Why didn't anyone think of blindfolding themselves to protect their eyes from the ugly?
I think it's because it wasn't seeing the ugliness of the barnacle that killed them, it was being in the presence of it, whether they actually laid eyes upon it or not. It was just that ugly.
Was the barnacle ALWAYS ugly? At what point did everyone die, and how long did it take? Did the barnacle's ugliness kill everyone at the exact instant that he was born, or was it something that happened later in life and more gradually?