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Protodermis was the most important substance in the Bionicle universe. Protodermis could exist in solid, liquid, and gaseous form, and virtually everything known to the Matoran was made of it. This included Toa armor, organic tissue, buildings, tools, Kanoka disks, Kanohi masks, and the silver sea around Metru Nui. Solid protodermis was mined in Onu-Metru on Metru Nui and in Onu-Koro on Mata Nui. On both Metru Nui and Mata Nui, all buildings, statues, and other structures were made from solid protodermis. Liquid protodermis as it was found in the sea around Metru Nui needed to be purified before it could be used to create items; this process was known as protodermis purification. No significant sources of liquid protodermis existed on Mata Nui. For Matoran in Metru Nui, liquid protodermis, not water, was the "stuff of life." The third and rarest form of protodermis was energized protodermis.[1]


On Mata Nui, very little was known about the substance known as protodermis. The Matoran of Onu-Koro mined it for many years as a source of energy, but even they were uncertain of what it was or where it came from.[2]

The mysterious gel-like substance known as protodermis was mined on Mata Nui and used as a source of power for years, its origins unknown. When the Toa combined their elemental powers to defeat the Bahrag, the energies condensed into gel-like protodermis, forming a barrier around the queens which imprisoned them within.[3]

Protodermis was the substance of which everything on Metru Nui was made.[4]

Metru Nui rested on a sea of protodermis, which appeared as a silver liquid. With no fresh- or saltwater anywhere in the city, this is what Matoran viewed as the stuff of life. It was the source of almost everything constructed in the city. Protodermis came in three known forms: liquid protodermis, solid protodermis, and energized protodermis. Liquid protodermis, such as that in the sea, needed to be purified before it could be used for creation. Solid protodermis was mined in Onu-Metru and was used for works of art and building materials. Every building in Metru Nui was made of solid protodermis. Energized protodermis was the rarest form. Its origins were a mystery. Onu-Metru miners stumbled upon small amounts of this substance. It seemed to have the ability to cause radical changes in life-forms immersed in it. Although samples of it were provided to Ga-Metru schools for study, no one ever succeeded in discovering its properties or duplicating it. Like raw liquid protodermis, energized protodermis was silver in color.[5]

Liquid protodermis was drawn into Ga-Metru from the sea via a channel which passed into the Great Temple. There, all purification work was done by a special group of Ga-Matoran. While a few read passages in an ancient Matoran dialect asking for the protection and aid of Mata Nui, the others supervised the rapid heating and cooling of the liquid to remove impurities. When the process was finished, the protodermis turned clear and took on a bluish color. From the Great Temple, the protodermis traveled in different directions. Some was directed over the falls in Ga-Metru and into the canals, which wound through other parts of the city dumped their contents into a subterranean pipe system. Other protodermis was passed through pipes and superheated on its way to the foundries of Ta-Metru, to be used in the creation of masks, tools, and other items. Molten protodermis that went unused was allowed to return to the sea.[5]

The liquid protodermis that flowed through the canals of Ga-Metru was purified, so it looked more like normal water than silver.[6]

Protodermis was the substance from which everything on Mata Nui was built. Protodermis miners occasionally spoke of great subterranean worms that lived in the very deepest tunnels of Onu-Wahi. Some claimed they ate protodermis and were attracted by the piles of ore gathered by the workers. The appearance of such a creature was enough to shut down a mine for good.[7]

According to Miserix, "all things are made of protodermis." When he examined the bodies in the secret control room, he was somehow able to tell that they were not made from protodermis, which shocked him.[8]

Protodermis was a big key to the Great Beings' being able to do what they did. Energized protodermis was the naturally occurring form of protodermis, and its other forms were the result its being able to be duplicated artificially minus its energized properties.[9]

The Great Beings had already developed protodermis before the discovery of energized protodermis.[10]

Protodermis could be organic or inorganic in nature, as seen with protodermis muscle and protodermis armor.[11]

It was not safe for organic beings such as Glatorian and Agori to drink liquid protodermis and draw sustenance from it like it was normal water.[12]

Energized protodermis was not necessary to make protodermis.[13]

On Mata Nui, solid protodermis was used primarily for construction.[14]

Almost everything on Mata Nui was made of protodermis. However, there were different strength levels of protodermis, depending on how it was forged.[15]

The clouds above Metru Nui were made of liquid protodermis vapor.[16]

It was safe for Matoran to drink liquid protodermis.[17]

Materials that were used to build Matoran huts were capable of decaying if those materials consisted of organic protodermis.[18]

Protodermis was a very versitile element. It appeared in different forms and consistencies. It was essentially the equivalent of matter because everything was made of it.[19]

Everything was made of protodermis. Like all substances, it could have impurities.[20]

Protodermis got its color from the manufacturing process.[21]

The protodermis created by the Shadowed One's spear was crystalline, while Toa seals were more similar to rock.[22]

The properties of different forms of protodermis was not necessarily determined by the impurities in it. Raw liquid protodermis had impurities. Energized protodermis and magnetized protodermis were presumably purified. Solid protodermis was not purified, which is why it was not melted down for use as Kanoka, but carved into statues and such.[23]

Solid protodermis could be melted down.[24]

Molten Protodermis

Molten protodermis could burn through anything in its path, and spills were extremely dangerous.[4]

Not even Toa armor could protect against molten protodermis.[25]

What was frequently referred to as lava was actually molten protodermis.[26]

Nothing could survive more than a few seconds in molten protodermis.[27]