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July 29 , 2007

At the Mountains of Madness


At the Mountains of Madness is a novella by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. The story is told in first-person perspective by the geologist William Dyer, a professor at Miskatonic University. He writes to disclose hitherto unknown and closely kept secrets in the hope that he can deter a planned and much publicized scientific expedition to Antarctica. On a previous expedition there, scholars from Miskatonic University led by Dyer discovered fantastic and horrific ruins and a dangerous secret beyond a range of mountains higher than the Himalayas. A smaller advance group, led by Professor Lake, discovered and crossed the mountains and found the remains of fourteen ancient life forms, completely unknown to science and unidentifiable as either plants or animals. Six of the specimens are badly damaged and the others uncannily pristine. Their highly evolved features are problematic: their stratum location puts them at a point on the geologic time scale much too early for such features to have naturally evolved.

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