See also sapient races and deities and powerful beings.

This page is for any living or conscious inhabitants of Bas-Lag that do not belong to the above pages, using the following criteria:

I. Not powerful enough to belong to the "deities and powerful beings" page

II. Not suitable for the "sapient races" page, due to one or more of the following reasons:

A. Not sapient, or presumed not to be sapient
B. Not known to have formed a society, or presumed not to due to living alone or in very small groups, or being too few in number
C. Obscure enough that A or B cannot be confirmed

Creatures of the Cacotopic ZoneEdit

The cacotopic zone produces an infinite variety of bizarre creatures. The following is only a list of those who have appeared in Miéville's works.




Other Creatures of Bas-LagEdit


Aquatic predators thirty feet long. An external bone skull and grinding bone jaws serve as protection and weaponry both. The bonefish is a hypercarnivous apex predator and can easily kill a great white shark. In Armada there is a bonefish attack where one of the captive chained guard great white sharks is gutted. It is probably based on an extinct real-world fish called Dunkleosteus or placoderm fish (literally plate-skinned) extant from as late as the Devonian period which matches its size and description exactly. Their head and thorax are covered by articulated armoured plates the head and jaw create a shearing cutting surface in lieu of teeth.


These are creatures composed of the stuff the world is made of, sapient to an uncertain degree and formed entirely from a single substance. There is some debate over how these things came to be, and whether elementals can form of "artificial" materials such as concrete, but the following are most certainly extant, dangerous, and powerful. Elementarii, thaumaturges specializing in the control of these beings, summon them out of ordinary materials and direct them in an uneasy balance of power, wielding gnoscourges, whips made from pure energy. Elementals are extremely difficult to destroy without resort to thaumaturgy, as their uniform substance can shift and flow around almost anything. They are sometimes capable of taking on more of the appropriate material as they encounter it, to an extent.

Not to be confused with golems, which are matter imbued with mindless purpose by a sapient creator. Elementals are intelligent beings, though it is unclear whether elementarii summon or create them, and whether any elementals (e.g. those undines cooperating with vodyanoi) exist independent of elementarii or similar thaumaturges.


Elementals composed of moonlight, a coldly glowing form constantly shifting between the suggestions of shapes. The stuff of legends, but the elementarii militia of New Crobuzon know the secret to its summoning.

Fulmen (singular and plural)Edit

Lightning or electricity elementals. Can be used as a source of energy with the appropriate powerful thaumaturgy.


Air elementals, rushes of invisible whirling wind. In combat, they can force themselves into their victims' lungs and burst them.

Proasmae (singular: Proasm)Edit

Flesh elementals, composed of muscle, fat, blood and bone. Shifting into whatever shape they desire, proasmae kill be leaping into their victims' flesh, bursting out again larger than before and leaving behind only skin and hair.


Saltwater elementals.


Earth ((or stone?)) elementals.


Freshwater elementals, often found cooperating with or serving vodyanoi shamans. Can easily maintain cohesion in any form of water, and typically fights by enveloping its opponents with its airless mass.


Flame elementals, eager, chaotic, and snapping.


Metal, sun, wood, and darkness elementals are mentioned in passing, but not by their proper names. In addition, similar creatures made of artificial materials such as concrete or glass have disputed elemental status. As the name implies, elementals could be a natural part of the universe, that come into being for any relatively uniform substance or less tangible material.


Described as "hyaena hunched under bone and bat wings". Found near Shankell.

Pangolin RexEdit

Throng BearEdit

A swarm of birds and insects that take the form of a bear, can change swiftly from swarm to bear form.Found in Rudewood.




Jack Rabbits. Manatee - dwell in the meagre sea, called "river pigs"

Sable Antelope - used as riding animals, their horns sawn off.

Rock Rabbits.


Many, many others exist. Some may be unique creatures, such as a plant-hulk that feed endlessly through the controlled corpses of its prey. Others such as the frost-crabs exist in numbers and may even be sapient, but are hidden away in obscure and difficult to reach places.

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