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The Mellanoid slime worm was a gelatinous lifeform.


While taking the Starfleet Academy entrance exam on Relva VII in 2364, Wesley Crusher bumped into a Zaldan named Rondon, who insulted him by calling him a Bulgallian sludge rat and a Mellanoid slime worm. Crusher realized that he was being tested on his ability to interact with other cultures and species, and that the appropriate way for him to respond to a Zaldan was to bluntly confront him. (TNG: "Coming of Age")

In 2383, a Mellanoid slime worm known as Murf was present in the Tars Lamora prison colony. He was taken to the USS Protostar by the Brikar Rok-Tahk. (PRO: "Lost and Found")


By 2384, the Federation didn't know much about the biology of mellanoid slime worms. (PRO: "Observer Effect")

Mellanoid slime worms evolved from aquatic sea life. (PRO: "Observer's Paradox") Nearly indestructible, they were fond of ingesting random and improbable objects, such as pieces of mechanical equipment or even photon grenades. In the latter case, Murf briefly expanded in size when it detonated before returning to normal size. (PRO: "Kobayashi") The most impressive feat Murf's biology achieved was to safely act as a living containment vessel for an artificial protostar. (PRO: "A Moral Star, Part 1") Slime worms could also survive in the vacuum of space. (PRO: "First Con-tact")

Murf's cocoon

Murf's coccoon

The worm stage was in fact a distinct juvenile form in the species life-cycle, Mellanoids undergoing metamorphosis at some point after wrapping themselves into a cocoon. (PRO: "All the World's a Stage") As they emerged from their cocoon, Mellanoids then featured a humanoid body shape, with a pair each of arms and legs. (PRO: "Crossroads") In this adult form, they possessed strength, speed, and agility that made them effective combatants, with Murf being able to easily defeat Romulan Tal Shiar agents. (PRO: "Masquerade") Murf was later able to single-handedly fight off and decapitate Drednok and catch a falling Dal R'El. (PRO: "Ouroboros, Part I")

While underwater, Murf was able to sprout fins and a tail for easier travel, although he reversed these changes after getting back out of the water. When Murf made these changes, he glowed brightly from within his body. (PRO: "Observer's Paradox") While under mind control, Murf temporarily sprouted a second set of arms. (PRO: "The Fast and the Curious")

Although apparently only able to speak gibberish that not even a universal translator could translate, slime worms did in fact have a language, and most beings simply couldn't understand them. Gillian the humpback whale could understand Murf, as could Wesley Crusher, the latter of whom suggested that Murf was doing a lot of swearing. Rok-Tahk suggested that Murf was simply communicating at a frequency that couldn't be easily heard unless he was submerged due to mellanoid slime worms evolving from aquatic sea life. Rok compared it to the harmonics of a whale and guessed that the language was too nuanced for a translator to work. (PRO: "Observer's Paradox", "The Devourer of All Things, Part I") At times, Murf proved to be capable of speaking simple words such as saying "pew, pew, pew, pew, pew" while operating the USS Protostar's phasers (PRO: "Ascension, Part I") and "yeah." (PRO: "Last Flight of the Protostar, Part I")

Medusans were unable to read the minds of slime worms. (PRO: "Observer's Paradox")



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Background information[]

According to Aaron Waltke, the look of Murf was inspired by Portuguese man o' wars and nudibranchs. [1]