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This page is about the creature from the film The Shape of Water. For the titular character from the novel and film Amphibian Man, see Ichthyander.
Amphibian Man
AmphibianMan
Naming
Others "The Asset"
Binomen N/A
Morphology
Body type Humanoid
Average height 1,92 m
Intelligence
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Ecology
Place of origin Amazon Basin
Habitat Amphibious
Diet Carnivorous or omnivorous
Locomotion Bipedal
Swimming
Status DD
Behind the Scenes
Universe The Shape of Water
Created by Guillermo del Toro
Performed by Doug Jones
Egret, cormorant, swan, hippopotamus, and Guillmero del Toro's vocals

The Amphibian Man is a sapient humanoid amphibian captured in the Amazon basin and brought to a secret government facility in Baltimore, USA, in 1962. The creature is worshiped as a deity by at least one native culture in the Amazon.

Biology

As his name indicates, the Amphibian Man is a human-sized, tail-less biped and possesses typical amphibian traits such as gills and webbed hands. He spends most of his time underwater, but is also capable of surviving on land for a limited period.

He has been described as capable of alternating between two separate breathing mechanisms, which Colonel Strickland compares to mudskippers (which use both gills and cutaneous breathing). In the Amphibian Man's case, however, he actually possesses primary and secondary lungs, which are separated by thick jointed cartilage. Still, his gills clearly constitute his primary means of breathing, and he can't stand long without water.

The Amphibian Man is fully sapient, but doesn't seem to communicate vocally. Although Strickland claims to have found him in a river, he appears to have a physiological need for saltwater. His skin can generate blue bioluminescence. His genital organ is retractable.

As for feeding habits, it's likely that his species is carnivorous, as he has been observed feeding on a cat and enjoys boiled eggs. However, he may also eat flowers and fruits, which the natives toss into the river as offerings to him. Like most vertebrates, he has red blood.

Perhaps most notably, the Amphibian Man also has a fantastic ability to trigger tissue regeneration by touch. The effect is usually not immediate, but his touch can cause wounds to be healed and a bald man's hair to regrow overnight.

Appearances

  • The Shape of Water (2017)

Notes

  • This creature was primarily inspired by the Gill-man from the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • The name "Amphibian Man" comes from the movie script, but is not used onscreen, except at the end credits.
  • The creature's nickname "Charlie" during the production of the film was based on the StarKist fish mascot of the same name.
  • Doug Jones previously played another amphibious humanoid in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.