Mysteries: does the Cthulhu monster really live near the Nemo Point?
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was with Edgar Allan Poe the most famous American horror writer of all time and in the stories of the Cthulhu Mythos described a “blasphemous deity”.
Cthulhu, described in the short story “The Call of Cthulhu” as a “slimy and green cosmic egg” with “soft tongs” and a “horrible squid head with writhing antennae” about the size of “a mountain that walks and stumbles”, would be a kraken, a gigantic sprawling monster of alien origins resting for millennia in the submerged city of R’lyeh in a death-like sleep.
Cthulu, R’lyeh and Nemo Point
Lovecraft also gave the coordinates of R’lyeh: 47°09’S 126°43’W in the South Pacific Ocean. So far we are in the realm of fantasy rather than mysteries, but the curious thing is that R’lyeh and Cthulhu according to Lovercraft would find themselves in the middle of nowhere, at the point farthest from any land that emerged.
This point, called Nemo Point or oceanic pole of inaccessibility, really exists but was calculated with precision only in 1992, while “The Call of Cthulhu” was published in 1926. Nemo Point is actually not far from where Lovercraft imagined it, at coordinates 48°52.6’S 123°23.6’W.
A mysterious submarine sound
Only a coincidence? Maybe, but in 1997 some oceanographers recorded a mysterious sound coming from the depths of the ocean near where Lovecraft had placed R’lyeh and about 2000 kilometers East from the Nemo Point.
Was it Cthulhu who was awakening from his millennial sleep? Certainly the low-frequency sound (called “Bloop”) was so strong that it surpassed what was emitted from a blue whale. In the end the scientists solved the mystery, explaining that it was not a sea monster but the noise produced by the collapse of ice walls in Antarctica.
A cemetery of space debris
No mystery is related to the choice to use the Punto Nemo (so called in honor of the Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's novel “Twenty thousand leagues under the seas”) in a sort of graveyard for the debris of space craft that falls on the earth. The remains of the Russian space station Mir and of the Chinese one Tiangong 1, for example, lie in this vast stretch of ocean.
The decision to pilot the dying space vehicles in that area is due to both the distance from the land emerged, both in the presence of a few known marine life forms, since the Nemo Point is located within a rotating ocean current that repels and removes water richest in nutrients. If Cthulhu ever existed, then, he would have serious problems getting food.