The night is dark and stormy at the beach. A crowd prays to the thunder in the skies. All hail the god of chaos, who sleeps no more. Cthulhu, the great, green, bringer of madness rises! A colossal shadow emerges from the ocean. Wielding tentacles, wings and eyes that reach deep into your soul and your mind. If Cthulhu, the terrifying demi-god from classic literature, was here, who would it attack first? What would happen when you looked at it? And why would you bring out the big guns?
Cthulhu is the most famous monster created by the mind of H.P. Lovecraft, the writer who popularized cosmic horror. This nightmarish creature lived on Earth long before humans. And now it’s lurking under the planet’s crust. Watching. Using telepathy to communicate until one of us awakens it with the help of an elaborate ritual.
Its mission? To rule or destroy humanity. And wait till you encounter its most devastating ability. Unless you were a lone sailor lost in the sea, you wouldn’t have much to worry about. At least not for a while. Cthulhu’s presence is so shocking and incomprehensible that merely seeing it would make you overthink your own existence and realize how unimportant you were.
Cthulhu can break your mind and make you go mad. And you wouldn’t be alone. For years, Cthulhu would attract other wanderers. It would lead lost souls to ancient temples, where the cult of Cthulhu would be reborn. And mind enchantment would be nothing compared to what comes next. Because once enough people were mind-trapped, Cthulhu would awaken.
It would emerge somewhere in the South Pacific. That’s where the ancient stone city where it sleeps is located. Hungry to take over the world, Cthulhu would move to either Chile or New Zealand. There, it would begin its rampage and domination. Your best bet to survive this atrocity would be to shut your eyes and run away. Anyone who got a good look at it would lose their sanity.
The world’s governments would deploy robotic technology to make first contact with Cthulhu. But it’ll be useless. Nothing would get in the way of its destruction and collection of followers. So what could you do? Well, in this chaos of chaos you’d still have three options. One. Accept your inability to stop Cthulhu and join it. Two. Run. Or try to.
Humanity’s only true escape would involve leaving Earth in spaceships. But we lack the technology for such a worldwide breakout, and time wouldn’t be on our side. Plus, the monster’s mind control would still call us to it. Three. Fight. Join the resistance and humanity’s last stand.
To avoid going mad by looking at the monster, you would need to train in blindfolded combat. But our armies would also face off with our new overlord’s foot soldiers. A legion of shapeshifting aliens created by Cthulhu to lead its human followers. We’d need to hurry before the world became overrun by these spawns.
Lucky for us, humanity counters with all kinds of weapons. Submarines with torpedoes, battleships, fighter jets. Unlucky for us, the minds of those controlling these weapons could be taken by Cthulhu to further wreak havoc and destroy the Earth. And after our first successful attack on the creature, we’d realize it was all for nothing.
Cthulhu would quickly recover from any fallout of the attacks and continue gathering followers. Very unlucky indeed. Sooner or later, we’d turn to the big boys. Nuclear weapons. What’s left of humanity that isn’t brainwashed would agree to aim all of the nukes in our possession at Cthulhu. We’d blast it with the power of three billion tons of TNT.
But that would also lead to massive destruction. Billions of people would die and entire continents made uninhabitable. The survivors would be packed into whatever land is left and forced to deal with the beginning of a mortal nuclear winter. The radioactive material covering our planet would ravage starving populations. And yet, Cthulhu would remain standing.
Weakened, but alive. That would just buy us time while it recovered to one day face a much weaker human race. In the end, you never stood a chance. Phew! I’m sure glad this nightmare lives in a book. Giant squids, however, sure lurk in the depths of our oceans.
- “How Cthulhu Works”. Jonathan Strickland. 2021. entertainment.howstuffworks.com.
- “Here’s What Would Happen If We Blew Up All The World’s Nukes At Once”. Kyle Mizokami. 2022. popularmechanics.com.
- “How Large Is Cthulhu?”. 2021. scifi.stackexchange.com.
- “This Cthulhu-Like Creature Crawled The Ancient Seafloor”. Eleanor Imster. 2019. earthsky.org.