was supposed to be a great ally for Xemnu, who usually ran afoul of the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Incredible Hulk.
The evil alien was able to make a duplicate of Groot in his experiments. Ultimately, this duplicate was a hybrid of a human and a tree and not exactly a copy of Groot. However, it took on Groot's appearance and abilities. The duplicate of Groot was used to take down the Incredible Hulk, who stood in the way of Xemnu's plans. However, the Hulk managed to destroy Groot's duplicate for good.
6 He Was Captured By S.H.E.I.L.D.
After Groot escaped from The Collector's zoo in Canada, he and a band of other monsters rampaged through the streets of New York City. Eventually, he was stopped by a band of superheroes and then captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit; which was nicknamed The Howling Commandos"
During the time that Groot was held captive, Gorilla-Man tried to get Groot to renounce his evil ways and join The Howling Commandos.
Though Groot initially refused, the base was attacked and all the captives were freed anyway. However, Groot was the only one of the captives to turn back and aide The Howling Commandos in their fight against their attackers. After this, Groot officially joined the team and was on his path to becoming a good guy.
5 Not Everyone Can Understand His Language
Although to some, it sounds like Groot is constantly repeating "I am Groot," he's actually speaking the native language of the Flora Colossi. This language has all the nuance of any other language. The true nature behind why the Flora Colossi sound like they're saying "I Am Groot" over and over again is far more complex.
The Flora Colossi have stiff larynxes, which means that every vocal noise they make has a tougher time leaving the throat. The result of this is that they sound like they're always saying "I Am Groot." Some characters have spent enough time with Groot to pick up on the nuances of his language. Or, as Thor revealed in Infinity War, they have studied the language itself. However, most people Groot comes into contact with have no idea what he is actually saying.
4 His Body Destroyed Doctor Doom's Castle
In the main comics canon, Groot has come across quite a few of Marvel's most famous characters, especially the villains. In the 2015 Secret Wars storyline, Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy take part in the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610. In this story, Groot and Rocket met their end. However, Star-Lord managed to save a twig that belonged to Groot's body, knowing that he could regenerate. This twig came in handy when he battled Black Swan in Doctor Doom's castle.
Star-Lord slammed the twig into the World Tree which caused it to become Groot.
Groot's body grew at such an exponential rate that his roots completely destroyed Doctor Doom's entire castle in the process.
3 He Sacrificed Himself For The Guardians
In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Groot sacrificed his life in order to protect Rocket, Gamora, Quill, and Drax from certain death. This occurred as Ronan the Accuser's ship was crash landing on the planet Xandar. There was no way any of the main characters would have survived this crash without Groot deciding to grow into a protective shell. Unfortunately, Groot's shell was completely destroyed upon impact.
This decision broke Rocket's heart, but he later found a bit of Groot that he decided to plant and regrow. Luckily for him, this caused Groot to come back as "Baby Groot" for the next installment of the franchise. Not only did this story decision endear us to the character even more, but it also opened the door for the fan favorite Baby Groot to come into play.
2 He Can Control Plants
One of the many gifts that Groot has is the ability to control the plants around him. Though his powers are not dissimilar to those of certain incarnations of DC's Poison Ivy, Groot has an even deeper relationship with trees and other plants.
After all, he is basically one of them.
Though the movies have seemingly limited some of Groot's ability to control plants, the comics are different. In them, he can literally make plants come alive and attack his enemies. Essentially, he can create his own army if he's in a location abundant in trees and fauna. For these reasons and more, Groot is a remarkably useful character to have around when the going gets tough.
1 He Was Evaporated By Thanos' Snap
The fate of Groot is in the hands of the geniuses at Marvel. As every fan now knows, Groot was one of the characters taken from us during Thanos' snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
The scene of his demise was particularly heartbreaking as we were in a similar position to Rocket Racoon, who watched on as his best friend evaporated into nothing. Most fans have a feeling that the consequences of Thanos' snap will be undone in the next movie, allowing Groot to be reborn again. Or, at the very least, the characters who met their demise will exist in another dimension of sorts.
Either way, they will have to come up with something as Groot cannot regenerate after this attack.
What do you think is the strangest thing about Groot's biology in Guardians of the Galaxy? Let us know in the comments below!