Ghroth, the Harbinger

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The Outer God Ghroth

Before we wrap up our discussion on the Insects of Shaggai, I wanted spent a little more time on the “Outer god” known as Ghroth the Harbinger. As previously noted the destruction of the planet Shaggai was hypothesized to be the “crimson radiation” generated by this Outer god. While Ghroth is described it is not explicitly named as the mechanism of Shaggai’s destruction; however, it is specifically named and described in “The Tugging,” another account of this Outer god documented by Mr. Ramsey Campbell. In this tale Ghroth was identified by amateur astronomers in the 1960’s to be wandering dangerously close to Earth.  The name “Ghroth” originates from some text found in Revelations of Glaaki. Here Ghroth is described as a “the Harbinger and Maker.”

Similar to ancient thought on the appearance of comets, Ghroth is identified as being a harbinger of doom, specifically the destruction of the endemic life on a planet. Is Ghroth a comet in an extremely large elliptical orbit that occasionally wanders close to Earth? Since descriptions of Ghroth do not include a glow that is easily seen by the naked eye or the presence of a tail (which is a concentrated stream of dust and gas being release from the weak atmosphere, the coma, that surrounds the comet itself), it is highly unlikely that Ghroth is a comet.

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Ghroth

Over the last few years and publicly reported in early 2016, evidence has been accumulating on the presence of a planet beyond the orbit of Yuggoth (Pluto). If Ghroth is not an undocumented comet, an alternative hypothesis is that this planetary body is this unknown world. Based on preliminary findings, this ninth planet would be at least 10 times larger in mass relative to the Earth with an orbit around the Sun being between 10,000 and 20,000 years. Such a massive celestial body passing close enough to Earth could have devastating impacts on our planet’s ecosystems. In fact it has been hypothesized that Ghroth occasionally passing near Earth is responsible for at least some of the five documented large mass extinctions, which include the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous-Tertiary. The last mass extinction, the Cretaceous-Tertiary, occurred approximately 65 million years ago and is suspected of killing off the dinosaurs.

Dinosaur extinction
Was the destruction of the dinosaurs caused by Ghroth passing too close to Earth? (www.nationalgeographic.com)

The idea that Earth has experienced periodic mass extinctions has been suggested and discussed in the field of geology for decades and debate over this was particularly high from 1800 to 1860. Specifically, the debate centered on uniformitarianism (slow and steady evolution) versus catastrophism (sudden geologic stops and start of evolution due to some global catastrophe). Eventually, as a result of more detailed geologic investigations and no evidence for Noah’s flood, by the early 20th century the idea of mass extinctions was thought of as crackpot science (A New History of Life by Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink, 2015).

By the 1980’s the concept of catastrophism influencing the evolution of life on Earth was re-assessed by Luis Alvarez and his team.  Specifically, Alvarez hypothesized that a large body of extraterrestrial origin hit the Earth resulting in global fires and an extended global blackout due to dust and soot in the atmosphere, destroying most plant life. This also resulted in a global cooling and all of these conditions resulted in the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. In turn, this allowed the surviving mammals to become the dominant megafauna on the planet.

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“Nemesis Looms Large” by The Apostle Green, looking very similar to Ghroth (www.deivantart.com)

Evidence for the Alvarez hypothesis includes a global layer of fine particles of soot at the Cretaceous-Tertiary layer (called the K-T boundary) as well as the discovery of a large impact crater in the Yucatan region of Mexico (the Chicxulub crater) of precisely the right geologic age (Ward and Kirschvink, 2015). The identified soot comes only from the burning of vegetation associated with forest and brush fires. However, the keystone data that supports the Alvarez hypothesis is the elevated layer of iridium found in the K-T boundary as well as the abundance of associated “shocked quartz.”

Iridium is a brittle, silvery-white transition metal of the platinum group on the periodic chart of elements and is one of the nine least abundant stable elements in Earth’s crust. While pure iridium is rare on Earth, concentrations of this element tend to be much higher in most asteroids, meteors and comets.  Thus, the high concentration of iridium in the K-T boundary, found all over the world, provides supporting evidence that an extraterrestrial body slammed into Earth approximately 65 million years ago.

Tclay

The K-T Boundary (www.formontana.net)

As previously described, Ghroth passing by Shaggai destroyed that world by emitting a “crimson radiation.” As the Insects on Shaggai died this crimson radiation changed in color from red to orange to yellow and then into a bright white light. Is it possible that this observed color change on in the atmosphere of Shaggai was due to large-scale chemical reaction associated with iridium? When metallic iridium reacts with various halogens under high temperatures the resulting compounds can be yellow, red, red-brown or dark brown in color. Additionally, light shown through iridium complexes result in high intensities of emittance of the colors orange and then yellow, with red having one of the lowest levels of emittance. The data shown below is at room temperature so the shift in the color spectrum may be somewhat different under intense levels of heat and/or pressure. However, it is interesting to note that the increasing levels of emittance – from red to yellow to orange – is the same progression as described by the Insects of Shaggai when they documented the destruction of their world by Ghorth.

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Light emittance from an iridium complex (www.nature.com)

In conclusion, the unknown ninth planet beyond the edge of our solar system may be Ghroth and may be at least partially responsible for “re-adjusting” the evolution of life on Earth through periodic mass extinctions. However, whether Ghroth is an actual sentient entity or just an unknown physical prosperity of our universe is unknown. Maybe Terran astronomers will feel “the tugging” of Ghroth sometime in the future as it makes it 10,000 to 20,000 year orbit around our Sun. Next time we finish our discussion on the Insects of Shaggai. Thank you – Fred.

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“The Sleeper in the Stars” by Maija Pietikainen

 

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6 thoughts on “Ghroth, the Harbinger

  1. Very interesting, Fred. However, a scientifically-inclined friend of Mine thinks You may have made a slight misreading with that graph; I don’t have a good grasp of this stuff so I’ll just quote what He said:

    “The only peak present there (at least, the only peak connected to the iridium complex, which is clearly described in the graph as having been present (in solution?) at varying concentrations), at about 550 nm, hits its maximum smack dab in the pale green region of the spectrum, and there’s no particular shift in color associated with the changes in concentration, just an intensification of that green peak. Neither red (~625+ nm), orange (~600 nm), or yellow (~580 nm) show any particularly distinctive peak in that graph; the colors of the lines in the graph are only being used to highlight each different level of emission intensity, not give any information about what the actual colors involved are.”

    Oh! Also, Fred, I completed work on a timeline of Mythos events across deep time, including events in actual world history and even on other bodies in the solar system where applicable. Since that seems like the sort of thing You’d be interested in, I emailed it to You.

    1. Thank you for the additional information. I was under the impression that the higher the percentage of intensity, the more that particular wavelength will be represented. Does the green show because most of the highest percentages are lined up at 550 nm? Any additional information would be greatly appreciated. Additionally there are chemical reactions with iridium that do generate yellow, red or brown compounds. I will also take a look at your timeline. Thank you!

      1. Also, that last image actually has nothing to do with Ghroth. It’s “The Sleeper in the Stars” by Maija Pietikainen, a wholly original piece of Lovecraftian artwork that someone apparently recoloured to be pinkish-red there.

  2. Whoops. My previous comment doesn’t seem to have shown up, so here goes again. I’m the feller Shoggoth Lord was talking about. Before going on, I would just like to say that although I’ve not (to my knowledge) commented before, I’ve really enjoyed reading your analyses of Lovecraftiana in the light of modern scientific knowledge, and generally find your thoughts to be very insightful and intriguing. With regard to the graph, you’ve got it; the height of the peak indicates the intensity at different percentages of the iridium complex, while the position along the x-axis indicates the color (well, technically, the wavelength, but same difference) of the light emitted by the complex. So, the graph there is showing that when none of the complex is present, the only light produced (I would guess from fluorescence of the medium in which the complex is present? I’d have to see the paper itself to be sure) peaks in the blue-to-ultraviolet region of the spectrum, centered on 425 nm, while the addition of the iridium complex at different concentrations gradually increases the green peak at 550 nm. There is some yellow, orange, and red present, of course (the peak doesn’t go straight to zero before it hits 570-580 nm), but they’re only incidental, and the complex itself would, when emitting light, appear a lovely pale green.

    …But that aside, as you note, iridium does indeed form reddish complexes. In fact, that very information is encoded within the graph you posted; that’s a graph of the emission spectrum of the iridium complex in question, but the colors that it emits would also be the colors that it absorbs, so if the complex were being illuminated by something else or had light passing through it, rather than emitting light itself, it would tend to preferentially soak up green, blue, and yellowish light—leaving only red light to be reflected or transmitted, thus giving it a reddish appearance.

    1. Hello! Sorry I did not respond sooner – was at work today and then had to prepare for a class I am teaching tomorrow morning. Thank you for the comments and clarification. I will make sure to cite and refer to your comments in the article. Also, thank you for the kind words on the WordPress page!

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