Today in Mythology: Cthulhu

Time to learn about history's most evil octopus!

Image by Waldkunst from Pixabay

Sorry to all atheists and monotheistic people out there but today I want to talk about one of the great old ones, the past Gods of the Earth.

Specifically lets talk Cthulhu, you probably recognize that name as he is likely the most famous creature to come from the Lovecraftian universe.

Created for the short story 'Call of Cthulhu' in 1928 by H.P Lovecraft, Cthulhu is referred to as a "Great Old One" of the Lovecraftian universe alongside others such as Bok Rug, Hastur, and Yig. There are a lot of Great old ones within the Mythos and these creatures once ruled the Earth as Gods, however now they are said to reside in various locations around the world.

So, lets focus on Cthulhu. To start with the whole universe he was created into has been dubbed the Cthulhu Mythos but included in this world is a lot of Lovecraft's other works. Cthulhu is described as an octopus, dragon, humanoid hybrid that stands hundreds of meters tall, has a face full of feelers, and has green skin, essentially you wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley at night.

Cthulhu serves the outer gods which are extremely strong cosmic entities that reside in the depths of space and are some of the most powerful beings in the mythos. Even though he is a servant Cthulhu has immense power of his own, not as much as some other Great Old Ones but still a lot. He is incredibly strong and essentially immortal (only being able to be killed by a near omnipotent power), also on top of that he has the ability of true flight with the wings on his back. Cthulhu is also said to have great intelligence, overpowering psychic abilities and also telepathy so he could beat you with his fists or his mind.

So this all sounds very dangerous right? Well don't worry, Cthulhu is said to be in a near death like slumber deep under the pacific ocean, somewhere near the pacific pole of inaccessibility, in his sunken city R'yleh, trapped there until the city rises again giving him a chance to return.

Even though Cthulhu is evil and has both the power and will to destroy the world, he has still managed to amass a worldwide doomsday cult that awaits his return. A common chant of said cult is "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" which means "in his house at R'yleh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming", this shows they expect this monster to rise from the ocean one day.

So why does Cthulhu's name sound so familiar to people who might not be interested in this sort of stuff? Simple, he's all over pop culture. Cthulhu has featured in shows such as 'The Simpsons', 'South Park', and he's in every opening sequence of 'Rick and Morty'. Cthulhu is constantly showing up through pop culture so a lot of people know of him but don't know about him.

Tv and movies aren't the only things the Cthulhu Mythos has inspired however as there are a lot of games that are influenced by the stories. For example, 'Call of Cthulhu' (1981) was created as a world set in the Lovecraftian universe, Cthulhu makes an appearance in 'Scribblenauts' and was even the basis of the Margwa in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3'.

Cthulhu's influence spans all aspects of our media and who knows, maybe Lovecraft was right and sitting at the bottom of the ocean is an evil God waiting to destroy the world, we'll never know.

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