No, I'm not referring to Mrs. O'Grady.
I'm not talking about her cow, either.
No, today we're talking about what Lovecraft termed "Eldritch Abominations". These are horrifying mockeries of natural law that just cannot be described. Oh, you can say words that fit, such as tentacles, ichor, gibbering, squamous, rugose, and yonic voids but you will never convey the maddening otherness. Period. Because those words are just symptoms.
Eldritch abominations don't just LOOK like some ancient, universal infant had too much time to kill and an abundance of Play-Doh™. In fact, many of them don't look like that at all. They run the description gamut from "human" to "OHGAWDWHATTHEFUCKISTHArgblgrlwblbblbblbb*gibberdrool*?!?". They don't always have to be literally big, bad monsters. Much like alien geometries, there's something... off... about them. Then again, "big", when used in conjunction with an EA, likely means "You are looking at a fraction of the actual being and that fraction is using the Sears Tower to scratch it's butt."
Not an accurate size chart.
These beings come from "beyond" ("...the stars", "... the dawn of time", "... rational human thought", etc.) and most of them alter reality on some level. In some cases, just reading an eldritch abomination's NAME can cause pants-wetting and madness. Running? Naaaaaaah. I'll just sit here and soil myself, thanks muchly.
Whatever they are, though, not all of them are malevolent. Some are benign or at least amoral and willing to help for shits and giggles. Most of them, even if they ARE on the good side of the coin, just don't give a shit because they're beyond human morality.
As for examples, we obviously consider Lovecraft's pantheon to be the most visible, what with Cthulhu being all popular and shit but, seriously? These bitches show up EVERYWHERE and you don't even recognize them as such because they're CRAFTY.
From a literary standpoint, we've got authors from Tolkein to Terry Pratchett giving us Ungoliant, Shelob, Bel-Shamharoth, the Infernal Star Toad with a Million Young, and, wait for it, Mary FUCKING Poppins!
Maybe she's existed for a trillion years with it. Maybe it's Maybelline.
Yep. That's right. Mary Poppins. She of the talking umbrella (which is probably a minor abomination on its own) and the bottomless carpetbag. She who sits on clouds and adjusts her makeup (so that she won't frighten her young charges... right away...). Ancient and magnificent being who BABYSAT GOD. Mary Poppins has powers beyond human understanding and everyone KNOWS that there's something off about her but she's just so fucking helpful. In that "I'm not gonna take yer shit, so get yer scrawny ass to bed or we're not going to take a field trip through sidewalk drawings tomorrow" kinda way.
And, there's MORE! Nintendo's Kirby? Eater of fucking everything? Abomination. Mr. Mxyzptlk. Yep. The House in House of Leaves. Abso-fuckin'-lutely. Pop culture LOVES to hand these things off to unsuspecting readers/players/whatevers.
As for film, HOO boy. Gozer from Ghostbusters who has no form but that which someone gives it. Like, say, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. The Tall Man from Phantasm is a cosmic horror anchored in another dimension. The Thing? It may not actually be one but considering that a single cell of this being can cause a catastrophic infection of the entire planet within 3 years, it certainly comes close enough. The ship from Event Horizon. Oh, lord, the ship. We don't talk about the ship. And finally? This guy.
Awww! Eldritch candy!
This thing is The Greedy from Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure. It scared me shitless as a kid. All slopping around spewing out and eating candy and in search of a "sweet heart". Not a girlfriend. A sweet heart. Literally. This needs to not freak my shit out as much as it does, but there you have it.
And, finally, I'll leave you with these gentlemen.
Ya know whut? I'm happy.
These are Blobfish from Australia. They're deep sea fish so they don't have swim bladders but are mostly gelatinous. They're in danger of extinction because they live in the same area as a lot of edible fish that are caught by trawling the depths. Personally, I think they're heralds of Cthulhu and they show up only to visit pain and madness on fishermen. They are probably not, but I like to hedge my bets.
In any case, here's some good news. Just because something is ugly does not mean it's a harbinger of doom from beyond the depths.