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Attack on Titan (image credit via Kodansha)

The Spine Creature in Attack on Titan Explained

With its giant, titular Titans that seemingly defy most natural laws of biology, Titan Shifters, who can turn into Titans, Attack on Titan has an exciting number of creatures and characters.

Each has peculiar peculiarities and often alien abilities that don’t obey the laws of physics— but none more than the Spine Creature. Who, or even what, this creature is, no one but the author knows for sure, but today, this article will try to explain just what it is.


Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan; please read at your own risk.

Attack on Titan’s Spine Creature


Attack on Titan has always had a plethora of mysteries, with various questions like where the Titans come from, what is the secret behind the walls, and the source of the Ackerman family’s powers. But even so, the question of: “What created the Titans in the first place” has never been answered. The people of Marley said that the first Ymir Fritz got the power from “the devil.”


But, the actual answer might be 'something ancient.' Yes, as strange as it might sound, the source of all Titans might be older than recorded history.

Or, to be more accurate, the Yūkibutsu no Kigen or “Source Of All Matter.” For lack of a better word, the Spine Creature, or Source Of All Matter (SOAM), is an anomaly even among Attack on Titan’s many strange quirks. It is said to be the source of all life on Earth, and it can alter and shape the very matter around it.

But even so, that doesn’t explain how it gave Ymir the ability to transform people into giant man-eating creatures.

To be more accurate, the SOAM itself resembles a human spine, or the spine and its nervous system. For those unfamiliar with such a visual, think of it as a long rod with multiple threads coming out of the ‘spine’ of the rod. It’s a strange, alien-like creature that has otherwise gone unchanged despite countless centuries passing since the dawn of the earth.


The Spine Creature and Titans


While its exact nature is unknown, the Source Of All Matter's existence is the reason for the Paths, a sort of "escape" for Ymir Fritz, who feared death greatly. This led to the creation of the Titans, significant, near unkillable creatures, and the Paths, a deathless existence in which Ymir spent centuries waiting.

Moreover, given its status as the creator, or more accurately, source of all Titans, it can emit a gas that causes anyone who breathes it to become a Titan. Even more curiously, though, it seems to have a will or, at the very least, can recognize when it needs to act to save someone.

When Eren got his head cut off in the final arc, the Source Of All Matter managed to save his head from dying by attaching itself to Eren.

Even more curiously, when Eren died at the end of the series, it disappeared entirely and without a trace. In Attack on Titan, there have been many strange events and occurrences, ranging from time-traveling thoughts, people turning into giants, and people possessing the power of said giants, but none of them ever quite matched the sheer strange, alien nature of the Source Of All Matter.

Perhaps, in Attack on Titan, some keys are best left unturned.


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