Star Trek is one of the biggest and longest-running fandoms in the world of Science Fiction. In fact, many people believe that the original run of the show created (if not created explicitly then certainly popularized and brought to the forefront of the genre) the modern idea of Space Exploration-Themed Science Fiction. The show was revolutionary in both theme and representation and many Television firsts occurred on the set and episodes of the original Star Trek. And though I will admit that my first-hand interactions with Star Trek, as a series, has been limited as I began to explore different medias outside my personal favorites a bit later in life, I have done exhaustive research on the Vulcan race and can confidently say that I am a big fan of this fictional race of people.
From their rich and complex history to their weird anatomies and cultural traditions, there is just something that is utterly fascinating about the Vulcan race. Something wonderful and magical about the world of Star Trek was the fact that the original creators of the show and its lore did not slack off when it came to world building. Each race has a fully fleshed out history, language, and a culture rich in unique yet in-depth traditions. In this article I will explore the history and evolution of this great fictional race as well as their traditions, rituals, weird bodily functions and anomalies, and what differentiates this race of alien creatures from the human race.
25 The Effects Of Chocolate
It is important to note that Vulcans have been known to drink traditionally in moments of celebration. In the original show, Vulcans were shown offering Vulcan drinks to others. However, due to their sensitivity to sucrose, Vulcan’s have a sensitivity to chocolate that mimics the type of tipsiness that a typical human being would glean from engaging too loosely with a traditional celebratory beverage. In short, normal chocolate can get Vulcan’s real sloppy real fast.
24 Vulcans Hearts Lie In Their Stomachs
If you’re going to stab a Vulcan, make sure that you are aiming in the right place. For those of you who are not well-versed in Vulcan anatomy, their heart lies in the exact place where their liver should be. It lies on the lower right side of their torso region (between the lowest bone of the rib cage and the pelvis). Therefore any attempt to launch a fatal blow to the chest region of a Vulcan will fail.
23 The Surak Code
The Surak Code is essentially the belief that all emotions can and should be controlled. The basic principle is that it is best for the Vulcan race to establish complete control over their emotional displays due to the fact that, as a people, they are prone to and capable of intense acts and means of expressing those emotions, if not controlled. The Surak code was brought to the Vulcan society as an answer to their “rampant paranoia and rage;” however its introduction bred even more conflict and caused a schism.
22 Sleep Is For The Weak
In my third year of University, I had accidentally overloaded on courses and ended up skipping many a nights sleep in order to keep on top of all of my assignments. However my three day no sleep events have nothing on what Vulcans can do. The average healthy Vulcan can go a total of 2 weeks without no sleep of any kind. If we could bottle that ability and sell it to college students, we could make a massive fortune.
21 Mark Lenard Was The Master Of The Three Races
The actor, Mark Lenard, appeared so many times on the show that he was able to claim roles spanning over three of the well-known and established Star Trek races. By the time his appearances on the show had reached their end, he had appeared as a Romulan, a Vulcan, and a Klingon. He appeared as a captain of an ill-fated Romulan vessel, a Klingon commander on another ill-fated ship, and has had multiple appearances throughout the series as Spock’s father.
20 Logic Above All Else
Vulcans are known for valuing logic and reason above all else and often resist participating in situations that could affect their ability to reason with their own logical faculties. However it is very important to note that this was not always and still isn’t the case in every scenario. As mentioned earlier in this article, Vulcans were once a volatile and emotional people but learned to suppress that in favor of logic. But not all Vulcans agreed that that was the best way to conduct oneself. Some rebellious groups embrace emotions in all forms, including Spock’s own half-brother.
19 Vulcan's Easily Live To 200 Yeas Old
Yes, you read that correctly. A healthy Vulcan adult’s lifespan can easily surpass 200 years I have no idea what I would do with two-hundred years before me. If I could live exponentially longer without having to waste time sleeping, I would be virtually unstoppable. I could cure all diseases known to man, I could change the world, I could watch every single Harry Potter movie in one sitting without reeling from exhaustion and needing to take a break. The possibilities are endless.
18 No Need For Food Or Water
To clarify, the Vulcan people do need sustenance eventually. However, they can survive for concerningly long periods of time without any food or water. How long you may ask? Well, since their home planet is a relatively inhospitable environment, their bodies had to adjust to its desert based atmosphere. Consequently, the Vulcan people can go literal days without any libation of any kind. They also possess incredibly hardy stomachs in order to be able to consume any food available without fear of a negative reaction.
17 The Salute Originates In Jewish Culture
The famous Vulcan hand salute for “Live Long and Prosper” has become synonymous with geek culture across the world. However, not everyone knows where the salute came from. It turns out that it was inspired by a Jewish gesture of blessing exhibited by the priests at synagogue. Though all non-priests are supposed to keep their eyes covered during the performance of this blessing (this is because the Almighty himself is supposed to appear in the room during the blessing,) Nimoy snuck a peek as a small child and witnessed the blessing first hand.
16 Inspired By The Roman Gods
Both the planet and the race we know as “Vulcan” were named after/inspired by the Roman god of the same name. Vulcan, in Roman Mythology, was the god of fire. It is important to note that his equivalent god within the Greek pantheon was Hephaestus. Which makes sense, if one considers the severe and desert-like atmosphere of the planet from the series (which is often likened to the real-life planet of Venus which exists in our own solar system).
15 Copper-Based Plasma
If you have ever watched any of the Star Trek shows and/or films, you would know that not every race bleeds the same shade of red. The same is true with the Vulcan race as the blood like substance that oozes from their wounds is actually bright green in color. This is due to the fact that their blood is a copper-based substance, unlike traditional red human blood. But come on, the best thing about science fiction is the differing physiology between races of human-like creatures.
14 Do No Harm, Eat No Meat
Part of the Vulcan way of life includes a commitment to the abject avoidance of any action that would cause direct harm to another living being. This has resulted in modern Vulcans choosing a vegetarian style cruelty-free diet. It is important to note that the Vulcans of the past were, in fact, omnivores and would often eat meat before their culture shifted away from such things. Spock also consumed meat when traveling to the past as the ethics of the time differed from the present as well as the fact that there were no other food sources available. Though he later expressed guilt over his actions.
13 Their Ears Enhance Their Hearing
Other than simply existing in a fun and common fantastical shape, the special shape of the ears of the Vulcan people actually serve a purpose. It turns out that their pointed shape allows sounds to be directed downwards into their ear canal in a more efficient way than our human ears which lends to the enhanced hearing abilities that the Vulcan race possesses. They are honestly just an overall improvement to the basic functions of the current human body. A human version 2.0, if you will.
12 Cheat The End Through Katra
For those of you who don’t know about Katra, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite thing. Katra is a method in which Vulcans can seemingly cheat outside attempts to end their lives. Basically, the (for lack of a better word) soul of the Vulcan can be transmitted to another object or body just before a seemingly fatal event to preserve it. In some very rare cases, the soul can return to the body and the Vulcan will resume life through fal tor pan. Though this can only be done successfully by a high priestess and is incredibly difficult.
11 End Your Marriage Through Koon-Ut-Kal-If-Fee
Since most marriages are arranged in the early years of childhood and done for the logical purpose of child-rearing, divorce due to faded love or loss of interest does not really occur in Vulcan culture. However, there is an event referred to as Koon-Ut-Kal-If-Fee which can effectively release the female in question from this bond. In this event, a new male will challenge the assigned male who will either fight until only one male survives the battle for the female in question or simply let her go.
10 Pon Farr
Every seven years the Vulcan people experience a great and disturbing emotional event known as Pon Farr. If these emotions are not dealt with quickly and thoroughly then the Vulcan experiencing them could lose their sanity or even their life. For those of you who do not know, there are only two ways to expel these emotions: grown-up Vulcan time or meditation. However, it is important to note that Vulcans do engage in grown-up time outside of Pon Farr. Pon Farr is simply a time in which they crave nothing else but the fun time to an uncomfortable degree.
9 Inner Eyelids And Extreme Temperatures
Due to the nature of their home planets environment, the Vulcan body has evolved several adaptations in order to protect itself from the elements. A few of these adaptations have already been mentioned earlier in this article but two more adaptations that exist are the presence of the inner eyelid and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. The first exists to protect the eyes of the Vulcan people from both the sun and the abundant sand that coats and makes up their planet. The latter is quite straightforward as a body that cannot survive harsh weather could not survive life on Vulcan.
8 Empathy Through The Mind Meld
The mind meld is essentially telepathy 101. It allows people to exchange memories, thoughts, and other elements of the mind; however, it requires physical contact (in most cases) in order to be performed correctly and accurately. It is important to note that this is not always a passive experience and that some Vulcan’s can erase the memories of another as well as interact with the memories being present to them. Mind Melds can be resisted by some races while also being performed without consent. The intricacies of them have made them quite taboo at different points in time.
7 Vulcan's Once Used Established Polytheistic Beliefs
It is important to note that before the arrival of Surak, the Vulcan people followed a polytheistic belief system with gods dedicated to different things similar to the Greek or Egyptian mythologies. This is important to note because most highly intelligent/logical fictional characters are often associated with atheism so one would not expect such a belief system from the Vulcan people. However, this belief system existed before the Vulcan people abandoned emotional displays and adopted their highly logical mindset.
6 Vulcan's Use The Utilitarian Ethical System
The utilitarian school of ethics states that morality can be judged by the outcome of an event rather than the actions leading up to it. Basically put, this way of thinking states that two wrongs can, in fact, make a right. An example of this being the classic trolley problem and that it would be ethical to lose one life in order to spare five. It only makes sense that the highly logical Vulcan’s would favor this school of thought as it is result focused and places little to no focus on emotions whatsoever.
5 Romulans Were Once Vulcans
When the Vulcan population was divided by Surak’s theories, war broke out, neutron bombs were deployed, Surak was ended, and some people ending up leaving the planet for good. Those who separated did so because they objected to Surak’s teachings and could not live on a planet ruled by them. These people eventually became known as the Romulans. It is important to note that these separatists were unhappy with Surak’s teachings long before the war and the war itself was simply the final push they needed to leave the planet for good.
4 Vulcan's Are A Hardy Race
From their ‘tough as nails’ constitution to their ability to survive for days without food, drink, or sleep, it is no question whether or not the Vulcan race is a race of hardy beings. Their iron stomachs can eat whatever they want without fear of farm, their bodies protect them from the harsh conditions of their own home planet, and their love for logic protects them from the fallout that comes from grand and volatile emotions as well as succumbing to irrational thought.
3 No Fighting Needed With The Vulcan Nerve Pinch
Though the Vulcan people favor logic and reason, they are no strangers to violence. From their barbaric past to their style of ethics, Vulcan’s can be a cold-blooded race. But when things get going, the Vulcan people would rather end things as quickly as possible before someone does something ill-conceived and gets themselves hurt. Thus the Vulcan nerve pinch was created. This is nothing more than a notably strong and well-placed pinch administered to the shoulder region of an enemy that renders them immediately unconscious. It was created by Nimoy to be a “less emotional alternative to physical violence.”
2 The Practice of Kahs-Wan
Kahs-wan is a ritual undertaken by the children of Vulcan where the child is sent into the desert and expected to survive without any assistance for a certain period of time. It is important to note that this ritual has claimed many lives and is incredibly difficult. Family bonds developed between Vulcan’s can be exceptionally strong and many believe that this ritual was meant to strengthen both the child and their ability to control their emotions in all situations so that they are able to handle emergencies without breaking down.
1 Martial Arts Masters
Though they tend to abstain from physical combat, it is important to note that the Vulcan people are actually quite adept at hand to hand combat due to the fact that most Vulcan’s are highly trained in their own form of martial arts. Though this art is based more on technique and philosophy rather fighting, combat, or physical prowess. Though this martial art can be used to end the life of another Vulcan in the aforementioned divorce like ritual needed to break an arranged bond of marriage.