An Alternate Look At The Matoran Spheres (Theory)

The Matoran Spheres used by Teridax in the 2004 story have always had some aspect of mystery to them; Where did he get them? How do they work?

But the biggest mystery has been their inconsistency: Teridax’s Plan required the Matoran to be in the Spheres for so long that he required the Vahi to speed up the process, yet the Matoran of Mata Nui lost their memories and shrunk after being in the Spheres for only a few weeks. And even more contradicting is the fact that Turaga Dume was in his Sphere for around 18 months, yet suffered no apparent effects.

So it got me thinking: What if it wasn’t the Spheres at all?

This theory is the culmination of a couple separate theories that I have shared (and some that I haven’t) over the last few months.

First, we look at the regenerative properties of organic protodermis:

Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, it is a canon fact that organic protodermis can regenerate. This process is not just limited to healing pre-existing damaged protodermis, either; the Toa Mata were shown to completely regenerate missing muscle.

This new protodermis has to come from somewhere. And for that, I turn to a brand new theory of mine:

According to this portion of the theory, the “water” in the Matoran Universe is in fact a slurry of regular water and protodermis. If a Matoran were to ingest this liquid protodermis, it would give their body the protodermis necessary to regenerate missing or damaged muscle tissue.

This also draws a great parallel to the real-world engineering use of slurries, to transport solid material where it needs to go through a pipeline.

With these theories in place, we can create an alternate explanation for the deterioration of the Matoran on Mata Nui: without protodermis in the natural water around Mata Nui, the Matoran would eventually become unable to regenerate even day-to-day wear and tear.

Perhaps, as an emergency measure, their cells would leech protodermis from their armour, in order to keep a balance of muscle to armour, but even that source would eventually reach a minimum balance.

This also explains the memory loss: although the exact structure of Matoran Universe brains is unknown, they likely rely on the repetitive strengthening of memory connections. “Neurons”, if you will. Without protodermis, these connections couldn’t be formed, and old connections might be broken down to reuse the protodermis for new ones.

This “gradual deterioration” theory actually finds support from official canon:

If it took “many years” for the deterioration to occur, that would explain why Dume was unaffected.

But, more importantly, it lends credence to the idea that the Spheres were not directly responsible for the weakening of the Matoran.

Note, however, that this does not create any plot holes in Teridax’s Plan; keeping them in the Spheres for multiple years would have the same effect: isolating the Matoran from protodermis intake while subjecting them to a stressful situation.

So in summary, my theory is that the shrinking and memory loss of the Matoran on Mata Nui was not a direct result of the Matoran Spheres, and instead comes down to what is basically a vitamin deficiancy.

[BONUS: This could also shed some light on The Rebuilding. If memory serves me correct, the Matoran were rebuilt using protodermis from the Bohrok-Kal and Rahkshi, neither one of which have organic protodermis. They could provide materials for larger armour, but where did the stronger muscle come from?

The answer is that some of that protodermis was dissolved in the natural water from around the island and consumed by the Matoran.]


An interesting theory, but I don’t think it works.

1: the turaga show no signs of memory loss or physical degradation.
2: the voya Nui Matoran show no signs of memory loss, and their degradation is supposedly due to karzahni; there’s no mention of them degrading further during their time there.

I think it’s more likely that the spheres started the process of memory loss/degradation, and once it started it was automatic. Perhaps the spheres expedited the process somewhat, or maybe they were just meant to contain the Matoran until the process was complete. Dume’s sphere is stated to have malfunctioned; perhaps it never started the degradation/amnesia process.


I considered this, and I basically just chalked it up to “The Turaga have secrets”.

I did not consider this. This is a good point. However, in Legends 1: Island of Doom, Garan mentions that they are unable to drink the seawater surrounding the island, and that they have been drinking from a lake. This lakewater would likely have come from the Matoran Universe.

This also shows that there is some life-affecting difference between the Matoran Universe water and the natural water.


A good theory actually. It fits more or less, it explains much. Mostly, it solves all the mess with LoMU movie.

This point is partculary nice.

This one is kinda weird, but pretty logical.
but actually the whole thing with shrinking and rebuilding should have never happened, Greg just needed to explain difference between sets


This still keeps me from accepting this.
Interesting theory though.

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Really neat theory!:slightly_smiling_face::+1:

One thing, though:
Didn’t Greg say somewhere that the water they drank on Mata Nui came from wells that were pumping it up from the MU?
If that’s the case, then how would their drinking water be lacking the necessary protodermis?

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Could I get a source on that?

If that’s true, that kind of puts my theory down the drain.


Here’s the link:

It’s Question 1b.

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Well, that’s that then.

As a side note, that quote also explains why the Voya Nui Matoran didn’t have a reliable water source, despite living in the same ocean as the Mata Nui Matoran.


You had a pretty dang good theory, though, man.:+1:
Keep up the good work of theorization.


Thank you!


Well, are you able to drink seawater? :stuck_out_tongue:

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No, but I’m not 85% mechanical.

I just assumed that Matoran could drink seawater, since I didn’t know the Matoran on Mata Nui were pumping liquid protodermis up, and thought they were just drinking the seawater. Which is why I was a little confused when the Voya Nui Matoran suddenly couldn’t drink the same seawater.

But now I know that the Mata Nui Matoran weren’t drinking seawater either.

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Although, if it wasn’t canon that the drinking water on Mata Nui only came from the wells, one could’ve assumed that the matron drank from streams flowing down from the mountains into the ocean, reservoirs they could have filled with rainwater, or even water from a type of filtration system they could’ve concocted to convert salt water into fresh.:+1:


I don’t think Matoran drink water. I remember Greg saying that the Matoran would need to aquire energy to continue function. They did this by way of charging stations on Metru Nui, but on Mata Nui they survived by consuming food, which they did by absorbing fruit through physical contact.

Can’t find the source right now though. I will update it later when I find the post.

Edit: Half a year later. Go me.

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“All this water, and none that we can drink” -Garan, Island of Doom

Seems to suggest they do drink water.


Good point. So they eat and drink.
But either of these could be the key in regenerating organic tissue and we don’t know which.

But since they seem to be able to freely convert matter into energy to eat, it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to assume they can do the opposite to generate organic protodermis out of pure energy, which would be the most likely explanation for their regenerative abilities.

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Maybe Teridax purposefully modified the matoran spheres to bring about the amnesia and degeneration so that when they awoke he could rebuild them and further cement himself as the savior and protector of Metru-Nui.

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I know that this discussion is pretty much done, but I felt like it was worth mentioning Nokama’s shock when she first encounters salt water:

To me this suggests that the GSR’s ecosystem sustained its inhabitants with liquid protodermis that was in essence their water. I wonder how this fits in with the idea that the GSR’s resources were finite. How did they get more liquid protodermis?

Aditionally, I have a question about Makuta’s plan of using the spheres. The Bionicle Encyclopedia says that Matoran fall into a coma-like state when they lose their Kanohi Masks. If that’s the case, could Terry have incorporated that into his plan? Could he make some device that stole every Matoran’s mask, or disable the Matoran’s magnetic connection to their Kanohi temporarily? Seems like a plan that might work. Maybe this is too impractical, but to me it is a little strange that Terry’s plan was to put all of the Matoran into a coma and it seemingly has nothing to do with the physical quirk that Matoran have of falling into a coma under specific circumstances.


This is correct; all of the “water” in the Matoran Universe was in fact a form of protodermis.

Why do they need to get more? It all stays in the universe.