I understand the urge to explore the last unexplored regions of the world. I do. And I get that exploring a huge mountain range buried underneath a sheet of ice is an exceptionally tempting scientific plum. But as anyone who knows their Lovecraft, this is simply not a good idea.

Nevertheless, Robin Bell intends to do just that. Bell, a marine geophysicist, will lead an expedition to the Gamburtsev Mountains later this month, purportedly to “image and to understand the ice sheet and the mountain range.” And I’m sure that she doesn’t want to unleash a flood of repulsive ghouls from beyond the stars upon an unprepared world while she does that. But the most basic tenets of the Cthulu mythos tell us that almost nothing else can happen when well intentioned scientists go poking their noses in places feared by the Elder Things.

Bell will keep in touch with Scientific American during her trip, no doubt until the team’s last transmission breaks up amid blood-curdling screams and pleas for mercy. But hey, that first Shoggoth sighting is going to be pure media gold… for like ten minutes, until the awakened beasts rush free from their bleak prison at the bottom of the planet, turning the world into a charnel house where the living envy the dead. That’s something, right?

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