The Hounds of Tindalos on the cover of “Crypt of Cthulhu,” edited by Dr. Robert M. Price. Artwork by <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=/?_fb_noscript=1″ /> Stephen E. Fabian and shows the “Hounds” as angular or Euclidean forms of life.
Based on what we know about the history of Earth, after the Elder Thing created eukaryotic cells and discarded a large portion of this biological material into the environment of early Earth, life proliferated and speciation occurred through natural selection. Over the history of life on Earth, we know of five mass extinctions with the most well-known being the Cretaceous – Tertiary mass extinction, which occurred approximately 65 million years ago. This is the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. As noted in a previous article this particular mass extinction may have been due to a close encounter with Ghroth, the Harbinger.
The earliest mass extinction was the Ordovician – Silurian mass extinction, which occurred approximately 443 million years ago. During this event about 85% of all sea life went extinct (www.bbc.co.uk), including the trilobites, which were the dominant form of life on Earth at the time. However, not all ancient life was wiped out through mass extinctions. Prior to the first mass extinction, between 635 and 541 million years ago during the Ediacaran Period, the dominant forms of life were an unusual group of sessile (stationary) organisms called rangeomorphs.
Rangeomorphs were an ancient group of fractal organisms that dominated the primeval seas approximately 600 million years ago (www.livescience.com).
During the Ediacaran Period, the dominant form of life on Earth – the rangeomorphs – had an extreme form of Euclidean, morphological geometry that exhibit self-similarity or repeated patterns at various scales; such objects are said to have fractal dimension. While straight lines and classical Euclidean geometry is relatively rare in nature, fractal geometry is still present. An example of this is the shape and morphology of fern (see below). Other examples include the shapes of snowflakes or naturally forming crystals. Back in the Ediacaran Period fractal organisms dominated the nutrient-rich seas. Unfortunately for them, the eventual development of mobile organisms that can hunt or graze upon benthic creatures that remain stationary is hypothesized to be responsible for their extinction (www.livescience.com). Thus, essentially these fractal animals that lived as plants in the end went extinct once they became prey for more mobile organisms.
Hound of Tindalos by Krisztian Hartmann (www.ArtStation.com)
While the Hounds of Tindalos are not the product of Terran evolution, nor are they even residents of our Universe, they may represent an extreme fractal form of life from another Universe. As I previously suggested curves and non-Euclidean geometry tend to be more common in nature than classical Euclidean geometry. However, the Hounds may originate from a fractal Universe where curves are as alien to them as the third dimension is to a two dimensional “flatlander.”
Carl Sagan explaining how it would be difficult for a 2 dimensional being to perceive the true nature of a 3 dimensional being. The same may be said about the Hounds of Tindalos – can they even perceive curves and non-Euclidean geometry? Is that is the case, can we really perceive their true nature?
I would like to conclude this article by letting those know who have submitted questions, statements or hypotheses that I will be responding to them shortly. I’ve been very busy this summer but will respond. Many of you have stated that straight lines are more common in nature than I conveyed in the previous article. Yes, I would agree that straight lines are present in nature, and in fact Euclidean geometry is present as in the case of fractals such as snowflakes and ferns; however, curvatures and non-Euclidean geometry is still more common and pervasive that Euclidean geometry (at least in nature). Indeed, a lot of what we perceive as a straight line is in fact not. For example, while the horizon of where the sea means the sky may be perceived as a straight line it is in fact curved. The curvature of the Earth is why ships seem to “sink” into the sea as opposed to keep getting smaller and smaller until the disappear. Another example would be sunlight – some would say sunlight is a straight line when in reality is actually a dual form of energy as both a photon particle and a wave, which is not Euclidean. I need to confirm this but I don’t think much of quantum mechanics could be represented or explained as Euclidean geometry. In any event, I must admit that I probably over-hyped the point that Euclidean geometry is rare in nature. While it may not be rare in nature, it is certainly not as common as non-Euclidean geometry.
Hound of Tindalos by KingOvRats (www.deviantart.com)
Next time we will discuss the truly alien biology of the Hounds themselves. Thank you – Fred.