Cthulhuwatch (3)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Popular, Read-outs

As noted in May 2010 and November 2010, paleontologists have been participating in a sinister cover-up — by insisting that recently discovered fossilized body parts of an alien-god from the planet Vhoorl are nothing but a previously unrecorded species of octopus, or some other equally implausible bullshit.

Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin is the latest frontman for the Cthulhu denialist operation! At the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada, the fossilized remains of nine 45-foot (14-meter) creatures have long perplexed researchers. In the 1950s, the notable palaeontologist and zoologist Charles Lewis Camp of U.C. Berkeley puzzled over these fossils, which seemed to be deep sea creatures (ichthyosaurs, of the species Shonisaurus popularis, was the prevailing notion), but whose bones were arranged in a peculiar way.

“In his papers [Camp] keeps referring to how peculiar this site is,” McMenamin told Science Daily earlier this week. “We agree, it is peculiar.” [The reference to a deceased scientist's papers — it's deliciously Lovecraftian!]

“It became very clear that something very odd was going on there,” said McMenamin. “It was a very odd configuration of bones.” How odd? Really odd.

In the fossil bed, some of the shonisaur vertebral disks are arranged in curious linear patterns with almost geometric regularity, McMenamin explained. [...] Even more creepy: The arranged vertebrae resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, with each vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker.

McMenamin’s fantastic hypothesis — it was a giant Triassic kraken who killed the shonisaurs! It was the most intelligent invertebrate ever! It arranged the vertebral discs in double line patterns, with individual pieces nesting in a fitted fashion as if they were part of a puzzle! A puzzle that was also a self-portrait! And then the kraken died and didn’t leave a fossil, which is why no one ever knew it existed before! — should not distract clear-minded observers from what is so obviously the case.

Those fossils aren’t ichthyosaurs; they’re the remains of an alien-god from the planet Vhoorl. Cthulhu!

***

Third in a series of posts investigating the great Cthulhu cover-up scheme perpetrated by a sinister cabal of paleontologists.

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Joshua Glenn is an author, publisher, and semiotic analyst. He is co-author (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) of THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, co-editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and co-author (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) of the family activities guide UNBORED and three forthcoming spinoffs, including UNBORED Games. He is editor of HILOBROW and publisher of the Radium Age science fiction imprint HiLoBooks. Also: Glenn manages a secretive online community known as the Hermenautic Circle; he is founding editor of the e-book club Save the Adventure; and he's a frequent co-host of Boing Boing's podcast GWEEK. In the ’00s, Glenn was an editor, columnist, and blogger for the Boston Globe's IDEAS section, he co-founded the international semiotics website SEMIONAUT, and contributed to CABINET, SLATE, and elsewhere. In the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT, worked as a dotcom and magazine editor, and contributed to THE BAFFLER, FEED, and elsewhere. His publishing company is King Mixer, LLC; and his semiotic analysis consultancy is Semiovox LLC. He lives in Boston with his wife and children.