Ubbo-Sathla from http://www.fantasyflightgames.com (2015)
Based on the existing information to date, it is hypothesized that the Elder Things utilized both the strange ultra-stellar stone tablets and some of Ubbo-Sathla to create life on Earth. Depending on when the Elder Things arrived on early Earth they may have created all life on Earth or bio-engineered eukaryotic cells from simple prokaryotic cells (bacteria) that may have been directly produced by Ubbo-Sathla. The stone tablets may have provided the recipe, while Ubbo-Sathla may have been the raw material. It is said that Ubbo-Sathla was deposited onto the Earth by unknown gods, which may have been from a previous or parallel universe. Thus, the fact that over millennia the Elder Things “forgot” how to create life may have been due to them simply misplacing the stone tablets and/or not having enough of Ubbo-Sathla to create additional life. Further it was hypothesized that the proto-shoggoth may be the last remaining fragment or part of Ubbo-Sathla; a feral, uncontrollable force from the universe’s distant past that even the Elder Things could not control and therefore feared.
Elder Thing’s head by Skullbeast (www.deviantart.com)
Even though we humans have not read the ultra-stellar stone tablets, we may not be that far away from creating life. The Miller-Urey experiments in the 1950’s, demonstrated that simulating the Precambrian atmosphere and ocean in laboratory glassware, essentially combining water, nitrogen and carbon monoxide with electrical sparks to mimic lightning, results in the production of a brownish sludge that contains sugars, amino acids (building blocks of proteins) and nucleotides (building blocks of nucleic acids) (The History of Life, A Very Short Introduction, by M.J. Benton, 2008). The stuff of life made in a bottle. Is this stuff essentially what Ubbo-Sathla was made of? A semi-sentient form of bio-matter that was deposited onto ancient Earth by unknown beings?
The Miller-Urey experiment in created the precursors for life in a laboratory (www.wikipedia.com)
While we can easily make the building blocks of life, can we create self-replicating systems, enclosed in a selective permeable membrane (a cell)? We are getting closer. Scientists have been successful at creating protocells in the lab, which are simplified models of cells that provide the means of studying the origins of life. The development and use of such protocells may be how the Elder Things may have mastered the ability to create life. To date protocells can be created by humans that are bubbles or sacks of bilayered members of lipids plus proteins that selectively allow materials to pass into and out of the protocell. While these protocells have the ability to copy and build upon genetic material, to date they have not be able to create an original strand of genetic material (Dr. Jack W. Szostak, Journal of Nature, June 2008). We are a long way from creating an actual cell that has the ability to produce and copy genetic material, as well as be susceptible to genetic mutations (the raw material used by natural selection in the process of evolution). Ubbo-Sathla may have been a collection of a more advance version of protocells, utilized, manipulated and experimented upon by the Elder Things.
The creation of oil-based protocells in the lab (www.nextnature.net)
Next time we will compare Ubbo-Sathla to Abhoth, a strange protoplasmic-like entity found in Clark Ashton Smith’s tale “The Seven Geases.” Also, if you are interested in more Lovecraftian Science please check out our currently running Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1081353216/journal-of-lovecraftian-science-volume-two). The Journal of Lovecraftian Science, Volume 2 will focus entirely on our Lovecraftian solar system. Thank you – Fred.
The Elder Thing by Triville (www.deviantart.com)