Alien Species

Black Cloud

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Black Cloud (by Wayne Barlowe)

As illustrated by Wayne Barlowe in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials

Black Clouds are enormous space entities. Living, sapient clouds of interstellar gas, whose diameter can be larger than the distance from Venus to the sun. There are countless numbers of such Clouds wandering throughout the cosmos.

A Black Cloud is mainly composed of hydrogen. Small pieces of solid matter at its center are linked together to form a complex neurological system. Since its "brain" can be described as a large network of interconnected molecules that act much like a computer data bank, the Cloud has the ability to increase its "brain" size and complexity, becoming more intelligent. When a Black Cloud finds a lifeless interstellar cloud, it creates simple "brain" units and transfers them to the cloud, giving it life and intelligence. This is done to make sure that the Black Cloud kind will never disappear, because although they never age, they never reproduce either. Black Clouds communicate with each other by radio waves transmissions.

Black Clouds need star light to metabolize necessary chemical substances. Being clouds of gas, these gigantic organisms are able to change their shapes. When its food supplies start to end, a Black Cloud will approach a star and assume a disk-like shape in order to absorb energy more efficiently. After a while, the Cloud has to leave: if it stays for too long within a star's proximity, it will start to condense into a planet.

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Behind the scenesEdit

The Black Cloud was created by astronomer Fred Hoyle and featured in his book, The Black Cloud, in which a Black Cloud enters the Solar System and is astonished to discover intelligent life forms on a planetary surface (Humans).

The Black Cloud is very similar to a speculative organism known as Molecular Quantum Computing Cloud, proposed by Arvidas Tamulis.


  • The Black Cloud – Fred Hoyle
  • Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials – Wayne Barlowe

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