Obviously Star Trek changelings are quite robust.

I know the answers to some of these, but I'll just leave it to someone to provide a complete answer.

To harm means to kill or to do damage to a changeling that can be permanent or at least last for some period of time or may require medical intervention to repair.

Various means of attack could include, among others:

  • physical attack
  • physical separation into pieces
  • explosives
  • radiation
  • extreme heat or cold
  • energy weapons
  • vacuum
  • chemical attack
  • biomedical attack
  • denial of reversion to gelatinous state
  • emotional abuse (jk)
  • others

In canon, what do we know causes damage to a Changeling, and what doesn't cause damage?

  • Downvoters? Explanation? Please don't give me the ole "this is a list question". It's not and that's the most misunderstood reason to DV/VTC. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 13:52
  • 1
    “Downvoters? Explanation?” 1. Calm down. It’s just two downvotes. Stop demanding explanations. No-one owes you anything. 2. I don’t think the question needs your list of possible means of attack. A means of attack has either been seen in the show or not. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 14:31
  • @PaulD.Waite I'm perfectly calm. How do you expect the site, questions, and people's voting behavior to improve if people don't explain their thinking? Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 14:42
  • people might have downvoted you for fun, or by accident, or you might have been downvoted by some wayward software bot. Maybe it’s worth asking for explanations, but I don’t remember ever seeing a comment asking for downvote explanations being followed by a downvote explanation. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 15:03
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite: I most definitely have seen people give useful explanations that have led to improvements or clarifications. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


Memory Alpha has a list of methods by which they have been injured and the episodes in which these methods are put into practice:

It has been suggested that Changelings are biologically immortal and therefore never die of old age. (DS9: "Children of Time", "Behind the Lines") However, it has been proven possible to kill Changelings by a number of means.

Severe cases of radiation poisoning can prove fatal. (DS9: "The Adversary") Changelings have also been killed by phaser or disruptor fire, at sufficiently high settings. (DS9: "Crossover", "Apocalypse Rising") A Changeling has also been observed succumbing to trauma following the impact of a ship crashing into a planetary surface (a crash in which the ship's intertial dampeners had failed). (DS9: "The Ship")

In summary:

  • Severe case of radiation poisoning

  • Phaser or disruptor fire at a sufficiently high setting

  • Trauma following the impact of a ship crashing into a planetary surface

  • Dr Bashir used a hypospray to tranquilise Odo. He also became unconscious when struck in the head with a falling rock.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 7:41
  • 1
    @Richard: good points. Really, a rock? How do they justify that? He doesn't really have a head. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 14:08
  • @Thepopmachine - It's been asked on the site before. The short answer is that it's not been explained. Chalk it up to a production error.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 14:41
  • This answer doesn't speak to what cannot harm a changeling. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 6:22
  • @ThePopMachine everything else?
    – Ingu Shama
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:57

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