Why Are They Called Martians?

No… I get it. They’re from the planet Mars, so we call them Martians. That part makes sense.

But I have to ask, why is it that in so many science fiction stories the Martians refer to themselves as Martians?

Of course, I haven’t read or seen every bit of entertainment out there that features aliens from the red planet. So maybe some creator out there has addressed this in his or her work of fiction. Maybe someone out there has already decided that the aliens from the planet we call Mars would refer to themselves as something different. Some made up word that I’m not going to pretend to come up with.

It’s just never made sense to me why a race of creatures would refer to themselves in the same way that we would refer to them. Humans named the planet Mars after the Roman god of war. If intelligent life were found to exist on that planet, they certainly wouldn’t have named their world after an ancient human mythological deity.

An example that comes to mind is from the book The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson. At one point, Jor-El, Superman’s biological father, is contacted by the character that DC Comics fans will know as the Martian Manhunter. In his contact with Jor-El, he refers to his homeworld as Mars and classifies himself as a Martian. And I just don’t know how that makes sense.

You’ll have to excuse my ramblings today. I haven’t been feeling well and this is all I could come up with. I’ll try to do better tomorrow…

2 thoughts on “Why Are They Called Martians?

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