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Eldritch Abomination / Mythology & Religion

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Eldritch Abominations in Mythology and Religion.

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This section encompasses Jewish folklore, The Bible and The Qur'an, plus deuterocanon.

Let us begin with a preface: Nobody, but nobody, does the supernatural Eldritch Entity quite like the Western world's favourite religious tradition. The concept of monotheism, combined with the Platonic Theory of Forms (a direct and heavy influence on modern "Pauline" Christianity and a less direct influence on both Rabbinic Judaism and Islam) and taken to both ideas' extremes is a fantastically alien experience. All the major Abrahamic religions and apologetics emphasize how the true form of God (and all the other "higher" celestial beings, but especially God) is beyond logic, causality, physics and comprehension of the human mind, because of His Transcendent nature, and so, trying to apply logic to these entities is just trying to exercise in complete futility. So, with that said let us truly start:

He is an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self — not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence's whole unbounded sweep — the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It is perhaps that which the religion and philosophy of Christianity of earth have referred to indirectly by the common noun God, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the Muslims worship as Allah, and by which the Rabbis of Judaism whisper by a cryptic arcane Tetragrammaton that only appears in Latin transliteration as "YHWH" (sometimes denoted as "YHVH"). Most people think it would have been pronounced "Jehovah", "Yahowah", "Yahuh", or "Yahweh", but no one can really be sure. It was theorized that properly pronouncing the name of God will only result in insanity, hence why it is a blasphemy in Ancient Jewish folklore to attempt it.note  But for all intents and purposes, in this modern world, we know the Entity by the three-letter word: GOD.

The "elder" we represent in our art is, in fact, just one of many forms and may in fact have both female and male traits. In fact God, who exists on such a vaster plane of existence than humanity might think of a mortal form as laughably inconvenient and beneath the dignity of His Omnipotent status. The Bible rarely even gives any description that could let one picture a physical appearance, typically calling God a spirit, and the few times it does it's made clear this is only a form He chose for that occasion. In Kings 19:12 He comes as a simple whisper in the wind but in Ezekiel 1:27...

"... [H]igh above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord."
... and even when He shows Himself in this form and speaks through it to Ezekiel His Spirit is not limited to it and continues on with other tasks.

He can never die and could likely claim that it had been around since the dawn of eternity, and with strange aeons even Death itself will die and be thrown into Hell. He has existed before time itself began and will exist long after the fabric of space and time itself has died, is literally the beginning and the end of all things and thus has seen the beginning of history, and will usher in the end of history as well. On top of that, He never changes and is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever, and... our brain already hurts from the potential self-contradictory paradoxes this entity could incur, but that's actually just a very tiny part of theological wild mass guessing on what the nature of God really is, of which St. Thomas Aquinas' proposal that He is Existence itself—not the Universe, but Existence—is the least incomprehensible. There's a reason why some people can only sum Him and all the contradicting descriptions of Him up as "God works in mysterious ways".

Also, He completely controls our destiny whether we like it or notnote  He literally did everything. Unlike other Outer Gods, however, God at least provides love as long as you worship and revere Him, and He has the decency to either (depending on your point of view) work through slightly less eldritch intermediaries like the Archangel Gabriel or, if you're Christian, take A Form You Are Comfortable With (one we all love named Jesus), but then again, He can and will perform many violent acts like smite and punish thee and by His law we sinful humans would be bound for Hell for the tiniest amounts of Thought Crime (but God understands that Humans Are Flawed, hence why He sent Jesus to take the heat). He might be forgiving, but if anybody else, even the most powerful of the Angels, are stupid enough to think of themselves above the Most High, then he's definitely screwed.

His omnipotence, combined with pretty extreme measures when dealing with heresy and sin, still makes Him a force to be reckoned with. He's overall trying to be nice, but He is harsh. note  Even our best theologians and philosophers don't help in describing His Mind Screw-like nature, with interpretations so contradicting it ends up inspiring War, Madness and Terror on both sides.

Basically, Cthulhu is a cute little cutie compared to God. A related postulation is that His true form will Mind Rape you with its sheer eldritch glory and completely annihilate free will forever. Islam takes that last bit particularly seriously; being the omnipotent, omniscient being who created the Universe, it is forbidden to portray Him in pictures, partly, at least, because You Cannot Grasp the True Form.note 

In fact, just looking at Him causes you to explode. The Kabbalist philosophy is that a Seraph burns by consequence of being smart enough to understand the most high's glory better than anything else. In Exodus 33, Moses had to cower behind a rock to look at the back of God, and in the Quran (7:143), Moses insists that God allow him to see his true form. God instead says that he will reveal himself to a nearby mountain, and if Moses can take that, he'll be able to see God's true form. The mountain is obliterated and Moses is knocked unconscious just by seeing it.

  • Our Angels Are Different. How different? Nearly every time they appear, the first thing they say is, "Fear not." Let's take a look.
    • The biblical depictions of angels are more like traditional Eldritch Abominations than the fluffy cloud angels we see nowadays on Christmas decorations. The cherubim (Yes, those cuties we all know today) have four faces - a lion on the right, an ox on the left, a human forward, and an eagle backward. They have four wings, with HANDS under the wings, their legs described as simply "straight", and they have hooves. Furthermore, the exact meaning of "Cherubim" has been lost to time but upon observing a group of abnormal "Chayyot", "living creatures", Ezekiel is surprised by the revelation of them being Cherubim. This means, in the eyes of the Hebrews, their most outstanding characteristic amongst the other orders of angels was that they are alive. Not so cute anymore, is it?
    • Contrast the Seraphim, basically cherubim with extra wings that are on fire, whose name means "burning ones", and the Ophanim that take this to the extreme, being wheels intersecting themselves while turning, also flying with six wings, somehow attached while they're turning, whose name means "wheels". Remember, neither of these were understood to be alive by the Hebrews (though perhaps they simply don't resemble any living creatures, hence their names?). Add to all this that God's guard for the Garden of Eden was an angel armed with a flaming sword that turned in all directions (though in some translations, the flaming sword merely whirls around).
    • Some interpretations of Seraphim hold that their divine fire radiates a light so ineffably potent that it will SEAR FROM EXISTENCE anything that approaches too close, including, presumably, lesser angels. That's still nothing compared to God Himself, for whom the Seraphim are the mundane equivalent of matches, basically shining as tokens of His glory.
    • Seraphim are also described as dragon/serpent like (which led some experts to believe that they are loosely based on the goddess Wadjet from Egyptian Mythology, which is also a fiery snake). They consistently have six wings, and one of them is used to cover their feet. In spite of the fact that they are snake-like. Try figuring that one out. Note: "feet" is often used in biblical Hebrew as a euphemism for the genitals.
    • Some sources, the Book of Revelation being particularly notable, imply that there are angels so powerful and evil that God locked them up in a bottomless pit because He didn't want to bother with them. An infinite containment; even the infinite curvature of spacetime itself would probably be not enough to contain these monstrosities. And they will come out one day, at The End of the World as We Know It. The scarier implication is why God didn't use His Reality Warper abilities to eradicate these monstrosities, instead locking them up in an infinite void. Perhaps they're just as eternal as He is. The not canon to many Enoch suggests God, in a particular case of wrath (or perhaps strong parenting), filled the pit with stars to burn away their sin. But keep in mind, there are still some angels not confined to the pit that are still worrisome enough (see the revelation section below).
    • Thomist philosophy's angels aren't weird-looking because they have no appearance, being pure ideas. This concept was pretty much borrowed from Plato's Theory of Forms (Theory of Ideas). But the Platonic Ideas still definitely fit the "weird psychology" part. They have no need to reason or learn, because they know and are everything that they can know, simply as a function of their self-awareness. They are timeless and infinite and have no feelings; though they have enormous power to influence the world, it isn't by "action", as humans would understand it. The Real World as we see it is, in fact, just a shadow of these Forms, whom You Cannot Grasp the True Form. The perfect Idea of blueness "is projected" on what we "perceive" as a blue object. It's like The Matrix, only the Real World is not this real world but instead is mind screwy.
    • In The Ascension of Moses, we have Samael, the angel of death according to Jewish lore. In addition to being covered in eyes, he stands out from all of the other angels due to his sheer size. He is so vast, it would take 500 years to cover a distance equal to his height. But don't worry; despite how terrifying he is, he is a servant of God. Maybe. In addition to that, his name means "the poison of God."
    • Islam also holds the "Eldritch Abomination" view of angels. The Prophet Muhammad was terrified when he saw Gabriel in his true form. God, through Gabriel, spends the first few verses of the Sura (chapter) Al-Muddathir (the second Sura revealed) calming him down.
  • Though demons rarely get physical description in the Bible (being mostly evil spirits capable of disturbing and possessing humans), the Kabbalah offers a lot more variety of physical forms, ranging from angry, ravenous crows that spread like fire, to enormous, black giants covered with serpents, to disembodied, veiled heads with glimpses of horrifying eyes. The angels of sacred prostitution are much more humanoid looking though allowing them to have the Most Common Super Power. However, it is overall notably subverted with delicious irony, as all demons are said to be inferior to humans and powerless against those with faith, although their parasitic powers are exceptional. Indeed, we are probably seen as eldritch abominations by demons, considering that, allegedly, the first example in this section has given humans a blessing and a chance at salvation while cursing demons to an eternity of suffering.
  • Behemoth and Leviathan are also worthy of mention. It is to the world's great benefit that these two great beasts are mortal enemies, since it is said that their offspring would be the end of the world.
    • Leviathan is said to be 300 miles long, breathes fire, has impenetrable scales, and glowing eyes. Behemoth is described so vaguely that all that is clear is that it is a (possibly mammalian) herbivore, and also incredibly strong. Both are apparently invulnerable to anything that is not omnipotent (i.e. God).
    • It gets better. Part of the prophecies concerning the End of Days is that these two beasts will kill each other... and afterwards the righteous will eat them in a great feast. Did You Just Eat Cthulhu?
  • Though they're generally agreed to not be physical beings so much as metaphorically-described human empires, the four beasts seen by the eponymous prophet in chapter 7 of Daniel probably deserve mention here. They dominate the world one after another; the first resembling a winged lion with the heart of a human, the second a colossal bear that feeds on human flesh, the third a leopard with four heads and four wings (and in some interpretations, draws on a variety of big cats, as well), but the most eldritch of them all is the last one, which is notably not described as looking like any Earthly animal. It is described as having enormous claws, teeth made of iron, and ten horns which are the ten kings that rule the empire that the whole beast represents. In addition, the creature's smallest and most innocuous horn is strongly implied to be the most powerful and evil world leader the Earth will ever know. This thing is prophesied to singlehandedly rip the planet to shreds, and it ultimately takes God Himself to finally kill it at the end of the world.
  • One of the strangest parts of Revelation is its descriptions of Jesus. These include a man with a head and hair that is pure, snow white, eyes of fire, and feet of brass, with stars in his hands and a sword from his mouth who shines like the sun, and a lamb with a slit throat, seven horns, and seven eyes. Either Jesus becomes a Humanoid Abomination, or he's unlocked the ability to turn Super-Saiyan.
    • Some Christians have interpreted several verses, such as many in Corinthians 15, as that Yahweh changed mankind's original shape into that we have now, and that we will regain the original form when we meet Jesus again. Judging by the two forms Jesus takes in Revelation, we will most definitely become the First Ancestral Race. A rarely used trait of eldritch abominations is the ability to mutate surrounding lifeforms by its very presence.
      • It must be also noted, that it is believed according to tradition, that Postresurrection new bodies of mankind will reflect spiritual state of individuals. Bible talks a lot about future resurrected saints radiating glory and beauty of God. But it also implies that sinners with new bodies will be like walking abysmal horrors.
    • Revelation is full of them. The Beast, with its seven heads and ten horns, is one well known example.
    • Satan becomes one in Revelation as well; he is described as a "great red dragon" with seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns, so powerful that a single swipe of his tail sends one-third of the stars falling out of the sky. This is from the description of the War in Heaven between Satan and Archangel Michael (who was not described), each with their own army of angels. A common interpretation is that the fallen stars are the fallen angels that sided with Satan. So a third of all angels fell.
      • Remember, the Book of Revelation (and indeed, the entire New Testament) was originally written in Greek. The Greek word "aster" does not mean, "naturally occurring nuclear fusion reactor." Rather, it means "celestial body." "Angel," by contrast, means "messenger." Thus, "aster" is a physical description, whereas "angel" is a job description.
    • The Abomination of Desolation also counts as an Eldritch Abomination. Whether it is a Living Statue of sorts or a thing possessed by Satan the original Eldritch Abomination, the result is the same.
  • The original Jewish folklore has much, much more:
    • The above-mentioned Behemoth and Leviathan form a trio with the Ziz, a gryphon-like bird whose wingspan would block out the sun. The Ziz once threw away a rotten egg, and thirty cities were flooded by the liquid of it, and 300 cedars were broken by the shock of the falling egg. If the Ziz would stand in the middle of the ocean, the water would only reach his knees. Eldritch enough.
    • In some versions of the myth, Leviathan is the closest equivalent of The Anti-God infesting the primordial seas before God created universal order. And if God above was already weird for being completely outside of time, without beginning or end, then think of an entity that preceded the beginning, God Himself.
    • Then there's the little known Rahab as the "demonic angel of the sea" representing the primordial abyss, the water-dragon of darkness and chaos. Often associated with the above Leviathan, Rahab was a primordial entity that God slew at the beginning of Creation. He's mentioned so sparsely in Biblical accounts that you have to know where to look to find any mention or discussion about him, but this thing was around BEFORE God got to creating the world. In other words, out of all the things in Creation, Rahab was the one thing God did not create.

This section encompasses Classical Mythology (Ancient Roman and Greek Religions).

  • Khaos, when portrayed as a deity and not a giant void that reality came from (and the first of the Protogenoi, who aren't just older than the Olympians, they are older than even the Titans!), is described by Ovid as "rather a crude and undigested mass, a lifeless lump, unfashioned and unframed, of jarring seeds and justly Chaos named." Also, Chaos is the mass on which all the other Protogenoi (and therefore the universe, since Protogenoi are Anthropomorphic Personifications of cosmic laws) emerged. A lumpy, crude, unframed mass, creating the universe as we know it? Throw some tentacles on it, put it in the center of infinity, and call it Azathoth!
    • The rest of the Protogenoi are only marginally less eldritch. The serpent Ophion/Ophioneus, ruled the universe before creation, before incubating the Orphic Eggnote , which was then sliced open by Chronosnote  and Anankenote . The first deity from the Egg, Phanes/Eros/Protogonosnote . From then on, it's unclear which Protogenoi came into being first, there are Thesisnote , Hydrosnote , Erebusnote , Nyxnote , Gaeanote , and Tartarus.
    • Special mention must go to the last three. For starters, Nyx and Gaea can reproduce by themselves, but Nyx has Erebus (her brother) and Gaia has Ouranosnote  (her son) who become their husbands. We don't know what Gaea and Tartarus look like, but they have an affair once, see below. Nyx, on the other hand, appears as a human woman, and yet is so powerful that Zeus is terrified of her, while he has no problem messing with Gaea.
  • The first children of Gaea and Ouranous were the Hecatoncheires (meaning The Hundred Handed Ones), who had one hundred arms, one hundred hands, and fifty heads with no further details of their appearance given. Compare that to Ravana, who had only ten heads and twenty arms, though even that is enough to put him on the border of this trope. Now try and imagine what the Hecatoncheires looked like. You can't quite do it, can you? Nope, the only name the Greeks could even come up with for these things was basically to call them "those things with one hundred hands", which was about all we humans could comprehend of them. Well, here is what D&D came up with when they asked their artists to draw one.
    • It is well worth noting that the Hecatoncheires were on the Greek gods' side against the Titans, throwing a hundred mountains in a single salvo apiece - much like having a living artillery piece as an ally.
  • Typhon, the youngest and most powerful of Gaia's offspring. Lower half consisting of serpentine coils, a human upper half that reaches the stars, arms that spanned the East and the West covered with live dragon heads, a body covered in mighty wings, a main head like that of a horse and eyes that shot forth flames. When it first appeared, all of the Greek gods except Zeus & Athena ran like Hell. And even Zeus, the most powerful god of them all, wielding his mighty thunderbolts in battle, lost the first round against Typhon (by Typhon STEALING ZEUS'S SINEWS and HIDING THEM) and barely managed to seal it away under Mount Etna in round two. Before it was sealed away, Typhon also fathered most of the monsters present in Greek Mythology, such as Cerberus, the Sphinx, Orthrus, the Nemean Lion, the Hydra, and the Chimaera (their mother Echidna might also fit the bill). And how did Gaea give birth to this beast? By sleeping with Tartarus, a.k.a. a giant chasm. Mother Nature slept with Hell to give birth to a monster that frightened the gods themselves.
    • It gets worse. In some versions, he has a hundred "dragon" heads on his shoulders, which he can rip out to create a fully-grown monster; just one of those was enough to guard an imprisoned Zeus from the other Gods.
    • In some interpretations, the main head is a perfectly normal human's... that's red. And some works opt to replace all the heads with human ones. Or baby heads.
      • Although the fact that Zeus was willing to fight it says volumes for the guy's courage. And his re-entry into the fight was pretty awesome in its own right, too - he jumped off Olympus and started hurling thunderbolts before the inevitable end-battle finale of beating the thing over the head with an entire mountain, hitting him so hard that he sent him all the way down into Tartarus. Yes, that's right: Zeus clubbed Typhon into another world... with a mountain as his club and the other world being the Greek equivalent of Hell. There's a reason why he's King of the Gods.

        A different version upgrades it from Mount Etna to the whole island of Sicily - Typhon was standing in the sea before being hit. And as mentioned above, the blow didn't kill him but only trapped him underground - the flames, smoke, and lava of the volcano Etna come directly from his mouth.
    • His mate Eckidnai/Echidna is nothing to sneer at either, roughly equivalent to fellow Eldritch Abominations Tiamat and Leviathan in her role as a Goddess Beast of the Primordial Sea, Mother of a Thousand Young, and bigger and badder than any of her children, with an appetite to match. Basically all three of these mothers, and every other lesser known version of this common theme, are Cthulhu and Shub-Nigurath rolled into one nasty package.
  • Gaea produced another one when she slept with her own grandson Poseidon, unless she is one of Ekhidnai's and Typhon's children, that is. Charybdis was apparently once a beautiful naiad, but was transformed by Zeus into a horrible and utterly inhuman monster. According to The Other Wiki, in some versions, she is a huge bladder of a creature whose face was all mouth and whose arms and legs were flippers (a bit like a nautical Sarlacc) that belches out whirlpools, while in others, she is a giant whirlpool. When forced to choose between Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus quickly chose Scylla for good reason. After Homer, the author of the Illiad and the Odyssey this giant whirl of water sucks three times a day enormous amounts of water, devouring entire fleets in the process, and spits it out with a loud roar. Scylla is a monster with numerous heads which also destroys ships by eating the crews... The trick behind passing those two monsters is to slip exactly between them. Unfortunately, Odysseus gets too close to Scylla the first time, since he wants to avoid Charybdis, and loses many comrades to Scylla. Later on, his fleet is utterly destroyed by a storm and Odysseus, who's holding onto a part of a ship for his life, gets pushed back to Scylla and Charybdis and only survives Charybdis since he manages to catch the branch of a tree on the rock hanging over Charybdis and wait for Charybdis to spit out its water to get something to float on...
  • For her part, Scylla also qualifies, being described as "a monster with four eyes and six long necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth. Her body consisted of 12 tentacle-like legs and a cat's tail, while four to six dog-heads ringed her waist". Despite this description, most just default to portraying Scylla as like a 6-headed dragon, because the original description doesn't quite add and in places seems vaguely contradictory. One gets the impression that the description isn't so much literal as it is meant to convey the notion that she's inconceivably terrifying. This is especially the case since Scylla was originally a beautiful nymph who was turned transformed by a jealous rival, who tries in vain to escape from the horrible monstrosity she's become.
  • According to some versions of the story of Dionysus, a god's true form will kill a mortal in front of him/her, as evidenced when Zeus appeared in all his glory in front of Semele, Dionysus' mother, who was incinerated in the process (Zeus' "true form" was apparently a powerful tempest of thunder and lightning, since they were his main powers). This happened because Hera, jealous of the affair Zeus had with Semele, tricked Semele into asking for it when Zeus swore to grant Semele anything she'd ask for, despite Zeus' pleading not to due to the aforementioned consequences.

This section encompasses Norse Mythology.

  • Ýmir, a frost giant and the first living being. He was so big that the Earth was made out of his corpse (the soil from his flesh, the stones from his teeth, the grass from his stubble, etc). This means that he was at least as big as the planet.
    • Much larger than the Earth. His skull was used to make the sky. That means that his head alone was bigger than our whole world.
  • One of the monstrous offspring of Loki and a giantess is a giant serpent named Jörmungandr that started out big and grew so large that he encircles the world. He sleeps at the bottom of the ocean depths and waits for Ragnarök —not unlike Cthulhu— where he will storm Ásgarðr (in the company of his brother, Fenrir, and father, Loki), Mutual Kill Þór, and help to bring about the end of the world.
  • Níðhöggr chews the roots of Yggdrasill and has human corpses as snacks... To put its size in perspective, Jörmungandr may sit in an ocean, surrounding all of Miðgarðr in its coils, but that ocean still just sits on the end of one branch of the World Tree, while Níðhöggr's massive form encompasses the entire rootsystem of the World Tree itself. Also, in The Stinger of the Poetic Edda it's explicitly stated that he will survive Ragnarök.
    • There is also an eagle called Hræsvelgr at the top of the World Tree, and is the enemy of Níðhöggr (implying that they are of about equal size and power), and he has a hawk named Veðrfölnir sitting on his head.
    • Ratatoskr is the being that carries messages between Níðhöggr and Hræsvelgr. Commonly taken as a squirrel, albeit a squirrel large enough to climb up and down the World Tree with ease. Its name comes in two parts, rata- meaning climber, traveler, borer, gnawer - and -toskr - meaning tusk (or at least tooth). Thus Ratatöskr can be interpreted to mean the Climber Tusk, Bore-Tooth, Drill-Tooth, or Tusk the Traveler.
    • Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr, and Duraþrór are Harts or Stags, also said to live among the branches of Yggdrasill.

  • Egypt:
    • Apep, or Apophis, from Egyptian Mythology was a gigantic serpent-demon that embodied chaos and darkness. Every night it tried to eat Ra as he passed through the underworld, and every night Ra killed it - but it always came back. Sometimes it was strong enough during the day to temporarily consume Ra before his attendants cut him free again (this was the Egyptian explanation for solar eclipses). Prior to the demonization of Set, Apep was the canonical ultimate evil of Egyptian Mythology (and even after that demonization, many traditions still maintained that Set helped Ra fight Apep each night, because Set needs the world to exist for him to rule it) and there's no solid evidence that Apep was ever worshiped as a positive force. There were temples in Egypt dedicated to the worship of Apep, but it was more along the lines of praying "Please, please, please, please do not let this monstrosity ever win." It was sort of worship AGAINST Apep.
    • It is important to note that Set was not originally the God of Evil he is usually portrayed as nowadays. Even though he was associated with the harsh desert, storms, and chaos, in earlier myths, he defended Ra from Apophis every night. However, following the Second Intermediate Period he became demonized due to being favoured by deposed foreign rulers, and painted as a villain for his jealous murder of his brother Osiris and his intense rivalry with Horus, Osiris' son. By the time the Greeks settled in Egypt, Set was so reviled that they syncretized him with their own Eldritch Abomination Typhon. Furthermore, Set is associated with a bizarre animal often called the Set Animal or Typhonian Beast, sharing its head. The thing is, even now, historians and archaeologists have no idea what kind of animal this might be... if it is, in fact, anything that exists in this world.
    • Nut/Nuit/Newet/Neuth, primordial goddess of the sky and EVERYTHING in it. She separates the heavens from the earth, gives birth to and eats the sun and the moon every day, and sometimes appears in the form of a cow.
    • Geb, primordial god of the earth. His laughter creates earthquakes. Usually depicted with a snake's head, or as a ram, bull, or crocodile. With Nut, he fathered many of the more famous Egyptian Gods.
    • Shu is the father of Nut and Geb and god of the air. Artwork and legends often have him separating his children.
    • Nu was the Primordial Egyptian deity of the watery abyss and was usually male, but could be the female Naunet or the male Nun (not to be confused with Nuns 'n' Rosaries Nuns). Nu's repressentations varied in more that just gender, ranging from the animal (frog, snake), the humanoid (blue skinned old man), somewhere in between (frog-headed man, snake-headed woman), and the abstract (sacred lake, underground stream).
    • The Egyptians also believed in Ammit, which was likely the closest thing they had to a concept of Hell. She was a demon of some sort (no myth ever truly explained where she came from) described as a giant cross between a crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus, three animals that the Egyptians believed to be man-eaters. She lurked in the shadows of the Hall of Judgment, and would deliver a horrible second death to any soul whose heart was weighed down by sin on the Balance of Ma'at, either by devouring them entirely or just their heart. Since the Egyptians considered the heart (ib) an essential part of the soul, destroying it was the closest thing to the concept of total Cessation of Existence.
  • Benin
    • Fon Religion gives us Dan the snake, a snake that has coiled itself 3500 times above the universe and another 3500 times below it to hold existence as we know it, which it also helped its god create, together. Some Christian Fon identify Moses's staff as a representation of him. In Vodoo religion, which also has origins in Benin, Dan is identified with as one of the two serpents of Damballah, whom the large majority of spirits (including many divinities in their own right) are lesser aspects of.
    • Ayida-Weddo, a snake married to Damballah that simultaneously dwells in every source of fresh water, including the water in trees and is capable of altering the orbits of planets and stars. She appears to people as a rainbow.
  • Nyname of the Ashanti is pretty eldritch in form, the sun is merely one of his eyes. Ngula, who gave birth to him, was created by him before she did so. She is somehow both his mother and daughter. He is a very nice guy so it is hard to call him an abomination. His response to being struck repeatedly by an old woman was to not come back to Earth rather than strike back.

    East and South Asian 
  • Amenominakanushi, who is considered a sort of Supreme Being in some forms of Shinto and considered the center of all creation; all other gods, called kami, are considered a part of him. Kami themselves could be considered Eldritch Abominations as well, due to just how vague the definition of "kami" is, with descriptions ranging from anthropomorphic to amorphous. Shinto is an animistic religion, so everything in the universe has a kami, including humans. The kami also symbolize the forces of nature, the cosmos, the laws of physics, etc. When you put that all together, that means that the supreme deity of Shinto did not create the universe; it is the universe itself! He is an Eldritch Abomination consisting entirely of millions upon zillions of lesser Eldritch Abominations, including us.
    • Interestingly, he is only ever mentioned in the Japanese creation myth.
    • There's also the relatively obscure Japanese star-god Amatsu-Mikaboshi (literally "August Star of Heaven"), also called Ame-no-Kagaseo ("Brilliant Male"), who most likely qualifies, given the two rather... curious passages in the Nihon Shoki that mention it, both of which constantly refer to it as "the evil kami" and seem to suggest that at least three major deities - one of whom was the symbolic founder of martial arts - were required in subduing it. And that's not even getting into the more dubious sources, some of which seem to imply that the August Star is less a spirit per se than a malevolent force that predates creation.
  • Hundun, similar to Khaos above, is a monster formed from the remnants of the proto-world that was not shaped into the ordered universe in Chinese Mythology. Interpretations of what he is vary: he is sometimes an internal organ-less celestial dog, a faceless giant, a sentient force of nature, or even just a huge lump of flesh. All are Lovecraftian, but he is usually depicted as quite nice. In one story, two Emperors, Shu and Hu, thought that since they had holes in their bodies (eyes, mouth, nostrils, etc), Hundun should have them as well. They thus drilled those holes in Hundun, killing him in the process. In other words, Hundun was an Eldritch Abomination that got punched out by overzealous public servants.
  • Ananta Shesha, lord of all nagas from Hindu Mythology, is a gigantic serpent with a thousand heads so huge that it can hold all the planets on the hoods. Not only can it spew venom, but it can also breathe fire. It's also one of few beings that will remain after the destruction of universe, true to its name, Ananta - ''Infinity''. It's good thing that Shesha prefers to sing and praise the glories of Vishnu, who sleeps on its back, rather than play this trope straight.
    • Also in Hindu Mythology we find Krishna, in the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita, gets a description befitting any great old one: an infinite number of mouths, an uncountable number of arms holding an infinite variety of weapons, fiery breath that destroys the entire cosmos, and so on. This is the main hero in several versions of Hinduism.
    • Most artistic depictions of Hindu gods are very eldritch, weird and psychedelic.
      • Add to that how in Hinduism, absolutely Everything, from the most powerful Gods to the smallest particle, are simply very microscopic aspects of the supreme omnipresent energy-like Primordial Entity that which cannot be exactly defined (think of it as what would happen if you took Yog-Sothoth and the Biblical God above and turn the "all-in-one-and-one-in-all" aspect up to even more inconceivable levels).
      • Simply put, the Universe and Everything that exists (yes, EVERYTHING) is a part of a greater cosmic being, known as Brahman. Or put simply, the Universe is a Genius Loci that is an Eldritch Abomination. The difference is that it ultimately doesn't care about individual life-forms - it is interested, like you would be of bacteria on your skin, but it doesn't particularly care about what happens to them.
      • Which is why the various deities exist - one school of thought is that they're just the first souls who decided to give a damn and take care of things themselves. And Now You Know.
  • The Buddha, or at least the Mahayana (Buddhism merged with Far Eastern mysticism) version. Check his portrayal in Journey to the West where he is bigger than the entire universe.
  • The Gashadokuro in Japanese mythology. They're giant skeletons, fifteen times taller than an average human, composed of the amassed bones of people who died of starvation. They roam the land after midnight, grabbing lone travelers and biting their heads off to drink their blood. They're said to be indestructible, can turn invisible, and the telltale sign of their presence is a ringing in the ears.

    West Asian 
  • Mesopotamia:
    • Babylonian mythology gives us some frightful critters, but the (literal) mother of all of them is Tiamat. An Explosive Breeder made to symbolize the primordial sea, her exact appearance is unknown. Later depictions portray her as a dragon or serpent-type creature, but the most ancient portrayals described her form as including a tail, thighs, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a head (skull, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and lips), and insides (possibly "entrails," i.e. a heart, arteries, blood, stomach, womb... and other organs) also — which is vague enough to describe anything. She was big enough for innumerable gods and monsters to live inside her.
    • Tiamat and (possibly) Apsu and Mummu from Sumerian mythology, especially the Enûma Eliš, seem to fit the bill pretty well (the multi-headed dragon shtick is probably an invention of Gygax and Arneson, but the dragon bit, period, predates them by nearly a century, at least).
    • To give an idea of how monstrous Tiamat was, one interpretation of the Enuma Elish depicts a battle between her and Marduk, an invader of her domain. By the end of it, Marduk slays Tiamat by decapitating her, making her "upper half" (her skull) into the earth and her "lower half" (her tail) the sky.
    • Girtablilu, created by Tiamat, was so large that when it stood up, it cracked the sky.
  • Arabian legends (not the Quran) have fun beings like Kujata, an immense bull with all sorts of reduplicative organs, especially eyes, that carries the world on its back. It stands on the back of Bahamut (which is Arabic for "Behemoth"), an even larger fish with many of the same properties. Jorge Luis Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings mentions a legend that states that even Isa (Jesus) passed into unconsciousness upon seeing Bahamut, later telling God that he did not know what he saw.
  • Lotan of Canaanite folklore, a seven headed sea serpent who was either an aspect of a greater god called Yam, his pet and attack dog or part of the cosmic ocean. Lotan possibly becomes the seven seas after being defeated by Baal-Hadad.

    Native American 
  • Tau and his offspring from Guarani Mythology.
  • There's a reason the Native American Mythology page lists all the Cthulhu tropes, all of them dedicated to the Lakota.
  • Lots of people view Aztec Mythology as being the worship of a bunch of Eldritch Abominations due to copious (though likely exaggerated) Human Sacrifice. But the purpose of all that sacrifice was to keep the Aztec gods (especially the sun/war deity Huitzilopochtli) strong enough to defend our world against the depredations of the horrific Tzitzimime—skeletal, spider-like star demonesses with flint blades for tongues and rattlesnakes for penises. (And yes, they were still considered female.)
    • Even putting their bloodthirstiness aside, the Aztec pantheon is exceptionally strange and alien, even by mythological standards. Most of the gods had many, many different names, forms, appearances, roles, and general alter egos, to the point where it's often unclear whether two gods were considered separate entities or not. (Even archenemies Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca are not immune to this; Quetzalcoatl was sometimes called, "the White Tezcatlipoca.") They'd actually destroyed and remade the world four times before this one (which has to be some sort of record), going through four different suns in the process, and many of them took forms of the "hide under the bed" variety, often involving skeletons, Mix-and-Match Critters, things being substituted for body parts that really weren't meant to be, and lots of feathers and obsidian blades. Plus, their names all look totally unpronounceable if you're not familiar with them. After all that, copious requirements for Human Sacrifice almost seem like an afterthought.
    • But the biggest and baddest thing to come out of Aztec Mythology is undoubtedly Cipactli, the gargantuan monster that inhabited the primordial ocean that existed before physical creation. It's described as part crocodile (which is what its name means), part fish, and part toad, and as having an extra mouth at every joint. The gods couldn't get to creating with this... thing running around (one version of the story says that it ate all the previous versions of the world), so Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca actually put aside their eternal rivalry to kill it, and even then it managed to take off Tezcatlipoca's foot (to put this in perspective, Tezcatlipoca was the Top God and believed to be nigh-omnipotent) before finally going down. Then the two gods made the world out of its corpse, because it was just that big. The struggle of the gods against some primordial, horrifyingly incomprehensible thing before they can start doing god-things is actually a very common theme in world mythology; Typhon, Tiamat, Apep, Ymir, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, Behemoth and Leviathan, and even Satan's Great Red Dragon form from the Book of Revelation (all of which are described on this page) all have traits of this sort of story.
    • While most people (including neighboring cultures to the Aztecs, many of whom shared the same base mythology) would consider Tezcatlipoca to be evil and Quetzalcoatl to be good, like with any proper Eldritch Abomination, it's nothing like that simple. One of the jobs of Tezcatlipoca is to ensure that Quetzalcoatl does not return to full power... because if he did, the resulting cataclysm would destroy the world and kill every living thing. Again.
  • Silla of Inuit Mythology and most of its variations recognized by related cultures. Basically it is the air every thing breathes and the main ingredient of everything's soul. It is not exactly benevolent either as it wants those parts of itself that make up all that lives back, to the point it will convince kids to wander out into the tundra where they will freeze to death. It will not be completely satisfied until there is no more breathing.
  • Several Native cultures have tales of the wendigo. In some, it's just a human twisted into a monster by cannibalism. In others, it's a primal spirit with no fixed shape. Anyone whom it reveals its true form to can become host to it, and it drives people insane merely by existing. As long as it has any possible hosts left it cannot die, and it can shift from host to host instantly.
  • Ancient Andean deities tended to be rather eldritch, especially in the first civilizations, like Chavín de Huantar. Just a few representations of their gods have been unearthed, but these representations are rather uncanny, monstruous and they may as well be real Outer Gods or just abominations hard to describe. There is the Lazón Stela, the Raimondi Stela, the Tello Obelisk and the Yauya Stele. What these monsters represented back then is up to debate, although some people believe these were visions of people high on drugs extracted from cacti.

    Other Mythologies and Religions 
  • Romani Mythology: Some fleshy critters easily rival Lovecraft in terms of hideousness, from vagina beetles to spindly hagfish to dog/kitty headed things responsible for The Black Death. Almost all of them are the children of the king of the Loçolici (humans cursed by Satan) and Ana, the queen of the Keshali; he raped her multiple times, sometimes goaded by his son, the Feathered Fiend Melalo, resulting in all of these abominations that still are breeding incestually with their siblings under the earth, producing generation upon generation of disease demons.
  • The Book of Revelation has them on the side of evil and good.
  • Nautical Folklore: The ocean. Be respectful to it and it will feed you and make you rich. Disrespect it and it will drown your homes. Or just makes sure that you will never be heard of again. Also home to more countless eldritch abominations.
  • Gnosticism. Imagine, if you will, a giant snake with the head of a lion and godlike power over all the physical matter in existence, which was created when a Goddess attempted a form of asexual reproduction that had been expressly forbidden by the Celestial Bureaucracy of which she was the lowest rung. Oh, and it's an egocentric tyrant which demands worship and mistakenly believes itself to be the most powerful being in existence. That's the Demiurge. That's what the Gnostics believed ran the planet.
    • His Archons are actually described as this, their real forms being mind-numbingly horrifying (and one of them is a solar deity). They also eat human souls and may be aspects of the the Demiurge (the snake lion thing mentioned previously).
    • Also, it's important to point out that the Demiurge was the Gnostic view of the god that everyone else was worshiping - you know, God as described extensively above? That's right, the Gnostics were basically the original reinterpreters of Abrahamic religions as cosmic horror, which is pretty impressive for the second century!
  • The Olympic Spirits (no, not those ones, these). While the author was pretty much forced to depict them as minor deities (cos the Inquisition and all), their pagan roots are barely disguised, and they are hinted to be something other than what they are described. The sheer historical mystery about these entities is enough to remind one of Arthur Machen's works.
  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster, according to its worshippers, is the omnipotent, invisible, undetectable creator of the universe... who just so happens to look like spaghetti and meatballs. His spaghetti-and-meatballs form also resembles Azathoth. His noodly appendages guide us all.
  • The Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square gives off these vibes. It's a monstrous, amorphous, tentacled creature that allegedly took up residence in a building in Berkeley Square and killed several people. It's really telling that the only way they could name it was to call it a "nameless thing".
  • There are several cryptids that could qualify. The Mothman, for example, which also qualifies as a Humanoid Abomination.
  • The Bunyip of Australian Aboriginal myth - there is no agreed-upon description, and it can be anything from a Small, Annoying Creature to Ultimate Evil. According to Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My, "Most accounts describe it as some sort of large carnivorous, aquatic creature that dwells in billabongs (seasonal lakes) and rivers, preying on unsuspecting travellers. Some variants claim that it can become invisible, or take the form of a beautiful woman to lure in victims."
  • Iku-Turso of the Finnish national epic Kalevala is described as a giant octopus capable of walking on land and blighting out the skies with a magic tree. Fortunately Turso was defeated by Väinämöinen's magic music.
    • Technically, the appearance of Iku-Turso is never really described in Kalevala, but since it is very similar to the Tursas, the Finnish equivalent to the Kraken, it's usually descipted as looking like the Kraken, ie. a big octopus-creature.
  • Speaking of big octopus-creatures, the Lusca from Caribbean mythology certainly seems like one of these. It is a colossal (estimates very between 75 and 200 feet) sea monster with the tentacles of an octopus, the teeth of a shark and the head (sometimes multiple heads) of a dragon. To attack people on the surface, it places one tentacle on the bottom of the ocean and the other up on the surface. Some people say it's some sort of evil spirit.
  • Hunnic myths describe that everything has a soul - from animals to swords and winds, everything is/was/will be a spirit. The world was made when the first spirits got bored of living in the dark forest, and light fires from themselves, only to see a nice new world - the dark forest was the sky, the campfires are the stars, and the world was Earth. The spirits also are part of families that can (and probably are) in fights with each other, and often take forms to fight and destroy other spirits - whom then fly back to their stars and can make a new bodies for themselves... The kicker? The spirits like to be HUMANS. That is right, Humans Are Cthulhu!


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