The Alien Egg, also referred to as a Ovomorph, is the initial stage of the life cycle of the Xenomorph. The eggs are produced by the Alien Queen but can also be formed by a Xenomorph transforming its victim into an egg. Each egg contains a Facehugger. The eggs look seemingly harmless to outsiders but possess the ability to sense when a potential host is nearby. The four petals on top of the egg open and Facehugger would launch out of the egg onto the victim. The Alien Egg has appeared in every Alien film apart from AvP Requiem and Prometheus.
Eggs are about two and a half feet tall and are usually brownish in colour and leathery in appearance. They are extremely tough and the outer skin is difficult to cut through and any attempts will result in acid spraying. They are produced by a Queen Alien in their ovipositor and then laid through a tube. Each egg has a fully-grown Facehugger inside but some have been known to contain multiple Facehuggers. The eggs themselves are not just empty containers – they are organisms as well. The eggs are extremely durable and their outer skin is difficult to cut through and if somebody did manage to do it, acid would spray as it does on other stages of the Alien cycle.
The preferred environment for incubation tends to be hot and humid. The egg also contains a lot of flesh and matter that presumably is what sustains the Facehugger inside for long periods of time. The eggs appear to be able to sustain Facehuggers for hundreds of thousands of years without the need for any external nutrients. The ones discovered in the Derelict Spacecraft on LV-426 had been there for thousands of years. Despite the longevity, eggs do eventually expire. When Kane was exploring the cargo bay of the Derelict, he disturbed numerous eggs and none of them reacted to his presence.
The eggs seem to have a central nervous system in their base with veins running along across their outer surface. The egg is able to detect when a potential host is nearby and even what size it is. It then can position the Facehugger so that it is pointed at the host when the egg opens. When the egg detects a host, it sacrifices itself and transfers its remaining energy to the Facehugger which then becomes alive. The four petals on the egg open up allowing the Facehugger to jump onto the host.
When the eggs have remained in place for some time, they develop roots that spread from their base. It was initially thought these roots are to absorb nutrients from its environment to prolong its longevity. The argument against this is that many eggs have been found in baron environments with no nutrients to absorb. Another theory is that they are used for communication between eggs which is similar to the theory about the hive webbing, being used by Xenomorphs to know when an enemy is nearby.
When the eggs are first encountered in the Derelict Spacecraft on LV-426, they are covered by a blue mist that reacts when Kane touches it and it seems to interfere with the radio communications. It’s not known if the blue mist is part of the Spacecraft and the Engineers had placed it there – perhaps to preserve the eggs. It could also be for security to prevent the eggs from reacting and releasing the Facehuggers inside. This theory doesn’t hold up as Kane broke the mist which then awoke the Facehuggers. It’s possible the eggs produce the mist themselves for some reason. The blue mist has never been seen again when eggs have been encountered which implies that the mist may have been Engineer technology.
Please see Part 2 of this article about eggmorphing.
Alien Egg Movie Appearances
- Alien (1979)
- Aliens (1986)
- Alien 3 (1992)
- Alien Resurrection (1997)
- Alien vs Predator (2004)
- Alien Covenant (2017)
You can continue on reading to see more information relating to each Alien egg in each film.