Why is there a two hour time limit on a morph? Is there anything in canon that explains why?

  • 4
    You shouldn't ask for "theories". This is a Q&A site, for questions that have a single correct answer. Not conjecture, opinions etc. Other than that, it's a good question though...
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 11:54
  • 2
    Please don't ask open-ended questions of this nature. If you want to know if there was any official explanation given within the show itself, that question would be fine, but as-is, it's "too broad" and probably going to be closed.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 11:58
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    More bizarre to me (and a general pet peeve in fictional media), why does it work on an even number of Earth time units?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:58
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    As I recall, you can morph for more than two hours. You just can't go back after that time. Kinda like a pawn shop. Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 15:00
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    @SeanDuggan, it doesn't, of course. "I am actually speaking Rigellian. By an astonishing coincidence both of our languages are exactly the same."
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


It is explained, although not in great detail.

Morphing is performed using an "Escafil device" or "Andalite morphing cube". This is a device made by a people known as the "Andalites".

We're never told how and why this works, or why there is such a limitation: it is simply a limitation of the technology. I believe there is a reference at one stage to Andelite scientists attempting to improve the technology.

It appears, therefore, to be something akin to a battery life or capacitor capacity.

  • 1
    I'm not sure why this is as upvoted as it is. The actual cube is not required once you have touched it to gain the ability. This isn't a thing where the heroes have to 'recharge' their morphing tech each time they change.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 3:30
  • @Jeff It actually makes sense. Technology guess here. The morphing technology transforms you and makes a backup of your body and DNA. While you are morphed, the inmune system of the morph tries to get rid of the nanobots that are protecting that backup copy and enough energy to morph back with something akin to an energy shield. the two hour limit time is the duration of the energy shield. After the two hours are finished, the nanobots will begin to use the energy to get back to the original morph, effectively trapping you as a nothlit. Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 17:00

The original body is stored in Zero-Space. During book 18 there was a glitch and the party members were stuck in zero-space and rescued by a passing Andalite ship. This would strongly imply that the limit was because of the body in hyperspace only lasting for 2 hours.

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    I believe they called it Z-Space, or Zero-Space. And the way they explained it was that the extra mass you lose when morphing into something small is stored there. Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:55

Possibly the DNA will permanently transform into the animal you morphed. I'm not sure; I'm just an Animorphs nerd with a theory.

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