Tag Archives: Cthulhu

The Hounds of Tindalos, Part 2: Residents from an Euclidean Space-Time

tindalos3_TorenAtkinson_gwthomas.org                     Hounds of Tindalos by Toren Atkinson (www.gwthomas.org)

“Time is merely our imperfect perception of a new dimension of space. Time and motion are both illusions. Everything that has existed from the beginning of the world exists now. Events that occurred centuries ago on this planet continue to exist in another dimension of space. Events that will occur centuries from now exist already. We cannot perceive their existence because we cannot enter the dimension of space that contains them.”

This passage from Frank Belknap Long’s “The Hounds of Tindalos” may be a direct reference to the existence of multiverses, stitched or linked together not spatially but on a temporal basis, through time.  Some evidence suggests that space-time was created as a result of the Big Bang.  Additionally, while these universes may be completely inaccessible to one another, at least with what science currently tells us, they may have the common thread of time (see the lower right hand section of illustration below).  Thus, if the Hounds can travel outside of space and time, they may have the ability to move from one multiverse to another.

big_bang_nageo From National Geographic

In the same paragraph Long does go on to say, “Human beings as we know them are merely fractions, infinitesimally small fractions of one enormous whole. Every human being is linked with all the life that has preceded him on this planet. All of his ancestors are parts of him. Only time separates him from his forebears, and time is an illusion that does not exist.”

This second half of the paragraph sounds like some of the text that Clark Ashton Smith used to document the dissolution of Paul Tregardis in “Ubbo-Sathla.” As Paul gazed into a strange orb-like crystal he, “…seemed to live unnumbered lives, to die myriad deaths, forgetting each time the death and life that had gone before.” Also, “Life by life, era by era, he retraced the long and groping cycles…” These passages indicate that they may be a way for humans to remove themselves out of our space-time and/or perceive the multiverses at the same time, in effect traveling through time. In the case of Paul Tregardis this was accomplished through the use of a strange, milky orb-like crystal, while in the “Hounds of Tindalos” Halpin Chalmers accomplished this with the use of the drug Liao. In each case there was a terrible price to pay. However, these similarities of traveling through space-time through the interconnectedness of a specific entity does beg the question – is there some relationship between Ubbo-Sathla and the Hounds of Tindalos?

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Is there a connection between the Hounds and Ubbo-Sathla? (www.brawlofcthulhu.blogspot.com)

One of the main points made about the Hounds is that they are residents of “angular time.” Humans, our world and our universe is all structured as curved space-time. While this is an extreme oversimplification, our three-dimensional space is curved in the fourth dimension of time (Nothing: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close; 2009). As Einstein demonstrated the gravity associated with mass in universe bends or curves light and space. Gravity is also the reason way planets and stars are spherical. In addition, nature itself is very curved.  For example, cells are spherical and details measurements of the human brain currently being conducting are using tools associated with curvilinear space.  Straight lines are somewhat rare nature while curves clearly dominate the nature world (see below). Another way of describing our curvilinear universe is by calling it non-Euclidean. Thus, we are very non-Euclidean, curvilinear organisms.

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curves Examples of the non-Euclidean structure of nature

While nature is very non-Euclidean humans are far more comfortable in Euclidean geometry and engineering. The Euclidean approach to design and building has served our civilization well over the centuries, through the building of the pyramids to the construction of bridges to the design of space probes, we depend on Euclidean mathematics and geometry in our everyday life. We depend on it so much so that when confronted with the non-Euclidean geometry of Cthulhu’s city of R’lyeh we are disoriented and confused (of course complicating this are other distortions in our space-time relative to Cthulhu itself but that is another discussion).

r_lyeh_by_moonlight_by_2manyworlds-d910yx7.png R’lyeh by Moonlight (by 2manyworlds found at http://www.deviantart.com)

So what does all of this have to do with the Hounds of Tindalos?  Based on Chalmers use of the drug Liao and his investigations, the Hounds are a form of Euclidean life that is very different from organisms within our curvilinear universe. Thus, while we exist in a curved space-time, the Hounds must reside within an angular (Euclidean) space-time. Chalmers called our curved universe “pure” while the angular universe as “foul.” I think this was more of an anthropomorphic attempt to express the strangeness of the Hounds’ angular, Euclidean universe.

Hannes_Bok_1946_ArkhamHouse Hannes Bok’s interpretation of the Hounds of Tindalos may have convey their true angular, Euclidean structure and biology

If the Hounds are essentially a form of angular life, this would contribute toward the idea that they live outside of our space-time and can only enter our reality through angles. In a strange way, our Euclidean approach to architecture and engineering has made it easier for the Hounds to enter our reality. As our civilization has become more technologically advanced and continues to move more away from nature, the more Euclidean we have become. Think of all of the buildings, structures, machines and devices that now exist. From the world’s largest buildings to the smallest personal devices, there are a countless number of angles for the Hounds of Tindalos to enter our space-time. Is this why many of the Old Ones (e.g. Cthulhu) and other alien civilizations (e.g. Elder Things, Mi-Go) avoid the use of Euclidean geometry? To avoid opening a portal between curved space-times and angular space-times? If the portal was large enough would a collision between universes create another Big Bang? Chilling questions to say the least.

Next time we will talk about the “biology” of the angular, Euclidean Hounds of Tindalos. Thank you – Fred.

The Confirmation of the Existence of Gravity Waves and What this Means to the Old Ones

This week some pretty big news was announced in the fields of physics and astronomy. Specifically, for the first time ever gravity waves were detected. Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves but no empirical data was ever collected to confirm this until this past week.

Essentially astronomers detected the gravity waves generated by the merging of two black holes more than a billion light years from Earth. The two detected black holes were orbiting around get other, getting closer and closer, moving faster and faster until they merged in a burst of gravitational waves. What is particularly interesting is that this emission was so intense within a fraction of a second that it generated more energy than the rest of the universe COMBINED.

gravitational_wavesThe merging of two black holes more than a billion light years away from Earth provided the data needed to detect the existence and confirmation of gravitational waves.

Through the detection of these gravitational waves we may discover new ways of probing the universe. This may open the way to a better understanding of the nature of dark matter and dark energy. According to one astronomer working on the project it’s a way of “listening” to the universe rather than just observing it. However, once we know the language of our space-time, do we really want to know what the universe has to say?

Finally, I do want to suggest this this may be the merging of two black holes and the generation of the incredible amount of energy, accompanied by gravitational waves, may be one of the ways the Old Ones enter our reality. If this burst of energy could be extended beyond a fraction of a second, the Old Ones may be able to completely manifest and adapt to our space-time. In turn, the Old Ones may able to overcome their “weakness” in our space-time and then maybe Cthulhu would truly awake in R’lyeh.

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Cthulhu by Damnengine (http://www.deviantart.com)

Additional Information on the Spawn of Cthulhu and their Existence in Our Space-Time

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Cthulhu and his Children by Liquid Nerve (www.deviantart.com)

As previously mentioned, Lovecraft cites that Cthulhu produced one offspring named Shaurash-ho (see below). I can find very little (almost no) information on this entity but based on its relationship with Cthulhu, it more than likely is one of the members of it’s “Spawn” and was produced asexually.

According to the  Ponape Scriptures Cthulhu had three sons and one daughter with an entity called Idh-yaa; the sons are  Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha and Zoth-Ommgg and the daughter is Cthylla.  I have already discussed in detail Ghatanothoa in previous articles and I will cover the others separately in future articles. However, for now I want to review this “family” dynamic of Cthulhu.

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First, it must be emphasized that the terms father, mother, sons and daughter are highly anthropomorphic and not applicable to Cthulhu and it’s Spawn. However, it is hypothesized that these terms can be useful in distinguishing sexual reproduction from asexual reproduction such as the budding or fragmentation of Cthulhu to produce Shaurash-ho. While it is highly unlikely that sexual reproduction among these entities functions in a similar capacity as it does in Terran life, a distinction can be made between a mixing or fusion of two entities (such as Cthulhu and Idh-yaa) and the “budding” or production of a new entity from another (such as Shaurash-ho being the asexual progeny of Cthulhu).

Second, as was previously proposed, it is hypothesized that Cthulhu and its Spawn may be composed of an extra-dimensional form of plasma (a form of ionized gas).  In our universe plasma is very common but typically found in stars where temperatures reach 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degree Celsius).  So why didn’t Cthulhu or its spawn boil away the Pacific Ocean when it emerged from R’lyeh?

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The Cthylla Supplication by Hawanja (www.deviantart.com)

Based on the latest iterations of string theory, there are 10 spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. Of the 10 spatial dimensions, there are the 3 we are familiar with and 6 that are unknown to our senses.  These ideas lead to a family of different theories called M-theory, which predicts a large number of universes (the multiverse).  How many universes?  According to the mathematics of M-theory 10500 different universes may exist (The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, 2010), each with a different set of natural laws; some may be similar to ours and some may be very different. Some of these other universes may be entirely devoid of matter but comprised of energy (dark energy or otherwise).  In contrast, some universes may contain no matter or energy.  In order to exist in our space-time Cthulhu and its Spawn may draw energy from one of the matterless universes and then dump the generated heat into a cold, void-like universe that has no matter or energy.

As shown in the figure below, we exist in a 3 spatial / 1 temporal universe or membrane (also known as a brane).  Most of the material that makes up our matter (electrons, quarks, photons, etc.) are made of open strings which are attached to our brane and can not leave. However, gravity (in the form of gravitons) are closed strings (loops) that can pass from one brane to another through the bulk or material between the two branes; all of this is based on the mathematical predictions of String Theory.

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Theoretical illustration of two universes as predicted by M-theory (www.abyss.uoregon.edu)

Based on the theoretical arrangement described above, two hypotheses can be proposed in describing the fundamental nature of Cthulhu and its Spawn.  The first hypothesis is that Cthulhu and its Spawn enter our universe through the “curled up” higher dimensions, tapping into other branes for the extremely large amounts of energy needed for hyperspace travel (more on that below).  An alternate hypothesis is that they enter our universe through points of intense gravity (in the heart of stars or even black holes). As previously mentioned gravitons can travel from one brane to another so maybe Cthulhu and its Spawn utilize these “gravity strings” as carrier waves to travel from one universe to another.

While theoretically it is possible to travel through hyperspace, the amount of energy needed to accomplish this is beyond our technology at this time.  For example to simply probe into hyperspace, at least 1019 billion electron volts of energy is required.  The Large Hadron Collider, which is the worlds largest and most powerful particle collider, can only generate 103 billion electron volts of energy.  Thus, it will be sometime before humanity and generate the amount of energy needed to seriously investigate hyperspace.  However, for Cthulhu and its Spawn, the generation of such large amounts of energy may be possible.

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Cthulhu Spawn by Ian Llanas (www.deviantart.com)

Finally, I want to provide this quote from the physicist Paul Davies, which I found in Michio Kaku’s book Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universe, Time Warps and the 10th Dimension, on what we could do if we manged to unify the known forces (electromagnetic, gravity, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force) into one “superforce” :

“…we could change the structure of space and time, tie our own knots in nothingness, and build matter to order. Controlling the superforce would enable us to construct and transmute particles at will, thus generating exotic forms of matter. We might even be able to manipulate the dimensionality of space itself, creating bizarre artificial worlds with unimaginable properties. Truly we should be lords of the universe.”

Such a passage certainly reminds one of Cthulhu and its Spawn or of Yog-Sothoth.

Next time I will be initiating a discussion on the tale “In the Walls of Eryx” written by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling. Thank you – Fred.

cthulhu_spawn___workup_ii_by_chillier17-d32bey7 Cthulhu Spawn by Chillier 17 (www.deviantart.com)

 

 

More on the Nature of Cthulhu and its Spawn

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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.

Notes from Yuggoth part 5 (a depleting atmosphere)

Given the relatively small size of Pluto, it may seem unlikely that the dwarf planet has an atmosphere. However, the instruments on New Horizons have indeed detected a nitrogen-rich atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles above Pluto’s surface. It turns out that the dwarf planet’s atmosphere is being stripped away by the sun’s solar winds. A “tail” of cold, dense, ionized gas has been detected trailing 48,000 to 68,000 miles beyond Pluto.

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Artist’s conception of solar winds striking Pluto’s atmosphere (www.nasa.gov)

The solar winds are a constant stream of electrically charged particles emitted by the sun in all directions. The average distance of Pluto from the sun is about 3.67 billion miles (approximately 39.5 astronomical units also known as AUs; Earth is approximately 1 AU from the sun). The solar winds hit Pluto and push its atmosphere into space, mostly composed of nitrogen ions. Ionized gas is created when energy (solar winds) slams into gas particles, stripping electrons off of atoms. In turn, this creates plasma, the fourth state of matter which is rare on Earth but is the most abundant form of matter in the Universe.

It has been hypothesized that Cthulhu itself is composed of an extra-dimensional form of plasma, a sort of alien ionized matter crammed into our 4-dimensional space-time. Such a hypothesize would explain the fluidity and strange shape / size changing abilities of Cthulhu as well as its “weakness” relative to existing in our space-time (e.g. imprisoned and asleep in R’lyeh in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean). Maybe additional investigations into Pluto’s atmosphere will contribute toward a better understanding of Cthulhu and many of the other Old Ones!

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Cthulhu is more than like composed of a form of alien plasma; artwork by Uncannyknack (www.deviantart.com)

The Dunwich Horror and the Relationships Among Shub-Niggurath, Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth

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Yog-Sothoth by Micheal Bukowski (yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

As identified the “Genealogy of the Elder Races,” Yog-Sothoth may be thought of as the “grandfather” of Cthulhu.  A “sexual” union or merging between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, produced  Nug and Yeb, who in turn gave rise asexually to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua, respectively.  I feel very awkward using such human or even Terran terms such as grandfather and sexual when describing the relationships among these entities since their biology, and possibly their physical and chemical nature, is very different from ours.  Sexual implies, at least relative to life on Earth, a re-shuffling or recombination of genetic material from mother and father to produce offspring with a slightly different genome; not an exact copy of the mother or an exact copy of the father.  In turn, this increased genetic variation may be better adapted; this is one of the genetic engines that drive natural selection.  However, in the case of Old Ones, such Earth-definitions more than likely do not apply.

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Instead of grandfather, the relationship between Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu maybe better described as Cthulhu being the offspring of Yog-Sothoth on generation away.  The reason for this more nebulous description is the fact that Cthulhu was produced from Nug through a form of undocumented asexual reproduction.  Was this simply a case of Nug getting large enough and splitting into two distinct entities like an amoeba?  Or did Cthulhu “bud” off of Nug in a manner similar to that observed in bryozoans or coral?  Or was Cthulhu a fragment or piece of Nug that broke off to develop on its own, floating in the inter-dimensional foam?  Such growth through fragmentation commonly occurs in many invasive freshwater plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil or hydrilla.   However, none of these terms well represent the relationship between Nug and Cthulhu since all of these forms of asexual reproduction result in clones; the offspring are exact copies of the parent whether we are talking about amoebas, bryozoans or aquatic plants.  Based on what little information we have Cthulhu does not appear to be a clone of Nug.  Thus, our limited experience with Earth-based biology cannot be used to accurately describe this strange relationship.

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Illustrations of bryozoans by Ernst Haeckel (www.wikipedia.org)

So do we know any more about the relationship between Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu?  Yog-Sothoth is not mentioned in “The Call of Cthulhu” but Cthulhu is mentioned in “The Dunwich Horror.”  In “The Dunwich Horror” as Wilbur Whateley is reading the Necronomicon in the library of Miskatonic University, Dr. Henry Armitage looks over Wilbur’s shoulder to see what passage he is reading.  It is this passage where we hear about the Old Ones and that “Yog-Sothoth knows the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.  Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.”  As mentioned in the previous article this passage indicates that Yog-Sothoth is somehow the source or connection between the Old Ones and our reality.  In addition, it also refers to the fact that the concept of time is very different to Yog-Sothoth.

Getting back to Cthulhu, the passage does briefly mentions other Old Ones including Great Cthulhu who is referred to as a cousin that can only dimly spy them (the other Old Ones) and Shub-Niggurath is also briefly mentioned.  While this passage may seem contradictory relative to the “Genealogy of the Elder Races,” it emphasizes the point that the typical genetic, family-based relationships we are so familiar with in describing many eukaryotic organisms on Earth do not apply to the Old Ones.  These descriptions are only feeble attempts for us to understanding the true nature of the Old Ones.

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Cthulhu by Damnengine (www.deviantart.com)

As mentioned earlier, Earth-based biology is obviously very limited in describing the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath.  In a previous article I hypothesized that the sexual union between these entities may not be a re-shuffling of genetic material.  Instead, it may represent the birth or creation of matter that is more stable in our existing space-time.  As previously hypothesized, the “Darkness” that directly created Shub-Niggurath maybe a manifestation of Dark Matter, which accounts for approximately 23-27% of the stuff in our Universe.  In turn, “The Nameless Mist” that created Yog-Sothoth may be a manifestation of Dark Energy, which accounts for another 68-73% of the stuff in our Universe.  This means that the matter we are familiar with, all life, all of the Earth, the planets, the sun and stars, the gases of the nebulae, everything are know and understand as matter only accounts for between 4-5% of the stuff in our Universe.

Dark matter and dark energy are not called “dark” because they are distant or invisible; they do not represent black holes or the deep vacuum of space.  They are described as dark simply because they are completely unknown to us (The 4% Universe by Richard Panek, 2011) and how we perceive reality.  Scientists have over the years begrudgingly recognized dark matter and dark energy primarily due to the fact that most information to date point to an expanding universe, which indicates something must have some type of anti-gravity property to overcome the natural gravitation attraction matter, in turn allowing for the expansion of the universe (www.nasa.gov).  Since the matter we are familiar with accounts for such as small portion of the stuff in the universe, some have called our known matter to be just a bit of pollution in our space-time and seem to be completely irrelevant to the cosmos (Richard Panek, 2011).  Yog-Sothoth as the gate and opener of the way may have channeled the alien energy from the Big Bang into the alien matter manifested as Shub-Niggurath.

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Yog-Sothoth by Hvergi (www.comicvine.com)

Thus, the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath may represent the creation of that 4-5% of known matter from the dark matter and dark energy of the proto-universe.  So Azathoth may have been the Big Bang (more on that later) giving rise to the proto-universe, which in turn cooled and expanded.  This then would have created The Nameless Mist (dark energy) which gave rise to Yog-Sothoth and the Darkness (dark matter) which gave rise to Shub-Niggurath.  In turn, the “sexual” union produced matter as we know it (Nug and Yeb).  Obviously, all of this is highly speculative, with hypotheses that will probably never be tested.  However, if we eventually develop the technology and understanding to actually detect or measure dark energy and dark matter, it may be possible to determine if sentience or a cognizant presence is associated with 95-96% of the universe.

All of the Old Ones appear to be limited in how they can exist in our space-time in a stable, physical form.  This explains their nebulous appearances; as previously described we are not observing their true nature, only a fraction of their forms squeezed into our three spatial and one temporal reality.  However, this does not prevent them from attempting to open the way into our reality.  For Cthulhu the attempted method is to enter the dreams of beings in our space-time to awaken him.  For Shub-Niggurath it is the creation of the Dark Young.  For Yog-Sothoth it is the attempted hybridization with Lavinia Whatley and next time we will discuss the Whateley family.  Thank you – Fred.

yog_sothoth_by_drhoz_davidjrodger.files.wordpress.com

Yog-Sothoth, the Lurker at the Threshold by Dr. Hoz (www.davidjrodger.files.wordpress.com)

Nug and Yeb – Offspring of Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth

As we have cited a number of times in the discussions of Shub-Niggurath, she and Yog-Sothoth reproduced in some sexual manner to produce Nug and Yeb. Again, we are defining sex in the biological / evolutionary sense – that is, there was an exchange and recombination of hereditary information between Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth, which resulted in progeny – Nug and Yeb.

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Nug and Yeb by David Lewis Johnson (www.ironimageindustries.blogspot.com)

As described in Robert M. Price’s excellent article “On the Natures of Nug and Yeb” (Dissecting Cthulhu: Essays on the Cthulhu Mythos, edited by S.T. Joshi, 2011), very little is known of these two entities. This is in spite of the fact that Nug is the “parent” of Cthulhu and Yeb is the “parent” of Tsathoggua as a result of asexual reproduction (budding or fission). Dr. Price hypothesizes, based on HPL’s stories and letters that one of the reasons why Nug and Yeb are not very well known on Earth is due to the fact that these entities never resided on or visited Earth. This is in sharp contrast to Cthulhu who currently resides on Earth in stasis and Tsathoggua who has resided on Earth and Saturn during various periods in the history of our solar system.

In the revision story “The Mound” Nug and Yeb are worshipped by underground dwellers who are presumably not natives of the Earth. In that tale the protagonist mentions that the rites and ceremonies of Nug and Yeb are particularly perverse and abhorrent; so much so that he refuses to describe them. Other underground shrines of Nug and Yeb have been identified in Irem, the City of Pillars, located in the Crimson Desert.

As mentioned earlier, besides being the asexual parents of Cthulhu and Tsathoggua, little is known of Nug and Yeb. What we do know is largely from HPL’s letters and not his stories. For example, as cited by Dr. Price, in a letter from September 1936 HPL describes Nug and Yeb as being twins, each one being spherical or oval in shape with a diameter of approximately 10 feet. Other than that HPL described Nug and Yeb as being “a bit destructive sometimes” and having the ability to dissolve matter.

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Great Old Ones Nug and Yeb by Henry Teh8th (www.deviantart.com)

In “The Black Litany of Nug and Yeb” (Blood Will Have Its Season by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., 2009; Kindle edition 2013) Nug and Yeb are described as dragons of black and red, respectively, and are identified as preparing the way for their Father. Using HPL’s Table of Genealogy for the Old Ones their father is Yog-Sothoth. Thus, similar to Wilbur Whateley and his twin in “The Dunwich Horror,” the coming of Nug and Yeb would apparently make substantial modifications to the existing ecosphere of Earth. These modifications focus primarily on using “ill-frost” and “black fire” to cleanse the Earth. While this obviously includes ending humanity’s dominance over the Earth, it more than likely also includes additional modifications to the ecosphere, such as changing the planet’s mean ambient temperature (e.g. altering the position of the Earth relative to the sun?), changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere, oceans and freshwater ecosystems, as well as possibly making major topographic alterations. It may also include more intra-atomic modifications that may very well change the nature and structure of matter in this part of the universe (for more on that see below).

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Cover artwork by Steve Santiago

Whatever the global (or possibly universal) changes are, Pulver’s Black Litany of Nug and Yeb supports the idea that Nug and Yeb serve a critical role in opening the way to the Old Ones. While Yog-Sothoth may be the gateway and Cthulhu and Shub-Niggurath may be some of the entities that would dominant and control the Earth, it does appear that Nug and Yeb are the “engineers,” responsible for making the Earth conducive for the Old Ones. This may be another reason why the Old Ones appear to be “weak” in our ecosphere; until a proactive wizard such as one of the Whateley’s or Nub and Yeb modify and “cleanse” the Earth, the Old Ones cannot successfully take hold and establish themselves in our universe.

While most of the existing evidence, as small as it is, supports the idea of Nug and Yeb being responsible for modifying the Earth to make it more conducive for the establishment of the Old Ones, there is an alternative hypothesis for these entities. In a number of instances, besides being described as twins, Nug and Yeb are also described as being cosmic opposites. For example, in Irem the yin-yang symbol was found in a number of shrines dedicated to Nug and Yeb (The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, 2nd edition by Daniel Harms, 1998). This polar opposite perspective, coupled with the role in ushering in a new reality for the Old Ones to dwell, may indicate that Nug and Yeb are possibly physical, sentient manifestations of matter and antimatter. If their mother Shub-Niggurath ushered “matter” into our reality, the introduction of equal portions of Nug and Yeb to our universe at the exact set of space-time coordinates through the gateway of Yog-Sothoth may annihilate the universe, possibly re-starting the cycle of energy creating matter (Azathoth). This hypothesis goes beyond merely modifying the Earth to make it more conducive for the Old Ones; however, it would help to explain why we know so little of Nug and Yeb – once we meet them our universe, our reality is eliminated.

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Nug and Yeb by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

Next time we will go back to the story “The Rats in the Walls” and discuss the role of cannibalism in that tale. Also, if you are interested in more Lovecraftian Science, please check out the Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1081353216/lovecraftian-science-volume-1.

Thank you – Fred.

Shub-Niggurath: biological highway to other dimensions

I am going to temporarily divert the discussion away from “The Ralls in the Walls” to spend some time discussing Shub-Niggurath.  One of the reasons for this is that the Lovecraftian entity of the month on the Lovecraft Eternal Facebook page is Shub-Niggurath .

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Shub-Niggurath by Muzski (www.deivantart.com)

As the great Robert M. Price identifies in his introductory comments in The Shub-Niggurath Cycle: Tales of the Black Goat with a Thousand Young (Chaosium, 1994), Shub-Niggurath is one of HPL’s most interesting trans-dimensional entities.  She (more on that later) first appears in “The Last Test,” co-written with Adolphe de Castro, which is one of HPL’s revision mythos stories.  However, unlike some of the other revision mythos entities Shub-Niggurath freely crossed over into HPL’s main mythos stories.  While she does not make an actual appearance in any of his stories, she is frequently referred to in a number of HPL’s stories such as “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Whisperer in Darkness” and “The Dreams in the Witch-House.”

So what is Shub-Niggurath?  Based on a letter to Willis Conover dated 1 September 1936 HPL states that she was a “hellish cloud-like entity” (“On the Natures of Nug and Yeb by Robert M. Price, in Dissecting Cthulhu: Essays on the Cthulhu Mythos, edited by S.T. Joshi, 2011).  Shub-Niggurath is frequently referred to as the Black Goat of the Wood with a Thousand Young.  As with any of the Old One entities, we are limited by our human senses on how to interpret the appearance and motives (if any) of these entities.  For example, Cthulhu is perceived by humans to be a combination of an anthropomorphic octopus with large bat-like wings; as we have previously discussed we can not “see” Cthulhu’s true nature or appearance due to our limited five senses since its a being from another dimension.   In the case of Shub-Niggurath, she is frequently seen as a cloud-like being with the horns and/or hooves of a goat (for examples see below).

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Shub-Niggurath by Verreaux (www.deviantart.com)

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Shub-Niggurath, Goat with a 1,000 Young by King Ov Rats (www.deviantart.com)

As with Cthulhu, actual encounters with Shub-Niggurath (or her “dark young” – more on that later) are perceived through the limited perceptions of the human senses.  In this case, the prevailing themes with Shub-Niggurath are having a cloud-like body (similar to Cthulhu who was described as being plasma-like in nature) and having horns and/or hooves.  However, while Shub-Niggurath is not as well described as Cthulhu may appear, her worship by human, pre-human, extraterrestrial and extra-dimensional species appears to be far more common.  Reasons for this may be two-fold.  First, Shub-Niggurath is associated with fecundity and birth something that all entities, particularly those species who reproduce sexually (Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos by Bobby Derie, 2014) are concerned with.  Second, Shub-Niggurath or her avatars / progeny may have had more direct interactions with the species of our existing space-time and beyond.

I believe the key to understanding Shub-Niggurath can be found in the “Genealogy of the Elder Races” found in Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (2014), Appendix 4.  This was originally drawn from a letter to James F. Morton dated 1933.  I have cited this chart in pervious articles but for convenience it is provided below:

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Looking at the chart above it is interesting to note that Azathoth gave rise to Nyarlathotep, The Nameless Mist and Darkness. This may be the origin of the hypothesis that Azathoth is and was essentially the Big Bang of our universe. As one moves down the chart the majority of the creation of new entities appears to be largely asexual in nature, either as a biological process (fragmentation, budding or spore development) or as a transfer of consciousness from one physical body to another. As described in Bobby Derie’s Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos (2014), such asexual means of reproduction are quite common in HPL’s tales. Thus, it is not surprising to see that the majority of the alien, inter-dimensional modes of reproduction / creation are largely asexual.

However, it should be noted that there are two instances in which some type of sexual reproduction may be identified. Specifically, the fact that Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath “joined” or mated and gave rise to Nug and Yeb, which in turn gave rise to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua, respectively.

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Shub-Niggurath by Mr. Zarono (www.deviantart.com)

From an evolutionary standpoint sex is basically referring to the production of new genomes by the recombination of preexisting genomes (Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, edited by Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis, 2009). Think of it as having two separate decks of 52 cards, shuffling them together as one large deck and then separating them out as two separate decks (each with a new combination of 52 cards). This biological invention provides an increased amount of variation within a species that provides the raw materials for natural selection (mutations are obviously another source of potential variation). While bacteria and some viruses can conduct a limited amount of sexual reproduction, this evolutionary strategy is largely a function of eukaryotic organisms (animals, plants, fungi, protists). Thus, is sexual reproduction a natural but unintentional outcome of the creation of more complex cells through endosymbiosis or was sexual reproduction “engineered” into Earth life by the Elder Things? Another future topic for discussion.

Getting back Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, this sexual union may have generated offspring, such as Cthulhu and Tsathoggua that are more conducive to living in our space-time. Evidence of this is provided simply by the general appearance of Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath in comparison to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua. The general physical descriptions of Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath are frequently somewhat nebulous (e.g. cloud-like entity; iridescent collection of spheres or bubbles) when compared to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua (large, sloth-like, bat creature). In addition, this sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath and their birth from Azathoth itself may provide valuable information into the structure of our space-time and beyond, which will be the next topic of discussion in the next article. Thank you – Fred.