From Killing Aliens To Protecting Aliens of The Deep

There seems to be some inherent irony in an actress speaking against bottom trawling who stared in three movies killing aliens based on deep-sea isopods*. That stated, I welcome Sigourney Weaver’s contribution to the effort to end bottom trawling. Joining forces with the Deep-Sea Conservation Coalition, a conservation consortium of several organizations, spoke at the UN this week in New York.

Said Weaver, “The oceans that millions of people around the world depend on for sustenance and livelihood are being plundered while the world sits by and watches. Some of the oldest ecosystems on Earth are being destroyed. Most people think somebody somewhere is looking out for the deep oceans, but they aren’t. These deep sea trawlers are operating beyond the reach of the law. It’s up to all of us to change that.”

*In “Blue Planet” (2001), David Attenborough noted ‘Alien’ monster was modeled after the Phronima.

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

4 comments on “From Killing Aliens To Protecting Aliens of The Deep
  1. apologies for channeling my inner geek here, but i thought HR Giger designed his original alien on the dragonfly larvae… particularly the everting mouthparts…

    sorry, it’s friday and i’m tired of reading all the faith/athiest kerfuffle on some other sciblogs so thought i’d stir up a little scifi argument here…

  2. You want a piece of me, Rick? ;-) I am just going on what Sir David Attenborough said. Makes sense if you compare pictures of the two. Besides if the Queen trusts Sir David so can you.

  3. HR Giger did do the concept artwork for Alien (as well as many other horror flicks, like Hellraiser), but he was inspired the Phronima for the creature. So you are both right!

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