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"Lovecraft’s story about Antarctica was right." Topic

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1,898 hits since 27 Dec 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2012 12:53 p.m. PST

"What might lurk beneath Antarctica's 5 million square miles of ice was the subject of speculation by sci-fi writers in the 1930s. One of the icy products this subgenre of Antarctic Gothic horror spawned is HP Lovecraft's novella, At the Mountains of Madness, in which scientists drill beneath Antarctica's ice — only to discover horrid things preserved there. Now, scientists are finally enacting Lovecraft's scenario: Over the next several weeks they are drilling into three subglacial lakes hidden beneath thousands of feet of ice in Antarctica.

What they will find as they sample the lakes and send cameras into their bellies remains to be seen. But one thing is already clear: Lovecraft was actually right about far more than his readers could have realized.

In Lovecraft's story, a team of researchers from Miskatonic University flies into an unexplored region of Antarctica and bores through the ice. They discover fossil dinosaur bones with disturbing puncture and hacking wounds that cannot be attributed to any predators known to science. Soon after, they uncover the source of some of those wounds: fossils of a leathery-skinned beast with a "five-ridged barrel torso … around the equator, one at [the] central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five … flexible arms or tentacles." The beast's body is topped by a "five-pointed starfish-shaped" head.

The fossils aren't quite dead…

Lovecraft wrote At the Mountains of Madness at a time when Antarctica's interior remained mostly blank. Airplanes had only just begun to venture inward from the coasts — Robert Byrd made his famous, first-ever flight over the South Pole in 1928 — and Lovecraft's novella, written in 1931, echoes that expedition. It's easy to smirk at Lovecraft's five-armed monsters, described ad nauseam, including precise dimensions in feet and inches. It's easy to conclude that Lovecraft tried too hard to invent something that was truly alien.

But the ensuing decades have shown that Lovecraft was right on one profound matter: Antarctica's cold wastes do indeed preserve some very old things, some of them dead — and some, still alive…
Full article (2 pages) here

Hope you enjoy!.


jpattern227 Dec 2012 1:02 p.m. PST

"At the Mountains of Madness" is definitely one of his best. Creeped me out the first time I read it, many years ago. Still very evocative and effective each time I reread it.

Parzival27 Dec 2012 1:34 p.m. PST

Of course, a creature needn't be huge to be a monster; plenty of microbes like to eat us, too. Here's hoping they don't accidentally release something of that nature. I know the odds are slim, but DNA is DNA… and to se critters, that's all that's required to make a tasty snack.

I trust the following phrase has been banned from utterance among the various expeditions: "What could possibly go wrong?"

Longshot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member27 Dec 2012 5:24 p.m. PST

Great article…thanks for the link.

Here's keeping fingers crossed for the survival of our species…and not as a food commodity.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member27 Dec 2012 5:49 p.m. PST

Don't worry, we're safe for a while – it failed.


StarfuryXL527 Dec 2012 9:57 p.m. PST

That's what they want you to believe. For the sake of your sanity.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2012 10:51 p.m. PST

Maybe they are lying us…
They found something horrible that they cannot say us… (smile).


argsilverson28 Dec 2012 3:20 a.m. PST

Sorry to disturb you. May the British failed to drill thw ice above lake Ellsworth, but the Russians did.
Last year RIA Novosti reported that a Russian team drilled the remaining 50 meters and reached the surface of the suglacial lake Vostok.
see: link

Legion 428 Dec 2012 8:56 a.m. PST

"The Truth Is Out There" … evil grin

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2012 4:26 p.m. PST

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

CooperSteveOnTheLaptop10 Jan 2013 3:47 a.m. PST

My dad read a book called THE GREAT WHITE SPACE which sounds a bit reminiscent of AtMoM…

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