Ben Grimm looks as though he is made of clay, but clay would not be terribly effective at clobbering. Is the specific type of mineral (or minerals) that comprise Ben's body ever discussed?

  • I'm gonna say no, it's never identified. I wouldn't call it rock, though. More like uneven ceramic scales. He looks like a hundred other critters Kirby drew in the 50s. – Ralph Crown Aug 3 '17 at 19:19
  • 5
    Well, I know that he's not very gneiss. And at times his teammates seem to take him for granite. – Paul Aug 3 '17 at 22:38
  • Clay would be extremely effective at clobbering. – Lexible Aug 4 '17 at 22:55
  • 1
    What kind of rock? Well, orange rock, obviously. – Ben Crowell Apr 28 at 0:45

Actually, in the comics it's not rock at all. In his first appearance, his skin was supposed to be akin to a dinosaur's hide. Over the years, the illustrators evolved it into a more rocky looking texture to make him seem even more like a monster. But in the comics, it's just really thick skin that has cracked to make the appearance of rocks. His skin is even described as "rock-like hide", key word here being "hide". It is also pointed out in the comics that his skin can dry out, meaning that it is very likely that he has actual skin.

Now in regards to the movies, that's an entirely different question, as they strayed very far from the comics in both renditions. In the movies, I don't think they actually say what type of material he is made of, but for the most recent edition, I think it is safe to say that it is a sediment not native to Earth, as he acquired his powers in the Negative Zone. We do, however, know that his skin is some sort of rock, as he was encased in a larger boulder of the same substance. Now for the original movie, there is a good chance that we can identify some of the minerals that he is made of. However, I think it is safe to say that whatever the rock initially was, it went through some significant molecular alterations during the process of his transformation. In both cinematic versions of him, the Thing goes through way too much physical abuse and strain for his skin to consist of "just another rock". It obviously has a much higher level of density and is too indestructible to be any rock we know of.

TLDR: Traditionally, it's just really thick skin which has cracked to look like rock.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    All quite interesting. Can you offer any evidence to back up these assertions? – Valorum Aug 3 '17 at 16:33
  • Of course. For the sake of the movies, I don't think there is much I can add aside from what I have already pointed out. I would assert, however, that no known sediment could have withstood the physical strain that The Thing was put under in both movies. As for the comics, in the original Fantastic Four edition, his skin is (I believe, I do not have my comic book actually with me right now) described as "rock-like hide", key word here being "hide". It is also pointed out in the comics that his skin can dry out, meaning that it is very likely that he has actual skin. – jared.nesbit Aug 3 '17 at 16:43
  • 1
    Don't tell me, edit your answer :-) – Valorum Aug 3 '17 at 16:50
  • 2
    While I generally agree with your explanation, it seems that even Marvel is a bit conflicted. Their own bio on marvel.com describes him as a grotesque, rock-hided strongman dubbed the Thing. – phantom42 Aug 3 '17 at 20:47
  • @phantom42 Good insight. I think that can be taken to mean that he has rock for skin, or that his skin is just rock-like. – jared.nesbit Aug 4 '17 at 14:52

My "hypothesis" is that his skin is composed of alpha-keratin, the same thing that fingernails and many animal horns are made of.

| improve this answer | |
  • Do you have any evidence for it being made of this or at least could you edit this for why you think this. – TheLethalCarrot Apr 27 at 23:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.