Quick Links -    Disc. Board   |   Outpost#31 Store   |   THING-FEST    

- Contact Us
- Script
- Screenshots
- FAQ's
- Cast & Crew
- Quotes
- Maps and Timeline
- Trivia 
- Goofs
- Special FX
- Behind-the-Scenes
- Deleted Scenes
- Technical Specs
- Storyboards
- In Memoriam

- Video Game
- Role-Playing Games
- Board Games
- Online Articles
- Magazines/Comics
- Books 
- "Who Goes There?"
- Fan Fiction Repository
- - Fan Fiction Stories
- - Fan Images
- - Fan Essays
- - Fan Tattoos


John Carpenter's

How Does It Freeze?                                                                
By Adam Horvath

I'm sure if you're reading this you've probably seen the film The Thing or at least know enough about it to know that the Thing was frozen in the ice for at least 100,000 years. Basically, I plan to provide an explanation as to how an organism can perform such a task.


The first item we need to examine to find this out is to look at the parts of Thing biology we already know. We know it is a viral organism capable of assimilating and perfectly imitating other organisms. We know it is a non-terrestrial species (Obviously), so it does not have to seem 'possible' compared to native species. We know it can manipulate it's own cells at will. We also know its metabolic rates are of the charts, making it capable of changing its form entirely in a matter of minutes.


It is pretty obvious that the Thing did not just lay there wide-awake for 100,000 years, motionless. That would be enough to make anything go insane. That makes it slightly possible that the Thing went insane in the ice and attacked once it was thawed, but I'm not here to try to prove that. If you want to try, go ahead.

So, we can establish that the Thing went into some form of hibernation. Now, hibernation basically means going to sleep for a long time, and not waking up for any normal bodily functions or going out to consume something. So how could it stay alive for 100,000 years and not eat anything?

Let's look at bears. Bears pretty much eat a lot during the summer. Also, they eat a lot of grass and rocks to plug up their intestines. This is so they can reuse food that they ate. This works fine for bears, but could this be how the Thing survived? No. That is not possible. As far as we know, the last surviving Thing crawled out of the ship, walked a few meters, and then froze in the ice. It had no chance to eat anything, so unless it got prepared for hibernation before the trip, which also is very unlikely, this form of hibernation is impossible.

Now let's look at frogs. Frogs dig themselves into the ground before winter and hibernate there. When winter comes, they freeze solid in the ice and cease all body functions. Even the heart stops beating. This is made possible because amphibians are cold blooded, so the icy temperatures do not harm them as much. Another thing is that their blood generates a special antifreeze sugar to ensure the ice doesn't crack their skin and bleed them to death. Similar to human attempts at cryogenic freezing. However, even though frogs don't eat dirt and rocks, they still eat a lot before hibernation. So, while this method is more likely, let's try to think of non-terrestrial ways to accomplish this task.


First we need to establish what type of terrestrial species the Thing can be classified in. First off, the Thing is a single celled organism that works with other Things when it has to, but ultimately it only tries to ensure it's own survival at any cost. It invades other species and infects them. This is the easiest part of classifying the Thing. It is a viral species.

Now, there is a large difference between how warm and cold-blooded species hibernate. Bears crawl into a small dry space that remains at a relatively constant temperature year round, such as a cave. Frogs, on the other hand, dig under the leaf litter and freeze like rocks. Unless it is injected by some kind of antifreeze sugar, such as that found in a fish or frog, no warm-blooded creature could survive frog hibernation, or what the Thing went through.

It is unlikely the Thing is a naturally evolved species. It would have eventually starved itself and it's planet, and it is unlikely that such a species could develop space travel. Chances are, it is a biological weapon, which explains it's viral nature. So, there are two ways the Thing could survive a 100,000-year freezing. Either it is a cold-blooded species, or it was injected by an antifreeze serum prior to the trip. For ease, let's assume it is a cold-blooded species. This makes more sense, because it is immune to cold yet very vulnerable to fire. This also creates a hypothesis that the Thing's planet of origin is an icy one.

So, what do we know so far?

The Thing 
Cold Blooded 
Biological Weapon

So, we know it is cold blooded, so it can create antifreeze sugar when it freezes. But one question remains: how did it eat?

Well, we know the basic nature of the Thing is to ensure its own survival at all costs. We also know it can duplicate itself within minutes, and we know that each cell is a different Thing. So here is my explanation. When the Thing walked out of the ship and knew it was going to freeze, it broke itself into its separate cells, forming a blob of matter, which froze. (I know the book 'Who Goes There' clearly states that the Thing was more or less humanoid, but the book never had Norwegians thawing it out.)

Now, there is no reason to assume the Thing cells couldn't move in the ice. Perhaps, due to its freezing planet of origin, it couldn't be completely frozen - only encased in a coffin of ice. This gives us a good explanation as to how each cell ate. Each cell could use its extreme metabolic rates to duplicate itself. Then, its parent cell simply ate it. That's how it survived for 100,000 years: cannibalism. Remember: each thing only tries to ensure it's own survival.


The Thing is a cold-blooded biological weapon and a virus. When it crawled out of the ship and realized it was going to freeze, it broke itself down into it's original cells and froze into a coffin of ice. When hungry, a cell would duplicate itself and then eat the duplicate while it was still young and inexperienced. Once the cells realized they were being chopped out of the ice by the Norwegians, it reformed into whatever form it thought would be best, and got ready to be thawed out by the ill fated scientists.



About Us     Copyright

www.outpost31.com 2001-2007

contact us