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I know it's in the ocean, and off the coast of an uncharted island, but I'm not sure where the island is. I'd been thinking it was Antarctica but I recently realized I was confusing it with At the Mountains of Madness.

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    You probably got a downvote because Lovecraft gives us the exact location in the story. Read my answer below.
    – Andres F.
    Jan 6, 2012 at 15:27
  • @AndresF. Fair enough. I read the story a few years ago and don't have a copy of it on hand though, so it's not something I had on hand to look up. Jan 6, 2012 at 15:30
  • I didn't give you the downvote :) But anyway, every Lovecraft story is easily found online... which is what I just did.
    – Andres F.
    Jan 6, 2012 at 15:34
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    Alright, so don't ask questions about books without obtaining and searching the book first. Check! Jan 6, 2012 at 15:54
  • @Sterno I don't think you need to be that strict, but doing some research before asking something simple is always a good idea. :) Jan 6, 2012 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

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From the Wikipedia article on R'lyeh:

  • Lovecraft claims R'lyeh is located at 47°9′S 126°43′W. [H.P Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928)]
  • Writer August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent of Lovecraft and co-creator of the Cthulhu Mythos, placed R'lyeh at 49°51′S 128°34′W. [Derleth, A. The Black Island (1952)]

The latter coordinates place the city approximately 5,100 nautical miles (9,400 km) from the actual island of Pohnpei (Ponape), the location of the fictional "Ponape Scripture". Both locations are close to the Pacific pole of inaccessibility (48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W), a point in the ocean farthest from any land mass.

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Lovecraft gives us the precise location:

Then, driven ahead by curiosity in their captured yacht under Johansen's command, the men sight a great stone pillar sticking out of the sea, and in S. Latitude 47°9', W. Longitude l23°43', come upon a coastline of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less than the tangible substance of earth's supreme terror - the nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh [...]

I wonder what Google Maps shows there... :P

Source: the full story available online.

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    If I didn't get the signs wrong... maps.google.com/…
    – badp
    Jan 6, 2012 at 15:53
  • @badp, a shame there is nothing interesting there :P
    – Andres F.
    Jan 6, 2012 at 15:54
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    OR IS THERE?? puts on conspiracy theory hat Only one way to know!
    – badp
    Jan 6, 2012 at 15:54
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    @badp I checked Satellite, Webcam, normal view, and Google Earth - nothin'. Anybody else in to charter a boat to take soundings of the supposed location of R'lyeh? :) Jan 6, 2012 at 16:04
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    @IanPugsley - no thank you, I would like to keep my sanity. Jan 6, 2012 at 16:10

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