Necronomicon Convention talk – Biology of the Old Ones, Part 18 – Biological Descrption of the Mi-Go

The Mi-Go, also known as the Outer Ones, are a group of entites that arrived at Earth approximately 160 million years ago (in Daniel Harms: The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, 2nd edition), primarily in search for certain materials or metals that could not be found anywhere else (or at least are extremely rare).  When they first arrived they battled with the Elder Ones, which will be a discussion for sometime in the future.

Mi-Go from S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters

The Mi-Go were described as pinkish, crab-fungi like creatures with wings.  While they can imitate human speech, they communicate among themselves primarily through photophores on the tips of the tentacles or cilia that emerge from the head.  Such communication through color. light and shade is heavily utilized by octopus and squid, which are known to be the most intelligent invertebrates on Earth.

From the prespective of humanity (or Terran life in general), the Mi-Go is the most “alien” form of life that has been reviewed on this blog site to date.  The Shoggoths are of Terran origin and can be thought of “distant relatives” to humans.  In contrast, the Elder Ones are true aliens, being from another distant world and are not thought of as being true Terran residents.  However, the Elder Ones have been explicitly identified by HPL as being made of the same “matter” as us.  In sharp contrast, it is explicit in The Whisperer in Darkness that the Mi-Go are made of “other matter” and come from outside of conventional time and space.  In turn, this means that the Elder Ones are more closely related to us than they are to the Mi-Go.

To keep with this comparison, in At the Mountains of Madness, the Elder Ones had some vegetable attributes, but were 75% animal (H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, edited by S. T. Joshi – Penguin Classics, 1999).  However, the Mi-Go are more vegetative than animal.  A large portion of their morphology is fungi-based but possess a chlorophyll-like substance for photosynthesis.

HPL defined the Mi-Go not as one species but as a group of species under an unified genus.  However, based on HPL’s writings morphological differences among the various “species” may be entirely derived from artificial selection (not evolution through natural selection).  This artificial selection would not be through breeding programs but through direct body modification via surgery and chemical methodologies.  This will be the topic of the next article on the Mi-Go.  Thank you – Fred

Mi-Go Explorer by Torstein Nordstrand (In The Art of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos)

2 thoughts on “Necronomicon Convention talk – Biology of the Old Ones, Part 18 – Biological Descrption of the Mi-Go

  1. I’m not entirely sure that shoggoths could be regarded as Terran. They’d be an engineered species and sort of outside that definition, not having gone through the evolutionary process.
    The hybrid plant/animal/fungus thing has always intrigued me. I’d make a case for symbiosis rather than single discrete organisms as I don’t see how a true hybrid could be viable.

    1. Good point – However, I see them as Terran in origin for two reasons. First they were “made” or engineered on Earth and second, it was the raw microbial material of Terran origin that was used to create them. There was obvious quite a bit of alien technology used to “build” them but I think they would share similar genetics and physiology to Terran life, which would be in sharp contrast to their (and our?) makers. However, from an evolutionary standpoint you are correct – I do not see the Shoggoths being shaped like the rest of life on Earth through natural selection. Good points!

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