The Predators are renowned for their advanced technology, imposing physique, and a unique aspect that has intrigued fans and scholars alike: their mysterious and distinctive blood. This green and glowing substance has been featured in all the Predator movies and most of the other Predator media. In this article, we delve into the mystique surrounding Yautja blood, exploring its properties, significance, and the myths that have arisen around it.
The Green Bioluminescent Blood
Yautja blood is instantly recognizable by its striking green hue. The Predator blood is green because it is missing the red hemoglobin found in the crimson human blood, in addition to including unknown exotic chemicals. The Predator's blood glows, which is more visible and trackable in the dark, exposing an important Predator weakness. Flowing through all their limbs and organs, the blood also runs through the Predator dreadlocks, which are connected to their nervous system. The Yautja blood is warm and made from a non-toxic substance, supposedly having a sweet smell and taste.
While it's important for Predators to stop the blood flow when wounded, the need seems to be less than that of humans. For example, Predators can continue functioning for a much longer time when losing a limb compared to humans. Perhaps this is due to the lack of major arteries, and the veins being much smaller and partly self-closing. Some interpretations of Yautja lore suggest that their blood may possess unique healing abilities, aiding in their recovery from injuries sustained during their hunts. These healing abilities would possibly even carry over to humans if administered correctly.
Neutralizing Xenomorph Acid
In comparison to Xenomorph blood which is acidic, Yautja blood is said to be alkaline and even neutralize some of the effects of the Alien acid which can come into contact with the Predators during combat. This allows the Predators to engage in close-quarters combat with the Xenomorphs, even while not heavily armored. Such a feat would be impossible for other races, who would suffer catastrophic wounds from the spray of Alien acid. A good example of this is from Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem where Wolf Predator became entangled with the Predalien while stabbing it in the chin. The flow of Alien blood did not hinder Wolf (who had some acid scarring on the face from previous hunts), but the nuke dropped from a plane did and they both died in the blast.
Yautja culture is steeped in ritual and tradition, and their blood holds special significance within these customs. The Blooding Ceremony, a rite of passage for young Yautja, involves marking the initiate with the blood of their first kill. This ritual symbolizes their entry into adulthood and the warrior caste, reinforcing the importance of hunting and valor in Yautja society. Many ranks in the Predator hierarchy tie to the term "Blood", including Young Bloods, Bad Bloods, and Blooded Predators. The ritualistic significance has sometimes carried over to humans, who have decorated themselves with the blood of the Yautja. Naru, the Comanche warrior from Prey, is perhaps the most famous person to do this.
Effects On Humans
The mysterious nature of Yautja blood has given rise to numerous myths and legends. Some speculate that it possesses mystical properties, granting the possessor enhanced strength or longevity. Gideon Suhn Lee from Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal supposedly lived to 700 years old by eating Yautja hearts and drinking their blood. Furthermore, Hunter Borgia from Predator: Concrete Jungle experimented with the Predator blood and became a Predator/Human hybrid, possessing some of the Yautja strength and abilities. However, both of these examples ended in bloodshed, as the Predators hunted down and killed these abominable humans.
The fact that Yautja blood helps to heal humans and give them longer life seems to indicate that the blood is compatible with other species. Furthermore, some subspecies of Yautja have hybridized themselves with the DNA of other species, giving them special abilities. For example, the Assassin Predator gained giant size and needed no bio-helmet to breathe or use his Predator vision. He wanted to further enhance himself with the DNA of a human child with Asperger syndrome, for unknown symptoms. Finally, it is clear that the Predator blood is also compatible with the Black Goo Pathogen, as seen in the Fire and Stone comic series. A Predator warrior was bitten in the arm by a black goo-infected android and turned into a giant mindless monster.
Behind The Scenes
For the filming of the first Predator movie, the green glowing blood was created by mixing the liquid contents of glowsticks (often used by the military) with K-Y Jelly lubricant, giving it more texture. As the contents of the glow sticks lost their glow after a short while, it needed to be re-created on the spot. The Predator actor, Kevin Peter Hall, seemingly had to keep the liquid in his mouth and spit it out during filming. The same trick was used for the second movie, while the later movies also relied on CGI-created green blood. The latest Predator movie, Prey, used a darker shade of blood for the Feral Predator.
Yautja Blood Beer
Outside of the realm of the Predator universe, there exists a drink called the “Blood Of The Yautja”, a Luminous Sour IPA with a limited release. The drink is served in a 12oz. can and glows bright green under a blacklight just like the fluorescent ichor of the ferocious, mandible-sporting interstellar hunters. As part of their eating and drinking habits in Predator lore, the Predators seem to enjoy a beer-like drink called C'ntlip, which has similar traits as alcohol, giving the drinker a foggy mind and a feeling of pleasure. The "fiery brew" is not made of Yautja blood but of some unknown substance from Yautja Prime.
Yautja blood is not merely a biological quirk and an important part of the Yautja anatomy; it is a symbol of the Yautja's uniqueness and their status as one of the most iconic extraterrestrial species in science fiction. Its healing properties, coupled with the rituals and myths that surround it, add depth and mystique to their Yautja culture.