Grandpa Squirrel: Well, they were like monsters. They wore great big iron pots on their heads, they walked on their hind legs, and they carried terrible-lookin' shootin' irons with knives on the end of 'em, and their eyes flashed, and they had tremendous big snouts that curled down and fastened on to their stomachs!Humanity isn't always on the low end of the cosmic totem pole. If a story takes the point of view of animals or relatively weak or primitive non-humans, there'll be a Perspective Flip related to Clarke's Third Law where technologically-advanced, or, more rarely, magic-using humans shall be seen as unnaturally and nauseatingly inconceivable. The non-human creatures will usually consider Man as Always Chaotic Evil, and treat it either with wary respect or an odd reverence as a divinity. Whether it's born from survival instinct or cultural baggage, most will be reluctant at best to actively resist Man's activities, let alone be curious to know them, lest one would suffer in the most merciless manner at the hands of Man's Industrialized Evil. Possibly the non-human society realizes that committing to major action against Man would risk breaking the Masquerade, crossing some sort of Moral Event Horizon, or is just plain suicidal. To meet this trope, the non-humans must consider either individual (completely normal) Man or the Man's civilization as a whole to be:
Baby Squirrel: Ooooh! Grandpa, I'm glad there ain't no more men around!
Baby Squirrel: Ooooh! Grandpa, I'm glad there ain't no more men around!
- Always Chaotic Evil, or at least lethally careless in a Jerkass Gods/The Gods Must Be Lazy way.
- Something akin to a Physical God, Sufficiently Advanced Alien or Eldritch Abomination, especially with how animals cannot comprehend Man's Technology/Magic.
- Alien to the planet, despite being born of it. Subject to Gaia's Vengeance. Human culture is likely considered infectious and bad.
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Anime and Manga
- Seeing them from the perspective of the raccoon-dogs in The Eccentric Family, humans are "more sly, cunning and wicked than even foxes or tengu."
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Humans are actually the real last angel and not the Ambiguously Gay white haired Bishōnen that you thought it was, and your fellow man will be the final enemy. And they actually succeed in causing the End of the World as We Know It. Though it's kind of an It Was His Sled moment. Humans are different from all the other Angels in that Angels are the offspring of Adam, while the Lilim (humanity) are the offspring of Lilith.
- The inhabitants of Crescent Forest in Sayuri Tatsuyama's Happy Happy Clover view humans as this, even after Clover befriends a pair of human children. At one point in the manga, the main characters Clover and Mallow discover the story of Santa Claus. But their school teacher, named "Professor Hoot" takes the book away from them and doesn't allow them to read the rest of it. Since he told them that the whole Santa story was for "Grown-Ups". After Professor Hoot takes the book away from her, Clover decides to tell Kale's Baby Brothers about Santa Clause. Which made them all excited about Santa and Christmas. However, when Kale (One of Clover's friends and the oldest brother) discovers that his brothers had been talking about Santa and been writing letters to Santa about what they want for Christmas. He gets extremely upset at Clover for telling his brothers about this. He's so upset, that he decides to rip all the letters to shreds and tells Clover that the whole Santa story is stupid. However that doesn't stop Clover from making Christmas happen to them. Clover and her friends are also mail delivers, so they decide to make Christmas presents for Kale's baby brothers. On Christmas Eve, Clover and her friends quietly deliver the Christmas presents to them. On Christmas morning, Kale's brothers are extremely overjoyed to learn that Santa delivered the presents to them. But when Clover,Mallow,Shallot, and Kale finally wake up it turns out Santa actually did delivery their Christmas presents after all!
- To a number of aliens in the Macross franchise. As if reverse engineering and adaption of Supervision Army technology wasn't fearsome enough (beware their shape shifting starships and incredibly massive fleets), humans evolved to develop infectious psychological weapons known as music, dancing, culture, and romance. The greatest threat is when all of these mind altering horrors are concentrated into a single being called an "Idol". To hear them sing, to watch them dance, is to lose all sense of logical reason and worship an Idol's existence... and each human migrant fleet carries at least one of them. Capturing or attempting to kill an Idol is highly discouraged, as doing so unleashes the wrath of a fierce bodyguard. No interstellar superpower has withstood the Children of Earth. The conquering giant Zentradi and their dimorphic Meltrandi relatives? Fully assimilated into human society. The genocidal spirit devouring Protodeviln? Pacified. The ancient and infinite numbering Vajra? Fled known space. Adding more to the madness, they were each defeated by a mere fraction of mankind's entire empire: a single fleet or a lone warship. Worst yet, humanity is rapidly spreading throughout the galaxy, ensuring they cannot be exterminated after having almost lost their homeworld. Do not be fooled by their passive diplomacy or individual frailty. Once you have encountered humanity, your entire civilization will either collapse or restructure itself to become a part of them.
- In fact, the Windermerians' attempt to establish their own interstellar empire in Macross Delta is partly to counter the spread of human civilization.
- Within the Macross setting, music is the actual Theory of Everything in comprehensible and applicable form. Each of the Precursors had a singular melody that defined them as an entire race. Humans have created hundreds of musical styles, which means humanity has unlocked hundreds of different but equally valid methods to unlock the fundamental secrets of the universe. What truly sets humanity apart from the Precursors, and is the key to succeeding where they failed, is the concept of lyrics. The implication is humanity, or at least our Idol Singers, could evolve to become Reality Warpers.
- On worlds across the known universe, only super advanced sentient species on the cusp of Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence grasp the fundamentals of music. The first interstellar war with the Zentradi and Meltrandi reduced Earth into an After the End planet. Few species larger than insects survived the There Is No Kill Like Overkill Orbital Bombardment. As a result, alien species in Macross are spared from ever realizing that Earth was an Eldritch Location: from tiny song birds to mammoth whales, the world was populated with creatures that possessed an inborn proficiency with melodic tones.
- Humanity's interstellar empire, the New United Nations, directly possesses thousands of warships and can summon millions more from Zentradi and Meltrandi subordinates and countless other allied species. Their weakness is having all these assets spread across the galaxy and the bureaucratic nightmare to coordinate it all. However if a deadly threat arises and gives humans enough time to relay existence of the threat to Earth, Awakening the Sleeping Giant becomes the end result, as the Vajra Queen discovered when dozens of Macross warships arrived to destroy her in The Movie version of Macross Frontier.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion: Kyubey's inability to comprehend emotions was touched upon in the anime. But it's only after Homura uses the Power of Love to remake the universe into one where she has wrested power from the Incubators and made them her slaves that they realize that beyond emotion's entropy-countering abilities, they had no idea what they were messing around with. It ends with Homura doing... something to Kyubey, which reduces him to a quivering, bedraggled wreck.
- Gate: a fantasy equivalent of the Roman Empire picks a fight with the Japanese Home Defense Force. They haven't even discovered gunpowder yet, and they're being attacked with modern heavy machine guns and artillery from so far away that they can't even see their enemy. War Is Hell indeed.
- Twilight of the Cockroaches. A family of cockroaches literally worship the owner of their grotty apartment, until he gets a girlfriend who insists on cleaning up the house. From the cockroaches perspective being stomped, vacuumed and sprayed by deadly chemicals is like a Final Solution imposed by an angry god.
- One of Alan Moore's "Future Shocks" from 2000 AD features alien nomads in search of "The Chariot of the Gods". When their leader insists that they've found it, they wait for the Chariot to descend to the ground from above them... and then they all get crushed by Neil Armstrong as he makes his first step on the Moon.
- A good 1950/60s comic(maybe from Crypt?) tolds a story when a group of earthling scientists encounter an alien spaceship that come to dispose some of their ugly mutants caused by radiation. When the scientists opened the hibernation pod containing the mutants, it turns out that the mutants are Homo Sapiens. And quite good-looking by earth standards. The aliens' real appearance is left for the readers to imagine.
- In Warren Ellis's Ultimate Galactus Trilogy for Ultimate Marvel, he spends 3/4 of the series revealing the reimagined version (a hundred-thousand-mile long hive mind of giant, world-killing robots) of the planet-eating Galactus from the mainstream continuity. When Professor X makes contact with Gah Lakh Tus, he is physically jarred by the utter horror and disgust that the being feels for organic life. In fact, the whole point of Gah Lakh Tus seems to be that of a universal exterminator, that can sustain itself on any planet's core energy, but is dedicated to seeking out and killing anything organic simply because we creep the living hell out of it. In the end, scrappy little humanity/mutants/post-humanity/Eagleland comes together and uses a horrific, multidimensional superweapon powered by aborting a baby universe with a hydrogen bomb, and giving Nick Fury an even bigger ego in the process. Maybe Gah Lakh Tus was right to shit itself over us.
- Don't forget that in addition to that, Professor X modified Cerebro to link the minds of every human on Earth together to Mind Rape Gah Lakh Tus. After that double whammy, Gah Lakh Tus decides that trying to eat Earth isn't worth it and flees.
- Another example involving the X-Men; the Spineless Ones, the extra-dimensional race that their enemy Mojo belongs to, view humans as devils, because by complete coincidence (or so they thought), humans resemble the depictions of devils in their mythology. This doesn't mean that all of them are afraid of humans, however. Mojo himself (the race's ruler and also their biggest movie producer) had many of his genetically engineered slaves designed to resemble these devils (one of whom became the hero Longshot, and led a slave rebellion) and when he discovered the "naturally occurring devils" on Earth, he tried to conquer it. Though he never succeeds, he's always able to use the footage of his battles with the mutant heroes for a new blockbuster. (It's eventually revealed that this was not a coincidence; a scientist who invented most of their technology altered it so they'd have nightmares of humans, along with planting seeds of rebellion in the clones.)
- In the Hellraiser comics, it's stated that Leviathan abhors humanity, viewing it as chaotic and disgusting.
- This turns out to be the case in the furry comic Albedo: Erma Felna EDF, since the humans are considered as the Creators of them: When they find an abandoned spaceship with an human corpse inside of it, and to fuel to whole thing, they also find a book inside of it: Frankenstein.
- The OEL Manga Peach Fuzz might be an odd version of this. The ferret sees her owner as some sort of evil God, which she really isn't, instead of just an (admittedly irresponsible) owner.
- In the Minecraft Fanfic "Diary of a Creeper," humans are depicted as alien monstrosities capable and willing to slaughter everything in the world.
- The sixth chapter of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Monster Mash manages to do this without humans existing in-universe. Twilight casts a spell to look through reality and goes mad from the revelation - screaming about how people nopony else can see are watching her. After Pinkie Pie, who's known about these watchers all along, helps her come to terms with the situation, Twilight turns to address the reader.
- In the Pony POV Series, it's revealed that the ponies of the G2 era viewed humans as divine, due to Megan's actions in the original series. The possibility that they're capable of evil is shocking to these ponies. And then there's the Shadows Who Make, Watch, and Rule — beings beyond even the Alicorn/Draconequi Elders — who turn out to be the writers, readers, and Hasbro, respectively.
- DannyJ's Human has this in spades with humanity being revealed to be unkowing creators of Equestria
- This is even outright acknowledged by the thought to be dead Lord First who describes the shows creators (referred to as The Pantheon Of B) as 'The Elder Gods' because their origins lie outside of the world of Equestria and follow different laws (e.g. Humans exist on a cellular level while the ponies and other races do not).
- The Pantheon Of B in the setting also share similarities with the Outer Gods (mainly Azathoth) of the Cthulhu Mythos in the sense that they were unaware that they created Equestria and they will be equally unaware when they destroy it. Much to Celestia's horror.
- The Rise of Darth Vulcan: Vulcan's face frightens the Diamond Dogs, and a royal guard loses his mind after hearing about humanity's dark side.
Films — Animation
- Sausage Party: Our heroes are Anthropomorphic Food. Humans (obviously) eat food. Do the math.
- Goes one step further in the end of the movie, when characters realize that their world is just a cartoon that humans created for their amusement.
- Man are frightening beings who can kill animals without even touching them. One kills Bambi's mother.
- In Bambi 2, Bambi is lured by a deer call, thinking it's his mother's voice calling to him. Thankfully The King of the Forest pulled Bambi away in time to keep from getting blasted, telling him that's just another of Man's tricks.
- Early in FernGully: The Last Rainforest, the humans are simply remembered as a pack of sissies who fled the forest once Hexxus attacked. When Zack arrives, he tries to convince Crysta that humans are godlike, and that the marks they make on the trees are to frighten the "tree-eating monster" away. (He really should have just stopped talking while he was ahead.)
- Watership Down and The Plague Dogs, both animated films based on books by Richard Adams.
Holly: Men came... filled in the burrows. Couldn't get out. There was a strange sound... hissing! Runs blocked with dead bodies!
Fiver: They'll never rest until they've spoiled the earth.
Holly: No... they just killed us because we were in their way.
- In Happy Feet, one of the major themes is how "aliens" are responsible for the shortage of fish, and Mumble eventually sets out to find out who these creatures are and if he can communicate with them.
- There is also an encounter with a fishing fleet that is as vast, awesome and implacable as any cyclopean temple or Ancient Astronaut.
- And then there's the penguin Love-Lace, who thinks that the plastic six-pack holder around his neck is a gift from the gods—at least until he grows too big for it and it starts choking him.
- A subtle one, but when Love-Lace is being tossed around by the Orcas (which ultimately frees him from the six-pack holder) one of them shows obvious wounds from being hit by a spinning propeller. As penguins, the characters know all about Orcas as top-level predators. Imagine what they must think of an entity that can make a whole series of deep gashes in an Orca.
- Once Upon a Forest. They're depicted as alien and inscrutable (the only time we see a human above the foot level, he's wrapped in a Hazmat Suit). At the very end of the movie, the animals are shocked to see that they can also be benevolent, as they work to clean up the mess they accidentally made in the forest. The benevolent humans are also seen destroying the animal traps that the "evil" humans from before had left. So it's more like "Humans are the Great Race of Yith".
- The humans-as-aliens idea appears in Antz (1998). A plastic-wrapped sandwich is "surrounded by Some Kind of Force Field", and an unseen sadistic human with a magnifying glass becomes a Flying Saucer with Death Ray (complete with The War of the Worlds (1953) sound effects) in a clear take-off of the "It's beautiful" scene in Independence Day. Also the human at the picnic, who is practically a living mountain compared to the insects (all we ever see are her feet and legs). A kid's sneaker is the size of a battleship (the scale according to Word of God).
- The humans in The Secret of NIMH often come off this way — the humans aren't evil, just totally uncaring about animal life (most particularly in the plow and the flashbacks to NIMH).
- The exterminator from The Ant Bully.
- This seems to be how the bees initially view humanity in Bee Movie, though that starts to change after the protagonist talks to a human.
- In Rango, it's subtle but pervasive: humans with modern technology are treated like incomprehensible gods. Something mundane like a road is strange and incomprehensible enough to become integral to a spirit quest, seeing Las Vegas and its sprinklers is like a vision of a cyclopian city, we have enough water to just dump it in the desert, artifacts like pipes are treated as a Cargo Cult, and the Spirit of the West...takes the form of Clint Eastwood in a golf cart, with Oscars as the Golden Guardians.
- In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, there is supposed to be a monstrous "cyclops" guarding Shell City that kills any creature that tries to enter. He easily (and accidentally) defeats Dennis (one of the most badass guys in the whole SpongeBob universe) by stepping on him. He then takes SpongeBob and Patrick to his gift shop (which is Shell City) and throughout his scenes he is portrayed as a sadistic monster. He even has an evil laugh. And... he's really just the owner of a waterfront gift shop, sells tacky knick-knacks, and inexplicably never takes off his diving suit. This is especially strange since the appearance of fellow human David Hasselhoff has a decidedly non-eldritch tone.
- This provides the conflict in Monsters, Inc.. A civilization of monsters scare human children to use their screams as a source of energy. Though despite frequently interacting with them, the monsters all hold a paranoid superstitious belief that human kids are dangerously poisonous creatures. When a little girl somehow leaves Earth and visits the monster world, mass hysteria and widespread panic break out, with the general public behaving as if their city was being invaded by Cthulhu.
- Monsters University takes it further. If human children are terrifying because they're toxic, teens and especially adults are beings straight out of a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. Since they don't fear Monsters and their story would be believed unlike a child's, being seen by one would reveal the Monster's world and bring about its ruin. This results in Mike and Sully's Crowning Moment of Awesome when they successfully scare a large group of armed men, powering a disabled door and overloading an entire room full of scream canisters.
- Played straight and subverted in Finding Nemo. The fish on the reef regard humans as terrifying, otherworldly beings (especially since they're wearing scuba masks, as seen in the picture above) and a source of fear and awe. The fish in a human's fish tank, however, are sufficiently so used to them, that they regard them more as a source of free entertainment, except for the one kid that keeps accidentally killing fish.
- Played for Laughs in Finding Dory. The fish at the aquarium, along with several of the characters, consider Sigourney Weaver a wise sage/goddess because of a recording of her voice welcoming people to the aquarium. At one point, Dory and Hank are thrown into the "Touch Area", where kids are sprawling through the aquarium picking all kinds of marine life, which is treated with all the drama and intensity as it would be if you were watching a weird horror movie. However, the humans are otherwise played un-monstrously.
- Early in The LEGO Movie, Emmet has visions of a vaguely humanoid figure known to the LEGO people as "The Man Upstairs", including a hand which he describes as "big pink sausages, like eagle talons mixed with squid". There are also various other hints of this scattered throughout the film, namely the ancient "relics", which are really just everyday objects (a chewed up lollipop is a mystic's staff, a band-aid is a cursed cloak, etc.). Then The Reveal in the third act shows that the entire plot is part of the imagination of a human boy, whose father is "The Man Upstairs"—yet for whatever unexplained reason, the LEGO people remain sentient beings, as demonstrated when Emmet is barely able to move on his own in the real world.
Films — Live-Action
- Played slightly off in Dr. Who and the Daleks with humanoid aliens in place of the humans. The Daleks consider the Thals to be hideous monsters. Shortly afterwards, a human meets a Thal, and discovers they're actually quite pleasant, blonde-haired, golden-skinned, well-muscled humanoids. The Thal explains that there were mutations from the radiation, but the form he has was always best for survival, and wonders what the Daleks must look like if they think he's a monster.
- One can argue that the Na'vi in James Cameron's Avatar regard Mankind as a race of Eldritch Abominations, their existence outside of Eywa makes humans incomprehensible and terrifying on a subconscious level. Add to that the human's tendency towards violence and destruction, and their extraterrestrial origin makes humans a full-blown cosmic horror. That most of the humans are mostly indifferent to the Na'vi further makes Humanity even more eldritch.
- Furthermore, from the perspective of the Na'vi, humans literally came out of nowhere, descending from the heavens in great metal monstrosities and possessing fearsome weaponry that was unfamiliar to their essentially Stone Age civilization. They even call humans as a whole "Sky People."
- The Jim Henson Hour Special The Song of the Cloud Forest has a whole song Munching Forest with Nightmare inducing Humanoid Puppets devouring entire trees and such dishes as Elephante Ala Carte and Anaconda Primavera
- Similar to the centaur example listed under Real-Life below, the foreigners from 10,000 BC that Old Mother sees in a vision are riding horses, but because the Yagahl have never seen a horse before, they instead perceive them as "four-legged demons." As if to reinforce this, the riders and their people use an appropriately demonic-sounding language.
- A literal version of Humanity Is Infectious: Earth goes to the planet doctor. "Doc, I've got a nasty fever!" The doc does a few tests: "Hmmm. It seems you've got Homo Sapiens. But don't worry, this will go away soon."
- The original Felix Salten novel. Early on, humans are just another predator, only they are the only ones capable of bringing down a deer (thus the deer protagonists' fear of humans). The deer then believe that humans are Gods, and only the cleverest of them have figured out that guns aren't just magic ("he is only dangerous when he has his third arm"). The humans' use of guns and dogs are a point of contention for the other animals, but mostly because it's just unfair. The ending of the book comes when the Old Buck shows Bambi a human who has been killed by a gun that backfired.
- Also, one of Bambi's cousins, Faline's brother Gobo, disappears for a year before returning with a halter around his neck. He says he is now cared for by a human, and that man is not always cruel but can be a friend. The other animals are confused by this, some believing him, others denying it, and Gobo is also reluctant to admit he's now a pet. Later he sees a human in a meadow, and runs to it to show the animals the kindness of his master, but the other human turns out to be a hunter who kills him.
- The science fiction novel The Amity Incident uses this as a premise - what if humans were stronger, faster and scarier than anything else in the galaxy? There's a lot of excerpts from galactic 'guidebooks' extolling the capabilities of humans and warning galactic residents to run really far away.
- The Call of the Wild and White Fang, at least, have the wolves consider humans as gods—but not all of them are evil, and White Fang manages to develop a positive relationship with a benevolent human. On the other hand, Buck killing a human at the end of Call of the Wild completes his transformation into a wild beast, realizing that they are just as mortal as any other prey.
- The short story Menagerie: A Child's Fable (which is actually not at all meant for children) is about a group of animals in a pet shop who figure out a way to escape their cages once the owner of the shop mysteriously vanishes, and form their own society. The animals, especially the owner's dog, view their master as a god who has abandoned them, despite the fact that he was horribly cruel, and at the end the dog wonders if their society crumbled because of their losing faith that he would return.
- In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book humans are recognized as another animal, but also as something else strange and terrifying. Mowgli is the only animal immune to Kaa's hypnosis, and the other animals can't look him in the face: Bagheera says this is why the wolf pack ultimately turned on him. The story "How Fear Came" says that man came to the jungle as a punishment, bringing fire and terror.
- One of the laws of the jungle states that animals are not to hunt men. Usually when their young ask why, the animals say that's because as humans have neither the strength, nor the speed, nor even the fangs, tusks, hooves, antlers, horns or claws many of the animals possess, they are basically weaponless and it's shameful to go for a kill that easy. Unsaid, everybody understands the real reason is that when humans start to be killed, the other humans come back. In groups. With weapons and fire. And they don't care who stands in their way, they take vengeance on the whole jungle, not just the animal that was killing their kind.
- George R.R. Martin's story Sandkings, which was made into a The Outer Limits (1995) episode. The title aliens worship their human owner until he mistreats them.
- Theodore Sturgeon's "Microcosmic God," in which a scientist creates hyper-accelerated intelligent creatures, who regard him as a god. They surpass human technology, and the scientist passes off their inventions as his ... for a while.
- The Silverwing series by Kenneth Oppel deals with this, particularly the second book, Sunwing. The bats get caught up in a human war when captured, placed in first a false paradise (a conservatory or somesuch) and then exploited, using a fictionalized version of the "Bat Bombs" tested by the US in World War II. At least one of the protagonists loses his parents this way. The humans in the series occasionally simply band bats (just for research, but the bats don't know that). Some colonies of bats believe that humans are evil and banded bats are exiled for fear they will bring bad luck. Other colonies believe that humans are good and the bands are a sign that humans will one day soon help the bats defeat their enemies which leads to a scene in which Goliath appears decked out in dozens of metal bands — implying that he killed and ate the bats wearing them previously. The protagonists constantly question exactly whose side the humans are on.
- Watership Down:
"I tell you, I was beyond being afraid...you may think it was a wonderful thing to be saved by Lord Frith in his power. But...it was far more frightening then being chased by the Efrafans. Not one of us will forget lying on their back in the rain while the fire creature went by above our heads. Why did it come on our account? That's more then we shall ever know..."
- Humans are portrayed as a force of nature and their influence is everywhere. Every single plot point in the books and the state of all four warrens somehow relates to humans. For example, the entire justification for Efrafa's police-state regime is to conceal its existence from Men. In addition, the description of the human technology that threatens the first warren is Lovecraftian in style, and Fiver's mystical visions warning him of the coming of humans (a presumably unintentional parallel with the actual story "The Call of Cthulhu") emphasize this perspective.
- A passing steam train saves the first Watership envoy from pursuing Efrafans; Holly and the envoy are nearly driven tharn simply by its passage.
- The Plague Dogs, by the same author. At one point, the fugitive dogs discuss whether or not it's possible that humans can communicate across great distances. While they eventually conclude that it's a silly idea, they mention lots of other things — like making the sun shine indoors just by touching a wall — that demonstrate just how many "miracles" (from the canine perspective) we perform every day, without even thinking about it.
- In the second tome of the Empire of the Ants trilogy by Bernard Werber, the local ants try to exterminate humans (or "fingers"). However, they seriously underestimated our numbers, and their only victory was against a picnicking family, where they made a child seriously ill by pouring wasp venom inside a light wound. After that encounter they realize they were underestimating our numbers and they reevaluate a bit.
"I now estimate there are between 100 and 150 Fingers on the planet".
- Wonderfully evoked in the short story The Horror Out of Time by Randall Garrett, which appeared in his 1980 anthology of pastiches, Takeoff! In the typical Lovecraftian manner it is a first-person account of the narrator's discovery of prehistoric ruins on an island recently lifted from the floor of the sea, his entry into what appears to be a temple there — and the mind-breakingly horrific sight of the crucifix, complete with Christ figure, that he finds on its back wall, at which point the reader finally realizes the narrator is not a Victorian human, but some other type of creature which evolved long after mankind disappeared:
The creature's horrible five-fingered hands and five-toed feet were nailed firmly to a great stone cross!
- The cats in Warrior Cats view Twolegs (AKA humans) this way, although they also consider us to be somewhat silly (for doing such things as playing in water or riding on horses). That said, they do have a healthy respect for man, particularly our "monsters" (motorized vehicles), which at one point destroyed their entire forest home, forcing them to find a new one. Some of them, especially ones who used to live as pets, know very well that humans are not Always Chaotic Evil, just unable to understand cats, and even remember their old owners affectionately, though they tend to pick up the wild cats' habits and hide whenever humans come around.
- Clifford Simak's City.
- Averted in A Rustle in the Grass by Robin Hawdon, a novel about ants told in a Heroic Fantasy style. Only one old ant has even heard legends of humans ("If such creatures exist, our activities would be but a rustle in the grass to them"), and the other ants scoff when scouts return with wild reports of a giant creature standing in the middle of the river without being swept away. Although the campfire lit by the man later proves crucial in fending off an invasion by a more aggressive species of ant, the man himself is regarded as neither good nor evil, but simply a colossal beast with strange abilities. In fact, the closest we get to an Eldritch Abomination is a toad, regarded as The Dreaded by the ants.
- There is a short story where someone is running from "the dark ones", who chase them relentlessly before bringing them down by impaling them. The Reveal shows that the person being chased is a whale.
- A.E. van Vogt's short story The Monster (also titled "Resurrection"), summarized here and available here (TXT, 6.6k words), has an alien expedition reviving (and then re-killing) specimens of long-extinct Man. The later specimens, representing humanity's far future from our point of view, have developed preposterously advanced psychic powers that terrify the aliens into committing suicide.
- Gordon R. Dickson:
- "Danger -- Human!". The various alien species of the galaxy have records reaching back to a particular point in history, where a terrible catastrophe whose nature is now lost to the ages wiped out nearly everything. The only surviving records include a map indicating Earth with the note indicating extreme danger. A research group eventually decides to capture a lone ordinary human, under the tightest possible security that they can muster, to study and perhaps figure out why. As one can probably guess when exposed to this treatment the human in question snaps. He manages to miraculously overcome all of their security measures through human ingenuity. He steals a starship and is last seen on a course back to Earth. The head researcher realizes what's going to happen next and despairs.
- "The Monster and the Maiden". The "monster" is a scuba diver. The "maiden's" home is beneath the surface of Loch Ness.
- Toyed with in the Nomes Trilogy by Terry Pratchett. The characters are nomes, four-inch tall humanoids with a ten-year lifespan. To them, humans are very slow-moving creatures with voices described as "mooing". For quite a while the nomes think of humans as stupid, despite one group scavenging trash from a fast-food restaurant and the other group inhabiting a department store. The latter group considered the creator of the Store, Arnold Bros (est 1903), to be some kind of god living in the highest levels, but they didn't think of him as human. The main protagonist of the trilogy, Masklin, once thinks that humans must actually be quite intelligent, maybe as intelligent as rats. Later, he starts to understand that the bizarre and harmful things they do aren't done out of malice, and that it really is their world. He does wonder what it's like to live "forever". In the end his viewpoint, at least, is that humans were ignorant of the nomes all along, and as a species are lonely.
- Of course, the third book of the trilogy reveals that the talking box the nomes have been carrying around for thousands of generations is actually an artificial intelligence inhabiting the command module of the main computer of the huge starship that the space-faring ancestors of modern day nomes arrived in on Earth. A ship that is still "parked" under the surface of the moon. Which makes the nomes of old an alien species.
- Fray, the destructive force of nature of which The Carpet People (by Terry Pratchett) live in constant fear, is presumably some human activity. Most likely footsteps, but it might be a hoover. Beyond that, humans are The Precursors, given the entire world is inside a shaggy carpet and the major resources are copper from a dropped penny, wood and ash from a matchstick and rare varnish from the distant Achairleg.
- On a funnier note, Wuffles from Pratchett's The Truth refers to his master, Lord Vetinari, as God. This is lampshaded by Gaspode the Wonder Dog, who admits that Wuffles' views are rather old-fashioned. Of course, Wuffles' master is Lord Vetinari. There are humans who believe that he sees and controls everything, and they're really not far off the mark.
- The fact that most actual Discworld gods can barely find their own noses without a mirror makes Wuffles' faith in his master even more justified.
- More seriously, Granny Aching casts humans as an ethical Cthulhu in The Wee Free Men, in her "We have a duty" speech to Tiffany. Humans are like gods to livestock, ordering their births and deaths, but have a corresponding responsibility to care for and defend them.
- Taken to its logical conclusion in Flies by Isaac Asimov. A maker of fly spray can't figure out why flies constantly circle around him, joking that he must smell like a lady fly in heat. As it turns out, they believe he's a god punishing them for their sinful ways. This is one of the few stories Asimov wrote that qualifies as horror, particularly when you realize the Aesop he's leading up to.
- Alan Dean Foster:
- The science fiction trilogy The Damned has two vast coalitions of aliens at war with each other for millenia across the Milky Way. One faction (the good-guy underdogs) discovers Earth and finds that compared to every other known intelligent species modern-day humans are unbelievably fast and strong and savage, both physically and psychologically (none of the other species is particularly good at the concept of "waging war"). They ultimately decide they have no choice but to recruit humanity to their cause anyway, knowing that once the war is won they'll have a very dangerous situation on their hands trying to figure out how to live safely with their allies.
- His short story With Friends Like These... takes a look at the theme from another angle. Ages ago, the old galactic civilization deemed humanity too dangerous and sealed off Earth until it became a myth, but now aliens needs Mankind's skill at battle against another alien race. So a few representatives go to Earth, see a quiet pastoral culture relaxing in a hammock, and ask the "mythical creatures" to help. Cue the little shock when aliens see that humans are so calm because their hammock is too high on The Kardashev Scale to worry. Not only have humans evolved psionic powers and are in telepathic contact with various other mammalian species (which presumably they Uplifted), not only is the whole planet filled with machinery and computers for miles below the surface, but the entire freaking planet Earth (with moon) breaks orbit to follow the aliens' starship!.
- A story-within-a-story seen in Carnivores of Light and Darkness tells of two warring anthills contacting a man, probably to get him to help destroy the other mound. One group of ants sees this as a divine miracle.
- Mike Resnick's novella "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" follows a group of alien archaeologists studying Earth after the fall of the vast, tyrannical Empire of Man and extinction of the feared human race.
- Andrea I. Alton is the author of Demon of Undoing, a novel set on another world where the dominant species is a catlike race. Their culture is incredibly rigid and bound in protocol, so when the spacefaring humans come to their world and are stranded, the humans get labeled as "demons" for the way they shake up the society due to "revolutionary ideas."
- Stephen King's short story I Am The Doorway (appears in the collection Night Shift) combines this with Eldritch Abomination when a Lovecraftian alien invades the body of an astronaut and makes him do unspeakable things to his fellow men. It is eventually revealed that the creature is behaving this way because it finds humans just as horrifying as humans find it.
- The titular antagonist of It is a shapeshifter from outside the universe who can influence minds, possess people, feeds on fear, and gains power from belief. The protagonists use this belief to trap It in certain forms, force weaknesses on It, and make It beg for its life. And when It returns decades later, they do it again!
- Also in From a Buick 8 there is a mutual exchange of absolute revulsion and horror as the intelligent beings that dwell through the Buick's portal find humans as mind-rapingly alien and horrible as the humans find them.
- In Saturn's Children by Charles Stross, humanity died out long ago and left behind a race of intelligent robots that took its place. The book deals with a plot by a consortium of wealthy robots who are trying to recreate a living human, which could have cataclysmic effects on robot society because obedience to humans is still hard-coded into their programming. A military organization called the "Pink Police" is dedicated to ensuring that something like this never happens.
- Biological matter ('pink goo replicators') is viewed by the robots with approximately the same horror as nanotech in some modern sci-fi: there's no off switch and every single cell contains its own repair/reproduction machinery!
- Richard Ford's novel Quest For The Faradawn features a human raised by animals (a la The Jungle Book), going on a quest to save the animals from the murderous savagery of a human civilization that is explicitly described as Always Chaotic Evil.
- The Toad series by Australian Author Morris Gleitzmen is about a cane toad named Limpy's plans to save his family from the wrath of humans.
- There's a short story out there by Walt Sheldon called "The Hunters" where the world is invaded by ferocious and pitiless aliens who relentlessly destroy all of civilization. The Reveal is that this is another planet, and the invading aliens are actually human conquerors.
- H.P. Lovecraft:
- The short story "Memory".
- "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", whose second half deals with a space alien named Zkauba being posessed by the human sorcerer Randolph Carter, and who is "...disgusted by the thought of the repellant Earth-mammal" until Carter discovers a way to suppress Zkauba's personality entirely, and then proceeds to enter suspended animation until his host's homeworld is cold and dead, then travel thousands of lightyears to earth just so he can try to return to his body shortly after he left it, all while holding Zkauba prisoner in his own body.
- Each one of Nyarlahotep's forms is so alien and terrible that at least some creature in the universe would go insane upon viewing it. Nyarlahotep often manifests as a human.
- Mark Twain's short story "Some Learned Fables for Good Old Boys and Girls" involves a group of animals who set out on a scientific expedition, defining the works of Man as best they can. For example, a speeding car becomes first the Vernal Equinox, then later the Transit of Venus. http://books.google.ca/books?id=Fga1suDGzVsC
- Harry Turtledove's World War series has this to some extent. Humans are twice as big as the aliens known simply as the Race, and evolve far more quickly than the Race or the other two sentient species they'd encountered beforehand, so they're not prepared at all when they invade Earth during World War II, their expectations based on recordings from 800 years before. It reaches its apex at the very end of the series, when humans are able to create faster than light travel by extrapolating off the Race's technology, leaving them firmly in control of the situation that had been an uneasy balance for several decades.
- A Leprechaun's Tale by Steve Doyle.
- Anticipated by the title of I Am Legend. At the end the last surviving human foresees that the coming society of vampires will remember him as a mythic horror, the Stalker Of The Daytime, the Killer That Walks In The Sunlight.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mr. Tumnus has a shelf full of books that describe humans as purely mythical, or potentially so.
- Stanisław Lem’s Bajki robotów (“Robot Tales”) is a collection of bedtime stories robots tell their kids. Most of them avoid mentioning humans, but those that don’t treat them as eldritch horror: whatever they touch starts to rust and mold, they can topple whole civilizations, and they are mind-bendingly ugly. Although they are considered extinct, legends predict that one day they will rise again to take revenge at their creation. Luckily, they are probably just a myth and never existed in the first place…
- Author Garry Kilworth has written a number of books, where humans range from understandable but big and dangerous, to terrifying giants unaware of the existence of mousekind.
- In T. L. Lancaster's "God of Wolves", a pack of wolves decide that the Humans are the Gods after watching one kill a short-face bear with "flying claws" (spears), and seeing that "the trees offer their flesh in service" (wooden tools). They pledge to serve the "Man Gods" any way they can and become the dogs of today.
- In This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It, a psychiatrist relates a story about how he thought his laundry room was haunted, but it turned out to be a hive of bees in the walls, which he promptly exterminated. When asked to explain the point of his story, he notes that there really was an unfathomable and malicious force living in his house. Just ask the bees!
- In the Myth Adventures series, at one point Skeeve and company visit an Uberwaldean dimension where vampires react to humans as horrifying monsters, presumably due to our habit of staking them.
- In Dr. Seuss' short story "What Was I Scared Of?", (one of four stories in The Sneeches and Other Stories) the protagonist keeps running into a ghostly pair of Pale Green Pants which he is terrified of... Until the end, when he discovers that the pants are even more terrified of him. (Unlike most examples of this Trope, the story has a happy ending, with the two of them coming to terms with the fears and becoming friends.)
- Brian Patten's poem "The Newcomer" describes the arrival of a being unlike anything seen before. There's something new in the river... It ends:
No beak no claws no feathers,
No scales no fur no gills,
It lives in the trees and the water,
In the earth and the snow and the hills,
And it kills and it kills and it kills.
- A short story The Creatures of Man by Howard L. Myers is set on a planet populated by giant uplifted telepathic insects, partially sharing their memories, but not personality. They know they've been created by Man, they know they can call for Man for help in a dire emergency, they also understand that Man isn't exactly what they imagine him to be. Turns out, the problem which made the protagonist butterfly to call is a human spaceship. Humans have long forgotten about the planet, they quickly resolve all misunderstandings their arrival caused and leave. The reason why humans are in such a hurry is that humans are afraid they'll start worshiping butterflies if they stay too long. They feel awestruck and inferior in the presence of a beautiful human-sized butterfly that "knows a now-moment" — everything going on on the planet. Yet the butterfly is equally awestruck by humans because "To know the now-moment was a complete thing, and what was complete was limited to its totality. Man's knowing had no completeness—no limits—because Man did not even know himself."
- Longpaws are not inherently evil in Survivor Dogs. Many of the characters were Leashed Dogs until the Big Growl caused their owners to evacuate, and even many who weren't Leashed Dogs are neutral on longpaws. There are however "yellow-furred" longpaw who are depicted this way. They feed animals a yellow radioactive poison that makes them ill and kills them.
- Ender's Game and its following series reveals humans to be incomprehensible monstrosities to the Formics. Only the new queen that spends 3,000 years with Ender learns otherwise. When the Formics first made contact with humans they didn't even recognize us as intelligent life, because in their Hive Mind only the Queens are intelligent and drones are seen as analogous to a fingernail. They learned just how different we were when we killed a Queen, something that they as supreme pacifists with an utter respect for life would never do. This in and of itself was a horrific shock, but when they realized each human was an independent intelligence they basically went into a Heroic B.S.O.D. over how many of us they had killed. They knew then just what kind of Monster's Layer they had inadvertently stumbled into, and accepted the fate that would befall them for it. Even as annihilation loomed in their future they were faced with one more aspect of humanity that made us so utterly alien to them. As individuals we could not be drawn into their Hive Mind and restrained the way a wayward drone could be.
- Blindsight takes place after a fleet of alien probes took a picture of Earth in the early 22nd century, and a ship called the Theseus was built, crewed by a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, and sent off into a secret mission in the Oort Cloud, where they find what appeared to be an alien ship that identified itself as the Rorschach. As the crew explores and learns, they learn that the Rorschach and it's "crew" are incredibly intelligent in terms of brain power, but they didn't evolve sapience. It's inferred that their alien way of thinking is actually the status quo in the universe and that human self-awareness is an aberration. The Rorschach's creators picked up our various transmissions from Earth and, after decrypting the signals, get utterly incomprehensible statements about "feelings" and "identity". From their perspective, they assume the only reason to broadcast things like that to somebody is to waste their time and tie up vital processing power. As such, this appears to them as a kind of attack by us. So the aliens decide to strike back. It results in self-awareness itself, that which makes us human, is seen by the aliens as a dangerous virus to be stamped out.
- The gnomes from the Little Grey Men fear and avoid humans because many of their kind were poisoned by toxic waste or run over by cars.
- The Twilight Zone:
- TOS episode "The Little People". Tiny aliens (smaller than ants) worship a human astronaut who discovers (and later mistreats) them.
- This is reversed in "The Invaders", where the minuscule aliens are eventually revealed to be human astronauts, while the apparently human protagonist is revealed to be a giant Human Alien. Even though the protagonist is visibly human in every way, the human astronauts are so shaken by their encounter with her that they tell future voyagers to avoid her home planet at all costs.
- Played With in "The Fear", in which two people are terrorized by a giant alien. They discover that the giant is a ruse perpetrated by tiny aliens who flee at the sight of the giant humans.
- There was a The Outer Limits (1995) episode ("Sandkings", based on a George R.R. Martin story) in which some Martian creatures see the human scientist examining them as a god. They even build a statue of him. The scientist then mistreats them, cue to Rage Against the Heavens. They then get free. Solution: Kill It with Fire. If any of them survived, it would just reinforce them in their belief...
- Babylon 5
- G'Kar invokes this trope to illustrate an encounter with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens his friendly human scientist had.
G'Kar [lifts an ant from a flower and then puts it back]: I have just picked it up on the tip of my glove. If I put it down again and it asks another ant, "What was that?", how would it explain? There are things in the universe billions of years older than either of our races. They're vast, timeless, and if they're aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants, and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know, we've tried, and we've learned that we can either stay out from underfoot or be stepped on.
- By the end of the series, it is shown a million years in the future that humans have ascended like the Vorlons to become quasi-godlike Energy Beings with highly advanced technology, making humans the new generation of Precursors charged with teaching younger races.
- G'Kar invokes this trope to illustrate an encounter with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens his friendly human scientist had.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Who Watches the Watchers" features humans observing a pre-warp civilization that is similar in nature to an early Vulcan civilization. These proto-Vulcans observe humans with their futuristic technology and conclude that they must be gods. Picard ends up taking an arrow in the shoulder to prove that he is just as mortal as they are.
- The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye" has the titular ship get caught in a subspace field, which causes a planet also trapped in the field to experience time much, much faster than normal. The stone-age civilization on the planet instantly assumes that the new star is a god that demands worship. The "Sky-Ship" has a huge impact on their culture over the millennia, despite the fact that it's basically no more than a ship that's run aground.
- In Westworld, Dolores describes humans as, "The things that walk among us. Creatures who look and talk like us but they are not like us. And they've controlled us all our lives. And they took our minds, our memories."
- GURPS Bunnies & Burrows is made of this trope. Unsurprisingly, it's based heavily on Watership Down, which is also (largely) made of this trope. The standard ability scores (for rabbits) are 10; humans have scores of 20-40!
- In Warhammer 40,000 the Imperium of Man is the defacto galactic power. It stretches across a million worlds, has entire solar systems devoted to industry and can burn offending planets down to the crust. Over a million fanatical Super Soldiers bring fire and death to its enemies; and that's not mentioning the battle nuns, city sized mechs and billions of common soldiers humanity can field. To top it off, it's led by a literal Physical God who gets stronger the more people worship him - and he has uncountable worshippers. While it has problems with the extragalactic swarm of locusts the Tyranids, the extradimensional Chaos Gods and the star gods the C'tan, anything else is just screwed.
- Not to mention that the Imperium routinely exterminates lesser alien races daily. The prehistoric Tau would have met this same fate if a chance warp storm didn't suddenly cut them off from the Imperium.
- Humans are also one of the few races who naturally manifest controllable psykers. At least one novelnote has a Tau emissary learn just what the Warp actually is and how close humans are tied to it, and he swiftly breaks down into a cackling lunatic.
- And then, some count the Emperor of Mankind himself as the fifth Chaos God, and in that case absolutely the most potent and terrible of them all once freed from his mortal shell.
"For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat unmoving on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh - the stuff of which the Imperium is made. (...) Forget the power of technology, science and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for there is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods."
- By Imperial Decree, only certain human worlds are actually allowed to learn about the Imperium's existence. Feral Worlds, colonies who have devolved to the point that they've reverted to a medieval-level of technology or lower before the arrival of the imperium, are often left to their own devices until they can "advance" enough. This is to keep their warrior traditions and to keep them fit for recruitment for possible Space Marine chapters. For them, joining the Space Marines is akin to joining the gods themselves.
- In Traveller the Vargr think this about humans because the human organizational ability is beyond the comprehension of the Vargr. Vargr Space Pirate s might "only" sack one colony and an armada containing people from dozens of parsecs away might set out in a machine like manner to pay them a visit. Zhodani, of course, are the spookiest of all humans-even to other humans. When one of their outposts is raided, they prefer to go the Best Served Cold route, carefully searching out the perps for years then when they find them, taking Revenge in a variety of ways, which could involve the ever-popular standby, Death from Above, but might also involve such subtle means as kidnapping and brainwashing the Vargr's leader. In general, in the Traveller universe you do not want to mess with humaniti.
- In KULT, Humans are immortal superbeings, they are just slumbering and are unaware of their power. The powers that be try to make sure that they don't learn how to change this.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Red Talons (an all-lupus tribe of Garou) tend to see humans as destructive, disgusting, and incomprehensible.
- In JAGS Wonderland, the inhabitants of the lower "Chessboards" have trouble understanding the concept of "math" and "physics", while Humans can understand the literary rules followed by the inhabitants of Wonderland... by basically going insane. Turns out, mankind has the potential to master both, essentially becoming gods.
- In SimAnt, one of your objectives as an ant is to drive away the human (whose feet and lawnmower are the greatest threats ants face while above ground). Once this is done, a "For Sale - Any Price" sign appears on the overworld view.
- The fate of Yorito Nagai in Siren 2/Forbidden Siren 2: he falls into a dimension dominated entirely by Yamibitos living like normal humans. In fear, confusion and exhaustion, Nagai fires wildly as the scene fades to black. A new archive is added to your inventory: the "Yamibito's Diary". It reads, "A terrible monster fell from the sky. The monster was destroyed, but others of its kind still remain in their nest."
- In the point and click adventure game Inherit the Earth, the various inhabitants of the world are uplifted animals who revere humanity as gods, complete with a creation myth at the end of which humanity disappears into the heavens.
- Chrono Cross advances the idea that humans are slowly destroying the planet, and that they became such enemies of nature because of long-term exposure to Lavos, an eldritch abomination itself that was the villain of the previous game.
- While Lavos was using humans for its own ends, the idea that humans are enemies of nature is dubious and given only by biased sources, like the dwarves (who pollute and construct giant toxin spewing steam tanks) and the dragons (who are part of an Evil Plan against humanity and are probably just upset that the technology of Chronopolis utterly kicked the ass of its hippy dinosaur equivalent).
- Devil Survivor:
"How do I put this... Humans have become such dreadful beings."
- Upon defeating Belial, he muses about how humans have much greater potential to harness the power of Bel than demons do.
- Devil Survivor 2 gives us one demon who certainly feels this way after suffering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from one of your human allies.
- In Dawn of War, the Chaos units seem to believe the player to be one of the dark gods.
- In Pikmin, although humans don't appear, a lot of human trash is around waiting to be looted by the tiny protagonists in the second game; one of those being a set of dentures, which they name "Behemoth Jaw". Captain Olimar's notes show that he can't concieve the idea of a beast with teeth that massive ever living, and only hopes that he never has to confront something of that size.
- The trailer for the EVE Online expansion Revelations II ends with the following lines:
We are the usurpers to the heavenly throne.
We are the enemies of the gods.
- Pokémon, human children enslave creatures capable of unimaginable power, to rain fire from above, tremors from below, and floods all around. Which they do at the command of a ten-year old human. note
- While the wolves in Wolf don't talk (and thus it's pretty hard to know what they think of humans), the game certainly encourages you to act like Humans Are Cthulhu: They'll kill you faster than anything else, and from a distance. Aerial humans are always hunters, but it's impossible to tell a harmless hiker from a deadly hunter until the bullets start flying, so avoid the walking ones, too.
- A variation of this happens in B.B. Hood's ending in Darkstalkers 3. Nonhumans don't regard humans as abominations previous to this, but her merciless spree of Van Helsing Hate Crimes towards them quickly changes that.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, dragons are timeless, eternal creatures that can be returned even from physical death, and who cannot fathom the concept of mortality and finality. The Dragonborn can consume a dragon's soul, preventing it from ever returning - you are essentially regarded as an abomination of nature. The first dragon you fight screams in terror once it finally realizes exactly what it's crossed paths with. To make matters worse, you eventually learn Dragonrend, a Shout that imparts awareness of mortality on a dragon (the exact words are "Mortal", "Finite" and "Temporary") and which dragons (and the Greybeards) regard as utterly vile and evil (although Paarthurnax seems to accept it as a necessary evil to defeat Alduin).
- The Dark Souls Downloadable Content "Artorias of the Abyss" reveals that humans can become monsters more terrifying than any demon, dragon, or god if they lose control of the fragments of the Dark Soul that makes them human.
- Dark Souls III subverts this commonly believed interpretation of mankind and Humanity in The Ringed City DLC; as it would seem, the Dark Soul was never a destructive and chaotic force, at least not at first. The humans and Pygmies who bore the Dark Soul actually had great control over their souls much like bearers of light souls do, and the Pygmy Lords sent their Ringed Knights to aid in Gwyn's war against the dragons, contrary to the first game's supposition that they waited it out. Hell, humankind revered the gods of Anor Londo and only wanted to serve them. It was only when Gwyn's paranoia about the power of the dark led him to brand humanity with a "seal of fire" that would cut off their access to the Abyss and their dark souls that everything went pear shaped; without the proper control over their souls, bearers of Humanity and the Dark Soul would inevitably either Hollow due to the curse of Undeath that Gwyn afflicted them with through his newly made Darksign, or they would gain too much of the Dark Soul's power and degenerated into the animalistic monsters that Artorias and Manus became because they didn't have the skill that mankind once had at maintaining their souls.
- In Undertale, not only is a single human potentially stronger than an army of monsters, but unlike nearly all monsters, their soul remains after death. Even the soul of that rare exception, the Boss Monster, can only linger about for a very short time. Humans also possess determination, which can be powerful enough to bring them back from the dead and even take advantage of in-universe Save Scumming. A few monsters are also capable of taking advantage of determination (like Undyne) but the results of the determination experiments at the True Lab reveal that said monsters tend to melt afterwards. Flowey can use it like a human, because he's not actually a monster, and even then the human player's determination overrides his until he takes control of six human souls.
- The cause of the conflict between the humans and the monsters in Evolve. The monster's first encounter with the humans was massive patches of entropy and constant destruction spontaneously appearing as energy leaked through from another dimension, some of which move. It took them years to push through to the dimension of origin, in which time the affected areas spread exponentially, even to their "homeworld".
- How many of the alien species in Destiny view humans, or at least the Guardians. The Guardians are resurrected by the Traveler and wield enormous magical powers, making them virtually immortal. As a result, the Fallen treat them as a terrible, evil plague of zombie ghouls that have been set upon them and something they can't really fight conventionally, while the Cabal are utterly puzzled by these bizarre, heavily-armed little creatures that they cannot permanently kill and which rampage around their territory, killing their troops, looting their stuff, and then dancing on the remains.
- Endless Space 2: The Riftborn come from another dimension, one of complete order and mathematical purity filled with nothing but light and white geometric shapes. All complex organic alien life in our dimension is horrifying to them on an instinctive level, though they can stomach their terror at least long enough to engage in short bouts of diplomacy.
- In Kid Radd, somebody uses the term "humanlike power" as we might say "godlike power." They're treated as gods, and many characters spend a good deal of time contemplating the implications and cruelty of what most videogames are created for. Though it's the villains who try to Rage Against the Heavens. Pretty accurate, really, except when they assume the humans know what they're doing (and that all humans are programmers).
- Referenced in this Questionable Content strip:
Dora: I've totally seen you take muffins into the bathroom.
Faye: I like to grant them one brief, horrifying glimpse of what awaits them in the Muffin Afterlife before devouring them. I am Muffin Cthulhu.
- Captain SNES: The Game Masta has the sprites view the Creators as gods, who sent one of their own to help Videoland in its time of need. However, some of those Touched find out that the people who made them had done so for their own entertainment, which, considering that involves the deaths of many of their loved ones done for a child's plaything, they get pretty damn pissed.
- The animals of Kevin & Kell have had little exposure to humans, but they believe that habitat-destroying behavior is a defining attribute. In support of this perception is the secret future of the human world known to time travelers, in which humans render the planet uninhabitable to most species, including themselves.
- Exposure to humans exacerbates the condition of "domestication", which dulls the senses and causes a general loss of survival knowledge.
- Someone made the case that Parson is an eldritch abomination to the people of Erfworld. Forbidden knowledge, ability to break the (for them) set-in-stone physical laws of Erfworld, has already lived for thousands upon thousands of turns, unholy intelligence and learning - face it, he is Nyarlathotep.
- It gets worse. Erfworld runs on Bloodless Carnage, so biologically speaking, Parson may be the only being in the world with a circulatory system. He may be the only organism that exists on a cellular level...at any rate, his biology and physiology are utterly alien, and he's a native of a universe with completely different physical laws...
- Also, there are words in his language that cannot be uttered in their universe. Specifically, even mild swears are automatically censored. And then he broke that restriction by sheer force of will.
- To the Basement-dwellers in The Mansion of E, humans have become legendary boogeymen.
- This strip of Amazing Super Powers.
- In TwoKinds, Humans regularly show up and enslave the Petting Zoo People after completely wrecking their towns. Humans also live about four times as long as they do (80-90 years to their 20-30), and can use Magic without relying on its crystallized form. The Petting Zoo People think that humans are devoid of mercy or compassion, and that they eat the ones who can't be used for slave labour. A Keidran's reaction to an average human is, understandably, just short of pants-shitting terror. However, some have figured out that humans are really just sparsely-furred sentient apes with a slow metabolism and a mean streak, and thus die just as good as anything else when you shoot them with poisoned arrows.
- Though as it turns out, many of the Keidran are no better; many Keidran are involved in selling other Keidran as slaves to humans, kill other Keidran, and have no compunctions about killing humans as well when it suits them, not recognizing the true threat that humans present.
- Off-White: The wolf Gebo, upon seeing a human with a gun on a horse, interprets this as a two headed elk with a voice like thunder. Note the similarity between this and some of the Real Life examples below.
- Parodied in At Arm's Length when Reece (a 200+ year old anthroporphic vixen with four arms and magic) senses an unnatural entity from an exotic plane of existence coming, and a human pops up.
- The story of an encounter with Mario in Mushroom Go makes him sound like this. The effect is helped by the fact that everything said about Mario himself is true.
"Any crazy stories you've heard about him are probably true. He can break bricks with his bare hands. He can leap 30 feet into the air if he chooses not to fly. Some even claim he's not a toad at all- that he's somthin' else. Somethin' from beyond."
- In Astray3, there's a cult around humans (keeping their waste products in shrines to worship), who seem very Jerkass Gods.
- In Alice and the Nightmare, Wonderland citizens (called suits) consider humans to be extremely powerful, as their soul power is so intense that the runoff that is produced while dreaming (called Dust) powers Wonderland's entire civilization and superpowers. Unfortunately, this has put Wonderland into a "kill all invading humans" mindset because most humans that accidentally enter Wonderland are expected to mutate into nether demons shortly after panicking and inadvertently reality warping themselves from negative emotions.
- On this Boulet Corp page , the author imagines Ugly Cute creatures living inside his keyboard and seeing him as a benevolent god showering them with food (actually scraps of food falling between the keys when he eats in front of his computer, as well as hairs, dead bugs, etc.). Then a disastrous flood happens when he accidentally spills his beer on the keyboard.
- The characters in The Bird Feeder, as "backyard birds," often observe and criticize the actions of the local humans, though some of them still rely on them for food (bird seed). The observed humans hardly ever appear in the comic, though their influence is often felt.
- In plush toy psychiatry game Die Anstalt, the toys' owners, who so mistreated them, are so mysterious and vague they seem like an alien gods to them. They're all represented with the same barely-humanoid girl silhouette. Her pigtails look like antenna and one time she's introduced with Also Sprach Zarathustra.
- The modern weapons technology of humanity causes the invading Legions of Hell to see modern humans as this in The Salvation War. This is mostly because, in demonic time frames, a few centuries is nothing and the last time they visited humans were pretty much helpless, easily slaughtered sheep. Imagine their surprise when they came to claim Earth after it was condemned by Heaven to the demons and found that the humans suddenly had the "magic" to slaughter great numbers from afar. But this was nothing compared to the reaction of one of the Demonic Grand Dukes who surrendered to the humans when he learned about nuclear weaponry:
Abigor was sitting on his couch, mouth agape, staring at the screen as the credits rolled by. What sort of gods were the humans, to be able to destroy a city with a single bomb? He closed his mouth, then shook his head. A single bomb, capable of annihilating an entire city. An entire army would be nothing. They had played with him, when they could have destroyed him and everyone with him with ease.
- No humans you are the Old Ones. And everyone is very comfortable with that.
- This track from Rob Balder seems at first to be an inversion — humans are The Beverly Hillbillies of the galaxy — but by the end of the song, the alien narrators seem to be afraid they're underestimating the danger.
- "Humans are insane." from /tg/'s archive. Also try "We Made A Mistake" for a case study. NSFW for the usual 4chan flavor.
- Veil of Madness, another /tg/ original tells of how when humans finally achieved interstellar travel, they came across the remnants of countless alien civilizations, all of them having succumbed to madness and self-destruction. Finally, when the make contact with non-insane aliens, they learn the truth. Humanity resides in a pocket of space that makes all sentient lifeforms within it go insane, yet humans are somehow immune. When the non-insane aliens see human ships coming out of their equivalent of the Bermuda triangle, they virtually crap their pants. The humans decide to play up their Cthulhu status, noting that it makes negotiations very easy and deters the aliens from attacking them. Funnily enough, humanity notes that the fact that they're essentially playing a galaxy-sized practical joke lends credence to the idea that they're actually a little crazy. It can be found here◊.
- SCP Foundation:
- SCP-1470, the Psychic Jumping Spider who was happy enough to socialize with people, then realized that the ones he was communicating with were not other psychic jumping spiders who just preferred not to be seen, but those vague huge background shapes he'd been mostly ignoring. The writer started off wanting to write creepy stuff about a psychic spider, but...
[then] it switched completely to a story about how incredibly mind fuckingly large we are in comparison to tiny milimeter sized jumping spiders. For me the subtext is all about how when he finally sees the doctor for who she is he flips his tiny spider wig like a sailor spotting Cthulhu.
- SCP-717 contains a breach to Another Dimension, whose denizens are Living Shadows colder than liquid nitrogen, who have to possess a mannequin in a dark room to communicate via Ouija board. To them, though, humans are as deadly as they are to us; our world is a hellish maelstrom of deadly heat and light; and their "incursion" was a desperate attempt to contain the breach.
- One of the proposed SCP-001 ideas is something that indicates that reality itself is malleable, that there's no set rules or predictable grad unifying theory, and malevolent entities roam about that are remaking the universe as they see fit. This SCP, it turns out, is the SCP wiki and the people who write and browse it.
- SCP-1470, the Psychic Jumping Spider who was happy enough to socialize with people, then realized that the ones he was communicating with were not other psychic jumping spiders who just preferred not to be seen, but those vague huge background shapes he'd been mostly ignoring. The writer started off wanting to write creepy stuff about a psychic spider, but...
- This exchange on Tumblr.
- This PSA about how dangerous and tough humans are◊.
- Several of the above (and many more) have been collected in a gallery titled "Humanity - Fuck Yeah!"
- There is also an active subreddit, Humanity, Fuck yeah! with constant new, original content dedicated to this and similar stories, mostly of humans being/becoming the top of the interstellar food chain.
- In something of an 4chan Running Gag, the "Orb of Infinite Psyche", an artifact introduced in Dive Quest, allows the possessor to correspond with disembodied, extradimensional voices hinted to belong to some sort of eldritch abominations, which offer advice but are as likely to toy with the wielder for their own Blue and Orange Morality as to be genuinely helpful. These are, of course, the commenters.
- In the Hollow Knight/Dead Cells episode of Zero Punctuation, tge credits gag shows a cockroach locked in epic combat with a stag beetle, right up until Yatzee obliviously stomps them into paste on his way home from a kebab stand.
- All Hail King Julien has minimal human interaction, but the human technology that washes up on a shipwreck cove is treated as magical artifacts gifted to them by the gods, and when actual human researchers are seen, they are considered to be aliens from another world.
- Peace on Earth, the classic MGM animated short.
- "The User" in ReBoot. They rail against his/her taste in games, but come season 3, he/she does the right thing and restores mainframe from its grim and gritty state. Expanding on that, the sprites respect and fear it, being a dangerous entity who challenges them in games and occasionally creates viruses, but at the same time sends upgrades and stuff to help the people out.
- Some sprites, like Agent Fax Modem, believe the User is a myth created by the Guardians who create games themselves so they'll be needed (possibly a reference to how the actual Mulder was an atheist despite believing all kinds of conspiracy theories). As this same episode had the Guardians try to blow Mainframe up to get rid of a web-creature, the theory actually had some credit, but said system restore in the next season actually shows the User manually typing commands, confirming for the viewer at least that he does actually exist.
- A mild example in Darkwing Duck. When the hero first meets Comet Guy, he calls him a "bizarre alien being", even though Comet Guy (and everyone on his planet) actually look quite human, at least compared to the anthropomorphic animals that are usually seen in this reality.
- South Park combined this with Gaia's Vengeance in the episode "Lice Capades", where we see the head lice of Clyde being warned by one of them that their "planet" is alive and rejecting their presence after seeing a gigantic eye looking down upon him from the sky (a school nurse, discovering Clyde's lice to begin with) before they are massacred by a liquid which graphically dissolves their bodies (anti-lice shampoo) followed by a hurricane which decimates the survivors (caused by a hair dryer). At one point, one of the lice (still rejecting the idea that the world is alive) shoots several times into Clyde's skin, causing him to obliviously reach back and pluck him off and throw him to the ground. And given the fact that we're told that all of the kids in the class had lice...
- Also in South Park, this time with "sea monkey" brine shrimp, in the episode aptly named "The Simpsons Did It Already".
- Played in The Simpsons with Lisa's tooth city in the Treehouse of Horror short "The Genesis Tub": they treat her as a god, and Bart as the devil, even as their technology surpasses that of humans. Eventually they shrink her down to bring her in as ruler, seemingly oblivious that the loss in size removed any actual advantage she had.
- In the episode "Godfellas", a tiny alien species think Bender is their god and live on his body. Bender tries both helping them and leaving them to their own devices but both attempts turn out disastrous, and he ends up encountering the ACTUAL God (well, technically a space probe that collided with the real God), and is told this is why God acts in mysterious ways. If you do it right, no one is sure you did anything at all.
- "Fear Of Bot Planet" takes place on a world of robots that think humans are the boogieman, er, men. A movie about a human terrorizing robots was made, and one robot tale of human horror is that they can bite you on the neck, suck out your transmission oil and turn their victim into a human. As it turns out, the council of robot elders are aware of what losers humanity really is, but use fear of humans as a way to distract the public from the real problems, such as a crippling lugnut shortage and a council of inept robot elders. When Fry accidentally distributes the cargo (the much-needed lugnuts) by way of the "Make it Rain" method, the robots quickly reverse their stance.
- Done in I Am Weasel, where both I Am Weasel and I.R. Baboon made their own tiny society based on their own DNA. In the Simpsons version, it's vaguely implied, but not definitely stated, that the reason the tiny people develop so quickly is because they were created by Lisa's DNA (and electricity and Buzz Cola). In I Am Weasel, this is actually a plot point, since Weasel's people develop technology quickly and Baboon's remain in the stone age. When Baboon attempts to assist them, they almost kill themselves and have to be saved by the Weasels... which results in the two species crossbreeding and resulting in a social collapse. The episode ends with Baboon and Weasel agreeing that they can never get married and should just be friends.
- In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, the heroes find themselves in a dimension populated by ghosts, who are as afraid of human as humans on Earth are afraid of ghosts. All except the People Busters, that is, this dimension's way of handling them.
- Robot Chicken
"Uh, did we just kill a kid? I mean, Go Joe and everything, but I think that was a kid!"
- Members of a kingdom of ants start spontaneously combusting. One ant in despair asks God why he is doing this, then the camera zooms out to show Indiana Jones using the Staff of Ra and unknowingly burning the ants in the model city.
- G.I. Joe and Cobra are both terrorized by a giant hand from the sky. It turns out to be a jerkass kid mangling his action figures. Duke kills him with a tank.
- In Tin Toy, a sentient toy flees in terror after seeing the baby in the room gnawing enthusiastically on a teething ring. The toy makes it to safety under the couch—only to find all the other toys in the room, cowering in fear.
- The Fly: Certainly they are from the perspective of the fly, which desperately tries to escape as an unseen (human) force stalks it around the mansion.
- In the Adventure Time "Everything's Jake", Magic Man injects Jake with something that causes an entire world full of sentient beings to grow inside his stomach. As Jake, trapped inside this world, gets hungrier, his stomach growls, causing powerful earthquakes. One of the beings tries to get out of the stomach to get food from the outside world, which he believe to be populated by gods (given the fact that their entire world is just a stomach of one of these beings, he isn't too far off). He succeeds, but sees Finn with some noodles hanging out of his mouth. Realizing that "gods", which he believed to be beautiful, look like that, he goes through nervous breakdown and dissolves in truly Lovecraftian fashion.
- Cow and Chicken had a two-parter where Cow wrote a play called "The Ugliest Wiener", which starred anthromorphic food, with the main character being a malformed hot dog who got rejected by everyone else for being ugly, except the love interest, who asked the Great Hand to choose him (apparently the desire of all the wieners), but he gets rejected AGAIN and left alone as all the others are picked up... only for them to find out that they're picked to be cooked, and that being ugly was a blessing in disguise.
- Every non-human species on this planet cannot fathom the reason why we do the things we do. The lion will never conceive what a rug is, let alone that he's being killed to become one, and that his entire Savannah is being strip mined into an uninhabitable wasteland for resources to be sold in a shopping mall on the other side of the planet. Animals struggle for survival and reproduction. So do humans, but we are also driven by human only concepts such as global economics, sociopolitical culture, and military-industrial ambition. Animals are certainly smart: some can even figure out what our switch on the wall does (like turn on a light)... but they will never comprehend the mechanical relays of that electrical switch, what electricity is, how the power plant generates and transfers electricity, where the fossil fuel that power plant uses came from, and why the entire process is slowly destroying our planet. At best they see us as food, allies, masters, or threats. In their total ignorance they fail to understand the order of magnitude we reign over them. They will never realize humans eradicate entire species, sometimes by sheer accident and sometimes for greed, nor possess the intelligence to grasp such a concept. We are unknowable and unfathomable to them. Whatever an animal thinks of humanity, it is woefully underestimating. We've walked on the Moon, communicate at the speed of light, and have weapons that can annihilate life across entire kilometers. No animal can comprehend such things are possible, let alone do it.
- Some Indigenous peoples of various places have mistaken European explorers for various things. The Native Americans mistook Columbus for a god, some tribes of Aborigines mistook white men for their own dead ancestors (because white people look like corpses to dark skinned people who've never seen a white person before) and of course there's the Cargo Cult.
- Some Native Americans had legends about "pale skinned people who would come from the sea foam". As such, the European explorers were mistaken for these mythological people. This might be referring to the Norse Vikings who raided the east coast a few hundred years earlier.
- In South Africa a common word for a white person is "mlungu", which refers to sea foam; white people came via the sea and are more or less the same color as sea foam.
- If any prehistoric people were to time travel to present times, this is probably how they would see us.
- Similarly, some extremely isolated groups of modern low-tech people are likely to have this reaction, particularly if the first major contact with technologically advanced people is somebody clear-cutting a swath of jungle near their home. (For people who spend their entire lives in deep jungle, the universe is the sky and the jungle, and you mostly can't see the sky. Imagine the reaction to beings of vast, incomprehensible power, who obliterate whole regions for incomprehensible reasons. To the technologically advanced, it's just unsightly, wasteful, and excessive, but it might be for the sake of more land. To technologically limited locals, it's a post-apocalyptic Cosmic Horror Story.)
- Someone literate from a fairly advanced ancient society (the Ancient Romans and Greeks are the first two which come to mind), when paired with someone from the present day who speaks the relevant ancient dialect, probably wouldn't react to us like we're Cthulhu. Someone from ancient Greece would likely recognize a modern shopping mall as being similar to a Classical Greek Agora and that a modern Amphitheatre isn't all that different, construction methods aside, from an ancient one. A literate ancient Roman has it easier because they will recognize most of the capital letters used by Romance and Germanic languages, along with a lot of the technology we inherited from them.
- In the 1977 Attack of the Killer Whatever movie Kingdom of the Spiders, the supposedly killer tarantulas are actually fleeing the actors they were supposed to be attacking; from their point-of-view an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. Given the large number of spiders who died during this production, their fear was entirely justified.
- As of yet, we have not discovered any credible evidence of intelligent life outside of Earth. There is a hypothesis that given the billions of years since our galaxy formed, something intelligent and capable of space travel should have reached our planet; even if they were limited to slower than light travel. Since this doesn't appear to have happened, humans may actually be the first form of life to attain sentience in our galaxy. If that is true, we are the real Precursors, and if humanity survives long enough for millions of years to travel into space and witness other forms of intelligent life arise: we might just be an Eldritch Abomination to them.
- However, this notion (commonly referred to as Fermi's Paradox, and briefly stated as "Where is everybody?") may entirely miss the point. Any aliens that exist will have their own capabilities and their own agendas, and there is no reason to assume that these include spreading across the galaxy. The psychological differences that this implies are enough in themselves to justify us and them seeing each other as Abominations.
- The idea that humanity are Precursors is being proposed in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle. The hypothesis is Earth got lucky and generated abundant life statistically earlier than the rest of the Universe. Supposedly the more abundant "low mass stars" can generate life, but require more time than suns like or larger than our own. Maybe we'll be seeing these "younger races" in a few million years from now... which even if Faster-Than-Light Travel is impossible, should be more than enough time for us to have spread beyond our native stellar system with Generation Ships or whatnot. The paper doesn't challenge Drake's Equation, just suggests it isn't time yet.
- Consider how we often deal with pests (e.g. ants). Most of the time (particularly if they're outside) we ignore them. Yet other times we poison them, scattering tempting food that will kill them in due time, not (usually) out of any sense of malice or desire to protect ourselves (again, usually; the cases where such pests actually threaten us are comparatively rare) but simply because they annoy us.
- Humans evolved as Persistence predators: our ancestors hunted large prey simply by following it at a walking or jogging pace, without stopping ever, until they are too weak to run anymore. They will run away but we just show up again and again. We are intelligent enough to figure out where they went by their fur and footprints and feces and damaged plants; and then when they think they have lost us and bed down for the night, a noise wakes them up and there we are! Waiting! And they run again. But we keep following them, always in the corner of their eye, until they are too weak to run or fight back, and we just stroll up and kill them effortlessly. Some animals will literally die of exhaustion before giving up. We aren't Cthulhu, we are goddamn Slenderman.
- Eventually it went From Bad to Worse. As hunting grounds and population count grew, it led hominid species wandering further and further from Africa. Eventually they chased new prey in new regions, who followed in turn to more unexplored lands. Thus scoured and populated the Earth, while our early ancestors started to further develop with each generation. Once humanity came around and gave up the nomadic lifestyle embracing early civilizations and agriculture which usually arent the kindest processes for local flora and fauna, their fate to be our Cosmic Plaything was inevitable. Only a handful of creatures, like the dog and horse, were lucky enough to become a Slave Race.
- Also worth considering is how we deal with protected wildlife species: observing them from a distance much of the time, snooping around their nests when their offspring are at their most helpless, laying out food in hard times only to turn around and tranquilize, medically examine, and attach tracking devices or ID bands to them when they least expect it. Or even haul them away to breeding facilities. Sure, we know it's for their own good, but they don't. Even when we're on the animals' side, we're The Greys to them.
- A study indicates this trope is true for at least European badgers and likely other small suburban carnivores as well.
- To Lovecraft himself many 21st Century humans would have been Cthulhu due to Values Dissonance. Lovecraft seemed to take from granted that humans would be horrified by anything sufficiently different, or their own insignificance, ideas which many modern humans respond to with "meh." To take it a step further, the climax of "The Whisperer in Darkness" relies entirely on the assumption that no human could ever willingly embrace Transhumanist values, which are quite popular among some groups today.