DENOBULANS: Cultural Index


Hello, Ric here with another index video,
this time looking in to Star Trek’ super social species with stretchy smiles, the Denobulans.
This species was introduced with star Trek Enterprise and has been present alongside
the development of humanity and the United Federation of Planets since its inception
back in 2161, although it was not one of the founding races.
Your standard Denobulan stands around 5 to 6 foot and is a fairly typical humanoid race.
They do however possess a number or cartilage like protrusions around the face and the rest
of the body such as down the spine. They also have a strongly elastic skin that can exhibit
a number of exaggerated emotions. This elasticity is used in an evolved defence mechanism where
they puff up their face to shock potential danger, though this is less likely to work
on sentient species. They also had extended tongues and their nails grew at a faster rate
than humans, therefore personal grooming often had numerous extra steps involved. Just as
well then that they required only a couple of hours of sleep to function properly. This
was compensated for by a hibernation period that occurred once a year for just under a
week; around 6 days. A Denobulan was unable to be roused during this state without chemical
interference, but such an awakened individual functioned poorly, akin to a human suffering
from sleep-deprivation. They also have rather strong immune systems,
likely an adaptation to their close living conditions and their internal organs were
more complex than a human’s. Their neurology was also very different from that of a human,
but about on par in terms of capabilities though this did mean that a Denobulan mind
was less susceptible to effects that could affect a human mind, but more vulnerable in
other ways. For example they seem to have a lower tolerance to certain radiations and
vivid hallucinations are considered a normal part of a stressed Denobulan mind.
Pheromones play a strong role in Denobulan biology with the species smelling each other
as a form of intimate greeting and an amplification of these pheromones during their mating cycle.
This can create a more aggressive attitude in males for a time. They were also affected
by the pheromones of other species such as the Orions, however they had soporific effect
rather than an excitable one. The Denobulans also have a strong dexterity
that allowed them climb and scale rock faces with little effort.
Denobula is located in the Denobula Triaxa system which may actually be the Iota Bootis
trinary star system located in the Alpha Quadrant. The species was already well known to the
Vulcans and after first contact with Earth in 2063, the Denobulans were quick to visit
the new planet and introduce themselves by 2130. This is in contrast to their own first
contact with the B’Saari which took them a long time to adapt, having reached the conclusion
that they were alone in the universe. The revelation that they were not caused them
to revaluate their philosophies and it doesn’t seem that maintain a religion any more.
They soon initiated a number of exchange programs with the fledgling Starfleet including an
interspecies medical exchange where professionals would work among each other’s people for
experience. This is a reflection of their incredibly social and curious nature and despite
their need for companionship, they do have a great patience, willing to go years without
seeing another of their own species so long as they have the company of others. They appointed
an ambassador to Earth, even before the formation of the Federation.
The planet itself has one supercontinent that houses the whole Denobulan population and
extensive oceans. Their warp drive technology was the work of a scientist called Parnikee,
who studied numerous theories around the fabric of space-time. The Denobulans ties to humanity
lead them to observe the formation of the Coalition of Planets between the Andorians,
Humans, Tellarites and Vulcans and sign up as an affiliated world of the United Federation
of Planets. They did not become a full member for another few decades however, but by the
24th century, they were an official member of the Federation.
There were 12 billion inhabitants of Denbula and they all lived on a single continent.
This may be the result of overpopulation however, with the advent of space travel and numerous
opportunities to expand, the Denobulans have chosen not to do so and instead choose to
maintain this very close community. They have a proclivity towards social behaviour because
of this and find large populations to be reassuring having existed in this societal style for
some time. However, it should be noted that physical contact from a stranger is considered
uncomfortable for a Denobulan, but I can relate to that.
This communal nature extended to their relationships and it was expected that every Denobulan would
have up to three spouses, with each of those having three of their own. This could lead
to very extended family trees with over 700 relations. They didn’t seem to place a great
emphasis on maintaining a family lineage or marrying for political gain which is just
as well. With the number of relations each Denobulan attained; it would make documenting
this an incredibly complex affair. Most of the species were also fairly open
with their sexuality and marriage was not an exclusive affair regarding copulation and
open discussion of such events were not subject to the same stigma that other races apply
them. In terms of technological level, the Denobulans
experimented with genetic manipulation, and although regulated they did not have humanities
poor experiences with the science and continued to moderately apply genetic engineering to
their people. In fact Denobulan medicine and medical research was rather advanced, even
for the galactic standard at the time and many practitioners were always innovating
and learning of new techniques from exposure to other cultures.
They have been warp capable for at least 350 years as their first appearance in Star Trek
Enterprise and maintain a number of research stations and institutions, however, they have
very few bases beyond the Denobula Triaxa System, unlike most other races who found
colony worlds and claim territories to settle. This too stems from their preference for a
close communal lifestyle and while seemingly solely based on Denobula, it is common to
find teams of Denobulans abroad learning, investigating and mingling with other species
out of curiosity. This has led to them being involved in relatively few wars and skirmishes
and may be why they initially refused to completely join the Coalition of Planets as doing so
would tie them to species who did claim resource-rich worlds and try to explore beyond their initial
reach. In a phrase, the Denobulans seemed content to explore within their comfort zone.
Their history, like many other species however, wasn’t free of interstellar wars, with a
war fought against the Antaran throughout the 1800s. This was a bloody conflict with
casualties numbering in the millions and much demonizing of the opponent leading to some
bitter feelings even into the 22nd century. This shows that the Deobulan’s do have their
own military force and will deploy it if needed. They had numerous institutions based on their
homeworld with many scientific branches united under the umbrella of the Science Academy.
It’s easy to assume that the entirety of Denobulan society revolves around the sciences
from our exposure to Phlox and other characters that all seem to have a background in fields
such as geology and genetic engineering. Even taking into account the nature of the Enterprise’s
operations being mainly centred around exploration and such, there do seem to be a higher percentage
of academics and scientists in Denobulan society. They also have relatively few forms of passive
entertainment, such as film as they find greater satisfaction from exploring the lives of other
people than being presented with a tale. Their clothing was also rather plain with little
ornamentation, especially for work garb. While smaller grudges and personal strife
are relatively common, these are tempered by the strong sense of patience and compassion
that the species possesses and means that major internal conflicts are far more difficult
to sustain. Thanks for watching this index on the Denobulan
people. There’s a lot on the species that comes from Star Trek Enterprise, however,
much of it centres around the complexity of their relationships and the population of
their homeworld with little on the governmental structure and industries of Denobula itself.
We get the sense that they are also a very curios people and tend to learn from other
species but unlike say, humanity, they idea of simply casting off into the unknown seems
to have little appeal and they are content to learn at their own pace.
With this one wrapped up, there are two more species that are up for the viewer voted index
with either the space-dumpers, the Malon of the Trek universe or perhaps the space-boars,
the Gamorreans of Star Wars fame. So you can vote in the comments below by liking the appropriate
comment and if I forget to link them, as last time, then comment your choice and I’ll
have to count them all one-by-one. As I had to for this one which I made at 109 for Denobulan
and 24 for Geonosian. So I’m thinking of moving the vote over to the community tab
where there’s a more accurate voting system, however it does potentially involve a few
more clicks on your end to vote and the Community Tab isn’t compatible with every media device
so it’s up to what you find easier. Thanks again, and until the next video, I’ve
been Ric and I’ll see you later. Goodbye and Optimism!




Comments
  1. One of my favorite races in Star Trek universe…but you forgot something, Rick. Male denobulans are to shy when they are in a relantionship with a female (Pholx Said that female denobulans look for a partner…an not the other way around)

  2. Facing Denobulans in a war must be terrifying. I find that the more empathic and friendly a person (or species in this case) is under normal circumstances the more effective they are in confrontations once you somehow managed to really piss them off.
    So imagine a thousand extremely angry Denobulans charging at your position with puffed faces and loaded weapons. And empathy is extremely useful because it allows one to better predict other peoples actions.
    You better have your last will in order.

  3. This just feels like one of those "humans but better" races the a Star Trek seems to crank out every once in a while.

  4. Space pigs! I don't normally vote Star Wars over Star Trek but the Malon were the worst villains ever created for Trek. Yes, worse than the Pakleds.

  5. I have to wonder if the in-universe (as opposed to out of universe, where they hadn't been invented yet) explanation as to why they aren't around in the TOS and TNG era is simply that Denobulan aren't interested in being of Starfleet and would rather just keep working as semi-independent or under the Denobulan government (or other organizations from Denobula). Then again, the TNG era kept mentioning but never showing Andorian and Tellarite so we have to assume they simply were around but never appeared on-screen.

  6. One of the most creative races ever introduced to Star Trek. It's too bad we will probably never see one again 🙁

  7. Wasn't the first mention of Denoblians take place in DS9 explianing where Doctor Brausheer was genetically altered. Please correct me if I am wrong

  8. Their advanced immune systems are because Sexually Transmitted Diseases would be a serious issue, and that could explain their medical expertise.
    As for climbing, human shoulders are adapted to throwing objects, otherwise we could be very effective climbers, perhaps the Denobilans didn't make that adaption? We did when we moved out into the plains as there were no trees to climb, and being able to hurl rocks is what got us started on the road to hunting, as well as being a defense against predators.

    As for their scientific focus, that could just be a matter of selection in that only scientist tend to leave the homeworld, non scientist having no need.
    Their society could be otherwise not very scientifically inclined, considering their slow advancement.

  9. With such of a promiscuous society there is no need for soap operas shows anymore on TV, you have your own at your doorstep as well as the neighbours to look at…

  10. The Denobulans quickly became a favorite of mine on Enterprise. I sort of wished they had been a founding member of the Federation since Alpha Centauri was a human colony, sort of taking the place of the fifth founding world. Ah well.

  11. I never really liked them that much. I didnt dislike them, but it was not fleshed out enough for me to be interested in them.

  12. Denobulans are my favourite, of the more mysterious species. I never picked up on the detail that their clothing is relatively plain because I always saw female Denobulan hairstyles as moderately ornate. Excellent research! Thank you for this episode 🙂

  13. Cultural Index  ,You should do a cultural index for the Carmians, they are the flying humanoids from the popular books, Green Glory, The Adventures of Retro Rahnee and Green Glory, Heroes of Carmi.

  14. i guess Denobulans are just immune to all forms of STD, else their race would have been wiped out long ago.

  15. There was a source, and I think it was Star Trek: Stellar Cartography, that stated that the Denobulan homeworld was near the Romulan Empire at the time and was conquered by them as they expanded during the Earth-Romulan war, which is why we don't see them in any of the previous shows or movies. I am not sure if that is considered canon or not.

  16. 8:45 Enterprise or Voyager? Currently on the last season of TNG, and I don't remember them in there. Watched Voyager, and obviously the doctor.

  17. My suggestion for a race to do at some future point is the Kelvan Empire of Star Trek. They are a looming threat that will finally arrive and attack the entire Milky Way in the 123rd Century but they were first shown in TOS.

  18. Hopefully we get to see the cybermen (doctor who) and even the forerunners (halo) at some point, I would like to hear more about them.

  19. I didn't like Phlox at first in the Enterprise series, but soon learned to appreciate his character and I thought John Billingsley brought that character to life with so many fascinating attributes.

  20. Quite a lot of impact craters visible on the planet… like the ENTIRE planet.
    How did a civilization ever arise with such geologically recent world-wide devastation?

  21. For some reason I believed that enterprise came between the end of the original series and the motion picture and believed that he was a Klingon because got it late and had not heard of any other series

  22. OH GOD….. that STUPID FUCKING CGI SMILE. I HATE IT SO MUCH. In all seriousness, it only happens TWO TIMES during the entire series, which is even more frustrating because it comes so close to not existing at all! They could have left it out completely!

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