What do the San-Ti look like in 3 Body Problem? All the clues so far

25 March 2024, 20:47

Watch the trailer for 3 Body Problem on Netflix

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

An alien civilisation called the San-Ti are central to 3 Body Problem's storyline – but what do they actually look like? Here's what's been revealed so far.

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So you've sat and watched all 8 episodes of Netflix's 3 Body Problem and now you're wondering what the San-Ti aliens look like? You're not the only one.

The brand new sci-fi series has become a huge hit on the streaming service, with many people diving head-first into Liu Cixin's incredible original story for the first time. The Netflix adaptation is the first English-speaking version of the saga to be made.

3 Body Problem follows a group of scientists who begin investigating the shocking results of a fateful decision made by astrophysicist Ye Wenjie way back in the '60s, involving an alien civilisation called the San-Ti.

But what do they actually look like? Do the San-Ti look like humans, or something else entirely? Here's everything revealed in the Netflix series, the original books and beyond.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for 3 Body Problem.

3 Body Problem: What do the San-Ti actually look like?
3 Body Problem: What do the San-Ti actually look like? Picture: Netflix

What do the San-Ti aliens look like in 3 Body Problem?

The San-Ti's true appearance in not revealed in season 1 of the Netflix series. It is, however, hinted at in episode 5.

When Wade and Jin enter the VR game, they're greeted by Sophon, the AI figure who acts as the ambassador between the San-Ti and the humans on earth.

While they're in the game, Wade asks if the San-Ti "look like us". "We don't look anything like this. This is all for your benefit," Sophon replies. When Wade asks what they look like, Sophon ominously says: "You wouldn't like it."

Based on the information shared in the VR Game, the San-Ti are also able to dehydrate and rehydrate themselves, which suggests they do indeed have a physical body.

Unfortunately, there's no solid explanation as to what the San-Ti/the Trisolarans look like in Liu Cixin's novels either. Nor is there a reveal about their appearance. It's left to the reader/viewer's imagination.

What do the San-Ti actually look like in 3 Body Problem?
What do the San-Ti actually look like in 3 Body Problem? Picture: Netflix

There is an unofficial fan-written fourth book, titled The Redemption of Time, written by Baoshu that continues the saga after Liu Cixin's third book, and "envisions the aftermath of the conflict between humanity and the extraterrestrial Trisolarans."

The book was published with Liu Cixin's support, but was not written by him and is not considered to be part of the original saga's canon.

That said, some fans envision the Trisolarans as they are described in that book: Small, insectoid creatures that are about the size of an ant or a grain of rice.

But until Liu Cixin outright explains what they look like, we won't know for sure. It's unclear if the Netflix series will also reveal what they look like in future seasons.

READ MORE: 3 Body Problem cast: All the characters explained and who plays them

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