We know that Spock is biologically half-Vulcan but to me he looks just like full-Vulcans. B'Elanna Torres is half-Klingon and half-human, but in her case you can tell; the Klingon traits like head ridges are about 50% of what they would be were she a full-Klingon. So, shouldn't Spock have only kind of pointy ears, sort of slanted eye-brows, slightly green blood, etc. instead of simply looking just like a full-Vulcan?

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    Perhaps he has his father's ears and his mother's pancreas, or something.
    – Molag Bal
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 0:58
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    I have the sense that, early on, non-Spock Vulcans tended to have much more dramatic eyebrows (see, e.g., Sonak from TMP), but that this was toned down in later movies and TNG-era Trek. This may just be confirmation bias, though...
    – Micah
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 1:08
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    I think Spock was originally conceived as fully Vulcan and re-imagined as half-human somewhere in the first season. "This Side of Paradise" (something like ep 24 of season 1) contains dialog in which Kirk points out his half-breed nature. However, in "Balance of Terror" (ep 14), Lt. Stiles' comments about Spock's resemblance to Romulans implies that Spock is pure Vulcan.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 3:49
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    Note that not all genetic traits "mix", many of them fully reflect the genes from only one parent. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 13:00
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    @AnthonyX: Spock references his human heritage in the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, just after Kirk surprises him with an unexpected chess move: Kirk: "Certain you don't know what irritation is?" Spock: "The fact one of my ancestors married a human female..." We learn later, of course, that the ancestor in question was his father. :-) Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


In the original Star Trek, Spock's appearance was simply that of a human with oddly trimmed eyebrows, green-tinted skin, and pointed ears.


In contrast, his father Sarek has much heavier eyebrows, much more oddly pointed ears, and a heavier coat of green makeup which additionally gave his skin an uneven quality.


When I first saw the episode "Journey to Babel," in which Sarek appears, as a kid, I was immediately struck by how much more alien a full-blooded Vulcan looked than Spock.

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    Maybe it's just me, but from the photos you're showing it is not directly obvious to me that Sarek's ears are "much more oddly pointed" and that he's wearing a "heavier coat of green makeup".
    – Emil
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 7:22
  • Also the skin thing could be explained with age. After all, he is Spok's father. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 8:04
  • @Emil I think the "makeup" might even be just imagination based on the lighting. But his ears are clearly not as straight as Spock's. Just compare the outer edge. Of course this might be unintentional and also based on camera angle, lighting, etc.
    – Mario
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 8:07
  • @Emil Ears and Eyebrows are much more pronounced. You can't see his eyebrows well in the above picture, because they're grey. They almost touch his hairline, while Spock looks like he just plucks his eyebrows' outer halves.
    – user40790
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 14:47
  • @Mario The pictures in the answer were just ones I found randomly on the Internet. They are not necessarily reliable depictions of Spock's and Sarek's skin colors in the original broadcasts. The original Stark Trek episodes have been competely remastered, and they made "improvements" to much of the makeup work and special effects. It would not surprise me if they played with Sarek's skin tone to make it closer to the more understated makeup they used on Mark Lenard in post-1960s appearances.
    – Buzz
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 20:26

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