Classic science fiction is full of weird imagery and tropes — including the trope of the woman inside the glass tube or case, which The Fifth Element played with a fair bit. And there's a whole blog devoted to "Sci-Fi Women in Tubes." Check out some of the weird and titillating tube art below.
Why is there a whole blog devoted to women in tubes? According to the blog's creator, it's inspired by a post by the late, great Mac Tonnies, who gathered a number of these images and noted that "the "women in tubes" meme is astonishingly prevalent in Golden Age genre fiction."
In any case, it's certainly an odd trope among the always-cheesecakey classic pulp art — some of the images show the women trapped by mad scientists, keen on stealing their precious life essences, but others show the women getting ready to bust out of their tubes and invade. Or something. Here are some of the most striking images — more at the link. [Sci-Fi Women in Tubes, via Motherboard]