* NightmareRetardant: Giant albino penguins. They are described as six feet tall and eyeless, shambling about and squawking loudly, a far cry from [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/bf/c3/37/bfc33799d434472b54e6cdd1ad881408.jpg this]]. A bit unsettling depending on the reader.
** It's treated as such by the narrator, as while they are exploring the caves and at first see them only as vague tall white shapes, and for a moment are quite frightened. They are then revealed to be the penguins, a reveal which the narrator describes as "a flash of anti-climax." He notes they're still pretty unnerving, describing them as "monstrous".
* SlowPacedBeginning: Fifty pages of description of how their scientific expedition was ''meant'' to go. How it ''actually'' went starts around page sixty.
* ValuesDissonance: The reader is meant to sympathize with the "upper-class" Elder Things over the "lower-class" Shoggoths, which were manufactured en masse by the Elder Things to act as their servitors. Admittedly, it's easy to do when one is rational and ill-fated and the other is a formless, possibly non-sentient mass of black goo trying to rip your head off (literally), but still. It's like a biological ancestor to the RobotWar.