Clover is a giant transdimensional daikaiju created by J.J. Abrams that first appeared in the 2008 American film Cloverfield. Clover also appeared in the manga Cloverfield/Kishin, in which Clover's origins are explained a bit more.
The monster is never truly named in the film, but the nickname "Clover" (used by film's crew) is generally accepted by fans. In the Blu-Ray release of the film, the notations state that the United States Department of Defense has code-named it "LSA", which stands for "Large Scale Aggressor".
Other names were given by the fan community: Cloverfield, Cloverfield Monster, Clover, Clovey, Clovy, Clovie, Large Scale Aggressor (LSA, originating from the film's Blu-Ray version's notations), Slusho (after the fictional Japanese drink used to promote the film as part of the viral marketing), "A Terrible Thing" (after Hud's description) (variations: ATT, Terry), "Leprechaun" (Irish Folklore states that 4 leaf clovers grow wherever a leprechaun has spent an extended period of time. In this instance, the monster is the leprechaun, and the parasites that come off of it are the clovers it spawns, thus "Cloverfield" and the name "Leprechaun"), "Big Barney", "Mister Grumpy Pants" (variations: Mister Grumpypants, Mr. Grumpy Pants, Mr. Grumpypants, MGP), Mickey Monster (when attacking Hud, its ears unfold and look like mouse ears)
Cloverfield is a 240-300 feet tall quadruped with a long tri-fork finned tail. The uppermost double-jointed limb pair is longer than the other two, ending in a multi-fingered hand which can bend backward so that Clover can walk on its fingers.
The double-jointed, squat legs are powerful enough to support Clover’s mass, and yet still allow it to move relatively quickly for an organism of its size. Each of its feet is 30-40 feet in length, roughly the size of a city transit bus. The creature is covered in gray skin that exhibits a white pallor, possibly due to an absence of light on the ocean floor. The skin is also host to thousands of dog-sized parasites creatures.
Cloverfield's head has sharp, bony features and two eyes with pupils large enough to almost obscure their requisite sclera from view. Its face resembles that of a piranha or an angler fish. There are a set of membranous sacks on either side of the head behind the eyes, which inflate and recede back into the head. Some speculate them to be "ear membranes", much like those of a frog. Some fans have speculated that they are filled with some type of fluid to help it adjust to the different pressures it encounters on land. Others say they help the monster breathe the air, which would be thin to it due to its large size.
Cloverfield's origins are only revealed in the film's viral marketing campaign (Abrams wanted the movie to be realistic- if a monster did attack, civilians would have no idea where it came from), leaving some who have seen the film confused about where it really came from. Many speculate that it is of extraterrestrial descent, but this has been denied by Abrams. The object seen falling into the ocean is actually the Japanese government's ChimpanzIII satellite.
The monster is a deep-sea creature with an unknown evolutionary history. The species apparently has a very long life-span, as the creature is still an infant during the events of the film, regardless of being alive for thousands of years. It grew to its massive 240-300 foot tall size through consuming large amounts of Seabed's Nectar, a natural steroid-like substance which is very addictive and causes increased cell division and growth, and is used by Tagruato's subsidiary company, "Slusho!", for use as their secret ingredient in their frozen drink of the same name. At some point afterward, the monster went into a sort of hibernation.
Clover's skin showed a strong resistance to projectile weaponry, due to the immensely high resistance deep-sea creatures have shown against heat and pressure because of their environmental conditions. Shells from M1A2 tanks and M109A6 Paladins, AT-4 rockets and FGM-148 Javelin missile launchers, AGM-65 Mavericks and Mk-82 bombs and other high powered ordnance failed to do anything other than aggravate and frighten Clover.
Tucked between the monster's legs are two "external esophogi". The esophogi are used to eat creatures much smaller than itself (humans and any other large animals). In the Cloverfield/Kishin manga, the monster's external esophogi are shown using long, thin tubes to wrap around the victims and bring them in, though how much the manga can be trusted on these matters is unclear.
The esophogi were first clearly seen when Hud looks up at the monster before it bites him. Fans originally misinterpreted the tubes to be limbs before their true nature was revealed. The esophogi end with teeth-like projections. Clover devoured several dozen Central Park carriage horses with these esophogi, as well as (most likely) the people that Marlena mentioned the monster was eating when it moved down Broadway.
In Other Languages
- Japanese: クローバー (Kurōbā)
- Clover, according to an interview, was mentioned concerning Godzilla: Unleashed, but due to the fact that Cloverfield hadn't come out yet (and also wanting to keep Clover's design a secret), J.J. Abrams turned down the idea.