Ohmu

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Ohmu are a species that features in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Contents

History

Ohmu (王蟲 Ōmu?) were a race of large terrestrial arthropod that formed on Earth following the Seven Days of Fire that engulfed the planet which transformed much of the surface into the hostile Cursed Earth.

Overview

While Ohmu are not aggressive unless provoked, humans generally do not approach Ohmu for fear of enraging them. However, a small number of humans (including Princess Nausicaä) are able to safely approach and even communicate with the creatures. In addition to their enormous physical power, a traveling Ohmu will unintentionally scatter spores from the forest wherever it goes. Land in which these spores germinate becomes unsuitable for human use, so every effort is made to prevent Ohmu from nearing human settlements. Ohmu themselves are not inclined to leave the Sea of Decay unless enraged and chasing an aggressor or intentionally traveling. While living Ohmu are feared by humans, their cast-off exoskeletons are extremely valuable as a material for weapons, tools and buildings.

Ohmu seem to have some unusual abilities. They possess a powerful empathy which causes them to reciprocate human emotions: responding to aggression with aggression, peaceful gestures with tranquility. The touch of their tentacles can heal human injury, even seemingly fatal wounds. In the manga, Ohmu are capable of generating a gelatinous substance known only as "serum". This mysterious gel can provide oxygen to the blood of a human even if the human is not breathing, and will protect a human from the harmful effects of the forest's toxic spores. Ohmu serum is held in high regard by worm-handlers, who seem to believe it has magical properties. The blood of an Ohmu is deep blue in color. Other insects will not attack a human whose body or clothing has been coated in Ohmu blood. The Ohmu have many eyes. When they are bright red, it is enraged; when they are a very light blue, it is closing its' eyes; when they are light blue, it has its' eyes open.

The film suggests that infant Ohmu are approximately the size of young adults. Notably, it is mentioned that as a child, Nausicaä once encountered a young Ohmu the size of a small dog. Like many arthropods, they grow larger each time they molt, and form a new exoskeleton to match their new size. Immediately prior to molting, an Ohmu gorges itself, presumably to stretch its exoskeleton as it forms, to accommodate growth.

Notes

  • Ohmu were created by Hayao Miyazaki and part of the setting of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Appearances

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:

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