Goo, Grey
grey goo
Image from Anders Sandberg

Self-replicating nanomachines spreading uncontrollably, building copies of themselves using all available material. Consists of a disassembler swarm combined with assembler units programmed to create more grey goo. Fortunately, efficient grey goo is very difficult to manufacture, because of energy constraints and elemental abundances.

The worst-case scenario where a grey-goo weapon is deployed is the complete conversion of a planet's biosphere (or sometimes, of its complete surface) into a single type of self-replicating unit. This scenario has rarely happened in reality, one of the few cases being the destruction of Makintairas during the Second Consolidation War.

In most cases grey goo forms part of a larger Khaki goo attack, incorporating many forms of self-replicating weapon. In most cases, modern grey and khaki goo attacks can be defeated rapidly by suitable blue goo defences.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 31 October 2001.