'A Quiet Place': How the Monsters Can Be Explained by Evolution

The horror movie features some shockingly sound science.

Imagine an extraterrestrial organism that evolved on an alien planet with zero light. The harsh environment would restrict their senses to just sound and leave their bodies covered with natural armor plating. That’s how you get the alien monsters from A Quiet Place, the breakout sci-fi horror hit directed by John Krasinski and released in April 2018.

As horrifying as the disturbingly quiet film is, the science between how these creatures evolved actually makes some measure of scientific sense.

“So the idea is if they grew up on a planet that had no humans and no light then they don’t need eyes, they can only hunt by sound,” Krasinski told Empire Podcast in April, adding that their bodies are basically “evolutionarily perfect machines.”

Basically, they’ve evolved to be invulnerable unless they expose themselves.

“They were able to survive some kind of the explosion of their planet and then survive on these meteorites,” Krasinski said.

Alien creatures blindly riding meteors to Earth makes no amount of sense, but in theory, the science behind their evolution is sound (pun intended.)

Imagine a humanoid that evolved in a horribly different environment.

Luis Carrasco / Paramount Pictures

Over millennia, it makes sense that any species living in such a harsh environment would either go extinct or mutate, and the beneficial adaptations would be passed on to the surviving offspring — that’s how every species on Earth evolved, albeit in a much gentler environment.

On their home planet, this species didn’t need eyesight because there was nothing to see, so any creature with eyes was probably murdered by this thing pretty quickly. Variants of the species with better hearing were even better suited to survival were that much more likely to procreate. Generations and generations later, they developed a deep ear canal with hearing unlike anything on Earth.

As gross as it looks, this is a very advantageous adaptation.

Luis Carrasco

The creatures have incredibly sensitive and deep ear canals, even more impressive than owls. They can also maneuver their head flaps to amplify nearby sounds. Because of how well they hear and how tough their armored hide is, they can just rampage directly towards any sound they hear.

It’s pure nightmare fuel, but in theory, the science here is sound — assuming such a place exists that has no light yet can still maintain living organisms.

This December, Inverse is counting down the 20 best science moments in science fiction this year. This has been #7.

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