First, strange sound-emitting artifacts, now strange new creatures. Alien life has been revealed to the world of Elite: Dangerous.

Last year, a strange artifact was found in the Pleiades Nebula, approximately 380 light years from our solar system. The artifact appeared to be of alien origin, and emitted a strange noise that was eventually deciphered into spaceship vector art..

This year, players have gone one step further with the discovery of alien life in the Horizons expansion. The aliens are sessile organisms settled on airless space rocks, again in the Pleiades Nebula. The organisms have been named ‘barnacles’ by the community, based upon their apparent resemblance to the terrestrial arthropods.

The Discovery of Alien Life

Initial reports of the barnacles were provided by Commander Octo, who discovered the settled organisms while exploring the rocky world of Merope 5C. Using a Scarab rover, Octo discovered the barnacles, providing initial images of their appearance and their planetary location coordinates (-026.3496°, -156.4044°). Several commanders have since provided audio and visual confirmation of their existence. The barnacles, like the ancient artifact, appear to be emitting rhythmic vocalizations that may have some communicatory role with other organisms or structures in the Elite: Dangerous universe.

Little is known about the underlying physiology or life cycle of the barnacles. If their apparent resemblance to the barnacles of Earth is any clue, they may invasively populate nearby space debris in time.

Seeking a first hand glance? Fly fast and bring your kill warrant scanner. Pirates may litter the trail and prey on keen tourists wishing a first-hand glance at the newly discovered aliens.

TMC independently verified these claims by obtaining video evidence of the organic structures.

Alien life at Merope (Elite: Dangerous)

Better off dead

Many visitors to Merope 5C have fired upon the barnacles and their surrounding spines. When historians ask who shot first in the great alien war, we most certainly did.

The spiny structures are composed of iron, sulfur, arsenic, germanium, manganese, tungsten, and carbon. They are also the only source of valuable meta-alloys, which are apparently worth over 80,000 credits per ton.

The central structure is impervious to damage, though the mineral-rich spines appear to grow back.

It does not appear at this time that previously discovered unknown artifacts interact in anyway with the barnacles. It also does not appear that Merope is the only system containing these newly discovered organic structures. They have have been found elsewhere in the Pleiades Nebula. Indeed, some have even noticed what appears to be spawns forming around the barnacles, although with no apparent model visible, possibly underground?


Many have speculated that the unknown artifacts and these alien organic structures are leading up to the reveal of Thargoids, Elite’s hostile race of insectile aliens. In earlier games, Thargoids had powerful weapons and the ability to pull ships out of jumps. Encountering them usually meant a swift death, although their interactions with players (or even if they will be introduced at all) remains to be seen in Elite: Dangerous.

Title image retrieved from YouTube user Deltasnake’s video.

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