Cthulhu lives! He’s just really small. And kinda cute.

Science, Space & Robots brings the paralysis of inhuman knowledge, as creatures tiny and writhing cast their malevolent gazes up at the electron scanning microscope. Sleeping or in trance, they seem, but still staring, always staring, and twining their long tentacles that earned them the name “Cthulhu”:

Newly discovered tiny octopus-like microorganisms have been named after the fictional monsters created by American horror author H.P. Lovecraft. The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, live in the gut of termites and help them digest wood. The scientists say in a release that they decided to name the creatures after the Lovecraft monsters as “as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe.”

UBC researcher Erick James, lead author of the paper describing the new protists, says, “When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming.”

Yes. Another one for the Lovecraft watch. Now, if they wind up finding some of these in Lake Vostok, we’ll know he was onto something. Video at the link.

[via Mr. Al Cummins]