I think I found a flaw to the alien franchise. As the other day I was wondering if you can just cover your face against a wall or your arms? I mean if you've been cocooned then you can't move your head so your doomed there but if you just hide your face the facehugger can't get you.

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    Yes. They seem to be more than sufficiently strong to prevent someone from flinging them off.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 8:42
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    Obviously this isn’t the core of your question, but how is this a flaw as regards the franchise? There aren’t a lot of occasions when characters get impregnated by facehuggers, and when it does happen, it’s usually by surprise. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 9:04
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    @Paulie_D there's more than 1 way into the human body...
    – Daft
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 9:26
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    You are, of course, assuming that they only go for the face.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 11:58
  • 10
    It's not really a hug, you know.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 12:22

8 Answers 8


"Turning to face a wall" isn't going to do jack squiddly against a facehugger. They're literally built to hug your face and plant eggs in your chest, and nothing you can do as a lone human is going to prevent that once they've jumped at you.

Their little ovipositor (Egg Injector) secretes a kind of acidic substance that allows them to pierce pretty much any material. It got through Kane's helmet, after all. So if they wanted, they could probably just make a new hole at the back of your head after you've turned around.

Best defence against a facehugger if you're by yourself is to have a shotgun or a flamethrower in your hands and blast every last one that thinks you're a good place to start a hatchery.

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    I really like this answer. jack squiddly + ovipositor = +1 from me!
    – Daft
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 13:02
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    Nice first post. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 13:10
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    Haha, thanks. And a +1 from you gets you a +1 from me ;) Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 13:32
  • Surely they would not kill the intended incubator though, that would after all defeat the purpose of finding a nice warm acidic place to lay eggs Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 15:51
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    Actually the best defense is to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 11:08

It's hard to say for sure, but in Aliens at least, it takes the combined effort of 4 adults (3 of which are marines, 1 of which is Vasquez. Although arguably, Ripley might not be giving it her all), to pry a facehugger off Ripley.

enter image description here

We'd have to assume they are very strong creatures and so facing a wall or covering your face with your arms probably wouldn't be adequate protection.

And like Mikey Mouse points out in the comment below, their first job is really to choke you unconscious. After you pass out, it doesn't really matter what direction your facing.

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    As seen in this picture, step one for the hugger isn't to hug, it's to whip that tail around the victims neck. Covering your face or turning to a wall won't be much use when it chokes you unconcious like it did to Kane in Alien. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 10:32
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    You know, this never really made sense. Obviously they're strong and determined, but there's still this thing called physics--a creature of that size just can't weigh that much. It'd have to have some source of leverage to need 4 people to pick it up.
    – Tiercelet
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 16:21
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    @Tiercelet It's not about weight, it's about the force it can exert. A bull terrier is about the same size, but no animal handler in their right mind would try picking up a pissed-off pitbull.
    – Graham
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 17:40
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    @Yakk You've clearly never tried picking up a struggling animal, with or without its teeth in play. The problem isn't lifting that mass of animal, it's lifting that mass of resisting animal. Add claws, and it becomes painful. And constrictor snakes demonstrate clearly how locking a flexible body around their targe is a successful strategy for taking down creatures much larger than them. If you imagine a facehugger as a pitbull, minus teeth, plus boa constrictor, then you're in the ballpark. And that's not a healthy ballpark for humans to go one-on-one with.
    – Graham
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 14:50
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    A freaking cat is pretty darn hard to restraint when it's freaking out. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 21:24

That's like saying that I can't punch you in the face if you're looking the other way. Technically true, but unlikely to be of any practical help.

However, to answer the original question, in the Aliens: Berserker comic, a team of alien removal specialists use special anti-facehugger masks, which allows someone to get taken alive for impregnation, and thus reveal the location of the hive.

Aliens: Berserker #1 - Page 15

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    Well, if this is canon, then it seems there IS a kind of "Hide your face" defence against a facehugger. I wonder what those masks are made of? Nice answer. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 9:12
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    Either unobtanium or plotonium of course ;-) What else would you make such a mask off of? Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 2:30
  • This plotonium, @JohnKeates? Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:21
  • @JanDvorak sounds about right Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 15:06
  • +1 for the first sentence. It's technically correct which is the best kind of correct.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 19:31

Facehuggers have a variety of ways of giving you a face full of alien wing-wong.

As we see in most movies, the prefer to attack by surprise, are extremely fast and are capable of very long jumps, leaving you with no time to turn away.

They also seem to strike the neck of their victim (as seen in Aliens and AVP), throttling them into near unconsciousness before settling onto the face of their victim.

As we see in Alien they are also capable of secreting acid capable of melting through a very thick looking space helmet, so covering your face with your arms might not be a good idea.

In some of the expanded universe material, such as Earth War, one character remarks that he's even seen facehuggers take down adult lions.

  • Where did a facehugger encounter a lion? Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 15:27
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    @Malvolio if I remember in a lab. Weyland-Yutani experiments
    – evilscary
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 16:04

It wouldn't work. Their design (strength, agility and process) is to subdue first on contact and use as an incubator when successful. Short of killing them, what would work is figuring out how they aim, and either give them a false target (a clay head? ballistic gel? mirror? hologram?) or be somewhere they can't get to. (so, be an unreachable/invisible target)

For example, live on a planet while they are stuck in a star's gravitational pull. They won't get near you.

  • Welcome to Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange. Could you elaborate on why it would not work?
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 2:50
  • Added the 'why' :) Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 3:09
  • Sure... launching them to a low heliocentric orbit seems like the best way to rid of these critters. Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:19

Bishop said in Aliens, that as soon as the alien had planted the embryo, the blood of the facehugger quickly oxidizes and the creature dies. Since many types of glass won't melt with acid, and seeing that it's very difficult to remove one of those organisms, once attached, why not use a syringe with a glass needle (glass that is tempered to their acidity) and inject an oxidizing agent? Even a strong base to neutralize the acid blood and thereby killing the creature before it finishes the gestation period. Then you pull it off and see if you can extract the embryo before it matures. I also wonder what localized liquid nitrogen would do to their tissue?

  • But that would require another person to help you - the OP asks if you can sue your hands to shield yourself, removing the need for another person. Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 19:40
  • well in that case I'd say a person by themselves should just run. If your face is covered, the creature will still put the victim in a coma by using it's tail to reduce oxygen to the brain. then the victim can't use their arms or cover their face. If you're locked in a cell with an egg, then its gameover lol!
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 20:06
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    @Gallifreyan sue your hands? Talk about frivolous litigation!
    – SQB
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 22:48
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    @SQB Not that frivolous. Tell me why hand cuffs are hand cuffs and not people cuffs? Because hands are almost always the culprit.
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 19:39

Well, how about using an ape suit? They're canon:


The Apesuit is a specialized armored suit, used by both the United States Colonial Marine Corps and Weyland-Yutani combat personnel. The suit effectively protects the wearer from the hazardous effects of Xenomorph acidic blood.

[...] it additionally protects the wearer from Facehugger attacks as long as they are not comatose, as the Facehugger will then have time to pry the suit's mask off and gain access to the victim within. The Apesuits in this game are considerably bulkier than those seen previously.

  • AvP is "canon" in the same way that the video games are :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 7:38

You could, but the tail would choke you out until you lost consciousness, and then the fingers, which are apparently very strong, would clamp onto your head and not let go. That nasty tube would be down your throat before you knew it.

  • This doesn't offer anything that isn't already in the (better sourced) answers above.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 8:03

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