(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"They are, they are – and damned annoying at times."
In 2161, their homeworld became a founding member of the United Federation of Planets. (TOS: "Mudd's Women", "Amok Time"; TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Data's Day", "Gambit, Part II"; Star Trek: First Contact; ENT: "Broken Bow", "Zero Hour", "Awakening", "These Are the Voyages...") Vulcans were known by the Borg as Species 3259. (VOY: "The Raven")
History and politicsEdit
- Main article: Vulcan history
In 2154, T'Pol stated that Vulcans had evolved on Vulcan. (ENT: "The Forge") Roughly a century later, however, Spock theorized that the Vulcans might be descendants of Sargon's species. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow") In 2369, evidence was discovered that several species including the Romulans, and therefore also the Vulcans, could be traced back to DNA that had been seeded on many planets by ancient humanoids 4.5 billion years ago. (TNG: "The Chase")
The Vulcans were once an extremely violent and emotional people (even by Earth standards) who waged almost constant warfare on one another. (ENT: "Impulse", "Awakening"; TOS: "Balance of Terror", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"; VOY: "Random Thoughts") Paranoia and homicidal rage were common. (ENT: "Impulse") They believed in a variety of gods, such as war, peace, and death. (TNG: "Gambit, Part II") As their level of technology improved, the Vulcans eventually reached a point where their violent nature threatened the extinction of their own species. (ENT: "Awakening")
In an effort to avoid this fate, a Vulcan named Surak developed a new philosophy, thereby igniting the Time of Awakening. Surak maintained that the root cause of all the problems on Vulcan lay in the uncontrolled outpouring of the people's emotions. His followers swore to live their lives by an ethical system devised by Surak and based purely on logical principles. Emotions were to be controlled and repressed. (TAS: "Yesteryear")
Although this new philosophy spread rapidly across Vulcan, a minority, many of whom were known as "those who march beneath the raptor's wings", rejected Surak's ideals. A destructive war began, including the use of atomic bombs, and among the victims was Surak himself. (ENT: "The Forge", "Awakening")
Eventually, however, those who opposed logic left Vulcan and founded colonies elsewhere (TNG: "Gambit, Part I", "Gambit, Part II") – most notably on the planet Romulus, where they founded what eventually became the Romulan Star Empire. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Enterprise Incident"; TNG: "Unification I", "Unification II") At some point in history, the Romulans and the Vulcans engaged in a hundred-year-long war against one another. The war was instigated by the actions of a member of the Q Continuum. (VOY: "Death Wish")
Another group that rejected Surak's philosophy was known as the "v'tosh ka'tur", or "Vulcans without logic". The v'tosh ka'tur believed in controlling emotions by allowing themselves to actively experience them rather than suppressing them. Many of these also left Vulcan, and took up a nomadic existence. (ENT: "Fusion")
At least one planet studied by the Federation was inhabited by "proto-Vulcan humanoids" without warp technology or any direct ties to the Vulcans or the Romulans; the Mintakans possessed technology identified as Bronze Age, but their culture was described by Federation scientists as generally peaceful and highly logical, much like their Vulcan brethren. Eventually, an error during a Federation science mission led to the exposure of Mintakans to Federation technology and society, exempting them from the Prime Directive. (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers")
The Vulcans conducted a series of survey missions to the Sol system, as early as 1957. (ENT: "Carbon Creek") Vulcans were, in fact, one of the first species to develop warp drive, though a century passed between the first warp flight and the breaking of the warp 2 barrier. (ENT: "First Flight") T'Pol told Archer that Vulcans "don't share" Humans' "enthusiasm for space exploration," but a Syrrannite on Vulcan later advised Archer that this may not have been true. (ENT: "Fight or Flight", "The Forge")
The official First Contact between Vulcans and Humans came on April 5, 2063, when a Vulcan survey ship, the T'Plana-Hath, detected the warp flight of Zefram Cochrane's Phoenix. The Vulcans met with Cochrane at his launch site on the day following the flight. (Star Trek: First Contact)
The Vulcans eventually became Earth's "big brothers" in a way, advising Earth officials on how to proceed into the galaxy. The Vulcan High Command considered Humans volatile and similar to Vulcans before the Time of Awakening, and so attempted to slow down Humanity's move into the galaxy until the time was right. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "The Forge")
In contrast to their tradition of peaceful exploration, the Vulcans had a long history of border skirmishes with the neighboring Andorians. The Humans helped negotiate a peace between the two over a disputed class D planetoid known to the Vulcans as Paan Mokar. (ENT: "Cease Fire")
In the 22nd century, the Vulcan High Command, once in charge only of space exploration and planetary defense, gained much more control over civilian affairs. Under the High Command's leadership, Vulcan policy toward other planets became more aggressive and interventionist, using an ancient monastery at P'Jem to spy on Andorian activities. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")
Vulcan also became less tolerant of political and philosophical challenges towards the High Command's operations, notably engaging in purges of the Syrrannite group, who claimed that Vulcan society was no longer following the teachings of Surak. These tensions came to a head in a crisis called the Vulcan Reformation, which resulted in the overthrow of the High Command (and its leader, V'Las, who was secretly allied with the Romulans), and a restructuring of the Vulcan government under the leadership of Kuvak and T'Pau. One of the first acts of the new government was to end the policy of holding back Human expansion into the galaxy. (ENT: "The Forge", "Awakening", "Kir'Shara")
By the 24th century, Vulcan remained one of the principal Federation members, and was deeply involved at all levels of that society. Vulcans were present in the Federation colonies found within the Demilitarized Zone established between the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union by the terms of the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2370; they were among the colonists' representatives during discussions with the Cardassians concerning terrorist attacks by the anti-Cardassian Maquis movement established in the Zone. At least one Vulcan, Sakonna, acted as a gun runner and interrogator for the Maquis and made use of her people's ability to mind meld in the latter role. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "The Maquis, Part II")
The Vulcans' tradition of exploration continued; in the 24th century, a Vulcan ship was the first to make formal contact with a Gamma Quadrant civilization, upon encountering the Wadi. (DS9: "Move Along Home") The Vulcans were at the forefront of exploration in the Gamma Quadrant, encountering the Rakhari and finding the remains of the Hur'q civilization. (DS9: "Vortex", "The Sword of Kahless") In the 24th century, the Vulcan ministry of security was known as the V'Shar. (TNG: "Gambit, Part II")
Despite the enmity between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire, some Vulcans attempted to forge a more cordial relationship with their cousins, ultimately hoping to reunify the two cultures. Many of these efforts met with little success. (TNG: "Unification I", "Unification II")
History turned out much differently for the Vulcans of the mirror universe. When the Vulcans made first contact with Earth of this universe in 2063, Zefram Cochrane shot the first Vulcan to publicly set foot on Terran soil, believing his vessel to be the vanguard of an intended invasion. The Terrans stormed the T'Plana-Hath and studied Vulcan technology. Eventually, the Vulcans were conquered by the Terran Empire. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")
By the 2150s, Vulcans were considered slaves to Humans and not treated as equals. A number of Vulcans and Vulcan ships rebelled against the Terran Empire, but by 2267, their attempts seem to have been unsuccessful. By that time, however, it appeared that Vulcans, such as Spock, were treated with more respect and feared by some Terrans. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")
In the alternate reality, the planet Vulcan was destroyed by a Romulan named Nero in 2258. Over six billion Vulcans were killed, with an estimated 10,000 survivors. After witnessing the atrocity, Spock noted in his log that the Vulcan species had become endangered. (Star Trek) Spock's prime reality counterpart founded a colony for the survivors, which, by the following year, had been settled and named New Vulcan. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Vulcans were generally similar to Humans in appearance, distinguished mainly by their pointed ears and up-swept eyebrows. Their skin color was most commonly pale with a bronze or greenish tint, though some had brown skin. Vulcan physiognomy could resemble Humans of European, Asian, or African descent. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek: Voyager)
Most Vulcans had straight, glossy black hair, though brown and/or curly hair was also possible. Vulcans had body hair similar to Humans, and some males could be very hirsute. Vulcan males were capable of growing facial hair but most chose to shave it. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror", "Patterns of Force"; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; VOY: "Year of Hell"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; Star Trek)
In contrast to their external similarities, Vulcan internal anatomy differed radically from that of Humans. For instance, their heart was where a Human's liver would normally be, (TOS: "Mudd's Women", "A Private Little War", "The Omega Glory"; Star Trek Beyond) and beat several hundred times per minute. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Journey to Babel") They also had no appendix. (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!") They had mitochondria. (TNG: "Data's Day")
Vulcan blood was copper-based and was copper- or rust-colored when deoxygenated in the veins and green when oxygenated in the arteries (although it is unclear if this transport mechanism was a hemocyanin as in Earth molluscs). Bruises and dermal abrasions took on a greenish color. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Patterns of Force"; DS9: "Field of Fire"; VOY: "Repression"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"); (see also hemocyanin at Wikipedia)
Vulcans possessed a highly efficient respiratory system to extract the oxygen they needed from Vulcan's thin atmosphere. They were most comfortable in high temperatures, which was natural given the hot, arid climate of their homeworld. A Vulcan of advanced age may become more sensitive to lower temperatures. (TOS: "The Deadly Years"; ENT: "The Forge")
The Vulcan digestive tract was highly adaptable. Although alien foods, notably Human food, would occasionally disagree with a Vulcan, given time, their body could adapt to the alien food. (ENT: "Unexpected")
Vulcan hearing was very sensitive. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow", "The Way to Eden"; ENT: "Singularity") Vulcan females possessed a heightened sense of smell. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "The Andorian Incident")
Having evolved on a planet which was mostly desert, Vulcans developed ways of surviving in desert conditions. For example, they could survive for several days without water and had inner eyelids which protected their eyes. (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!"; ENT: "Strange New World", "The Forge")
Vulcans had a superior metabolism to Humans. Caffeine and sapotoxins had little effect on them. (ENT: "Breaking the Ice") They were also capable of surviving for long durations without food or sleep. Under stress, Vulcans could do without sleep for weeks. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome") Tuvok once claimed that, as a Vulcan, he was capable of going without sleep for two weeks, (VOY: "Muse") although, shortly after making this claim, he was observed to fall asleep in the command chair after having gone a little over ten days without sleep. (VOY: "Muse")
A Vulcan's brain was in direct control of most of the bodily functions, acting as a control unit for many organs. Despite this, a Vulcan body from which the brain had been removed was capable of functioning and even walking around (albeit in a zombie-like state) with a portable life support system. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")
Unlike most humanoid species, traumatic memories were not only psychologically disturbing to Vulcans, but had physical consequences as well. The Vulcan brain, in reordering neural pathways, could literally lobotomize itself. (VOY: "Flashback")
Vulcans learned to gain conscious control of many of these functions, allowing them to regulate their bodies to a high degree by simple will power. When injured, a Vulcan could go into a trance-like state, using this ability to concentrate all of his or her energy on repairing the injury. (TOS: "A Private Little War")
This trance could be self-induced and gave the physical appearance of near-death. It was similar, in principle, to Vulcan neuro-pressure techniques which could be used to relax the mind and body. (TOS: "By Any Other Name"; VOY: "Riddles"; ENT: "The Xindi")
The substance trellium-D acted as a neurotoxin to Vulcans, destroying the neural pathways which controlled their emotions. Treatment had to be provided quickly after exposure; otherwise, the damage was irreversible. (ENT: "Impulse")
The most famous aspect of the Vulcan brain was the inherent telepathic abilities, such as the Vulcan mind meld. Vulcans were natural touch-telepaths. Though considerable training was required to utilize this ability to the fullest (this would be performing the fal-tor-pan), simpler contacts did not require any concentration, training, or even conscious knowledge of the act. (VOY: "Blood Fever")
Stronger minds were capable of non-contact telepathic projection and scanning, usually over short distances, (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark", "The Omega Glory"; VOY: "Random Thoughts", "Prey") but sometimes even over interstellar distances. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Another psionic ability of the Vulcan race was the telepathic suggestion or compulsion, consciously performed by Spock, (TOS: "Dagger of the Mind", "A Taste of Armageddon", "The Omega Glory") Sybok, (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) Tuvok, (VOY: "Repression") and T'Pol, (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly") and unconsciously performed by Sarek. (TNG: "Sarek")
Besides the Trill, who achieved this through the zhian'tara ritual, Vulcans were the only other known humanoid race capable of performing a synaptic pattern displacement, or the transfer of one individual's consciousness into another. Similar feats were also performed by the people of Sargon's planet, Janice Lester, Dr. Ira Graves, Rao Vantika, and Tieran, though they used technology instead of psionic abilities to achieve it. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow", "Turnabout Intruder"; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; TNG: "The Schizoid Man"; VOY: "Warlord"; DS9: "The Passenger", "Facets")
Approximately every seven years, adult Vulcans had to endure pon farr, the Vulcan mating period. It was marked by intense emotions and primal urges (known as plak tow, or "blood fever") that could kill the Vulcan if not satisfied. Physiological symptoms included elevated dopamine levels and fever. For such an orderly society of quiet sobriety, the madness which accompanied the outbreak of pon farr was an unavoidable evil. (ENT: "Bounty", "In a Mirror, Darkly"; TOS: "Amok Time"; VOY: "Blood Fever")
There were several diseases from which the Vulcan species suffered, including:
In 2155, Terra Prime extremists created a binary clone from T'Pol and Trip Tucker. The child, whom they called Elizabeth, had many genetic flaws due to her creation and died. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")
In 2230, Spock was born on Vulcan to Sarek and Amanda Grayson. He was the first Vulcan/Human hybrid to survive to adulthood. (ENT: "Terra Prime"; TOS: "Journey to Babel", "The Squire of Gothos"; Star Trek Beyond)
The Vulcans held a number of spiritual beliefs, though little is known about the details. Their religious system was polytheistic. They also believed in the katra, the soul and consciousness of a person, which could be transferred psionically prior to death. (TAS: "Yesteryear"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; TNG: "Gambit, Part I"; ENT: "The Forge", "Awakening")
Vulcans were generally non-violent, but logic dictated that combat was sometimes necessary. Vulcans could and did use weapons and practiced martial arts called tal-shaya and Suus Mahna. Most later Vulcans were vegetarians. (TOS: "Journey to Babel"; ENT: "Marauders"; DIS: "Context Is for Kings")
Vulcans were also known for their high degree of honesty. They were extremely reluctant to tell a lie, and indeed it was said that "Vulcans could not lie." However, they would do so for what they perceived as logical reasons, though they rarely referred to their dishonesty as "lying." (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) For instance, a Vulcan elder denied the existence of technology and spies at the monastery at P'Jem in order to protect an ongoing surveillance operation. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident"). Also, T'Pol's second foremother directly lied to another Vulcan, telling the commander of a rescue party that her crewmate had died in a shuttle crash, so that he could remain on Earth to "study" humanity. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")
In 2259 of the alternate reality, Spock managed to deceive Khan Noonien Singh into transporting armed torpedoes aboard the USS Vengeance as Khan believed they still carried members of his crew. Khan wasn't aware that Spock had anticipated his betrayal and removed Khan's crew from the torpedoes with the intent to detonate them and cripple the Vengeance. When Khan stated that he'd know if they weren't his, Spock assured him that "Vulcans do not lie" and that "the torpedoes were his". This demonstrated that Vulcans, while they still technically told the truth, didn't always necessarily tell the entire truth if it was to their advantage. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
On at least one occasion, Spock lied without any apparent logical reason (and, in fact, for a reason apparently consisting of nothing more than humor), when he claimed to not have seen Kirk's last orders to himself and Doctor McCoy. (TOS: "The Tholian Web") However, this may, in fact, have been a result of those orders themselves, as Kirk had, in the orders, instructed Spock to follow McCoy's lead on intuitive and emotional matters, and McCoy had just refused to admit to seeing the orders. Tuvok revealed a most instructive insight into Vulcans' attitude toward lying when responding to Seven of Nine questioning him as to whether Vulcans were capable of lying; he replied, "We are capable of telling lies. However, I have never found it prudent or necessary to do so." (VOY: "Hunters")
Naturally, the development of a Vulcan's lifelong devotion towards logic began at a very early age. Vulcan parents utilized learning tools, such as pleenoks, to train their infants in primary logic. (VOY: "Human Error") Vulcan children also began to learn how to detach themselves from their emotions as well. (ENT: "Fusion", "Home"; TAS: "Yesteryear"; VOY: "Innocence", "Gravity") Despite this early training in logic, Vulcan children in nursery school were allowed to dance. These dances were reminiscent of the dances of Orion slave girls, just not as well coordinated. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")
As parents, Vulcans never shielded their children from the truth. Doing so only hindered their ability to cope with inevitable difficulties. A Vulcan parent's attachment to their children could not be described as an emotion. They were part of the parent's identity and the parent was incomplete without them. (VOY: "Innocence")
Vulcans sometimes had mates chosen for them by their parents at the age of seven. The mates were joined in a ceremony that linked them telepathically in a manner that was "less than a marriage, more than a betrothal." When the two came of age and underwent the pon farr, the link compelled them to follow through with full marital rituals, which cemented their relationship. (TOS: "Amok Time"; ENT: "Breaking the Ice")
If, for whatever reason, the female did not wish to go through with the marriage, then the ceremony of koon-ut-kal-if-fee ("marriage or challenge") was invoked. The male fought for the right to keep his mate against a challenger of her choosing. The female became the property of the male who won the contest, unless he chose to release her. The koon-ut-kal-if-fee was a fight to the death. (TOS: "Amok Time")
Contrary to stereotype, Vulcans did possess emotions. For instance, emotions like remorse, relief, joy, and embarrassment were all displayed by Spock when he thought Captain Kirk was dead. (TOS: "Amok Time") Additionally, T'Pol showed romantic interest in Commander Tucker on Enterprise, especially due to imbalances caused by exposure to trellium-D. (ENT: "Damage") Indeed, Vulcan emotions were far more intense, violent, and passionate than those of many other species, including even Humans. (TNG: "Sarek")
It was this passionate, explosive emotionality that Vulcans blamed for the vicious cycle of wars which nearly devastated their planet. As such, they focused their mental energies on mastering them. The essence of their logical society was in arriving at the truth through logical process. Emotions were illogical, thus making them impure, and deterrent to truth. Vulcans were born with the same emotions that afflicted their violent ancestors, but continual mental conditioning generally gave them the impassivity they sought. (TAS: "Yesteryear")
Though not all could arrive at the ultimate pure logical state, the exacting process of mental control gave Vulcans enough to conform to the ideals of Vulcan society. The ultimate level of logical thought was achieved through the attainment of kolinahr, which was said to purge them of all remaining emotions. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Vulcans believed knowledge to be the best defense against unknown dangers, and pursued it with the intellect and logic that made them some of the finest scholars in the Federation.
Vulcans considered death to be the completion of a journey. Therefore, they did not fear it happening; however, the loss of one's katra was to be avoided if possible, since the katra lived on beyond the physical death. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) They also practiced euthanasia for the infirm and elderly, and saw nothing wrong with practicing ritual suicide when they reached a certain infirmity with age. (VOY: "Death Wish") As they knew death was an inevitability, they believed that fear of death was ultimately illogical. (Star Trek Beyond)
Although Vulcans were highly integrated into the Federation, in the 23rd century, some Vulcans viewed service in Starfleet to be less prestigious than attending the Vulcan Science Academy, (TOS: "Journey to Babel") though in the twilight years of that century, this apparently became much less of an issue. (VOY: "Flashback") Furthermore, among all the Federation members whose people served in Starfleet, Vulcans were the only ones to be accommodated with starships crewed entirely by their own species, such as the USS Intrepid and the USS T'Kumbra. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome"; DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")
Culture and traditionEdit
What little is known about Vulcan religious beliefs indicates that, beginning prior to the "Time of the Awakening", they were polytheistic. Surak's teachings became the primary focus of Vulcan spirituality/mysticism, but, as late as the 23rd century, it was still not unheard of to find Vulcans honoring the traditional gods. There were, however, no demons in Vulcan literature. (TAS: "Yesteryear"; TNG: "Gambit, Part I"; VOY: "Heroes and Demons")
Many Vulcan females had names beginning with "T'P" (T'Pol, T'Pring, T'Pau, T'Pel, T'Pan), but not all (Valeris, Sakonna, Saavik, Selar); many males had names beginning with "S" (Spock, Sarek, Sybok, Surak, Stonn, Soval); again, though, there was variation (Tuvok, Lojal, Vorik, Taurik, Koss).
Touching each other with both the middle- and the forefinger was a custom practiced by married couples and was part of the Vulcan marriage ceremony. (TOS: "Journey to Babel"; VOY: "Bliss"; ENT: "Home") It could also help to calm down male Vulcans during pon farr. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
- See also
Science and technologyEdit
- "Broken Bow"
- "The Andorian Incident"
- "Breaking the Ice"
- "Shadows of P'Jem"
- "Fallen Hero"
- "Shockwave, Part II"
- "Carbon Creek"
- "Dead Stop"
- "The Seventh"
- "Cease Fire"
- "First Flight"
- "The Expanse"
- "The Forge"
- "In a Mirror, Darkly"
- "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"
- "Terra Prime"
- TOS films:
- "Encounter at Farpoint"
- "The Last Outpost"
- "Coming of Age"
- "The Outrageous Okona"
- "The Schizoid Man"
- "A Matter Of Honor"
- "The Dauphin"
- "Shades of Gray" (footage from "The Dauphin")
- "The Ensigns of Command"
- "Yesterday's Enterprise"
- "Captain's Holiday"
- "Ménage à Troi"
- "Ensign Ro"
- "Unification I"
- "Unification II"
- "The First Duty"
- "Imaginary Friend"
- "Gambit, Part I"
- "Gambit, Part II"
- "Lower Decks"
- "Preemptive Strike"
- TNG films:
- "The Nagus"
- "The Forsaken"
- "The Maquis, Part I"
- "The Maquis, Part II"
- "Through the Looking Glass"
- "The Visitor"
- "Bar Association"
- "Rules of Engagement"
- "Shattered Mirror"
- "For the Cause"
- "Broken Link"
- "Behind the Lines"
- "Favor the Bold"
- "Image in the Sand"
- "Take Me Out to the Holosuite"
- "Prodigal Daughter"
- "The Emperor's New Cloak"
- "Field of Fire"
- "Persistence of Vision" (illusion only)
- "Fair Trade"
- "Alter Ego"
- "Blood Fever"
- "Darkling" (hologram only)
- "Day of Honor"
- "Extreme Risk"
- "In the Flesh" (Species 8472 posing as Vulcan)
- "Bliss" (illusion only)
- "Body and Soul" (hologram only)
- "Flesh and Blood" (hologram only)
- "Renaissance Man"
Background information Edit
^ The term "Vulcanian" has been described as an "Obsolete term meaning a native of the planet Vulcan. The term 'Vulcan' has come to mean both the planet and the native of same." (Star Trek Concordance, p. 248) The origin of the term from a production standpoint dates to 1966, when NBC prepared a twelve-page booklet, entitled "Advance Information on 1966-67 Programming: Star Trek", which described the series' regular crewmembers. The description of Spock mentions that his father was a native of "Vulcanis," and his people were known as the "Vulcanians". (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 25) As a result of early "growing pains" in the writing staff, the term "Vulcanian" was used sporadically (and sometimes interchangeably) during the first season, where it was heard in "Mudd's Women", "Court Martial", "A Taste of Armageddon", "This Side of Paradise", and "Errand of Mercy". The Bajorans suffered similar "growing pains" when they were briefly known as the "Bajora" during their early appearances. The name "Vulcan" itself, in reference to the people, was first heard in "The Naked Time". See also: Vulcanian expedition and Vulcanian Scientific Legion of Honor.
In notes that Costume Designer Robert Fletcher wrote about the various aliens in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, he included a description of the Vulcans. After pointing out the Vulcans were "from tv series", the brief continued as follows:
"Observed in the movie as Mr. Spock, others among crew, and the Masters on Vulcan planet scene. Unemotional, scientific people, their culture based on cold logic, reason and control. One of the Federation's most advanced races [....] Vulcans are mostly tall, slender, beautiful people, with strong sense of honor. Physically distinguished by upswept eyebrows and pointed ears. Their green blood is copper-based."
Fletcher also imagined that, because their homeworld was rich in jade, the Vulcans made extensive use of that substance, such as with ruby jewellry and a red-colored giant statue is visible on the planet's surface, in the film. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 133)
In a story idea that the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writers had that eventually became the two-parter "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", the Vulcans were to withdraw from the Federation. The cause of this schism was to be their concern that the Federation was becoming too concerned with the Changeling infiltration at the cost of civil liberties. Starfleet was to assume incorrectly that the Founders had infiltrated Vulcan society. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
Regarding the depiction of crazed Vulcan crewmembers of the starship Seleya in ENT: "Impulse", Brannon Braga once remarked, "I loved the idea of Vulcan zombies." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151, p. 29)
In the unproduced animated series Star Trek: Final Frontier, set in the far future, the Vulcans left the Federation at some point in the 25th century to discuss reunification with the Romulans.
For Star Trek Into Darkness, Vulcan ear prosthetics, in encapsulated silicone, were created by makeup artist David Snyder. A few changes were made to the Vulcan ears when compared to those from the previous film, Star Trek, on which Snyder had also worked. David LeRoy Anderson, the Makeup Department Head for Into Darkness, explained, "Our modifications were strictly mechanical, based on Dave's desire to make the application a little easier. Dave did a clay press of the existing sculpt and remodeled the ears to help mass-produce the pieces, and that gave us great edges." The ears were applied by Snyder, using a cotton swab, and (at least in the case of Zachary Quinto as Spock) a tiny amount of acetone. (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 77)
According to Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual (published in 1977 by "Star Fleet Productions, Inc."):
- Males height = 2.0 meters (6'6")
- Males weight = 70 kilograms (154.3 lbs)
- Females height = 1.7 meters (5'6")
- Females weight = 50 kilograms (110.2 lbs)
- Body temperature = 32.78 °C (91 °F)
- Heart rate = 242 bpm
- Blood pressure = 80/40
Vulcan blood vessels are more dilated than humans'. The larger blood vessels are the reason Vulcan blood pressure is lower. The dilated blood vessels and fast heart rate also play a key role in regulating Vulcan body temperature. A standard 91°F body temperature is maintained by the internal cooling mechanism of fast blood circulation. (Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)
Vulcans do not have sweat glands, and cannot rely on evaporation as a means of cooling their bodies in the harsh heat of their planet's desert climate. Expelling heat through radiation is insufficient. Vulcans evolved an internal cooling mechanism. With an average body temperature of 91 °F, the high blood flow circulates cool blood throughout their body. (Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual) This systematic means of cooling gives credence to McCoy's comment "that green ice water you call blood." (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")
While "Little Green Men" implies that Vulcans were not warp-capable until at least 1947, in the novel Prime Directive they already possessed such technology in 1908: a Vulcan survey ship was responsible for the mysterious Tunguska event, redirecting a large meteor about to hit Western Europe – where it would have killed millions and done irreparable damage to Human civilization – so that it instead impacted in an area so remote that no Human deaths were recorded.