Alien's Chestbursters Have a Weakness That Could Destroy All Xenomorphs

While Xenomorphs are perhaps the most terrifying alien creatures, not just in the Alien or even Predator franchises but in all of science fiction, one of the earliest stages of their life cycle–known as the Chestburster–have a weakness that could mean the end of the deadly species forever.

The Xenomorph life cycle is one of parasitic cosmic horror as it relies on the sacrifice of a living host for the continued existence of the species. The cycle begins with an Ovomorph, a large egg containing what’s known as a Facehugger. Whenever a living organism that is deemed a suitable host by the Facehugger within the Ovomorph approaches it, the Ovomorph opens and the Facehugger springs out and attaches itself to the face of the reluctant host. The Facehugger then impregnates the host with biological material–which mixes with that of the host–before removing itself from the host’s face and dying, having completed its objective within the life cycle. As the Xenomorph gestates inside of the host, it begins to take form within a matter of hours until it is strong enough to gruesomely burst forth from the host’s chest, earning itself the name Chestburster. A few hours after that, the Chestburster matures into a full grown Xenomorph whose duty is to locate more potential hosts to bring to its hive’s Ovomorphs and begin the cycle all over again.


Related: Alien: Xenomorphs' Most Terrifying Ability Has Nothing To Do With Killing

In Aliens: Purge by Ian Edginton and Phil Hester, a team of human scientists are deciding the best ways to infiltrate Xenomorph nests that don't rely on Synthetic usage despite the fact that androids are the best and safest way to explore alien hives. After excruciating research, they come to discover that a Chestburster gestating inside of a human host who has leprosy is incredibly weak–too weak, even, to earn its namesake and claw its way out of their chests. The beauty of this discovery is that, while the weakened Chestbursters lie dormant inside of those with leprosy, those people will not be harmed by Xenomorphs or suffer the risk of being impregnated again, so they are free to explore any hive they enter without fear of being killed by the alien creatures.

Alien's Chestbursters have a weakness that could destroy the Xenomorphs.

Since those with leprosy who also hold a practically lifeless Xenomorph inside of them can easily infiltrate Xenomorph hives, an orchestrated attack on every known nest across the cosmos is incredibly doable–especially because of another ability these people have gained after impregnation. It has long been assumed that Xenomorphs are able to communicate via psychic links. In this Alien story, that presumption is confirmed, and everyone who has a dormant Chestburster inside of them is able to telepathically communicate with each other. So, with free rein in any hive along and with constant psychic communication, these people–given the proper training and equipment–could wipe out every Xenomorph in existence.

While this plan is sound on paper, one thing that must be taken into account is the incredibly high intelligence exhibited by the Xenomorphs. Though it is true they initially wouldn’t attack those with dormant Chestbursters inside of them as they are biologically wired to protect a host carrying one of their spawn, the second they figure out that those Chestbursters will likely never burst and the people are only there to wipe them out, the Xenomorphs will more than likely attack full-force and mercilessly decimate the threat. However, the Xenomorphs’ instinct to not attack their own, even if the chance of life is slim, may be too great to fight, meaning the Chestbursters’ greatest weakness–succumbing to whatever disease their host carries–could very well lead to the destruction of every Xenomorph throughout the Alien universe.