Note: The names Pennywise & IT are used interchangeably in this article.
Out of the many characters featured in Stephen King’s works, the creature IT also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is easily one of the most recognizable. Here at Hybrid Network we thought we would explore a theory regarding how he can alter his appearance.
Now in the story and film IT has the ability change from clowns, to people, to giant arachnids, essentially anything it desires at will. Now although the being is a genderless being that seemed to have come from some otherworldly void, lets assume it still is bound by some features of reality. The ability to shapeshift has yet to really have some deep scientific grounding but lets mess around and see what we can come up with.
There’s 3 Theories for IT/Pennywise’s abilities:
- Evolutionary & Biological Manipulation
- Manipulation of Atoms
- Advanced Illusions
1Evolutionary & Biological Manipulation
The first theory is that Pennywise can experience some mentally induced, high speed version of evolution and devolution as the majority of what IT turns into are organic in nature. Except for that one time it turned into a ghost-moon. You essentially have an organism that slides up and down the evolutionary tree that allows IT to change shape and size which unlocks infinite ability since it controls its own evolution so IT can have any hair color, eye color, or anything else.
Interestingly enough there are animals that have abilities to change their physicality either for defensive or offensive maneuvers. The cuttlefish for example are able to alter the color and texture of their skin in order to match their background. Pigmentary alterations change the way light bounces off them and this process is controlled by the neurons in the brain similar to what Pennywise would be doing. The Mutable rain frog and Sobetes Robber Frog can rapidly change the texture of its skin from rough to smooth at will. These neuron controlled capabilities would allow Pennywise’s change in color and touch of skin and altering his voice box or mimicking the vocal patterns of other organisms would make sounding human or otherwise easy work.
2Manipulation of Atoms
The second theory is that the being of Pennywise in his natural state is like a sentient body of atoms. Similar to how the Sandman from spider-man has iterations where there is a lead sand crystal controlling every other sand crystal, Pennywise may have a lead atom. IT guides and directs the body to create new forms with the atoms around it or the atoms are guided by its true form, the deadlights.
A third theory, and probably the least likely, could be that it is actually an illusory technique. Not so much one like a magician, rather a pathogen that travels in the air induces vivid imagery to anyone infected by it. The pathogen has a neurological effect and tricks the brain into seeing something that isn’t really there while the actual hideous, amorphous version of Pennywise attacks and consumes them.
At the end of the day putting science to the supernatural is difficult but hey we try and if you have any ideas let us know down in the comments!
A couple articles looked at for reference: