Origin: The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria by William Scott-Elliott
His stature was gigantic, somewhere between twelve and fifteen feet. His skin was very dark, being of a yellowish brown colour. He had a long lower jaw, a strangely flattened face, eyes small but piercing and set curiously far apart, so that he could see sideways as well as in front, while the eye at the back of the head — on which part of the head no hair, of course, grew — enabled him to see in that direction also. He had no forehead, but there seemed to be a roll of flesh where it should have been. The head sloped backwards and upwards in a rather curious way. The arms and legs (especially the former) were longer in proportion than ours, and could not be perfectly straightened either at elbows or knees; the hands and feet were enormous, and the heels projected backwards in an ungainly way. The figure was draped in a loose robe of skin, something like rhinoceros hide, but more scaly, probably the skin of some animal of which we now know only through its fossil remains. Round his head, on which the hair was quite short, was twisted another piece of skin to which were attached tassels of bright red, blue and other colours. In his left hand he held a sharpened staff, which was doubtless used for defence or attack. It was about the height of his own body.... The appearance of the man gave an unpleasant sensation, but he was not entirely uncivilised, being an average common-place specimen of his day.
— The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria by William Scott-Elliott
The Lemurian race, native to the lost continents of Lemuria and early Atlantis, were grotesque, misshapen primordial giants at first fashioned from gelatinous and ethereal bodies after emerging from the Astral Plane, which served as a sort of progenitor race for the human race, before slowly evolving - or being reshaped by their own or other, more alien races - into the more familiar material form of pre-humans which would, in their time, evolve into the likes of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man.
In their more primordial form the Lemurian race were gigantic, quasi-amphibian/reptilian/piscine, almost shapeless, darkly gelatinous creatures with misshapen heads, three eyes (one, the pineal eye, in the back of the giant's shapeless head), and difficulty standing or walking completely erect. They would later decrease in size, devolve the pineal eye into a purely astral/psychic organ, become more solidly material and more recognizably mammalian, and in time become indistinguishable from primitive forms of man.
The beings for most of their reign over Lemuria held a crude and undeveloped command of art and music, and had a bestial, almost vampiric diet - existing largely by drinking blood and eating the soft internal organs of animals. Nevertheless, they were also remarkably skilled innovators and builders, building cyclopean basalt cities and buildings on a massive scale and with great architectural skill, such as the foundations of what in time would become the great Atlantean capital City of the Golden Gates, and the Atlantean and Lemurian technologies by many perhaps un-exaggerated accounts also included perfecting the art of iron-working, developing advanced breeding technologies involving artificial heat and coloured lights to alter the form and nature of domesticated animals (and presumably themselves) into many of the bewildering varieties of forms which prehistoric - as well as modern and even mythical - life can be found to have taken, and creating networks of global trade and colonization using gigantic ships and "air boats", powered by sheer will through the race's advanced skills in magic and sorcery; in fact, their skill in - and addiction to - black magick was said to have been what rendered the last inhuman members of the race extinct by causing the entire continent of Atlantis itself to sink beneath the waves in a catastrophe resulting from some botched magickal working.
The progress of the Lemurians is said to have been guided by the mysterious "Nagas" through the establishment of cults in Lemuria and Atlantis; this race has been variously identified by scholars as possibly being the Serpent People, Great Race of Yith, Leviathans, Deep Ones, Star-Spawn of Cthulhu and even Cthulhu itself, and there is, perhaps, some truth to all of these theories. Whatever the actual identity of the Naga race, it appears to be true that the Nagas, through their schools and temples and cults, brought civilization and order to the Lemurians, and also disaster by teaching them the secrets of black magick, leading to the destruction of the Lemurians and their entire continents, leading to their replacement on earth by their more recognizably proto-human descendants by the late Thurian Age.
Heresies and Controversies
- The Lemurians are not extinct, but live on, in the form of the subterranean giant races of the People of K'n-yan. (fan theory)
- The "Nagas" of Lemurian legend (see Lemuria)...
- may be Serpent People, due to their identification as hybrid serpents and men. (fan theory)
- may be the minds of the Great Race of Yith, incarnated in the forms of Lemurians and/or Serpent People; the similarity in form of various words associated with these races (Naga, Naacal, Pnakotus, Danava, Ponape, etc.; all denoted an "Exalted" or "Master" race). (Fan theory; with the possible exception of "Pnakotus", this is more or less technically true, though probably coincidental.)
- may refer to the Deep Ones, Ghouls, Tcho-Tchos, or all three interchangeably. (Fan theory, which assumes a perhaps fanciful close genetic relationship between the three nominally humanoid creatures.)
- There is more than a coincidental resemblance between the gelatinous, etherial, quasi-shapeless form of the early Lemurians, and that of the pliable Shoggoths; that the primitive Lemurians and Shoggoths both were able to be reshaped by what appears to be a combination of weird primitive pseudo-science and psychic power/hypnotism too is perhaps no coincidence: the ancestors of Lemurians were the same protoplasmic, ethereal/Astral substance from which the Shoggoths are formed, and very possibly the Shoggoths themselves, hypnotized/baked into human form! (Fan theory. Implications from At the Mountains of Madness (fiction) seem to back up the idea that modern vertebrates were formed from Shoggoth protoplasm.)
Associated Mythos Elements
- setting: Thurian Age
- setting: Hyborian Age
- location: Lemuria, Mu
- location: Atlantis
- location: R'lyeh
- race: "Nagas", which might be...
- race: would descend into pre-human and human creatures such as...
- language: Naacal
- tomes: among the tomes possibly written by these beings or their early descendants are...
- largely originated with the Theosophists, including Helena P. Blavatsky and William Scott-Elliott (see The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria)
From the Etheric Second Race, then, was evolved the Third — the Lemurian. Their bodies had become material, being composed of the gases, liquids and solids which constitute the three lowest sub-divisions of the physical plane, but the gases and liquids still predominated, for as yet their vertebrate structure had not solidified into bones such as ours, and they could not, therefore, stand erect. Their bones in fact were pliable as the bones of young infants now are. It was not until the middle of the Lemurian period that man developed a solid bony structure.... The organs of vision of these creatures before they developed bones were of a rudimentary nature, at least such was the condition of the two eyes in front with which they sought for their food upon the ground. But there was a third eye at the back of the head, the atrophied remnant of which is now known as the pineal gland. This, as we know, is now a centre solely of astral vision, but at the epoch of which we are speaking, it was the chief centre not only of astral but of physical sight.... A curious fact to note is that when the race first attained the power of standing and moving in an upright position, they could walk backwards with almost as great ease as forwards. This may be accounted for not only by the capacity for vision possessed by the third eye, but doubtless also by the curious projection at the heels....
Somewhat before the middle of the Lemurian period, probably during the evolution of the third sub-race, the gigantic gelatinous body began slowly to solidify and the soft-boned limbs developed into a bony structure. These primitive creatures were now able to stand upright, and the two eyes in the face gradually became the chief organs of physical sight, though the third eye still remained to some extent an organ of physical sight also, and this it did till the very end of the Lemurian epoch. It, of course, remained an actual organ, as it still is a potential focus, of psychic vision. This psychic vision continued to be an attribute of the race not only throughout the whole Lemurian period, but well into the days of Atlantis.
— The Story of Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria by William Scott-Elliott