R'lyeh (pronounced Roo-lee-ah or Rill-AYE-eh) is a fictional city that first appeared in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. R'lyeh is a sunken city deep under the Pacific Ocean where the godlike being Cthulhu resides. R'lyeh is characterized by an architecture based on non-Euclidean geometry.
Coordinates of Latitude 47° 9′ S, Longitude 126° 43′ W have been stated by Lovecraft but never successfully investigated. August Derleth used the coordinates of S. Latitude 49° 51′ S, Longitude 128° 34′ W in his own writings. These coordinates place the city 5100 nautical miles (5900 statute miles, 9500 kilometers), about ten days' journey for a fast ship, from Pohnpei (Ponape), an actual island of the area, which consequently plays a part in the Cthulhu Mythos as the origin of the "Ponape Scripture", a text describing Cthulhu.
In Lovecraft's fictional Cthulhu Mythos, the most ubiquitous liturgical phrase is "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" -- "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits [or lies] dreaming."
The R'lyeh description that follows is taken from the city's description in The Call of Cthulhu.
- A coastline of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry surrounds the nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh, which was built in measureless aeons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. Great Cthulhu lies here, and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults.
Only a single hideous, monolith-crowned citadel, in which great Cthulhu is buried, actually emerged from the waters in the events recorded in The Call of Cthulhu. The greenish stone blocks, the dizzying height of the great carven monolith, and the stupefying identity of the colossal statues and bas-reliefs command awe from human onlookers.
The city is a vista of vast angles and stone surfaces - surfaces too great to belong to anything right or proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and hieroglyphs. The geometry of R’lyeh is abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours.
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