What would have been the body snatchers' purpose in replacing humans and leading their lives, once they did not have to try to look like humans anymore?

Once all humans which could be replaced were replaced, there was no sense in trying to lead humans lives - or was there?

  • 3
    In which version? Or both?
    – Valorum
    Dec 5, 2017 at 20:45
  • When did they ever reach the point where all humans were replaced? Dec 5, 2017 at 21:05
  • 1
    @PoloHoleSet - At the end of the 1978 version with the famous "scream" scene, I would imagine
    – Valorum
    Dec 5, 2017 at 21:09
  • 1
    The answer is probably we will never know, since we won't be around to witness.
    – Mr Lister
    Dec 5, 2017 at 21:09
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    @theguest - no, I don't think that's right, at all. The terror is that, while his friend thought he was faking, like she was, the horrific discovery was that he wasn't faking, and had been replaced by a pod-alien. Dec 6, 2017 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


In the novel their one purpose is 'to survive' p224, and they return to space looking for a less 'fierce and inhospitable planet' The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (1955) Chapter 21, p223. [While the narrator's opinion, the implication of the text is that he is somehow in touch with their intent, and feels their departure.] It is however clear that they can 'reseed' space.

Given 'survival' as a goal, and seeding as the mechanism, imitation of animal/human life is only a biological stage - not an end - so speculatively, once having replaced humanity, they would replace animals and plants too until they were the whole biosphere and then spore spreading on to other worlds. [The sporing stage would probably slough off human appearances growing to the size of St. Paul's cathedral. I base the latter on the biology of the Krynoids in Doctor Who (influenced by Finney's body snatchers, and Nigel Kneale's Quatermass Experiment (1955 contemporary with novel)]

  • There's no real purpose. It's just the way their biology works, it's what they do. Dec 5, 2017 at 23:48

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