At the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, we learned that the adorable monkey-tailed kid of Dragon Ball was actually a member of a powerful alien race, the Saiyans. Before their near-extinction at the hands of Frieza, the Saiyans were a proud warrior people, gifted with great strength, speed, durability and energy powers. Vegeta frequently speaks of the Saiyans’ history, traits and abilities, and throughout the course of the Dragon Ball franchise, we have seen everything that a Saiyan is capable of. That said, the casual Dragon Ball fan might not know everything a Saiyan can do.
Sure, we all know about Super Saiyans and the various subsequent power ups, but there’s more to the Saiyans than what’s on the surface. Throughout the course of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super, we’ve learned a lot about the warrior race, enough to paint a detailed picture of their species as a whole. Everything from Saiyan eating habits to their physical prowess, we decided to put together a few facts you might not know about Saiyans, specifically what they can do. They are a strange and powerful race, and one of the most interesting parts of the world of Dragon Ball. With that, here are 15 things you NEVER knew Saiyans could do.
Saiyans are gifted with a lot of natural abilities, but perhaps the thing that makes them so strong is their “zenkai,” otherwise known as their “Saiyan Power.” The Saiyans possess a genetic trait that allows them to constantly get stronger, to break all the limits imposed upon this. The zenkai allows them to do this, allowing them to overcome adversity.
See, whenever a Saiyan recovers from a near-death experience, they come back stronger, able to handle whatever almost killed them. It’s a nifty ability to have, especially for a warrior race, and it’s what has helped our Saiyan heroes overcome their strongest opponents. In other words, that which doesn’t kill them only makes them stronger. Or, for the Star Wars fans out there, if you strike them down, they shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
14. SUPER STRENGTH
We all know that Saiyans are strong, both in the figurative and literal sense. We also know that they, along with humans in the world of Dragon Ball, can train themselves to have superhuman strength through the use of ki. But Saiyans’ physical strength is not just from their immense energy or the result of training, they naturally possess superhuman strength.
The Saiyans’ planet has gravity 10 times that of Earth, so, not only are they strong on their home planet, they are even stronger on planets with weaker gravity. The natural physiology of Saiyans grants them immense strength, giving them to power to lift 10 times their own weight when they are children. We saw this in Goku when he was able to lift a car over his head as a child, his strength only increasing over time.
13. SUPER SPEED
As it is with Saiyans’ strength, their bodies are also built with natural speed. Speed can be attained, honed and increased by anyone willing to train in the world of Dragon Ball, but Saiyans possess a naturally high level of speed at birth. Their speed can be seen in their reflexes, their movement and their flight. A Saiyan can react to incredibly fast attacks, able to catch bullets from a machine gun with ease.
As for their movement, Saiyans are naturally capable of handling mach speeds both in their movements and their flight. Saiyans can move faster than the human eye can easily perceive, their movements looking like blurs to others. Even superhumans like Krillen and Tien cannot keep up with a Saiyans natural super speed, let alone when they train to get faster.
There’s one more trait that Saiyans have naturally that humans have to train hard for. Though Krillen and the other human Z-fighters have managed to increase their durability over time, Saiyans are born with near indestructible skin, at least by human standards. Even as children, Saiyans are mostly unharmed by bullets, explosions and sharp objects and can even survive massive head trauma as infants.
As adults, Saiyans are essentially indestructible, the only thing able to harm them being opponents that are stronger than them. Even their immune system is incredibly strong, as the only known virus to affect a Saiyan was the heart virus in the android saga. Most humans in Dragon Ball have had to train to increase their durability, but Saiyans are said by Dr. Gero to be able to survive a nuclear explosion.
11. MULTIPLY POWER
Since the Super Saiyan form, and its subsequent ascensions, are used to defeat incredibly powerful enemies, even fans might think that the transformation causes a massive increase in power. While this is technically true, it’s more accurate to describe the Super Saiyan forms as power multipliers. The same goes for the Great Ape form, all these transformation acting as temporary power-ups.
The Great Ape form multiplies a Saiyan’s base form by 10, Super Saiyan is a 50x multiplier, Super Saiyan 2 is 100x and Super Saiyan 3 is a 400x multiplier. The difference between the Super Saiyan forms being a multiplier instead of an increaser of power is that if a Saiyan increases the power of their base form, the multiplier becomes more effective, making it a powerful tool in battle.
10. TURN INTO GODS
The Super Saiyan was thought to be nothing more than a legend amongst Saiyans prior to Goku achieving the form, but it’s not the only legend of their people. There was also the legend of the Super Saiyan God, something spoken about only in hushed whispers. In the legend, it was said a group of six Super Saiyans attempted to stop a group of evil Saiyans, channeling their energy into one of them to create a temporary god form.
When the ritual is done, the appearance of the Saiyan who is infused with the power changes. They appear younger and leaner, sporting red hair and eyes. Their ki changes to a godly form of energy that cannot be detected easily by others and they are given the raw power of a deity. This transformation into a god is not attainable by any other species within the Dragon Ball universe.
9. HEAL FAST
Part of what helps Saiyans use their Zenkai and get stronger from their injuries is their advanced healing. Though Saiyans are incredibly durable, this durability is an active function and relies on a Saiyan being on guard. If their guard is let down, then they are vulnerable to surprise attacks that can injure them as much as it would a ki-trained human. However, what helps them recover after the fight, and thus become more durable, is both their high pain tolerance and their advanced healing abilities.
Saiyans heal much faster than humans, recovering within a fraction of the time a human would take to heal from massive bodily damage both external and internal. Though we don’t often see this healing, thanks to technology and senzu beans, Saiyans have been shown to recover within a matter of days from what would normally be life-threatening injuries.
8. EAT A TON
Saiyans have a ton of natural energy, massive strength, incredible speed and immense durability, but they’re not Kryptonians; these abilities don’t come from the sun. No, Saiyans function much like humans in the sense of basic functions. Meaning, they have to eat to power their bodies, and since they have a lot of ki and abilities that require a lot of energy, they have to eat a whole lot.
This one isn’t a big secret to Dragon Ball fans, Goku has always had a big appetite, same goes for Vegeta and the half-Saiyans. Saiyans need the massive intake of calories, usually all at once, so that their body can produce the energy needed to for their incredible abilities. This one might be more of a hinderance than an ability, but regardless, they have appetites to rival the Flash!
7. CONQUER PLANETS
Even when they are infants, Saiyans are capable of great strength. In fact, Saiyan infants are so strong that even the lowest-class weak Saiyans are capable of conquering a planet on their own. This is actually what Goku was sent to Earth to do, but due to his head injury, and being found by his kind-hearted adoptive grandpa, Goku became a warrior for good.
Every full-blooded Saiyan is capable of turning into a great ape, which was the key to Saiyans’ strength early in Dragon Ball Z. With this transformation, Saiyans were able to conquer planets on their own with pure destruction. They wouldn’t take over the planet so much as clear out all the life so the planet could be used for Frieza’s empire. Good thing Super Saiyans were only legends when the race was still around, since the transformation would mean trouble for any planets in their crosshairs.
6. AGE SLOWER
The Saiyans are a warrior race, they are built to for fighting on every level. This can be seen in the way they age. Over the course of later seasons of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super, Goku seems to look the same age, his youthfulness not waning much since his teen years. It’s not that they live longer, just that they remain in their peak until they are around 80.
We can see this in Vegeta as well as Goku, both of whom look as they have since their first appearance in Dragon Ball Z, at least age wise (since the art style changed over the years). We can also assume this is the reason that Goku, Gohan, Goten and Trunks retained their child-like appearance for longer than humans do, since Goten and Trunks haven’t appeared to age since the Majin Buu Saga.
5. SENSE OF SMELL
Before Goku had a mastery of ki and the ability to sense the energy of others, he had another sense he could easily rely on to track others. We are of course talking about his sense of smell. Goku once compared his sense of smell to that of a dog, something we can assume is shared by all Saiyans. Saiyans are believed to have originally been Great Apes that took humanoid form, retaining their tails and strength.
Since primates also have excellent senses of smell, we can assume that this sense was also retained in their humanoid evolution. As a kid, Goku was shown being able to track an object based on smell alone and his sensitive nose was shown to be a hindrance against a particularly putrid opponent. Saiyans also have excellent hearing and a sense of touch that can feel the slightest shifts in the air.
4. LEARN QUICKLY
When Vegeta came to Earth, he was seen using the signature tool of the Frieza army, a scouter. However, by the time of the Frieza saga, he didn’t need one, having learned how to sense ki on his own. This displays another Saiyan trait, their incredibly fast learning ability. They might not be the most academically inclined species, but Saiyans have been shown to pick up techniques incredibly fast, usually just by watching it once.
Goku learned the Kamehameha technique by watching it once, as well as a few other moves he picked up. Vegeta picked up the ki sense incredibly fast, especially after relying on a scouter for so long. In Dragon Ball Super, the Saiyans of Universe 6 pick up the Super Saiyan transformation faster than any other Saiyan in the franchise, getting good enough to teach it to others who learn it instantly as well.
3. STRENGTHEN THIER TAIL
When Goku was a kid, one of his biggest weaknesses was having his tail touched. When a young Chi-Chi grabbed his tail for leverage, Goku was in immense pain. Fast forward to Dragon Ball Z and Raditz shows up to Earth, sporting the same monkey tail as Goku. After learning of his Saiyan origins, Goku takes advantage of his brother’s weakens and grabs his tail, causing him great pain.
To avoid this weakness, Saiyans often wrap their tails around their waist, making them harder to reach. However, this isn’t the only way a Saiyan can avoid being subdued by their weakness. We learn that they can actually train themselves to have an immunity, an ability mastered by high-class Saiyans like Nappa and Vegeta. We’ve also seen Goku train an immunity to this in the last days of his tail.
2. NEVER NEED A HAIRCUT
We mentioned before that Saiyans are evolved from a giant ape species, and they still retain a few traits of their mammalian ancestors. Like primates, Saiyans have tails, incredible senses and great strength. Also like apes, as well as most mammals, full-blooded Saiyans’ hair stays the same from the day they are born, the style and length never changing.
There’s not really a detailed explanation for this, but we can assume this functions a lot like mammals’ fur. Their fur reaches a certain length before it sheds. In other words, it appears as though they have the same hair style all the time because it is constantly shedding and re-growing. Of course it’s never stated if Saiyans actually shed, but we’re cracking up at the idea of Chi-Chi vacuuming up clumps of Goku’s hair. All of this however, does not stop them from going bald, as seen with Nappa.
1. GROW FACIAL HAIR
Because of how slow their hair grows, we can assume that Saiyans’ facial hair works in a similar way. We already knew that Saiyans could grow facial hair, as seen with Nappa and King Vegeta, but we’ve never really seen Goku or Vegeta shave. For a while, one would assume that Goku and Vegeta couldn’t grow beards, same goes for Gohan, but we learned differently in Dragon Ball Super.
When training to fight against Universe 6, Goku and Vegeta spent three years in the hyperbolic time chamber. In that time, the two Saiyans grew beards, but they weren’t very long. Their facial hair didn’t appear to be three years worth of growth, but instead around a month. From this, we know that Saiyans can grow facial hair, but it takes a long time.
What other secrets do you know about the mighty Saiyans? Let us know in the comments!
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