In Star Trek (2009) there is a mysterious substance called red matter that is able to create spontaneous singularities. These singularities are able to contain supernovae that threaten the galaxy, allow time travel to alternate realities, and can crush experimental, Borg-inspired mining vessels.

What exactly is this red matter goo supposed to be? Where did it come from?

  • 10
    Phlebotinum! ;)
    – gnovice
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:31
  • 3
    Probably made from Omega particles :) Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:34
  • 2
    I always just assumed that it was J.J. Abrams messing with the minds of "Alias" fans. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


The comic mini-series Countdown covered the period in the 24th century leading up to Nero and Spock's ships falling into the black hole. From the Red matter article on Memory-Beta:

Red matter was a substance that was created through the use of Decalithium. It was created by the Vulcan Science Academy and took the form of a red liquid substance that collected in the form of a sphere. A single drop of this compound was capable of creating a singularity.

I should point out that since it's from a comic book, it's quasi-canonical. All we know about the red matter is its effect in the movie.

  • 18
    If all you really need is a drop... why did Spock run around with, what looks like, a metric ton of the stuff? Seems illogical to me.
    – Dylan Yaga
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 14:45
  • 4
    The small the singularity the quicker it evaporates due to hawking radiation.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 10:34
  • What's amusing is JJ's minions decanonized their own comic book with Picard season 1. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 16:35

Well the Romulan warships use a trapped singularity for their warp drives instead of the M/AM reactors of the Federation, so they would need a way to generate them as opposed to find and trap them in the wild. That would necessitate them having some sort of technology to generate them. The red matter could be the latest revision of that technology, originally intended as an olive branch from the Vulcans to the Romulans.

This technology would alleviate the need to generate a new singularity as ships come off the line, possibly removing a time consuming, resource heavy or environmentally damaging industry. With that much red matter, the Romulans could also rebuild from their losses during the Dominion War faster. Especially if the process of generating singularities causes them to have a much lower build rate for warp capable than the Federation or Klingons, they may look to destabilize their neighbors through intrigue to maintain their dominance.

Allowing them to "Catch Up" to their neighbors with this limited supply of red matter would head off attempts to destabilize the Federation and their neighbors.

  • This is fan fiction and put way more thought into it than JJ ever did. Incidentally dear readers in case you don't know Warp drive engines are about how one heats up the plasma. TNG Era Romulus use micro black hole accretion disc friction. Dilithium down converts gamma rays from antimatter annihilation to infrared to heat plasma. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 16:41

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