Eldritch Abomination
aka: Cosmic Horror

"Here, on the horizon, was everything Gideon did not know."

"There was a darkness outside reality, they say — a darkness full of things. Hungry, nasty things with no shape or form, not as long as they were out there."
Kurt Busiek, "Storms of the Heart," Astro City

The Alien. The Other. The Inconceivable. The Eldritch Abomination is a type of creature defined by its disregard for the natural laws of the universe as we understand them. They are grotesque mockeries of reality beyond comprehension whose disturbing otherness cannot be encompassed in any mortal tongue. Humans suffer Brown Note or Go Mad from the Revelation effects just from witnessing their Alien Geometries. Reality itself warps around them. Any rules that they do follow are beyond our understanding, as are what motives they might have for any of their actions.

Native to H.P. Lovecraft's Cosmic Horror Story genre, the Eldritch Abomination has become a mainstay of horror and fantasy works, along with numerous others that derive inspiration from Lovecraft. They are often used as a Greater-Scope Villain, Outside-Context Problem, Mad God, Evil God or Sealed Evil in a Can. As they are defined by existing outside reality as we conceive it, most also come from somewhere beyond the stars or before the dawn of time or outside our universe.

Physically, the Eldritch Abomination is only defined by seeming somehow “off”, hinting at their incomprehensible nature. They can range from humanoid to animalistic to physically impossible to inconceivably bizarre. However, common physical characteristics include similarities to internal organs, genitalia, animals with tentacles, or celestial bodies.

Subtrope of Our Monsters Are Different and Our Monsters Are Weird. One Winged Angels have a tendency to be Eldritch Abominations.

For Eldritch Abominations with a specific appearance, see:

For specific storylines involving Eldritch Abominations, see the Did You Just Index Cthulhu? page. Compare with God of Evil, The Old Gods, Paradox Person, and Starfish Aliens. Note that a monster being really powerful, weird or ugly is not, in and of itself, an example of this trope. The monster must break the established internal logic of the work.

Thanks to the nature of this trope, potential Real Life examples are very vague and questionable at best. So No Real Life Examples, Please!

Example subpages

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    Amusement Parks 
  • The Nemesis roller coaster at Alton Towers amusement park in the UK (being the titular Nemesis). Nemesis comes from another dimension, a dimension beyond our imagination. There are theories, and then there is the legend... Beneath the ground at Alton Towers, something strange and horrible lurked: a creature put on the Earth 2 million years ago. The creature was disturbed during maintenance work on one of the other rides in Forbidden Valley. The creature, angry at being discovered, caused havoc, ripping up trees and buildings, sending them hurtling skyward. A security silence fell over Alton Towers as historians, archaeologists, and the Ministry of Defence nervously began some serious investigations. What they discovered was Nemesis. It had to be controlled - 250 tonnes of steel and 200 men pinned down Nemesis. The steel holding down the monster was twisted and bent into unusual shapes - the steel was the roller coaster track thrill seekers ride today - Nemesis. In a promotional comic released to advertise the ride, said creature had its own cult with its own Tome of Eldritch Lore.
    • Nemesis: Sub-terra. All we know is that it explores beneath the foundations of Nemesis... and many tentacles are in evidence...

  • Lone Wolf: Several enemies the hero encounters could be considered as such.
    • One of the creepier recurring enemies in the series is the Crypt Spawn. These are essentially swarms of human brains with batwings that, ironically enough, mindlessly attack anything in their path. They always appear in the presence of even greater evils, such as a timeless and bodyless... thing in the Graveyard of the Ancients, two of the Darklords themselves, and the King of the Darkness, Naar himself. The thing in the Graveyard is implied to be Naar.
    • The Akraa'Neonor summoned by Vonotar in Book 3. It even has the Combat Tentacles.
    • The Agtah on the astral plane of Daziarn boast twisted misshappen forms.
    • The master, the horrific Chaos-master. Its appearance is that of a vaguely humanoid giant composed of the many parts of various animals... which keeps moving and changing shape unceasingly.
    • The Kleasa from the World of Lone Wolf series. A Living Shadow from another dimension that eats souls like candy. Worse, the only way you can beat it is by setting it free, to reap evil elsewhere.

  • Found a dime a dozen in Destroy the Godmodder:
    • The Glitch. It was so horrible that it began glitching out the player's posts if they didn't format the text into times new roman.
    • Hell, a player called Erelye has an entire collection of them, and corresponds frequently with uncollectable ones.
  • In Dino Attack RPG, the Maelstrom is depicted as a force of utter destruction the likes of which cannot be comprehended by any ordinary person. It cannot be stopped, only delayed.
  • Any Glitch Pokemon in We Are All Pokémon Trainers
    • One (Missingno.) was a failed prototype of the Mewtwo cloning project, fused with a Reality Warping supercomputer that could have made AM proud. Its brother was a Cipher experiment Gone Horribly Right, which was prone to kidnapping innocent newborns and converting them into soldiers for its army.
    • ♀ was a formless mass that emitted a song that caused any being to go near it to be driven into homicidal insanity.
  • Apotheosis has numerous gods that look eldritch, but the Crawling Chaos takes the cake. It has a thousand eyes, millions of claws, and jaws the size of worlds. When an old man summoned it in an accident, his eyes and organs were liquefied.
  • Infinite Justice, being a crossover between Dragon Ball Z, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics, has numerous creatures from the canon comics, as well as the Leth'hao, the Voidlords. Creatures the size of continents that eat stars and live in black holes, seven of them fought a war against The Starkindlers that nearly destroyed reality, until The Source banished them to the edge of the universe. Word of God says that normal humans that try to see their true forms will have their mind destroyed, unless they're the goddamn Batman.

  • The Boyg from Peer Gynt. "Not dead, not living, slimy, foggy" is the only description given in-play. You Can Not Grasp The True Form, and it is nigh invincible, because it always dodges you. According to the play Peer Gynt gets mind raped, and starts to act and think like it, ending up as a quite incoherent and fractured soul at the end of the play. Avoiding this entity would seem to be a good idea - but as the creature wins through avoiding, you end up playing its game.

    • Tren Krom exists as a Shout-Out to Lovecraft. However, he actually isn't an alien or other; he was created by the Great Beings just like everything else in the Matoran world. Despite this, he's got the looks — tentacles and all — and causes insanity in those who look upon him. He was also one of the first things to exist in the Matoran world, managing it before Mata Nui, who contains the entire Matoran world in his body, was activated.
    Tren Krom: You think me an alien... an "other"... But I am of the substance of this universe, and I walked here long before you or even Mata Nui himself.
    — Federation of Fear
    • Makuta was described like this as first - a kicking, screaming, lashing thing of pure malevolence. As a Makuta he has the ability to shape shift into any form and can create Rahkshi from his own flesh, which are considered as his sons. Then he got retconned into a Magnificent Bastard Chessmaster more akin to The Devil than anything Lovecraftian, and Greg Farshtey himself has stated that he prefers Makuta this way.
    • Annona, which has been described as a small, star-like thing with tentacles and a room chilling aura. It eats dreams.
    • The first Rahi were tentacled monstrosities and other madness-inducing sea beasts. Akin to Tren Krom, they are actually naturally occurring in the Matoran world, but they are still unspeakably ancient and strange.
    • The Energized Protodermis Entity was through excessive backstory rewrites and extensions turned from a one shot bad guy made of Sentient Phlebotinum into this, when it was revealed to have been a mysterious cosmic being that resided in the core of Spherus Magna, and was in fact the engine that set the entire story into motion. It can take on many shapes, but its natural form is a silvery liquid.
  • There are Cthulhu dolls. D'aww. Great, ancient evil.
  • Transformers
  • Funko Pop Cthulhu, it may qualify as Adorable Abomination.
  • Figma:
    • Nyaruko, noted that she is Nyarlaphotep.
    • Kyubey note , you can find him in School Uniform Madoka or Akuma Homura set as accessory.

    Visual Novels 
  • Many of Cthulhu Mythos' deities appear in Demonbane. Although the Great Old Ones are treated as just powerful monsters, the Outer Gods still play it straight.
    • To elaborate, unlike in the mythos, most Outer Gods are sealed in compact universes inside the Shining Trapezohedron. But Azathoth still generate countless universes from inside, making it the center of the multiverse (and the destruction of the Shining Trapezohedron will doom everything, for Azathoth will turn the whole multiverse into an Eldritch Location once it's free). At least two Outer Gods are free, for neither of them can be sealed. One is Yog-Sothoth (being the embodiment of all time and space) and the other is Nyarlathotep (being the will of the Outer Gods, and since the multiverses come from the thoughts of Azathoth, sealing Nyarlathotep will simply drive it from your universe for a while, then it will re-emerge with another mask in an alternate universe. One of the latter's forms, Clockwork Phantom, is an elaborate version of the Tik-Tok Man in the mythos, being a mechanic abomination that assimilated whole universes into itself.
    • Then there's the War God Demonbane, the hidden, second form of the titular mecha. Its sheer size destroys the universe it appears in, and collides with the multiverse. It can also manipulate and weaponize universes. However, that is nothing compared to Elder God Demonbane, the third and final form, who can create infinite amount of the aforementioned universe-destroying, multiverse-colliding abominations.
  • Would you believe that Hatoful Boyfriend has one? The sequel, Holiday Star, has The King, once an unstable and betrayed button quail named Nanaki Kazuaki, now a monstrous Hive Mind that sprouts multicolored extra heads when angry, kidnaps our heroine and her birdy beaus to his Fisher Kingdom, and tries to absorb any souls he encounters, living or dead, out of desire for friendship without betrayal.
  • Nasuverse
    • The Ultimate Ones, the sentient will of every worlds (including each planets), and their physical incarnation, The TYPES, which hit nearly every point of this trope. Although the specifics vary, they are typically enormous, unkillable, alter the fundamental nature of reality in their vicinity just by existing, and have thought processes that are completely incomprehensible to us Puny Earthlings. Oh, and the reason the Types came to Earth during Angel Notes was to wipe out humanity as revenge for killing Gaia.
    • Most of the beings included in the Dead Apostle Ancestors list (a list for the top 27 beings most dangerous to humanity as a whole). Given that most of the beings listed there are vampires (originating from TYPE-Moon), it makes sense. Special mention, however, goes to the ones in top-10 ranks: especially Forest Of Einnashe (Rank-7, a living, dimension-hopping forest who becomes alive after the corpse of a powerful vampire was disposed of there), ORT (who is actually TYPE-Mercury, the strongest being in the franchise, but it is listed as a Rank-5 since it annihilated the previous holder for disturbing its sleep), TYPE-Moon himself (who is ironically only Rank-3) and Primate Murder (Rank-1, a spiritual wolf created by Gaia, Ultimate One of the Earth, strong enough to annihilate the human race in mere seconds, if it is ever allowed to by his master).
    • The Servants. Souls pulled out from the cycle of death and rebirth, because they're remembered in the Collective Unconscious as "heroes". When resurrected as familiar spirits, they are completely immune to anything that is incapable of harming their spiritual bodies, and can consume human souls to empower themselves. This trope is especially true for the more powerful Servants, who can warp reality with their Noble Phantasms (A Servant's signature, most distinctive weapons or skills). To emphasise their incomprehensible nature, when a human tries to use a severed Servant's arm as a transplanted organ (since his own arm was severed), not only can said human access the memories of the Servant, the memories begin to completely destroy his mind.
    • Fate/stay night has Angra Mainyu, residing inside the Grail. In the Third Holy Grail War, the Einzberns tried to summon an extra Servant in addition to seven, and got the Avenger class. Unfortunately, he was nothing more than a normal nameless man, who was in life horribly tortured by his fellow villagers from birth to death, "to be the scapegoat for all the world's evil". Upon his defeat though, he can have his wish granted, since the Grail treats him as a human rather than a spirit. Naturally, he wishes for something to take his place, something to shoulder all the world's evil. He got exactly what he asked for, a being made of every evil mankind ever has, ever will, and ever could commit. It consumes Avenger, and both of them are trapped inside the Grail, corrupting it as Angra Mainyu. Immersed within it, Avenger was corrupted and hates all mankind with a passion. If it is ever released from its shell, it would bring forth about 7 billion curses towards the world in the form of a huge, organic tower that spills black mud that corrupts and burns everything in its path.
    • Fate/Grand Order has the Demon Pillars/Demon Gods of the Ars Goetia. As the first name indicates, they appear as a giant pillar of putrid black flesh, encircled at intervals by glowing red eyes. Even without any apparent mouth, they are able to vocalize — a distorted, inhuman shriek.
    • From the same game, there are also the Vices of Mankind, also known as the Beasts of Humanity, threatening to annihilate humanity from existence. Each of them embodies a weakness of human nature, such as Pitynote , Regression, Desire, Comparison, Regret, etc; but they have quite a lot in common with each other. Each takes the form of a certain Eldritch Abomination created by either the planet itself or humanity, and each also has their own, unique and terrifying ways of instilling The Corruption upon all life. None of them naturally has a concept of death, and all of them possess enough power to distort reality in their own ways, which usually involves pure Nightmare Fuel. Whenever they manifest in game, the Godzilla Threshold has to be passed just for a chance of victory.
    • Outer Gods exist in the Higher Dimensions, worlds that exist above the parallel worlds and timelines that mankind resides in. Summoning just one of them is a Beast level threat, as Abigail Williams shows.
  • Though we never see the entire true form, Saya from Saya no Uta is implied to be a Starfish Alien/Tentacle Monster-type alien. She also turns Yoh into one of these as her pet.
  • Not only is Shikkoku no Sharnoth full of these in the form of the <<Metacreatures>>, but M, the protagonist's cryptic guide, benefactor, and possible love interest, is later revealed to be Nyarlathotep.
  • The uncle from The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo, who is implied to be some kind of all-powerful digital being.
  • In We Know the Devil, Venus, Neptune, and Jupiter when the devil takes them. They become monstrosities with symbolism based off their anxieties.
  • In ClockUp's Maggot Baits, we have the titular Demonic Maggots:
    Monstrous lumps of meat that infest the city. Maggots featuring human limbs, eyes, and mouths, theirs is an unsettling, viscerally repulsive appearance.
    Gifted with strong regenerative abilities against physical damage, they secrete a bodily fluid with entrancing aphrodisiac properties.
    They induce a powerful instinctive feeling of dread in Witches, though the reason is unknown.
    They hunt human women and Witches for reproductive and predatory purposes.
  • May I Take Your Order: Talaiporia is implied to be some sort of pain-consuming god from The Void. Which is a really perfect choice for a Romantic Comedy heroine.

    Web Animation 
  • In The Fear Hole, the horrible thing that Antagonizer fights in Episode 7. It's never seen, but it's described with terms like "It's like a sewer had an abortion" and "It's like if cancer had leprosy", so you know it's bad.
    • The thing in Episode 4 who looks like Cthulhu and has the personality of a small, fairly innocent child, but in the end turns out to be nasty.
  • The Garnet and Gure animated short, "Monsters are Dwelling" introduces us to the mythos of the "Horrible Gods", as described by a surprisingly charming green, eight-armed naked lady who is apparently going door to door to spread the Word of Kar-Goom.
  • Boxer Hockey: In this cartoon Rittz appears to be tormented by one of these. Don't worry, it's funnier than it sounds.
  • The Aeon Worm from Bravest Warriors is a powerful, giant creature from the "see-through zone". It is never shown in full on screen, but its true appearance is very alien.
  • Zero Punctuation, as shown in his reviews of SimCity and The Sims 4, tends to paint EA as an evil amorphous black mass of tentacles and goo. Rather fittingly, in a wordplay way.
  • In Aurora Borealis, a music video for a Lemon Demon song, otherwordly creatures are visible from almost the very first second, and serve as a backdrop throughout the whole video, with the two main characters as nearly the only humans seen. Although, it turns out they're monsters, as well.

Alternative Title(s): Cosmic Horror, Great Old One, Old One, Eldritch Horror