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For the mirror universe counterpart, see Denobulan (mirror).

The Denobulans are a humanoid species native to the planet Denobula. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow") They are members of the United Federation of Planets.

History and specifics

Biology and appearance

The flexibility of the Denobulan face, despite the bony ridges adorning it, allows for a characteristically wide smile. This particular expression, while comical to Human eyes, is used to signify a sense of companionship experienced by colleagues in the workplace. Denobulans also had a unique ability to enlarge their faces. This was an instinct for when they felt threatened. (ENT episode: "Home")

Due to the crowded living conditions on Denobula, working relationships tend to be more intimate than is normal for Humans. This can often extend to flirtation or explicit displays of sexuality, even among thrice-wedded individuals. (ENT episode: "Stigma")

The expression frequently used by Phlox is not intended to communicate appreciation to that extreme, however, merely to acknowledge friendly acquaintance within a working environment, particularly one where the people involved have been, or intend to be, in close company for extended periods.

Denobulans generally prefer to eat meat, investing effort to hunt Denobulan lemurs, as their livers are considered a Denobulan delicacy. (ENT episode: "A Night in Sickbay")

By the 22nd century Denobulans had much longer lifespans than humans, with an average life expectancy of over 300 years. (DSC novel: Drastic Measures)

For example, the Denobulan physician Phlox once recalled his grandmother telling him stories in the late 21st century about her experiences in the last war between Denobulans and the Antarans, which had ended in the 19th century. Denobulans aged at a slower rate than humans - while Phlox was well over 50 years old by 2151 he appeared to be younger in human terms. (ENT episode: "The Breach")



The Denobulan language (Denobula'an) frequently makes use of prefixes to place words in context. For example, medical terminology is signified with the prefix Ya-Sah. Double vowel combinations are common in Denobulan words, as are gurgling "g", "k" and "m" sounds. The syllable "ah" is frequently encountered at the end of nouns, verbs and adjectives relating to people; given that Vahl appears to be Denobulan for "I", the syllable likely signifies a sense of base humanity (Denobulanity). The Denobulan written script, reproduced below, is based on a series of small circles, which come in various sizes and may be linked by thin lines, which perhaps signify polysyllabic words. The script is read from left to right, but the written symbols in a complex piece of writing may be positioned on more than one plane, almost like a musical scale, introducing a vertical element. Sometimes, circles are linked by diagonal lines while positioned on different vertical planes; two circles linked in this manner probably signify a double vowel. Brackets are placed around certain circles, or chains of linked circles positioned along a line in the midst of unlinked symbols. Some diagonally linked circular pairs have both circles bracketed, some only one, some neither. [citation needed]

Bak: A profanity. (ENT episode: "A Night in Sickbay")

Dee Dah: "Having Trouble" (ENT episode: "Stigma")

("Dee Dah eht suut vahl mey proveet" would be "I'm still having trouble with the transitive verbs", or, literally, "Having trouble still am I: transitive verbs"). (ENT episode: "Stigma")

Eht: "Still", adverbial, as in "I'm still here". (ENT episode: "Stigma")

Faardah: "Teaching me" (ENT episode: "Stigma")

("Denobula'an faardah tunah mek-Phlox" would be "Dr. Phlox has been teaching me Denobulan", or, literally, "Denobulan: Teaching me has been Dr.Phlox"). (ENT episode: "Stigma")

Garkohuda: An insult. (ENT novel: Rosetta)

Jaa-uu-gah: The act of mating, sexual intercourse. (ENT episode: "Dear Doctor")

Kaduu: "Process". [citation needed]

Kweesah Essah: Literally, "One is impressed". (ENT episode: "Stigma")


A notable breakthrough among their people came when the scientist Parnikee invented the matter/antimatter engine and led the first exploratory vessel. (ENT novel: Daedalus's Children)

In an early extraterrestrial interaction, the Denobulans were contacted by the Vulcan civilization's starship Fal Chaya. (Decipher RPG module: Starships)

One tragedy in their interstellar history came when one of their colonies faced a delayed shipment of antibiotics caused as a result of the Thelasians. (ENT novel: Rosetta)

Alternate timelines

In the Kelvin timeline, Doctor Leonard McCoy had a nightmare in 2255 where he had to treat streams of patients, including Denobulans, all by himself. (TOS - Starfleet Academy novel: The Assassination Game)

In the mirror universe, the Denobulan Doctor Phlox became the personal physician of Hoshi Sato, the Emperor of the Terran Empire. (ENT - Mirror Universe novel: Age of the Empress)

In the Protectorate's timeline, Denobulans were members of the Vulcan Protectorate. In 2274, the crew of the USS Enterprise learned of that when they visited this alternate timeline and observed Denobulan workers. (DTI novel: Forgotten History)



External links