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Muted greys, pinks, purples and blues.


Presumably any color, but light red, yellowish-green, white, and reddish-orange have been seen.

Notable Facts

Flexible segmented almost horn-like antennae, small eyes, hairless, no visible nose or ears.


The Vortians, alternatively known as the Vort, are a highly intelligent race of scientists and engineers who inhabit Vort.

Biology and Appearance[]

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A Vortian (possibly Lard Nar) eating at Shloogorgh's Flavor Monster.

Vortians have digitigrade legs with elongated tarsals. As a result, Vortians walk on the tips of their feet (as opposed to their entire feet). Their feet lack toes and seem to be pointed at the end, although this may simply be part of the art style.

Atop their heads they have segmented, vaguely horn-like appendages growing out of fleshy nubs which are likely shelled tentacles or antennae, as they are ambulatory and quite flexible as opposed to stiff. This can be seen clearly by Captain Lard Nar’s movements in “Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars”, wherein his antennae visibly flex and spring about quite freely as he moves, jumps, and turns his head, and twitch with a springy appearance when he trembles in fear. It can also be seen with Prisoner 777, as his antennae curl slightly when he briefly panics about providing the Massive’s schematics to Zim. Vortian antennae display more diversity (color, length, and amount of segments) than Irken antennae, and appear to lengthen with age.

Vortians have small, rounded eyes of a single color, and are often seen wearing goggle-like eyewear. Their heads are large, and shaped vaguely like that of an Irken, although their foreheads are notably larger and more prominent.

It is shown that Vortian skin can come in a variety of colours, appearing to be predominately greys, pinks, purples, and muted blues.


Prisoner 777, a Vortian scientist who assisted Zim.

Vortian teeth are visibly sharp and jagged. The only Vortian food shown are "Vort dogs" sold at Shloogorgh's Flavor Monster, implying that Vortians are either carnivorous or omnivorous. Vortian tongues are segmented similar to Irken tongues, although a lighter color. Vortians are rather short, about the same height as Irkens, albeit with a stockier build. Like Irkens and most aliens seen in the show, Vortians have 3 fingers per hand.

It is unknown if their society is based on height, but it seems to be unlikely as there is no indication of this in the series, and height seems to be a trait prioritized by the Irken race alone. Due to the intelligence of the Vortian race, it may be that Vort's leaders were elected or maybe even passed down like royalty, similar to Earth.

Vortian Children

Vortian children (shown only in the comic series).

Like Irkens, it has been revealed (in the comic series) that Vortians also have the ability to reproduce, as the children of Prisoner 777 were briefly seen in the first issue of the Invader Zim comics. However, seeing as they made much of the Irkens' technology, it remains unclear as to whether or not Vortians reproduce naturally, or if they also use the test tube method.



Vortian scientists (including Lard Nar) by Aaron Alexovich.

Vortians are very industrious creatures and have a history of being allied with the Irken Empire. During this time, they worked with Irken scientists to create high tech military gear and weapons of mass destruction. However, in "recent years" Invader Larb conquered the planet Vort, effectively turning it into the Irken Empire's top military research prison.


Possibly an escaped Vortian Criminal.

Not all Vortians are prisoners though; some have escaped and can be seen briefly on planet Foodcourtia. Eric the Blob mentioned that he had installed similar security systems to the one in Shloogorgh's Flavor Monster in Vortian prisons, but they were discontinued after multiple Vortian prisoners escaped by "hiding deep in garbage cans". This could explain Lard Nar's freedom and could pose as an excuse as to why there exists many free Vortians.

They have created devices such as the MegaDoomer, as well as the doomsday technology inside of Minimoose and the Vortian liquid substance used for the Santa Suit. However, the Vortians have shown signs of rebellion by purposely flawing their creations. For example, the Vortian-designed Megadoomer rather humorously cloaked itself but not the user. It is also worth noting is that Vortian Prisoner 777 was also willing to hand over the Massive's schematics to Zim with very little convincing needed, despite the fact that he knew and openly stated that it would infuriate the Irken Armada.

Vortian Technology[]


The interior of the Resisty's ship.

The only piece of technology shown during the series of purely Vortian design is the Resisty Ship.


The Resisty's ship as seen from the Massive's monitor.

Pure Vortian technology seems to have a much different appearance and system function than that influenced by Irken design.

It is characterized by sharp angles and muted colors, rather than the rounded surfaces and bright reds or purples that seem to be favored by the Irken race.

Facts of Doom[]

  • 506B9D8B-C9C7-4451-BF53-CA9B215C4CA6

    Harvested Vortian brains, as seen in Issue 4.

    Interestingly, some Vortians (Lard Nar and Vortian Prisoner 777’s kids) have been shown with pupils, while all of the other Vortians seen in the franchise so far appear to lack them, raising numerous questions on how their eyes are supposed to look.
  • Most, if not all, Vortians appear to suffer from overbites.
  • It’s unknown why Vortian children barely resemble adult members of their species.
  • It’s unclear how the intentional design flaws of Vortian technology manage to go unnoticed by the Irken Empire.
  • It’s plausible that the Vortians are the smartest alien species within the Invader Zim universe.
  • Considering the high intellect of their species, it’s been implied that Vortian brains are regularly harvested by their Irken conquerors to increase their own intelligence, with Irken Engineer Skrang being a clear example of this. However, it’s also possible that this could have just been a momentary gag to point out the stupidity of the Irken Empire.
  • On a related note, it’s possible that Vortians have either dark greyish-pink or dark greyish-purple blood due to the color of their brain tissue, although this is unconfirmed.
  • Shoulder ringlets/bracelets seem to be common within Vortian clothing.
  • According to ChannelFrederator's YouTube video "107 Invader Zim Facts", Lard Nar (and presumbly other Vortians) was supposed to have moving pincers instead of how his head appendages ended up being animated. However, this “fact” was never cited with any proper evidence, and considering that this video stated the rumored "Invader Dib" as canon before it was debunked by Eric Truehart and said that Lard Nar’s antennae ended up being “dull, stationary horns,“ the validity of this statement is questionable.

See Also[]