Abyss Dweller
Abyss Dweller
Binomen N/A
Body type Humanoid
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Aggressivity Unknown (apparently low)
Habitat Deep ocean abyss
Diet Carnivorous (presumed, since there are no plants in their habitat)
Locomotion Bipedal
Status DD
Behind the Scenes
Universe In the Abyss
Created by H. G. Wells
You thought I should find nothing but ooze. You laughed at my explorations, and I've discovered a new world!
— Elstead, In the Abyss (1896)

This is a yet-unnamed species of sapient reptiles which live in the abyssal zone of the world’s oceans, over five miles deep under the sea. They were discovered in 1896 by the scientist Elstead, who built a bathysphere-like device that allowed him to become the first living surface dweller to visit their hidden world.


The abyss dwellers appear to be reptiles, with chameleon-like features, but their high foreheads and overall humanoid shape are testimony of their advanced intellect. Their skin is purple on the head and limbs, but phosphorescent grey on the rest of the body.

While they are bipedal, their bodies are somewhat rotund and they usually rest on a tripod formed by the two legs plus the muscular tail. The arms and legs are both described as frog-like, although the hands are similar to human hands, despite being webbed. Their mouths are wide, with horny lips and small nostrils; the eyes project from sockets like a chameleon's; and they have branched gills protruding from the sides of the head.

They have no visible ears, but must have a sense of hearing of some sort since they communicate vocally. This also suggest that they may have lungs, which is remarkable, considering the extreme ocean pressure of their habitat.

Society and technology

The Abyss Dwellers live in cities of roofless constructions made principally out of phosphorescent bone, and decorated with large sponges and crinoids. Their tools are built from bone and metal, and they wear clothes made of placoid scales. As they live underwater, they naturally have no knowledge of fire and the only metals they possess – such as copper – come from sunken ships' wreckage.

They seem to worship humans and human artifacts, considering them to be some form of divine creatures, possibly analogous to how humans see angels. All the knowledge they have of the human world comes from sunken ships. They are known to perform religious ceremonies which involve chanting.

We should be known to them however, as strange, meteoric creatures, wont to fall catastrophically dead out of the mysterious blackness of their watery sky. And not only we ourselves, but our ships, our metals, our appliances, would come raining down out of the night. Sometimes sinking things would smite down and crush them, as if it were the judgment of some unseen power above, and sometimes would come things of utmost rarity or utility, or shapes of inspiring suggestion. One can understand, perhaps, something of their behavior at the descent of a living man, if one thinks what a barbaric people might do, to whom an enhaloed, shining creature came suddenly out of the sky.
— H. G. Wells, describing the creatures' reaction to Elstead's arrival


See also

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