Vulcans are the most interesting alien race that the Star Trek series has ever introduced to us. Yes, that's a pretty bold statement to make, given that the numerous Star Trek television shows released have given us so many new alien species to peruse through. But just consider how much time and energy has been spent in constructing the history of the Vulcan race. If you were to Google information about Vulcans, you'd find page upon page detailing facts about them.
Plus, we can't forget about the greatest Vulcan of them all. Spock was the first Vulcan we ever met, and his existence has had lasting repercussions in the universe. Spock was the best character in the original series, so much so that aspects of his behavior have been carried over into new characters in new series. And in some of these series, Spock's characteristics don't just make an appearance within brand new characters; he makes an appearance himself. Just take a look at the new show, Star Trek: Discovery.
All this hype about Vulcans has probably got you very curious about what they're like. Unless you're a rabid, avid fan, you won't know too much about the minutiae of their biology and behavior. They look human, right? How different could they be? The answer is very. And because Star Trek fans are crazy about Vulcans, there is a lot of available information about how their bodies function. Read on if you want a closer look at Vulcan anatomy.
30 Pointy Ears For Pointed Hearing
One of the most observable differences between a Vulcan and a human on the surface is the tips of their ears. Where a human has rounded ends, a Vulcan has pointed ones.
As we (and by we I mean fans of the original series) can all recall, one of Leonard McCoy's nicknames for Spock was "old Pointy Ears." These pointed ears allow Vulcans to have a heightened sense of hearing. Vulcans have a better sense of hearing than humans because of this.
29 Strong Stomachs
Have you ever eaten food that you've never eaten before, and because it was so foreign to your digestive system, you had...problems...later on? Now imagine if you existed in a world where countless amounts of alien food were available to you. Yikes, your poor stomach.
Vulcans don't have to worry too much about all that bother. The digestive tract of a Vulcan is hardy. It's able to adapt to the wide variety of alien food out in the galaxy. Now don't you wish you had the stomach of a Vulcan?
28 Live Really Long And Prosper
No Vulcan saying is more recognizable than the phrase, "Live long and prosper." However, knowing the average lifespan of a Vulcan makes the saying seem a little self-serving now.
Vulcans live for about 200 years.
(With those pointy ears of theirs, their longevity makes them seem like Elves from The Lord of The Rings.) That's probably how they have learned to be so logical and patient. They have years to perfect the art of common sense, pithy sentences, and the upraised brow.
27 Feeling Thirsty? They Aren't
The planet Vulcan is a hot place with little water to be found on the surface. The few glimpses we have gotten of the planet from Star Trek episodes and movies have corroborated this. As such, Vulcan anatomy has learned to adapt to such conditions.
A Vulcan can go days without water.
They're like the camels of alien races in Star Trek. Pretty nifty, huh? If you think about it, can you recall a specific instance where you saw Spock drink a cup of water? I can't.
26 The Heart Of The Matter
The insides of a Vulcan are completely different from a human's insides. They must be, if a Vulcan's heart is right around where a human's liver would be. This is great if a Vulcan were to get wounded in the chest region. But this is not so good if a Vulcan were to get wounded on the right side of their abdomen.
I don't believe Vulcans have a pledge where they put a hand over their hearts, but it would be funny if they did. They would have to place a hand on their tummies.
25 The Inimitable Mind Meld
Let's not forget the iconic Mind Meld that Vulcans can perform. All a Vulcan has to do is place their fingertips on the forehead of whoever they're trying to Meld with, and they can form a mental connection with that person.
It is very much an empathic connection. Vulcans will be able to feel the emotions of the person they are melding with. At the same time, they can transfer their own thoughts and emotions to the person they are connecting with, too.
24 Dealing With Subarctic Temperatures
Vulcans do really well in high temperatures since their home planet, Vulcan, is one scorcher of a planet. Conversely, Vulcans don't do too well with the cold. Low temperatures are one of their only weaknesses.
Since their race did not acclimate to freezing winds and like environmental hazards, Vulcans get hit pretty hard by those kinds of things. If a Vulcan does not bundle up before heading out into snowy climes, they had better look out.
23 The Love Fever
The calm and logical Vulcans must undergo a period of great emotional upheaval every seven years. This time is called the "Plak tow," which means "blood fever" in the Vulcan tongue.
For some reason, during this time, all Vulcans feel an urge to procreate.
It drives them loony. If they don't engage in the Vulcan ritual of Pon Farr, their desires will drive them into a rage. Doesn't sound like your typical Vulcan behavior, but I guess everyone has to let off steam somehow.
22 The Brows To End All Brows
You may not have noticed--oh, who am I kidding? You should have noticed that Spock has a weird thing going on with his eyebrow game. His eyebrows sweep upward dramatically, in a sharper slope than most human eyebrows do.
This is a trait common to all Vulcans. I honestly have no clue as to why their species evolved to have eyebrows that look like that. I have not the slightest idea what evolutionary benefits those eyebrows might bestow upon the Vulcans.
21 Someone Isn't Feeling Salty
Sodium chloride plays a fairly major role in the human body. It makes up about 0.4% of a human body's weight, and it takes part in chemical equations occurring throughout the innards of a human being.
Vulcans have only minuscule bits of sodium chloride coursing through their bodies. Their body chemistry gets by with only the smallest of amounts. Oh, and for those of you who didn't know, sodium chloride is the fancy name for common salt.
20 Never Challenge One To A Fistfight
If you were to walk up to a Vulcan and somehow provoke the usually calm alien to a fistfight, you will have made the mistake of a lifetime.
A Vulcan is three times stronger than the average human.
I know that Spock seems like the quiet-nerd type, but that guy would own your behind in an arm-wrestling match. Of course, you'd first have to convince him to engage in such a barbaric practice, because I'm pretty sure he would find it all to be so illogical.
19 The Use Vulcan Telepathy
Most Star Trek fans are aware of such techniques as the Vulcan Mind Meld (which we'll get into later). However, they may not be aware of the full extent of Vulcan brain power.
The strongest Vulcan minds can engage in telepathic contact with other minds without having to physically touch them. Don't you think Vulcans got the best of both worlds? They have incredibly strong bodies, and they have incredibly powerful minds. Is there nothing these super beings can't do?
18 Green Cuts And Scrapes
Get ready for some science here. Human blood has hemoglobin, a protein with iron in it that assists in transporting blood around the body. Hemoglobin is present in many animals on Earth, and it is why our blood looks red when oxygenated.
Vulcan blood is copper-based instead of iron-based.
This makes a Vulcan's blood look green when it is oxygenated. That's why, whenever Spock or another Vulcan is injured, it looks like someone dribbled green paint over their injuries.
17 Those Special Vulcan Chompers
It is a rare occurrence when a Vulcan smiles. Their culture is steeped in the idea that it is always better to restrain emotions than to let them out. However, if a Vulcan did let loose with a wide grin, you might notice a thing or two that would surprise you.
Vulcans have what are called "anterior tricuspids" in the Star Trek universe. They function in a similar fashion to human "bicuspids," but they have three cusps instead of two. Vulcans are different from humans right down to their teeth.
16 The Vulcans Before We Knew Them
We're first introduced to Vulcans and Vulcan culture through the character of Spock. He paints a picture of Vulcans being highly intelligent, logical, and stoic.
However, before Vulcans abandoned emotional outbursts for rational introspection, they were a rambunctious people. Their temperamental natures almost brought their species to the edge of extinction. It was only when their entire race was in danger did they decide to rein in their emotions.
15 Living On The Sun
As stated before, the planet Vulcan is a hot place. Vulcans are therefore no stranger to heat. A Vulcan is most comfortable in places with high temperatures because that is what their bodies are used to.
Over time, the Vulcans acclimated to the heat of their scorching planet. So Spock would consider a sojourn through the Sahara Desert to be a small thing. It would probably be like a walk in the park for him, albeit a very sandy and unshaded kind of park.
14 You Can Trust Their Sniffer
Female Vulcans are subject to a heightened sense of smell. Males, apparently, are not affected by this ability nearly as much as females. (I have no blanking idea why this is the case. You're going to need some kind of Vulcan manual to get that particular answer.)
A female Vulcan's sense of smell is so superb that they actually need to apply nasal numbing agents to counter the sharp scent of bad odors. I wonder why the females drew the short straw in the smelling department.
13 Talk About A High Pain Tolerance
A Vulcan's control over their brain is so powerful, it basically functions like a superpower. Vulcans can control their own neural pathways to such an extent that they can have their bodies ignore painful stimuli. That is probably why their pain thresholds are so high.
Vulcans can use willpower to tamper down unpleasant sensations.
Just a side question to the curious Star Trek fan: Why aren't Vulcans ruling the galaxy if they are this freakin' powerful?
12 They Have Internal Sunglasses
Vulcans never cease to amaze me with all the added perks they have received from living on a hostile world like Vulcan. We as humans have been coddled by living on Earth.
Due to the intensity of Vulcan's sun, Vulcans have inner eyelids that are meant to protect them from especially harmful rays. And that, children, is why we have never seen a Vulcan wear a pair of sunglasses. They don't need them. They have their very own set of secondary eyelids for eye protection.
11 One Bowl Cut After Another
The majority of Vulcans have the same hair type: straight, glossy, black hair. If you look back at all the Vulcans we have ever seen depicted on the screen, you'll soon see the veracity of that statement.
For whatever reason, the genetic sequence that gives a Vulcan straight black hair is predominant. Now, if only we could get Vulcans to style their hair in a manner that is not awkwardly edged around their foreheads. Someone has to tell them that it's not the 1980s anymore.
10 They're Deep Breathers
The atmosphere on Vulcan is very thin. If you want a good idea of how a human might react to a thin atmosphere, just think about the process mountain climbers on Earth have to go through as they acclimate to the thinner atmosphere the higher they climb. It's survivable, but not what we humans are used to.
Vulcans are used to it, though. Their respiratory system has developed to counter the thin atmosphere of their planet. It allows them to better draw oxygen from the air.
9 Who Needs Sleep? Not Them
A human being starts to hallucinate after three to four days without sleep. Three to four days. That's it. Vulcans can last much longer without sleep. They can go for weeks without it.
Okay, seriously, we need to have a talk about why Vulcans aren't ruling the world. They are super-powered machines. I get that one of the main themes of Star Trek is about how human passion is necessary for exploration, but just look at these guys! They are unstoppable forces of nature. Logical unstoppable forces of nature.
8 Like First Aid In A Body
In the unlikely circumstance that a Vulcan should get wounded, they don't necessarily need a doctor on hand. All they really need is a little quiet time.
Vulcans can enter a trance-like state once they have been injured.
While in this state, their injuries heal at a rapid rate, and when they wake, the injury is quite gone. So not only is it hard to wound a Vulcan, but it's also hard to keep them wounded. There is no keeping a good Vulcan down for long.
7 Their Hearts Move A Mile A Minute
A human heart beats about 100 times per minute. It kind of boggles your mind that your heart is doing all this work every single minute without you being truly aware of it. But wait till you hear how frequently a Vulcan heart can beat.
A Vulcan's heart can beat more than several hundred times per minute.
That is one rapid heartbeat. If you put your hand over their heart (right over their tummies) you would probably feel more of a vibration than a steady beating.
6 Our Cousins, The Romulans
The Romulans are another space-faring race that we meet in the universe of Star Trek. It may have escaped your notice, but they share similar physical features with Vulcans. Both races have pointy ears, upswept eyebrows, and a penchant for wearing their hair in a bowl cut.
These familiar characteristics are not mere coincidence. The Romulans and the Vulcans share a common ancestry, a fact mentioned in the remake of Star Trek that released in 2009.
5 No Meat For Them
After the Vulcans gave up displaying emotions, they settled on a lifestyle that stressed the importance of doing no harm. (Ohh, so I guess that's why they haven't taken over the universe.) This philosophy extends to their eating habits.
Most Vulcans who believe in tampering down violent instincts are vegetarians, including Spock. In their effort to do no harm, Vulcans have relegated themselves to cutting meat out of their diets. It's a shame they might never get to experience bacon.
4 They Can Grow Full Beards
Despite the frequency of seeing beardless Vulcans, Vulcan males can grow facial hair. It is possible for their biology to allow that. Just take a look at young Spock in Star Trek: Discovery if you don't believe me. He is really growing that beard out. Perhaps the human side of him is what allowed him to grow it so thickly.
Most Vulcan males prefer to shave off their facial hair though. If there is one thing a clean-shaven face goes really well with, it's a bowl cut.
3 Who Needs An Appendix?
In humans, there is an organ that's a bit of a leftover. As people who have had their appendix taken out, you don't really miss it much when it's gone. It is considered a worthless organ that is a remnant from our evolutionary past.
Vulcans don't have to worry about appendixes.
They don't have them. What, did you think this highly evolved, super-strong and super-smart alien race that has done away with emotion would have a single irrelevant organ in their bodies?
2 They Miss Out On The Zest Of Coffee
Every morning before work, I like to enjoy a nice cup of coffee. I load it with cream and sugar, and then the caffeine rush fuels my body for the day's workload. Vulcans don't get quite the same experience when they imbibe caffeine.
Caffeine has little to no effect on them.
Granted, they probably don't need the energy boost the way we mere mortals do, but it's a crying shame they can't experience a nice spring to their steps after a cup of coffee or a bottle of soda.
1 Spock Is Actually A Hybrid
It's easy to forget how special Spock is because he seems like such a Vulcan, but he is actually a human-Vulcan hybrid. His father was Sarek from Vulcan, and his mother was Amanda Grayson from Earth.
You should know that Spock is a very special case in the universe. Most human-Vulcan babies do not live to see adulthood because of medical complications. Spock was actually the very first human-Vulcan to reach his adult years.