Lovecraft's god lives! Scientists name octopus-like creature Cthulhu

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Apr 4, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT

Who knew a sleeping ancient whose mere presence can cause endless madness could be so teeny-weeny?

H.P. Lovecraft's best-known creation has existed in the world of fiction for 85 years, but now he's found a new home -- inside of a termite! Seriously. Coming in at a beyond-microscopic 10 to 20 microns, two newly discovered single-cell protists were named after Cthulhu and his daughter, Cthylla.

But why name a microfasciculumque that helps termites digest wood after Cthulhu? According to the scientists who discovered it, they way it moves is reminiscent of "an octopus swmming," but more importantly, they did it "as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe."

But is this single-celled beastie truly Cthulhu in nature? Only one way to find out -- to the videotape!

We're imagining it many times its size, possibly crawling out of an ocean. Infinite madness across the Earth? Yeah, we could see it.

(via Science, Space, and Robots)