Humanoid species native to planet Vulcan. Vulcans were once a passionate, violent people whose civilization was torn by terrible wars. The ancient philosopher Surak, revered as the father of Vulcan civilization, led his people some two thousand years ago to reject their emotions in favor of a philosophy that embraced pure logic. This remarkable renaissance became known as the Time of Awakening. Vulcan society is now based entirely on logic, and any trappings of emotion are considered to be socially unacceptable. One group did not accept Surak's teachings and instead left Vulcan to found the warrior Romulan Star Empire. Their descendents and offshoots colonized many planets across the quadrant. Tensions remained between the two peoples, and a century-long war once raged between the Vulcans and the Romulans. No one on either side realized that the war had been ignited by Quinn, a member of the Q Continuum.
By the 24th century, however, a small number of Vulcan citizens sought reconciliation with their Romulan cousins, a movement supported by Ambassador Spock, as well as by members of a Romulan underground. In the distant past, Vulcans killed to win their mates. Even in the present, Vulcans revert to ancient mating rituals, apparently the price these people must pay for totally suppressing their natural emotions. When Vulcan children are about seven, their parents select a future mate, and the two children are joined in a ceremony that links them telepathically. When the two children come of age, they are compelled to join together for the marriage rituals. The time of mating, Pon farr, is when the stoically logical Vulcans pay for their rigid control by experiencing a period of total emotional abandon. In Vulcan adults, Pon farr comes every seven years. Vulcans who reach a certain infirmity with age sometimes practice ritual suicide. Because planet Vulcan has a higher gravity than Earth, and its atmosphere is thinner, Vulcans in an Earth-normal environment demonstrate greater physical strength and more acute hearing than humans. The intensity of the Vulcan sun caused the Vulcans to evolve a secondary eyelid to protect the retina. This inner eyelid involuntarily closes when the eye is exposed to extremely intense light. Spock's inner eyelid protected him in 2267 against powerful light used in an experiment designed to eradicate the Denevan neural parasite. A Vulcan's heart is where a human's liver is.
When injured, Vulcans concentrate their strength, blood, and antibodies onto the injured organs by a type of self-induced hypnosis. Vulcans have very different blood chemistry from Bolians. A blood transfusion from a Vulcan to a Bolian would be fatal for the Bolian. Certain elements of Vulcan prehistory suggest that the Vulcan race may have originated with colonists from another planet, possibly humanoids from Sargon's planet 500,000 years ago. Vulcans have telepathic capacity, as practiced in the Vulcan mind-meld. Although the telepathic ability is quite limited, Spock once felt the death screams of the 400 Vulcan crew members of the Starship Intrepid across interstellar distances. Located in the mesiofrontal cortex of the Vulcan brain lies the psychosuppression system responsible for the cessation of emotions. On rare occasions, this area of the brain can be disrupted following a mind-meld with a violent individual.
Vulcans were the first extraterrestrials to be encountered by the people of planet Earth. On April 4, 2063, a Vulcan survey ship passed through Earth's solar system at that same time that Zefram Cochrane made his first faster-than-light spaceflight test in the Phoenix. The Vulcan ship detected the Phoenix's warp signature and realized that humans had discovered warp drive. On the evening of the next day, the Vulcan ship touched down near Cochrane's launch site in Montana. On April 5, 2063, Vulcans made first contact with humankind. Vulcan Class-M planet, homeworld to the Vulcan people. Hot and arid, Vulcan is a member of the United Federation of Planets. Vulcan was the homeworld of Spock and Sarek. The planet has no moon. There are wilderness preserves on Vulcan. Centuries ago, Cardassian serialist poet Iloja of Prim spent time on Vulcan while he was in exile.