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Theory:Shape shifting

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Main Article Theories about Shape shifting Main Discussion

The following fan theories are about Shape shifting.

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Theory Citations Notes
Shape shifting allows to morph into any living being. None. + This ability seems to require physical contact with a person shape shifter is going to morph into. A shape shifter can possibly transform into an animal after touching it, since this ability doesn't seem to alter shape shifter's DNA.

- But surely a shape shifter couldn't transform themselves into an ant or elephant—too much matter would have to be lost/created. And what about their consciousness? Will they retain their human intelligence if they shift into animal form?

Shape shifters retain their memories. If they can transform into animals, they still will be able to.
Supercharged shape shifting would result in appearance alteration. None. + It is one of few ways it could be extended.

- A shape shifter alters only their own appearance.

The theory is referring to a supercharge of the ability, which could lead to extension of the power.
- Daphne was able to run through time because her speed increased. Matt heard all thoughts in the New York city because his telepathic range increased too. The functions of their abilities were amplified, but they were still the same. If a shape shifter can change only their own appearance, they won't be able to change that of others no matter what.
+ Expanding the shape shifting resulting in ability extension would be a logical effect. Other characters have been able to expand their abilities onto other people and objects. Daphne super sped with Matt and Ando; Peter brought a piece of paper back from the future with him; Hiro teleports himself and others through time and space repeatedly; and they've all kept their clothing and personal effects with them while using their powers.
- However, Meredith and Flint never made anyone immune to fire; Claire never made anyone heal themselves; Peter and Sylar never made anyone absorb abilities etc. Which means there are examples when evolved humans can extend their abilities on others, and there are examples when they cannot. Nothing suggests that shape shifting can be extended.

- Supercharged shape shifting may result in the ability to mimic clothes and other none-body-parts, such as glasses. This is something Sylar cannot do currently and would be the most logical extension of the ability.
As there's only one supercharger, the writers won't have him run around the world and supercharge every ability, especially when the effect is uncertain. We might never discover what happens if shape shifting is supercharged.

Supercharged shape shifting will cause rapid cell regeneration. None. + As far as we can tell, when shape shifting, the cells are manipulated and so it happens with cell regeneration, at least wound healing.
- By that logic, this may be possible even without supercharging.
- Claire regrows tissue creating matter as in blood and flesh. Shape shifting is cell shifting, with no creating, but yes, supercharging may not be necesary even though an injury might be needed to invoke the ability plus a lot of control.
- Also, if that were the case then why would it not work the other way around?
- Because Claire can't choose what to regenerate and in what shape; regeneration happens subconsciously and involuntary even if stopping it can be voluntary like Sylar let himself bleed.
Sylar stated that he "squeezed" extra for show, hinting that he didn't halt the healing process, but rather did something so more blood would be lost before he began healing.
It is possible to shift into any humanoid form. Changing eye color in Into Asylum. Sylar's smile on Sandra's face in Turn and Face the Strange. + Sylar has demonstrated the change of eye color without the complete change of body. He has also demonstrated a 'slow' change from Sandra Bennet. With this logic, he could possibly change any bodily feature he wishes, without having to change into a specific person.
- Sylar was changing back from the female coroner, the shifting was "catching up".
+ The example with the coroner is his first use of the ability, which was slower and painful. As Sylar became more skilled at it, he seemed to have amused himself with a slower transformation back from Sandra Bennet, which means that it is not completely out of the question to assume he may be able to change specific bodily features as he wishes.
A person with shapeshifting can live forever. None. + Someone with shape shifting can always shift into a younger person.
- To appear young and to be young are very different. To be is genetic, while to appear is physical.
Supercharged shape shifting will cause the user to transform into a deformed, mutated being. None. + A lack of control over shape shifting causes unusual characteristics to appear, such as an extra tooth. (I Am Sylar)
Sylar can shape shift his clothes because they are made of natural materials, such as cotton. None. + If the material still has some fragment of DNA he may be able to replicate it on his body, giving the appearance of clothing.
- Cotton isn't composed of cells, therefore it doesn't have DNA.
Shape shifting has a byproduct of material alteration or material manipulation. None. + How else would a shapeshifter alter clothing?
It was stated in BTE interviews that the original plan was for shape shifting not to affect clothing, but people involved in the production of episodes involving it pushed for the changing of clothes.
Peter can absorb others abilities by using Shape shifting. Or at least use their ability while in their form. None. + Shape shifting absorb others DNA to replicate them.

- It is unknown if Peter needs only a sample of DNA to replicate an ability, but more likely a whole evolved human.
Theoretically, if Peter replicates an ability from somebody else's body while in it, he'll lose shape shifting and won't be able to become himself again until he replicates it again.

Shape shifting can't really alter clothing -- instead, Sylar has learned to use it to transform parts of his skin to resemble clothing. None. + Shape shifting works by absorbing DNA, and clothing has no DNA to absorb.

+ Why would changing one's DNA affect their clothes, unless said clothes were really part of them?
+ Shape shifting allows one to mimic the person's age, hairstyle, muscular development, and other things that aren't recorded in DNA. This information could only come from the user's imagination or memory of what the person looks like, and that would likely include clothes.
+ Sylar can use intuitive aptitude to quickly master a new power and figure out all possible applications for it.
+ It's not like Sylar has to worry about getting cold.
Sylar would have needed to take off all of his clothes first in order to shape shift into a dressed body.

  Theories edit
See Also: 9RedTime travelShape shifting