So I tried googling them, all I got was

A:[unspeakable horrors not meant to be seen][Which does not help]

B:[A giant tentacled balloon]

C:[Some strange shadow skeleton pseudo-death god]

So yeah, pls enlighten me on this, it's been bugging me forever :/

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    $\begingroup$ "The Eldritch Abomination is a type of creature defined by its disregard for the natural laws of the universe as we understand them. They are grotesque mockeries of reality beyond comprehension whose disturbing otherness cannot be encompassed in any mortal tongue." –Google. It's not, "not meant to be seen," it's incomprehensible and incommunicable. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Jul 11, 2016 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ One might say you have to see it to understand it, and in understanding go mad. If you want reference material, several different takes, some good newer stuff in a couple of collections called Space Eldritch (and Space Eldritch II) $\endgroup$
    – Seeds
    Jul 11, 2016 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ You can check Thaumcraft 4 mod from Minecraft, it uses Eldritch extensively :) $\endgroup$ Dec 13, 2016 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ Nadreck of Palain VII from E.E. 'Doc' Smith's Lensman series: A frigid-environment, poison-breathing, four-dimensional, long lived, brilliant, compassionless, indescribably monstrous, doom-bringer. It (not he) slaughtered entire planets of it's enemies by 'cowardly' telepathic manipulation instead of crude force. And it was considered a good guy. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Mar 6, 2017 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ If we could describe one so that you could understand it, you would go insane. $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2017 at 18:37

4 Answers 4


The main idea of being called Eldritch Abomination is

There are no words that can encompass such disgusting foulness, not in English or any other human tongue. They are The Other. The Inconceivable. Alien beyond comprehension, their sole existence is an affront to all reason.

So the answer to your question is (not to be confused with µ if trying to find a link!) — the question itself must be “unasked”; no answer can exist in the terms provided.

Use of the Eldritch Abomination in storytelling requires that no details be given. The reader/viewer/player has inherent fear of the unknown or brings up fears from his own imagination that works specifically for him.

Jaws (movie version) turned out much better because they couldn’t get the robot shark to work and Stephen directed it instead to not show it. Remember the scene with the roast and the dock? Or Brody on the beach just waiting for the monster to appear? Showing only the protagonist, that was scary.

is scary

So what makes the scene so good? In the first episode of new video essay series “The Discarded Image,” Julian Palmer suggests the answer is Spielberg’s knack for putting the audience in the place of the actor: The director uses color choice, camera placement, and foreshadowing to go “beyond the proscenium arch” and engage viewers directly. He’s not the first to do so, of course, and Palmer frequently uses Alfred Hitchcock’s work to contextualize Spielberg’s innovations in suspense.

(Bold mine) That is, the nature of the monster is not at all important here, is never shown and not yet present, and the fear (in the story as well as in the viewing) comes from the inner fears of the protagonist.

Likewise, the first Alien movie was much scarier before the alien was seen in detail, and the fragments that showed were, well, alien, so you didn't know how it fit together from seeing the parts. Once it became known in diagrams and cultural references, it culminated in the Far Side cartoon of “Alien family dinners” and was definitely not scary anymore.

Alien Dinner

I've never liked horror films before, because in the end it's always been a man in a rubber suit. Well, there's one way to deal with that. The most important thing in a film of this type is not what you see, but the effect of what you think you saw. —Ridley Scott

As for Lovecraft’s squid, not everyone finds them scary or creepy. Invertebrates might have been creepy to New England fisherman, and he likes to use cool words like squamous, but today finding a live Architeuthis is really cool, not horrifying.

(Fine art is not smut…it's acceptable as a featured image on Wikipedia, right? But under spoiler tag just in case.)

Squid not scary

So no, not even Google can help. “What is it?” is what it is. You have to find it within yourself to bring forth the worst fears you can imagine, and fear the unknown.

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    $\begingroup$ I stared at your final picture for a few moments before I saw what it was. Then I was scared, confused and angry (+1) $\endgroup$
    – TrEs-2b
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ OMG I thought hentai was something new. They've been at it for hundreds of years! $\endgroup$
    – Chloe
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, when I saw Descent the scary thing was someone getting stuck while caving; long before any monsters showed up in the movie. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for an excellent answer, but you might want to put an adult content disclaimer at the top in reference to the final picture. I'm not offended, but I'm as unoffendable as the EA are undescribable. Wish that all the forum membership shared my sentiment. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2016 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Fwiw, it was a featured image on Wikipedia, so it showed on the front page without any searching for porn or click-through. So some large group already decided it's acceptable for general viewing. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jul 10, 2016 at 20:14

Eldritch abominations are creatures (usually from another dimension) which are so different from our own biology that the mind cannot comprehend them. For example the old ones in Power of Five or the creatures from the dungeon dimensions in Discworld. These creatures can often cause people who see them to go mad or have there minds changed in some way. Many eldritch abominations disguise themselves as humans leading to an extreme reaction when the creatures true form is revealed.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would they go mad then? Out of fear? Or some other extreme emotion upon sight that their mind breaks. Which theroretically means they are invincible ain't it? $\endgroup$
    – Planarian
    Jul 10, 2016 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on the story. Mostly because of fear and because of mind breaking geometry such as a 5 sided triangle. Most elder itch abominations are practically invincible due to god-level power although some are not. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2016 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Planarian Well, in Discworld you'd go mad because your brain simply couldn't comprehend the shapes and colors that made them up. It would try, fail, try again, fail again, and continue until it got burned into a feedback loop that it could never escape, and you'd become a gibbering loon, fit only for the madhouse or politics. (If that last bit isn't a Terry Pratchett quote, I've been severely misinformed.) $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Jul 11, 2016 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ It has been said that the dungeon dimensions creatures from Discworld generally look like a cross between an octopus and a bicycle. Picturing that is an exercise to the reader. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2016 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ That's about what I get when I google it; not sure what the OP's results must have been... $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Jul 11, 2016 at 5:18

If you take a look at Merriam Webster:


"Eldritch," also, comes from a time when otherworldly beings were commonly thought to inhabit the earth. The word is about 500 years old and believed to have come from Middle English "elfriche," meaning "fairyland."


Something abnominable - worthy of or causing disgust or hatred

So an Eldritch Abomination is something disgusting from another world.


The concept of the eldritch abomination by its nature is impossible to pin down. It is generally regarded as something that is so far outside of normal human experience as to be incomprehensible, whether it's because the thing follows motivations and desires that no human has ever pondered, or it takes a shape that have never existed either in nature or the mortal mind, or it simply exists on a scale so mindbogglingly vast that the mind cannot cope with the scale of it. Exactly what about your abomination is so alien as to confound the viewer on a fundamental level is entirely up to the story you want to tell.

The abomination itself however is secondary to the theme that drives the cosmic horror genre, which is that man's place in the universe is so utterly insignificant next to the beings and forces that exist outside of the relative safety of planet Earth. So really, what an eldritch abomination is, is whatever is most likely to make somebody acutely aware of just how much there is out there that they do not understand. If you've never read some of Lovecraft's stories, you should take a look at The Colour Out of Space or At the Mountains of Madness to get a feel for what kind of themes this concept is used for.


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