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Toho Kaiju
Monster Icons - Varan
DAM - Varan
Species Nicknames
Giant Gliding Monitor Lizard Baradagi-Sanjin,
Height Length
50 meters[1] 60 meters
Weight Forms
15,000 metric tons[1] None
Controlled by Relationships
KilaaksDAM None
Allies Enemies
Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Baragon, Minilla, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Manda, King CaesarGRoE, ZillaGRoE, Jet JaguarGRoE, KamoebasGRoE, TitanosaurusGRoE, SandaGRoE, GairaGRoE, KamacurasGRoE King Ghidorah, GairaGRoE (At first), RodanGRoE, Trilopod, Magita
Created by Portrayed by
Ken Kuronuma Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka
First Appearance Latest Appearance
Varan Destroy All Monsters
More Roars

Varan (バラン,   Baran?) is a tri-phibian kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1958 Toho film, Varan.


Varan's name comes from the scientific name Varanus, commonly known as the monitor lizard.


Varan has membranes between his legs, which he uses for gliding, like a flying squirrel. Varan also has a row of spikes on his back.


Showa Series


Varan, the beleivable

Varan in Varan

After a pair of Siberian butterflies are found in Japan, a team of scientists are sent to find out how they got there. A few of the scientists are killed, and the rest of the team finds a village with practitioners of the cult of O-baki that worships Varan. The team of scientists go out to find a boy who is lost in the forest, but the villagers say they will anger Varan. One of the scientists persuades the villagers to go out to find the boy, but they are attacked by Varan. Varan attacks the village before returning to the lake he had come from. The military arrives and surrounds the lake, and they attack him when they lure him out. The attack has no effect, and the military uses light bombs to attract Varan to the top of a mountain. Varan reveals he can fly, and he glides into the ocean. Varan surfaces in Tokyo and attacks it. The military tries go stop him, but fails. Varan eats a truck filled with special gun powder, and it appears to harm him. The military releases light bombs filled with the gunpowder, and Varan eats them. One of the bombs explodes, and Varan retreats. Varan reaches the ocean when the second bomb explodes, and Varan is declared dead.

Destroy All Monsters - 9 - SoshingekiVaran Varan 1968

Varan in Destroy All Monsters

In 1999, Varan was living among Earth's other monsters on the human-monitored Monsterland. When the Kilaaks took control of the island and its inhabitants, Varan disappeared as the alien invaders' global assault was initiated. After the Kilaaks' control was broken, Varan spectated alongside Baragon and Manda during the Earth monsters' fight against King Ghidorah at Mount Fuji. Once King Ghidorah and the Kilaaks were defeated, Varan and all the others monsters returned to Monsterland in peace.

Within the context of the film itself Varan is only seen gliding through the air prior to the fight against King Ghidorah, and in the last scene as a static model rather than as a suit.


Varan does not have any beam weapons in any of his film appearances, in common with many of the older kaiju. However, in the video game Godzilla: Unleashed, Varan has the ability to emit a sonic beam from his mouth, as well as what appears to be a ball of energy. His one special ability is gliding at around the speed of Mach 1.5, like Rodan. In his debut film, he jumped off a cliff and glided to Japan. In Destroy All Monsters, he glides into view for the final battle, and later on Monsterland. Varan did not fight King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters.

Varan has never actually been seen in combat against any other monsters. He used his tail to level buildings in his original film, which may indicate how he'd fight in combat. He also has spines which might possibly be of use against other giant monsters. Godzilla: Unleashed depicts Varan using acrobatics to fight, as well as his spines. His skin is covered with huge blisters or lumps. In amphibians, such blisters contain poison glands. In reptiles, lumps like these are usually osteoderms, which are armor plates. Also in the Marc Cerasini novel Godzilla 2000, Varan's lumps filled with helium and made him rise so he could glide. Osteoderm-like armor might make the most sense, since Varan was almost invulnerable to human weapons, and had to internally eat bombs before they affected him.


Video Game Appearances

Varan was considered for Godzilla: Save the Earth, but was scrapped at some point. Varan appeared in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, but otherwise has not appeared in any games. He also appeared in Godzilla: Unleashed as an Earth Defender.

Varan made an appearance in the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed as an Earth Defender. He is given the ability to fire a sonic beam and a concentrated sonic energy ball. He has a gliding ability that works much like Rodan's flying, he can be unlocked by destroying the three purple objects on the Vortaak mothership while playing as an Alien. Varan himself appeared purple in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters

Appearing on the second world, Varan will assault Godzilla or Mothra with a variety of melee attacks, the most devastating attack of which is his punch, a move that has excellent range and does noticeable damage. Varan can also attack with his claws in rapid succession, which can score several hits against Godzilla or Mothra if in range. Varan may also attack his foes with a kick, or attempt to head butt them while advancing forward. Varan also has the ability to jump high into the air to avoid attacks. Despite a healthy amount of moves, Varan shouldn't cause much trouble for Godzilla or Mothra because of his lack of a projectile and his habit of reeling back in pain after sustaining heavy damage; furthermore, unlike other bosses, Varan will not trap the player in the corner but will stay just in arms reach if Godzilla or Mothra is backed into the corner.

Godzilla: Unleashed

Godzilla Unleashed - Monster - Varan 1

Varan in Godzilla: Unleashed

Height: 50 meters
Weight: 15,000 tons

"Varan is an Earth Defender with special affinity for forested and hilly areas. Although not capable of true flight, Varan's extraordinary leaping capabilities and gliding capacity mean that he rarely, if ever, touches the ground for more than an instant. Although he naturally lives in solitude, Varan has developed very finely-honed sonic projection capabilities which can be used to communicate over vast distances. These same pinpoint sonic waves can be used in battle to disrupt an opponent's sense of balance. Varan is quite possibly the most mysterious of Earth's native monsters—first-hand sightings of him by humans remain relatively rare."

Godzilla: The Game

Kaiju Guide

Varan, the Giant Flying Squirrel Monster

Kaiju Guide Varan

A relic of the dinosaur Varanus pater that lived in the Mesozoic Era. It is equipped with thin flying membranes between its arms and hind legs, which it can expand into wings to fly at Mach speeds. It is a formidable opponent against fighter planes that has a habit of swallowing things that glow. In its second appearance, in the film "Destroy All Monsters" (1968), it preyed on living creatures in Yamanaka, Iwate Prefecture, and was feared as the "Baradagi Mountain God" believed to be protected in Monsterland. It entered the battle with other earth monsters against King Ghidorah.

The full-body costume for the original Varan in "Varan the Unbelievable" (1958) could not be used due to deterioration from aging, necessitating the creation of a second version of Varan in "Destroy All Monsters" (1968)—a 90 centimeter flying puppet that appeared in the epilogue and a few other scenes.Specifications
50 meters
15,000 tons
Flight at Mach 1.5
"Destroy All Monsters"


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

RoE Varan

Varan in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Varan first appears in issue #5 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, appearing from China and traveling to a bunker where he fights Rodan and Gaira before vanishing into the ocean. He was also seen in a flash back when King Caesar and Megalon fought, appearing in the ocean with Ebirah to attack the escaping islanders. He was also seen on the mural in the Infant Island cave, where he was one of the Water monsters. It is unknown where Varan went after the battle with Gaira, as he was never present on the Monster Islands, but a Trilopod later appeared to fight Godzilla that had Varan's traits. Varan was being held in the Trilopod hive, but was freed by King Caesar along with the other kaiju. Varan then took part in the final battle against the Trilopods, helping Zilla kill the Titanosaurus Trilopod, and the massive Magita. After the threat was vanquished, Varan and the other monsters followed Godzilla out to sea.

Godzilla in Hell

A demonic version of Varan appeared in the second issue of the IDW mini-series Godzilla in Hell. The demon Varan emerged from the Eternal Ocean as Godzilla arrived there after falling from the ice following his fight with the demon Anguirus. The demon Varan and Godzilla immediately fought each other, but Godzilla dispensed of the demon with his atomic breath.


Main article: Varan/Gallery.


Varan's roar became very popular and it was reused for Gorosaurus, Megalon and the Showa Baragon. A little known fact to most Godzilla fans, the high pitched screeches of Rodan were quick recycles of Varan's roar. They then were recycled for the Ultraman show as well. The roars are basically roars that belonged to Godzilla from 1954.

In Other Languages

  • Russian: Варан


  • Varan is a "tri-phibian" creature in that he can swim, walk on land, and soar through the air.[1]
  • Varan was meant to be in The Return of King Ghidorah, a TV version of Varan, and Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, a proposed movie replaced with Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. However, in the latter film, King Ghidorah has facial features similar to those of Varan in order to give tribute to the monster.
  • Just as with the Baragon suit, the Varan suit was heavily damaged from water exposure and deterioration. Because of this, he could only appear in Destroy All Monsters for a few seconds as an immobile puppet. Varan's name is briefly mentioned in the U.S. version of the film, at least. Contrary to popular belief, Varan was not thrown in for a few seconds just to say the film had more monsters. He was to have a bigger role, but Toho chose not to repair the suit damage and so Varan was relegated to being part of the backdrop.


This is a list of references for Varan. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Official Godzilla Compendium. Profiles of the Monsters; Page 140.


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