In a world where people find aliens invading their homes, with what household object or objects found on the street or nearby, could people defend themselves against the invader?

The rules of the invasion are as follows: in every household on the planet at the same point in time one such alien is materialised. If the alien invader in your house is killed, then your house is safe from further invasions.

I need a possible scenario/scenarios on how and with what strategy or device ordinary people defeat their alien opponents so that, lets say, 10% of people in the world is left standing (the % is not as important, just needs to be under 50%).

Note that the aliens are extremely evolved in a way that it is very smart but also very, very tough to kill. It has skin that bounces off melee weapons, it is bulletproof against small and medium caliber bullets, blast-proof, resistant to fire, can last extremely long without oxygen etc. Also note that people are totally surprised by the attack in their home.

Should you need to do so, you can furtherly drop the resistance of the aliens at your will to suit your "killing situation", but to a degree that the alien will still be considered "pretty goddamn tough". Alien species is a humanoid and is also the size of an average adult male. Typically only one member of the species would invade the designated household.

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    $\begingroup$ How large is it? Does it fit into a microwave oven? What about poisoning it? Maybe lay a trap with it's favorite food (I could imagine a story where a character has to cut off a limb and stuff it with poison because the creature only eats humans). I should tell you that this question is about idea generation and cannot be fully answered - which I believe why this will be closed pretty soon. If you are looking for idea generation, this is the wrong forum, especially since you have not defined your alien well enough $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Oct 17 '17 at 12:41
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    $\begingroup$ @user6760 "Hail to you interstellar traveler! Do you come in p..." WHACK "Ow, that was not nice! Now will you pl..." SMACK "Look.... maybe we got off on the wrong f.... yikes!!" PEW PEW PEW. youtube.com/watch?v=rMdC45S79uQ $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Oct 17 '17 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ Give the creatures an Achilles Heal - a particular weak spot on their body. Maybe the reproductive organs. Usually, these are vulnerable areas. Excretory areas, that offer a vulnerability. Even cockroaches can be killed. Maybe a particular sequence of actions - one to expose the vulnerability, the second to complete the kill. The first could trigger a reflex action. A bright flash of light (camera flash), startle reflex, expose a vital organ, go for the kill. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Oct 17 '17 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ All that tough armor covering... bet those guys are pretty dense. Suburbanites will rally around their swimming pools and push the critters in... ;D $\endgroup$ – akaioi Oct 17 '17 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ By medium caliber, do you mean something like the 10 mm Auto and .357 Magnum pistol cartridges or intermediate rifle rounds like the 5.56×45 mm NATO? $\endgroup$ – timuzhti Oct 18 '17 at 5:51

General note: all of this requires dialing back a bit of the resistances you specified.

Rifle or shotgun

Even in Sweden — that has very strict gun laws(*) — there exists 2 million legal privately owned weapons on a population of 10 million. Half of those are hunting rifles, a quarter are shotguns.

If the setting is the US, home-owned guns would be even more prevalent.

There is no such thing as "bullet proof", unless you have Really thick and hard hide. A hunting rifle will punch through even heavy personal armor. A shotgun round to the head should at least blind the alien.

Cooking knife, meat cleaver

Self explanatory. Even if they are not made for combat they are a tremendous force multiplier in the hands of someone trained.

Home-made flamethrower

Pressurized household containers are usually driven by propane. Run that through an open flame and you got yourself a little flame-thrower. Even if it will not be killed by the flame, the flame-thrower can still be very unpleasant, damaging or otherwise detrimental to the being.

Baseball bat

...will serve as a decent melee club.


Works on zombies, why not aliens?

The house itself

If push comes to shove, sever the gas line, sneak outside, wrap a rag/t-shirt around a rock/baseball to get some weight to increase throwing distance, douse the cloth with fuel from the lawn mower tank/petrol can, light it on fire, and chuck it in through a window. If it is a brick house you can expect the walls to give out and the roof to fall down on the nasty.

enter image description here

House destroyed in gas explosion. The occupants made it out in time.

Malmö, Sweden, 2007. (Image source)

(*) You need a license for every weapon you own, and you need a valid reason for having each of the guns. Valid reasons include hunting (you need to be a licensed hunter too), sports shooting, but not self-defense.

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Assuming you have enough time (and presence of mind), most houses in North America are equipped with at least one 240V outlet with anywhere from 40 to 100amps for the clothes dryer or electric oven.

Cut the cable from the appliance end, separate the positive and negative ends of the wire and strip away some insulation, sharpen the ends of the wire if you want to, then turn the circuit breaker back on and lure the alien into grappling range. Stick the bare wires into it and enjoy the show.

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  • $\begingroup$ Though this does somewhat assume you know about and have circumvented any precautions your house/appliances may have. For me to use this method I’d have to jam open two different breakers, or all I’d do is give it a nasty shock. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 17 '17 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ I think if I try to attempt something like this... a) I will be killed while trying to move my oven, b) I will be killed while trying to figure out which specific cable I need, c) I will be killed while trying to repurpose my finally found cable into a weapon, d) I will be killed while trying to 'plug' my alien into an outlet; e) I will be killed while cursing that electrician who did the wiring in my house because he took care that I do not electrocute myself by accident ... I am not a survival type $\endgroup$ – Olga Oct 18 '17 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs simply do the procedure with an extension cord that is only plugged into the socket after it was prepared. $\endgroup$ – Burki Oct 18 '17 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Burki: the breakers in my house trip if they detect a connection to earth. I guess I could lure the creature into a rubber mat, but then there’s also fuses in all the plugs and a second set of breakers for if any individual appliance (can we call improvised monster killing tools appliances?) draws too much power. It’s spectacularly difficult to apply anything but a momentary jolt. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 18 '17 at 10:54

I'm going to learn from ACAC and DannyBoy and add a little more on.

Clearly, if you can tie the creature up with ropes or extension cords (hell, I have enough bubble wrap and duct tape in my house to make a serious go of it), then you have plenty of time to experiment. But first you need to buy that time.

See, when the alien shows up you'll be surprised and not have time to set up elaborate Home Alone-style traps, so you need a way to put the alien on the floor fast so that you can tie him up and go get your power sander. The key here is...

wait for it...


That's why people used those gigantic warhammers and maces during the middle ages. Because the shock from a heavy impact travels through steel plate-mail. Much less some alien chitin. So seriously, I'm suggesting that you pick up a crowbar, rolling-pin, or other heavy object and whale away on the alien's head til you drop him stunned.

Then he's yours.

Edit: The aftermath -- "Christ, Tom, you shoulda seen it. Guy just materialized out of nowhere into the kitchen. Judy clocked 'im with a cast iron skillet, and then I picked up that stupid schmancy marble cutting board and let 'im have it. First time a wedding gift was actually useful. Anyway, guy dropped like a stone, 'n we tied him up with extension cords. Turns out Bar Keeper's Friend eats right through that exoskeleton..." "Yeah, similar story here. Alien popped into the garage where Billy and his band were practicing. They beat him down with electric guitars. Billy said it was 'epic'."

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The alien does not have super-man strength but is simply resilient to fatality.


There was no mention of its bones being unbreakable or the muscles too tough to pull. Breaking of bones and pulling of muscles should be extremely painful, however not necessarily fatal. This way, your trained person could snap the aliens bones or neck, rendering it incapacitated although still alive.

Another way would be to trap it and just keep it indefinitely, meaning its resilience is not really a problem since it can be worked around. Simple pit-fall traps, bear-traps and similar can be widely used. They will be stuck and then a more well-equipped person or organization can swing by and finish the job.

You could introduce weak spots in its armor, say in its joints or similar places. It would still be hard to kill since the areas are quite small.

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  • $\begingroup$ Variation: Incapacitate without oxygen (like underwater) for long enough until it does finally expire. Then you can re-use the trap. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Oct 17 '17 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Finally! A use for my collection of antique bear traps! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 17 '17 at 18:27

Rope is the easiest thing to use. Trip the alien, tie the alien up and then it can't do anything. Then you can slowly break the tough skin and peel it off and torture the alien slowly to death. Everyone who surviving in the neighborhood can come out and do some the torture, it will be a fun experience for the whole family. Each time one is captured and killed the whole neighborhood can have a party. I'm sure everyone will enjoy killing the alien party, especially the ones who lost loved ones to the alien before everyone figured out how to fight them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it feasible for someone under 50kg (120 lbs) living alone and being greatly shocked by a hostile alien guest? $\endgroup$ – Olga Oct 18 '17 at 4:30

I do not think that for ordinary people killing is a feasible strategy. Your average Joe has neither means nor training to kill anyone. And if they attempt to do so they will be more likely to endanger themselves or others than to inflict any significant damage on an alien.

Even in the USA with its lax gun laws, only 35-40% of its adult population owns guns. (The majority of guns are in the rural areas.) It still seems to be a huge number of armed people. However, only half of these people have their guns loaded and within easy reach (what the latter means is not fully clarified, though) when they are at home (but not when they are elsewhere). But most importantly, only about 14% of gun owners use them regularly either for hunting or in the range. There is no easily available statistic on how many of these people are trained to kill an enemy in a battle situation. Not to mention that the majority of personal firearms are handguns.

So, in other words, even in a country as the USA with lots and lots of guns, there will be only a handful of people remotely prepared for dealing with the invaders.

Considering all of this, average Joe and Jane (their Joe, Jr and Jane, Jr) would be much better off dropping everything and running away... hmm, strategically retreating and regrouping with some local thugs independent justice enforcers (in urban setting) or some cowboys/hunters, preferably (ex-)military (rural setting). If these options are not available banding together with neighbours might help.

Once they have numbers on your side, Joes and Janes can proceed with digging traps, using household items for inducing blunt force traumas, etc. The important thing is to follow the KISS doctrine (keep it simple, stupid).

And here is a memo for an average Joe/Jane:

DO use:

  • long guns, if you know exactly what you are doing and you (and your friendly neighbours Mr and Mrs Smith) are at a safe distance;
  • baseball bats, crowbars, cast iron skillets, and other blunt objects (don't forget that you have to be able to lift and swing them!);
  • shovels (for digging only, do not try to fight with them unless you have some training);
  • cars (do not forget to use your seatbelt!);
  • trucks and heavy trucks (still use a seatbelt);
  • machinery (tractors, bulldozers, auto-loaders, saws, etc.) that you know how to operate (there is no time to read the instruction manual!);
  • ropes, cables, duct tape, etc. (do not play a cowboy, use them as ties and ties only!)

DO NOT use:

  • sharp objects such as knives, machete, swords, spears, and so on (way too dangerous for yourself and your friendly neighbours unless you are a samurai or a knight, but in this case, you are no longer an average Joe/Jane);
  • home-made flame-throwers and/or fireworks (remember Mum told you not to play with fire? Listen to her! IT IS dangerous);
  • anything you do not know for sure how to use....

Remember: DO NOT BE A HERO! Be a part of a non-heroic group. They survive longer.

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You have given almost Superman-level defenses to your aliens. You say:

It has skin that bounces off melee weapons, it is bulletproof against small and medium caliber bullets, blast-proof, resistant to fire, can last extremely long without oxygen etc.

So based on that, the average home resident is going to die. In the US, some significant percentage of people will have access to firearms. But those will be small or maybe medium caliber rounds. Humans might have melee weapons, but most of those are going to be useless, as you state.

The people who try those weapons die first, as your aliens neutralize the threats before they neutralize the less threatening occupants.

Some percentage of humanity might try more drastic attacks. Chemical weapons (mace, pepper spray, bleach, etc.). Some might be cooking meals and try boiling water or something. But generally, those will be too small a group to matter, even if they succeed by some chance.

They won't (or shouldn't) have time to devise or carry out any significant military-grade counter-attacks. Not during a surprise attack in their homes. At least, not in any statistically relevant number of households.


You state

in every household on the planet at the same point in time one such alien is materialised.

So when your attack begins, some percentage of humanity will be at work, school, or otherwise away from their household. What percentage depends on when the attack occurs (on a major religious holiday or a during a typical work day? During morning or evening in what time for your story's primary continent? Was the time optimized for destruction, or chosen randomly?).

Remember that if it goes down at 9pm at location X, that's not 9pm for most of the planet... But even if the attack occurs at 4am local time, remember that some people in that locality will be away from the house. Whether that's because they are working the night shift, or whatever...

Likewise, some percentage of humanity will be on ships, planes, or in cars. Some will be homeless. Or in hospitals/hotels. You get the idea.

Your ten percent survivors is most likely drawn almost entirely from those who were already away from home when the attack occurs. They get word of the attack, and do the smart thing -- they don't go home.

Your job

Your job, then, is to decide precisely when the attack occurs, how long it lasts, and what the aliens do next -- do they beam back up to their spaceships and leave? Or do they then move on to business addresses?

Decide those factors, then you can start to estimate how many people might have been out of the house for each timezone/city/area at that time / date.

Hail Mary

I hesitate to throw this in, but you could take the War of the Worlds1 tactic. Some households have a common(-ish) household item that your aliens are susceptible to. Perhaps it is a flowering plant, dog fur, wheat, rice, etc. or a cleaning agent. Or black lights (yay dorm room decorations2). Or tobacco smoke.

Whatever the MacGuffin is, make your aliens completely weakened by that thing.

I don't personally like that tactic, but it works. Especially if the thing is something that seems relatively harmless to humanity, but some super-advanced aliens might not have considered in their defenses.


he quickly discovers that all the Martians have been killed by an onslaught of earthly pathogens, to which they had no immunity: "slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth" wikipedia

2 For the purposes of this invasion, do dorm rooms count as households? Hotels? Campgrounds? Army bases? Here's another potential "away from home" pool, if they don't count. How you define the alien's attack vector matters.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not even remotely Superman levels. Maybe Spider-man or weaker version of the Iron Man armor. $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Jan 26 '19 at 20:55

Well, it can't be immune to every poison, and it probably isn't protected against both extremes of the pH scale. Among all these people desperately looking for makeshift weapons, someone will probably come across something to fling at it that's effective (potentially not something that humans would have a problem with).

You could count on the substance being common enough that 10% of the population are able to use it to their advantange (or the alien accidentally kills itself with the substance while distracted by pursuit, e.g. breaks a wall and dies on inhalation of a chemical in the dust).

Since you haven't said communications were cut, you could also count on people buying themselves just enough time to Google "how kill alien invader" and see what worked for everyone else. That way, however unlikely the solution, it only has to be discovered once for that information to spread.

And that's not even getting into microbes (or insects!) We've got all kinds of organisms that evolved just to get into teeny cracks and destroy everything. Lichens destroy rocks. It might take time longer than any human has, granted, but it would be pretty funny to see something taken down by a lichen.

You could also just find a way to cut the alien off from resources, trapping it long enough to starve to death.

In short, if being big and well armored were all it took, rhinoceroses and similar megafauna wouldn't be endangered. If being big, well armored, and intelligent were all it took, Genghis Khan would have taken over the entire world.

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