Tag Archives: Call of Cthulhu

More on the Nature of Cthulhu and its Spawn

cthulhu_quick_paint_by_calavera666

Cthulhu by Calavera (www.deviantart.com)

This short article will briefly discuss the expanded relationship between Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa and a little more on the origins of Cthulhu and its Spawn. Similar to Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa is trapped in a sunken island at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. While the legend of Ghatanothoa in von Junzt’s Black Book and the associated events in the Cabot Museum of Archaeology in Boston as outlined in “Out of the Aeons” are very similar to those documented in “The Call of Cthulhu,” there is no direct mention or identified connection between Ghatanothoa and Cthulhu in either tale. However, later text identified by Lin Carter has cited in a number of instances that Ghatanothoa is one of the three “sons” of Cthulhu, the other two being Ythogtha and Zoth-Ommgg.

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Ythogtha (by Grumble Putty)

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Zoth Ommgg (by Zach Geller)

In Lovecraft’s original “family tree of the Old Ones” the only cited offspring of Cthulhu is Shaurash-ho and based on the lineage, this offspring was created through asexual reproduction. However, according to Carter’s research into the Ponape Scriptures there was a sexual union, genetic or otherwise, between Cthulhu and an entity named Idh-Yaa. This sexual union occurred on, in or around Xoth, a green star located in the constellation of Taurus. In fact Cthulhu and its Spawn are said to have originated from Xoth. Again, this information is provided in the Ponape Scriptures as cited by Carter and not in the Black Book, which was cited by Lovecraft.

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 Idh-Yaa (from http://www.lovecraft.wiki.com)

It is particularly interesting that the binary star system of Xoth is described as a green star since humans have never documented a truly green star. Any star that appears to be green is a result of an optical illusion.  For example, the multiple star system of the Antares has a particularly bright red star that makes some of other stars look green. While a truly green star is not impossible it is highly improbable in our universe. Thus, this provides evidence that Cthulhu and related entities are not residents of our space-time.  While Xoth may be in the Taurus constellation, this section of space-time may be an access point to another multiverse.

Another interesting point is that as mentioned in a previous article Cthulhu and its Spawn are composed of matter different than  what is found in our space-time and I hypothesize their matter may be somewhat plasma based (composed of ionized gas). While rare on Earth, plasma is the most common form of matter in our space-time with most of it found within stars. Thus, it may be that Cthulhu and its related spawn enter our space-time through the stars themselves and to remain in some stable, yet plastic, form draw energy from stars. However, as I previously mentioned, if Cthulhu and its Spawn are plasma-based and can exist in stars then they must be millions of degrees in temperature.  For example, the core of our sun can reach more than 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, which is 15 million degree Celsius, (www.space.com). Thus, how can Cthulhu and its Spawn exist on or in Earth, or at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, without burning it up? More on that in a future article.

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Rays of Xoth by Astra888leddher (www.deviantart.com)

In addition to providing more information on the plasma-based nature of Cthulhu, next time I will also present evidence that many of the entities cited as being associated or related to Cthulhu, such Idh-Yaa and their associated offspring, are in fact members of the Spawn of Cthulhu.  However, this next article may not be posted until sometime toward the end of the month.

Next week I will be attending the NecronomiCon in Providence Rhode Island. I will be giving a talk on the “Lovecraftian Cosmos.” In addition I will be on a panel discussing Lovecraft and Science. If you are attending, I would love to meet you. If you cannot attend I place on posting short articles and photos while at the convention on both this WordPress page and the Facebook page “Lovecraftian Science.” Thank you – Fred.

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The “Nature” of Ghatanothoa and Similarities with Cthulhu

Beyond the ability to petrify people but leaving their brains alive within their paralyzed bodies (which I hypothesize is due to a biologically produced air-borne toxin) very little is known about the biology of Ghatanothoa. One of the reasons for this is the fact that getting too close to the entity results in paralysis. Whether it’s due to merely observed Ghatanothoa or a result of an air-borne toxin it generates, getting actual information on this entity is extremely difficult and hazardous. However, H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald do provide some small scrapes of information on this lesser known Old One.

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Ghatanothoa by Jagoba Lekuona Huegun

Specifically, the most recent description of Ghatanothoa is “…gigantic – tentacled – proboscidian – octopus-eyed – semi-amorphous – plastic – partly squamous and partly rugose – ugh!” Other descriptors include loathsome, non-human and extra-galactic. Even in von Junzt’s Black Book very little information is provided on Ghatanothoa.  We do know the Spawn of Yuggoth deposited Ghatanothoa on ancient Earth deep in the caverns of a fortress on the mountain Yaddith-Go. Here it is said that Ghatanothoa would brood eternally and wallowed, waddled and burrowed deep in the Earth.

Based on the ancient text, Ghatanothoa must have wreaked havoc on Yuggoth since the Spawn imprisoned it on Earth. While Ghatanothoa was placed on Earth, the Spawn did not intentionally want to use this entity as a means of cleansing the planet of humans. Thus, the thing was imprisoned and a select portion of humanity, who ended up being the priests of Ghatanothoa were provided with a means of keeping it imprisoned.

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So what is Ghatanothoa? Based on some interpretations made Kenneth Hite, Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer on the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, “Out of the Aeons” can be thought of as a re-interpretation of “The Call of Cthulhu.”  I agree with this and I hypothesize that Ghatanothoa and Cthulhu are similar entities. While Tsathoggua and Shub-Niggurath are mentioned in “Out of Aeons” and Cthulhu is not, the description of Ghatanothoa is somewhat similar to that of Cthulhu. Compare the description of Ghatanothoa described above to those of Cthulhu such as “lumbered slobberingly,” “gelatinous green immensity,” and “eldritch contradictions of all matter, force and cosmic order.”

The morphology of both of these entities is “in-flux” in our universe. That is, they can change size and shape at will, which makes observing them very disorienting, even dangerous for your mind and body.  For example, Ghatanothoa is described as plastic, while Cthulhu is described as gelatinous. It is clear based on Lovecraft’s writings that Cthulhu, and more than likely Ghatanothoa, are not made of matter from our space-time and originate from outside of our universe. Their “matter” appears to be a combination of gaseous, solid and liquid material and in fact maybe composed of plasma.

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Cthulhu by Fiend Upon My Back (www.deviantart.com)

Plasma is a state of matter where both electrons and protons are freely moving and no longer bound in the formal atomic state that we are familiar with. While extremely rare in on Earth, plasma is the most common state of matter in the universe (Kaku; Hyperspace, 1994). A sentient, ionized gas with a very fluid-like state could explain the strange inconsistency and movement of Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa. However, in our universe plasma is typically found in stars, where the temperatures are so high that electrons and protons are freely moving. Thus, if these are plasma-based entities, wouldn’t they be thousands of degrees hot and immediately burn anything near them? Does this mean Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa can only exist in our universe within a star?  Also, there is so much energy in intensely hot plasma, that the very geometry of space-time will distort and the dimensionality of space-time could actually change (Kaku, 1994). Are Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa possibly channeling their intense heat and energy into another dimension to keep their relatively plasma-like properties while existing in our space-time and without burning it up?

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Ghatanothoa by Jack Rezz (www.deviantart.com)

Next time I will attempt to explain these strange properties of Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa by discussing their possible origins. Also, I just wanted to let everyone know that Steve Maschuck and I will be attending the NecronomiCon later this month in Providence Rhode Island. I will be giving a presentation on “The Lovecraftian Cosmos” and I will be on a panel about Lovecraft and Science. If you are attending, I would love to meet and chat! Also, I will try to post some material on the WordPress page during the convention. Thank you – Fred.

The Spawn of Cthulhu, Part 3 – Additional notes

As previously mentioned there is very little information on the spawn of Cthulhu.  We know they somewhat resemble their Master or Parent Cthulhu and that they came down to Earth with him approximately 350 million years ago.  They battled with the Elder Ones and peace was achieved.  The spawn built the great city of R’lyeh, which then mysteriously sunk into the Pacific Ocean around 300 million years ago.  To this day, Cthulhu and his spawn lie entombed in R’lyeh asleep and sending dreams to the sensitive.

City of R’lyeh by the great Lovecraftian artist John Coulthart

Very little is known about the spawn of Cthulhu; however Hiraku Takeoka, a gentleman from Japan who I have met on Facebook, made a very good point (see below).  Lin Carter, a well known writer of fantasy, science-fiction and horror, contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos, which included the Xothic Cycle.  Mr. Carter was well known to flesh out or “fill in the gaps” in Lovecraft’s mythology but I want to focus this article on the spawn of Cthulhu.

Chaosium’s The Xothic Legend Cycle, Lin Carter’s Mythos fiction (edited by Robert M. Price)

Specifically, according to Mr. Carter’s stories Cthulhu brought a number of other entites to Earth from Xothic, a green binary star.   Some of these entities included Cthulhu’s “mate” Idh-yaa, and their progeny – Zoth-Ommog, Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha and Cthylla (The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana by Daniel Harms).  While this description makes it sound like Cthulhu is the father of one happy “Old One family”, this is a very deceptive interpretation.

Ghatanothoa by the talented artist Mike Bukowski

Biological concepts based on sexual reproduction, such as parents, progeny and siblings, more than likely do not apply to Cthulhu and his spawn.  Nothing is known about the reproduction of these entities; however, the prevailing hypothesis is that they reproduce primarily through mitosis.  That is, they reproduce similar to basic cell division.  Once the cell or individual attains a certain size or volume they split.  It is not known if the conventional Darwinian mechanics of natural selection apply to Cthulhu and his relatives but more than likely Cthulhu is the largest, and thus leader of the spawn.

Following this line of logic, Mr. Takeoka made an excellent point that these “family members” of Cthulhu’s may be larger representatives of the spawn.  Again, if Cthulhu is the largest and oldest of the spawn, he is the leader.  The other family members must be other leaders of the spawn (subordinates to Cthulhu) and have grown to such a size to be named, known and worshipped by humanity and other races in our universe.

Another incredible drawing of a spawn of Cthulhu by KingOvRats

To conclude, not much is known of the spawn of Cthulhu.  However, to date, they are the most “alien” of entities that we reviewed on this blog site.  One thing is for sure, the spawn of Cthulhu is very distinct from the next group of entities we will be discussing – the Deep Ones.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!  Fred