The Biology Behind Stranger Things’ Demogorgon

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Stranger Things has turned into a show with a cult following. Anticipation for the second season is already growing. While the cast deserves a lot of credit for its success, it wouldn’t be Stranger Things without the Demogorgon.

But just what is this monster?

Based on the show, interviews with the man who played the monster, Mark Steger, and the man in charge of creating it, Aaron Sims, we’ve made the following educated guests.

Gravity Is Stronger Where the Demogorgon Is From

The monster in Stranger Things is obviously very strong. When it finally appears, you can tell it has an impressive muscle structure. It’s also able to break through concrete walls. In episode five, it effortlessly drags a full-grown deer across the forest floor about 20 feet in a matter of seconds.

One reason for its super-strength may be that, wherever it’s from, gravity is much stronger.

To be fair, this was a personal decision on the part of Steger. When preparing for the role, he felt that the Demogorgon came from somewhere so alien that even gravity has a different effect.

Keep in mind that we don’t know if the Demogorgon is from the Upside Down. This would explain why the gravity there seems to be much like that of ours. It’s clear the monster knows how to traverse different dimensions. Maybe it splits its time.

It Can Smell/Sense Blood Like a Shark

Whether or not the Demogorgon has nostrils is unknown. It certainly has a very large mouth. What we do know is that the Demogorgon is able to pick up on the presence of blood, even when it’s in the Upside Down and senses it here in our dimension.

This is something Nancy stumbles across in episode six and which leads her and Jonathan to cut themselves in order to lure the monster into their trap. She even compares the Demogorgon to a shark for its ability to detect one-part-in-a-million of blood.

We also know that the Duffer Brothers cited the shark from Jaws as a note of inspiration for Steger. While they didn’t mention any sense of smell, they did say that this was a monster who would simply appear out of nowhere just to feed – much like the legendary shark from Spielberg’s classic.

Perhaps the Demogorgon can’t see at all and instead relies on its superior sense of smell to pick up on the space and people around it. If it’s strong enough to smell across dimensions, this isn’t too hard to believe.

A Killer Mushroom?

It’s clear that the Demogorgon is not of this world. Amongst other things, this means you can’t classify it using the same system we do for other animals.

Is it even an animal?

Again, according to Steger, he saw it as something more akin to a fungus or a mushroom. Although the Demogorgon may not be from the Upside Down, it is interesting that so much of that world revolves around death and decay. There is clearly some amount of fungal matter growing out of these features, as well.

Furthermore, the Upside Down is certainly dark, but may also be damp and cool. These traits are perfect for fungal growth.

Steger has mentioned slime molds as inspiration for the creature, too. These are single-celled eukaryotic organisms that can also aggregate together, forming a multi-cellular organism. Although they’re not technically fungi, they are very similar.

Perhaps the Demogorgon is just a giant colony of such organisms. Its reproductive capabilities may be evident in the slugs we see growing out of its victims. In the final scene of the last episode, Will throws one up. For poor Barb, it seemed to play a role in her demise.

Does It Lay Eggs?

In episode eight, when Hopper and Joyce enter the Upside Down, we see a large egg. It actually shows up in other scenes, too. Both Nancy and El witness the monster hunkered over it, possibly feeding off it.

However, maybe it’s doing something else. Maybe it’s not so much an egg as another form of fungi that is growing into a second Demogorgon.

With season two of Stranger Things not slated to hit Netflix until Halloween, we’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, give some thought to the above and leave your own conjectures in the comments below.


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