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Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Big is the Lexx?

Originally posted on 2-26-13

When you watch Lexx, sometimes it's hard to grasp just how huge that big bug really is. We see other living ships, another fave of mine being Moya from Farscape, and we see other really big ships and space stations, like Imperial Destroyers from Star Wars, the Earth Alliance Station from Babylon 5, and even that great big creepy cube styled Borg ship from Star Trek, but the question comes up- whose is bigger? How does the Lexx compare to these other space faring constructions?

There is actually quite a bit of discussion about this, but let's start with Lexx - Wikipedia. Scroll down past the plot summary to the actual description that starts with this sentence- "The Lexx is a bio-engineered, Manhattan-sized, planet-destroying bioship in the shape of a giant winglessdragonfly." Excuse me? Manhattan??? Well, how big is that? How big is Manhattan I don't know if that 13 miles length is from the furthest out buildings on either end or invisible lines surveyed with an astrolabe, but if you think a little differently about it, it's about the same distance that Felix Baumgartner went last year to break the skydiving record. Skydiver jumps from 13 miles above Earth in test run for record attempt So if the Lexx were pointed upright with the tip of its tail on earth, this guy would look like a tiny dot against its face. THAT is how big the Lexx is.

"I can remember my first time on Manhattan, and looking up and down the Avenue, and my brain going “pop”, because it was unable to grasp the evidence directly in front of it. If you’ve never been to Manhattan , it’s impossible to imagine what 1.5 million people sitting on 22.7 square miles looks like. If you have been, many of you will understand the awe that this borough presents to you inspires." When you click the map on that page a couple of times to enhance the size, you can see that Manhattan is the orange part, looking very Lexxy... I'm sure fans will understand what I mean. But if you can imagine Lexx landing on Earth the way it did on Brunnis, that is how much room it would take up.

I recently had fun tweeting to Craig Engler, senior exec at Syfy, which might actually help with our perspective here. This brief interaction was too big to get in one screen shot, but you can click on either one of those pix to see his short video of the Manhattan skyline hosted on his vine account. Be sure to follow him on twitter for cool Q&A with fans (click both his name and Syfy for his accounts).

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Back to how big the Lexx is.

The guy who does The Conservation Report (Buck Denton, uber nerd) puts it in perspective for us. He was also curious about side by side comparisons of scifi spacecraft and made a blog post about it at SCIENCE FICTION: Spaceship size comparison charts, complete with a pop out chart that reminds me of those big posters you see in science buildings across college campuses. This is serious stuff.

(Note- the original page for that chart is at
BuzzFeed- Spaceship Size Comparison Chart [PIC], originally posted on 1-14-09. The original pop out click no longer works on BuzzFeed, so thank you Buck Denton for saving that for us!) (edit 3-5-13: found the chart creator, linked in comments below)

At the lower right on that chart we find the Lexx. (Have you clicked that up to big size? Good.) Whoever made the chart asigned a size of 10,000 metres to the Lexx, which I'm not sure is right. Vague descriptions about the size of Lexx say it's the size of Manhattan, from interviews with the creators to description copy in nearly every article you find, but you really don't find anyone saying how big Manhattan is unless you look it up, like we just did above and discovered that it's around 13 miles long, whereas this chart puts the Lexx at about 6 miles long. So I guess take the specs with grain of salt. (Scifi enthusiasts will sometimes enjoy sizzling debates down to the micron on fictional details, a happy little rush you can't get from real life.)

When you scroll around on that chart you can see that the Lexx is about a mile longer than the Babylon 5 station, three times the length of a Borg cube ship, roughly the same size as a Voth city ship and the Earth Spacedock (all three of these from Star Trek), and dwarfed only by the Emperor's executive destroyer and the Death Star (the Death Star obviously doesn't fit on the chart) from Star Wars. The Lexx is also the largest living ship on the chart.

There is also a cool graph chart at 100 Pixels per meter that shows a few more ships that are bigger than Lexx, including the whale probe and V'Ger from Star Trek, and it does have the Death Star on it, plus a number of other much smaller ships. You can see the Lexx still ranks right up there in the top twenty largest space constructions between the two charts.

You can also find 'blueprints' for the Lexx housed at LexxZone Gallery - Lexx blueprint, which pops up to gigantic size when you click that pic. They're not complete blueprints in that labeling dimensions and known structures is sadly deficit, but it's still cool to look at.

Some years ago I could have linked you to the original original sources, most of those are gone now and the fastest way to find this stuff is by playing around with phrases in search engines and clicking for image listings, which will in turn link back to sources. Old sites abound with broken links and removed pages, and other sites abound that have very poor search engine access or none at all, and I accidentally find those in the strangest ways. There are sites containing copyright material from sources that no longer exist, so many sites use Fair Use disclaimers (as do I), but thank goodness there are multiple fan sites that also cache what they find, otherwise some of these things might be lost forever. I daresay there are Lexx fan sites outside of the U.S. that vigorously collect everything they find and none of this stuff is lost at all, except to the northwestern hemisphere where we strangle ourselves silly with stacks of regulations that even politicians have no time to read. "Copyright protects the particular way authors have expressed themselves. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in a work". But still, I lament that sourcing Lexx is becoming harder and harder as years pass.

Readers are welcome to link more sources on the comments area.

Here is a good example of a broken link due to a lost source page. I found this in an image search by pure accident, it clicks from the search engine list to the page, but the page no longer warehouses the picture. You get this a lot with Lexx. You can see how old this page is, I'm surprised it's still around at all.

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