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- "Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some good news and some bad news. Bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news is we've got a much better test for you: fighting an army of mantis men! Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts."
- ― Cave Johnson[src]
One of the first series of tests performed by Aperture Science when it was still named "Aperture Science Innovators", along with testing of the Aperture Science Portable Quantum Tunneling Device and Repulsion Gel, were tests of the effects of praying mantis DNA on the human body. The large number of resulting human-mantis hybrids (referred to by Cave Johnson as "mantis men") were themselves the subject of testing; namely, how long it would take to kill an army of them using rifles. Somewhat inhumanely, the mantis men were apparently required to kill each other during the test, thereby ridding Aperture of most, if not all, of them and preventing the problem of cleanup or compensation.
One of the possible alternate universes visited during the Perpetual Testing Initiative is of a universe inhabited by sapient mantises which the Aperture experiment was performed in reverse: creating "Man-Mantises" by injecting test subjects with human DNA.
The Mantis Man is seen for the first time in the non-canon video game Lego Dimensions's Portal 2 Adventure World, trapped behind a laser field. It can be made operating a switch connected to a Pneumatic Diversity Vent. There is also a quest in which the player must fight 30 Mantis Men.
Behind the scenes
In Portal 2: The Official Guide from Future Press, Erik Wolpaw was asked about the fate of the Mantis Men; he replied that the answer "would be too big of a spoiler [for Portal 3]," but suggested that some of them may still live in the facility.
List of appearances
- Portal 2: The Official Guide