The Shadow Out of Time – Part 3, Flying Polyps

Of all of the Lovecraftian species, the Flying Polyps may be the most “alien”, second only to the Colour Out of Space.  Very little is know about this species but what is known ominous to say the least. Flying Polyp by Paul Carrick

HPL never officially called these beings Flying Polyps; instead he loosely described them as “a horrible elder race of half-polypous, utterly alien entities.”  Frequently in The Shadow Out of Time he referred to them as “elder things.”  These beings came to our solar system about 600 million years ago to reside on Earth and three other planets (my hypothesis is that these other three planets are Mercury, Venus and Mars). While the Mi-Go and the spawn of Cthulhu were said to come from “outside” of our Universe and not be made of the same matters as we are, the Flying Polyps were said to be only partly material (as we understand matter).  Thus, it may be that the Flying Polyps are not completely from the outside but instead are from the “in-between.”

Flying Polyp by Ruud Dirven

While their senses do not include sight, they mentally perceive reality through non-visual patterns of impressions.  Thus, these senses can penetrate all material barriers but their corporal forms can not.  Basically, I think this means that they can perceive a substantially large portion of the Universe than we can with our five senses.  Additionally, the Flying Polyps can fly but do not have wings.  However, while they may sound like ghosts, they are not.  It is the strange quasi-matter of the Flying Polyps that make them susceptible to the electrical weapons of the Great Race.

When the Flying Polyps came to Earth about 600 million years ago they built large basalt cities, composed of windowless towers.  They preyed on the cone-shaped beings (CSBs) for approximately 100 million years.  However, when the Yithian minds came to Earth and inhabited the CSB bodies approximately 500 million years ago this must have been quite a shock to the Flying Polyps.  The CSBs must have been like cattle or bison to the predatory Polyps prior to the arrival of the Yithians.  Then suddenly (from a geological point of view) the CSBs now had the ability to create devastating weapons.  As HPL describes, once the CSBs became the Great Race, they used their weapons to drive the Flying Polyps into the inner Earth and were subsequently sealed and inprisoned.

The Yithian Wars (by Simiankolya)

While the Flying Polyps were defeated and imprisoned deep in the Earth, over the millennia there were concerns by the Great Race that they Flying Polyps were growing strong and increasing in numbers.  This had a strong impact on the psyche and culture of the Great Race.  Isolated incidences of escape in the outskirts of the ancient, abandoned basalt cities and mental projections into the future  led the Yithian to plan for another hyperspace jump of their species-wide consciousness.  Essentially, there was a growing fear that the Flying Polyps would eventually break free of their inner Earth prisons and overrun the Great Race via their increased numbers.

Flying Polyp from Steve Maschuck

There were two reasons why the Great Race were so fearful of the Flying Polyps.  First,  it sounds like the Great Race may have attempted to communicate with the Flying Polyps in some manner but to no avail.  However, the consciousness and perception of reality of the Flying Polyps was so different than any terrestrial organism that communication with them was impossible.  Second, the Yithian bodies were the prey of the Flying Polyps in the past.  The Great Race did not want to be back on the Flying Polyp menu and with no means of communicating with them,  the Great Race was obviously fearful that swarms of these creatures emerging from the Earth would be the end of their corporeal bodies.  Thus, the Yithians planned to collectively “jump” to another species in the future.  One thing is for sure, the Yithians appeared capable of handling the Elder Things, the Mi-Go, the spawn of Cthulhu and the serpent people.  However, they were truly terrified of the Flying Polyps.

How the Yithians make this consciousness leap from one species to another will be the topic of discussion for the next article.  Thank you.  Fred

Flying Polyp by Andreask87


2 thoughts on “The Shadow Out of Time – Part 3, Flying Polyps

  1. I wonder if one of the other planets colonized by the Polyps was Yuggoth? I “The Whisperer in Darkness” HPL mentions “mysterious cyclopean bridges – things built by some elder race extinct and forgotten” before the arrival of the Mi-Go.

    1. Good point Julianus. The ancient structures may have been built by the Flying Polyp – they are such a mysterious species. I need to put another article together on these strange beings.

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