The Vermicious Knids are a hostile race found in Roald Dahl's universe. 


Having nothing better to do, the Vermicious Knids are the dominant, influential, and authoritative predators of the Universe, and are the antagonists in the Roald Dahl book Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

The Knids are from planet Vermes, which is 60,000,000 light years away from planet Pluto, and the Knids are very hostile creatures. They can fly through space in swarms, landing and invading any planet they come upon, and eating all the inhabitants. The Vermicious Knids, Wonka says, are responsible for leaving the planets of the Solar System barren, and presumably are responsible for there being no other sentient life in the Universe.

It is implied that by the time of the book, the only two sentient races left in the Universe are humanity and the Knids, due to the Knid predations.

In the book

The Vermicious Knids tried to invade Earth many times, but each time were incinerated due to the high concentration of gas around the Earth, and they failed every time to invade, becoming shooting stars which humans regularly see.

So, in the 1980s, the Vermicious Knids set up a new plan, they invaded humanity's Space Hotel, which the United States of America had built and launched into space. It was empty and the Knids easily invaded and set themselves up in each room. They scared off Wonka and Charlie's family, which led to Wonka explaining about the dangers of the Knids, but they completely ate half the United States of America ambassadors to the Space Hotel. The Knids then chased the other half of the ambassadors out of the place and attempted to battle them and ram them with their rears, into submission. The Knids were thwarted by Wonka and his Elevator who towed the astronauts away from danger and back to Earth yet the Knids were clever enough to form a Knid chain which wrapped itself round the Elevator, intending to tow it back to planet Vermes and eat everybody in it. But Wonka put on full speed for home and, inevitably, when the Elevator got into Earth's atmosphere, it burned, causing the Vermicious Knids to roast to death and become shooting stars.

Morphology and appearance

The Vermicious Knid, described by Wonka, is actually just "one huge muscle" and is very stretchy. The Knids, far from being stupid, are actually one of the most intelligent creatures ever. Their normal appearence is a giant egg-shaped muscle, which pulsates and seems to be full of jelly. The Knids, however, are shape shifters, and this is their main weapon, because "from fifty miles away a Knid could stretch out its head and bite your head off without even getting up!"  The Knids can give themselves four legs or eight legs or two. The Knids lack mouths, but, according to Wonka, can eat with other things, implying maybe suckers, or tentacles, or feelers.


  • "Vermicious" is a real word, meaning "slimy."
  • Their home planet "Vermes" might be a reference to Jules Verne, science fiction writer.
  • Although most of the Knids were in the Hotel, there are millions more on Vermes.
  • Knids range in size from human sized to colossal, about as big as a truck.
  • Among the Knids' victims are the Poozas, "rather nice" creatures who lived on the Moon.
  • They are similar to the Necromorphs of the Dead Space franchise, wiping out entire alien species.
  • It is unknown their relation to the aliens mentioned in The BFG.
  • Even though the Knids are never seen outside of Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator, they are briefly mentioned by Willy Wonka in the 1971 film adaptation of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl's distaste for this film led him to forbid any other Charlie books from  being adapted to film, so this would be their only such description. Moreover, Wonka mentions the Knids as one of many predators to the Oompa Loompas in their native Loompaland, which in the books would be impossible due to the Knids inability to live on Earth.
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