In the last episode of 2011 edition of the anime, Ging nonchalantly mentions about the Dark Continent to Gon. He mentions that their “known” world is just a tiny island in a lake called Mobius lake surrounded by a large continent called Dark Continent. He explains that Chimera Ants are from the Dark Continent and the largest World Tree is actually a sapling and the real whole tree is even taller found in Dark Continent.
A small model of map of Dark Continent is shown which contains creatures of ridiculous sizes, chaotic environment, even possibility of civilization. With manga in hiatus forever, fans are left to wonder about the secrets of Dark Continent. So far, Togashi has teased us about the Dark Continent with quite a bit of info in the Dark Continent Expedition Arc.
Table Of Contents
- What we Know Already
- Known Creatures and Resources in Dark Continent
- Analysis and Breakdown of the Dark Continent Map
- Proof of Civilization or Intelligent Creatures in Dark Continent.
- Man-made Buildings/Structures in Dark Continent
- Fauna in Dark Continent Land mass
- Flora in Dark Continent Land mass
- Natural Occurances in Dark Continent Land Mass
- Sea/Ocean in Dark Continent
- Why Guides are needed to travel to Dark Continent?
What we know already?
Based on records, humans went to Dark Continent five times and each time they brought back a threat with them . A book called “Journey to the New World” contains legendary text about the Dark Continent but it is considered a fiction by many people. But the books explain several inexplicable occurrences in the known world. There are five known threats so far to the mankind.
Known Creatures in Dark Continent
|1. Chimera Ants|
|2. World Tree|
|7. An unnamed Herb for All-illnesses|
|8. Nitro Rice|
|9. Gatekeepers *|
|10. Magical Beasts **|
|* – Located in New Continent found before Dark Continent.|
** – Believed to be originated from Dark Continent
Five Threats in Dark Continent
Five Resources in Dark Continent
|1. Unnamed Herb to cure 10000 diseases|
|2. Unmanned Rock|
|3. Nitro Rice|
|4. Trinity Elixir|
|1. Beyond Netero|
|2. Isaac Netero|
|3. Zigg Zoldyck|
|4. Linne Horsdoeuvre*|
|5. Don Freecs**|
|6. Unnamed survivor with Zobae disease|
|* – She appears briefly in Elections arc |
** – Believed to be alive
Known Creatures and Resources in Dark Continent
1. Chimera Ants
Chimera Ants, which the humans fought are from the Dark Continent. They are of an average size of two meters. But Chimera Ants isn’t something new to the known Hunter X Hunter world since Chimera Ants of size 10cm is common in the known world.
By eating other creatures, a Chimera Ant queen can impart the characteristics of the ingested creatures onto the next generation of Chimera Ants it gives birth to. Even the Chimera Ants that caused so much destruction are classified as just a B level threat (Though it is unclear if it is for an average Chimera ant or all ants including even Mereum and Royal guards.).
2. World Tree
World Tree in the “known” world is the longest tree known to mankind. But it is only a sapling that has only enough nutrients to grow upto 1784 meters. Ging explains that a “real” World Tree takes root on a mountain, intakes magma, surpasses the atmosphere, and becomes even bigger at the world’s “outside”.
Hellbell is a mysterious snake-like being and one of the five threats. It lives in the swamp lands situated south of Mobius in the Dark Continent. It has two tails and a bell like lump thus known as Hellbell. They infect the prey with homicidal desire and they have a danger rank of A.
Federation of Ochima did an expedition to the Dark Continent in south of Lake Mobius searching for the longevity food, Nitro Rice. Hellbell annihilated 99% of their forces, leaving only 11 survivors, a testament to its power.
Brion has a human like body with a spherical ball as his head. United States of Saherta went through the north of Lake Mobius in the Dark Continent and ended up in a sea of trees. After entering that for 400km, they found the ruins of an ancient city with a mysterious labyrinth. It was there they found some herbs able to cure 10,000 different illnesses.
Brion, the guardian of the ruins, destroyed them effortlessly, leaving only 2 survivors. Their current threat level is A.
Brion revelation is the most interesting of the five threats. They have human like body and they guard an ancient city. It may be a proof of presence of human like intelligent beings. Also Ging refers them as plant weapon which doesn’t add up to its physical structure.
Appearance of Ai is not clearly shown, they seem like a gaseous mass with limb like extension. The Mimbo Republic with the help of the Hunter Association sent an expedition to the Dark Continent searching for the Trinity Elixir, they were surrounded by Ai. Only three survivors returned without a shred of their sanity. Currently their danger level is A.
Nanika residing the body of Alluka is revealed as Ai from Dark Continent. Ai is given the title “Codependence of Desire” which may explain its relationship with Alluka and Killua. Ai seems to have an intelligence to a kid level and also have feeling of sadness as seen when Killua asks Nanika to never come back.
“Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person manifesting low self-esteem and a strong desire for approval has an unhealthy attachment to another person and places the needs of that person before his or her own.“
Ging explains that effects of Ai is still in the world. Description of Ai as a blackish gaseous form resembles Alluka in Nanika’s form. Also Nanika says the word “Ai”, which is the name of the threat.
For detailed analysis on Alluka and Nanika, their powers, rules and their character click here.
Pap’s appearance is mysterious, but it has feelers which it inserts in the skulls of its human victims. Begerossé Union sent 1000 people into an expedition to the north of Lake Mobius in the Dark Continent. They found a rare mineral called Unmanned Rock, even with one small bead can generate 20,000 kilowatts of power for one entire day.
Unfortunately for them, Pap destroyed them and left only seven survivors. Some of its victims were also found in the known world. Pap has a danger ranking of A.
7. Zobae Disease
Zobae is a mysterious sickness and one of the Five Threats in the Dark Continent. The Kukan’yu Kingdom including Beyond Netero embarked on an expedition to the Dark Continent to search the alchemical plant Metallion. They were successful in its retrieval but on the return trip, the group lost its way, took the wrong route.
Its members ended up contracting the Zobae Disease. Only seven survived including Beyond and a Hunter infected by the disease. At the end of the expedition the plant withered and died. Its danger rank is B+. It has a high fatality rate, and of the expedition who contracted it, only one survived out of all the members.
The only known survivor, a Hunter, obtained the uncanny capacity to live entirely self-sufficiently for 50 years practically immune to death. It seems self-sustenance is achieved through feeding on one’s own flesh, and that the disease greatly accelerates the regeneration of tissues.
8. An unnamed Herb to cure all kinds of diseases.
It is a plant found in the Dark Continent which is capable of curing ten thousand diseases. Brion the plant weapon guards the Herb in the mysterious labyrinth city on North shore of Lake Mobius. United States of Saherta sent an expedition to obtain it but only two survived.
9. Unmanned Rock
It is an ore that generates electricity when placed under water. One small bead can generate 20,000 kW a day. It is found in the mountain ranges of the northeastern shore of Lake Mobius. The Begerossé Union attempted to retrieve the stone, but of the 1,000 people sent, only 7 survived Pap’s attack.
10. Nitro Rice
It is the ultimate secret to longevity, presumably a cereal found in the Dark Continent. Found in the swamps south of Lake Mobius, it is inhabited by Hellbells. Tthe Federation of Ochima attempted to retrieve it, but 99% of the members of the expedition fell prey to the Hellbells that inhabited those swamps, with only 11 of them surviving.
It is a plant with unknown properties known as Alchemy plant. The Kukan’yu Kingdom managed to get the plant, but went off-route on the way back. Many members contracted Zobae, and the plant died. There were only six survivors including Beyond Netero and a Hunter that had been infected by the disease.
12. Trinity Elixir
It is the mother solution for all sorts of liquids, located in the South-southeast in the Dark Continent. The Mimbo Republic sent an expedition but were surrounded by Ai. Only three survivors returned, but empty-handed and without even a shred of their sanity.
13. Don Freecs
Don Freecs is the only possible human being living in Dark Continent. Ging explains that author of “Journey to the New World” is Don Freecs who entered Dark Continent 300 years ago.
It has two volumes, East and West out of which only East volume is found. Ging hypothesizes that Don Freecs is still writing the book and alive using Nitro rice and “cure all” herb. Don Freecs shares the same surname with Ging, though unclear what their relationship is.
Gatekeepers are a clan of Magical beasts that control the New Continent and act as the guardians of the Dark Continent. They are the only ones capable of guiding the humans to the Dark Continent.
Guides send a threat along with the returned visitors for rude human’s behavior. Not a lot is known about the Gatekeepers yet. But we see an image of well built gate which suggests that the gatekeepers may have high intelligence and civilized.
Apart from the info as seen from the above article, we know very little about the Dark Continent. There are two panels which gives a bit of info about the Dark Continent but both leaves the imagination upto the readers to figure out. One shows the general world map and the other is a view as seen by Isaac Netero, Zigg Zoldyck and Linnet Auoble when they entered the Dark Continent.
Analysis and Breakdown of the Dark Continent Map
Let us analyze the creatures, environment and objects shown in those two panels. Below content is my own interpretation and speculation of the images shown to us.
Proof of Civilization or Intelligent Creatures in Dark Continent.
The most interesting in Dark Continent which is shown in the map are the artificial man made like structures. There are few clues in the canon story so far about the existence of intelligent creatures in Dark Continent, suggesting a possibility of a civilization.
As mentioned before there is an ancient labyrinth city guarded by Brion. The Gatekeepers has a layered well structured gate suggesting them as a high equipped and intelligent race. Even chimera ant queen possessed intelligence higher than an average animal.
Man-made Buildings/Structures in Dark Continent
There is a very circular stadium like building in the middle of the Dark Continent map. It looks so similar to a Colosseum. To be fair, it could very well be a nest of some animals or big insects. But it is highly unlikely and the pointed poles above the Colosseum seems to be further proof that it is an artificial structure.
2. Ritual Site.
There is a square shaped structure having stones placed at its edges and corners. There is a large stone at the center of the square, which is similar to sacrifices given in a ritual site.
There are two different set of areas both resembling to a graveyard. First picture resembles a graveyard containing crosses. Maybe calling second picture a graveyard may be a reach but they do look like gravestones.
4. Building / Houses
These look like an apartment style building or a small rectangular shaped houses. There is not a lot to add to it, just that they don’t look a naturally made structure. Second picture look like a house or castle built above a moving vehicle.
Are the living things there that advanced to make a floating UFO like vehicles? Are they simply a work of someone’s Nen? Are they naturally occurring land structure that is floating due to some magnet like phenomenon? We don’t the answer for now and we may never know it.
Personally I would say they look like an UFO that is on verge of docking with it stands extended. Togashi clearly wanted the readers to know it is floating, since he drew a shadow under it to portray its position.
Fauna in Dark Continent Land mass
Most unique creature in the land is these blackish giants looking similar to a Umibozu. Umibozu are yokais found in sea that attack sailors. Are they giant humans or are they Umibozus? Whatever they maybe, if they can use Nen it will be very frightening.
Fire Breathing Dinosaurs
These look like typical four legged dinosaurs with short hind limbs and tall back legs. Unlike a dinosaur, they breathe fire similar to mythical dragons.
Eight Legged Dinosaurs
These look like a dinosaur or a lizard or technically both are same. They seem to be several meters tall and have pointed scales at the back.
Four legged Dinosaurs
Another dinosaur found is a four legged one, that is being eaten by an another creature.
These are similar to typical bisons in the known world. They don’t look that huge compared to other creatures. They seem to live in large groups.
4. Giant Worm
Worm several times larger than the average sized worms in the known world.
An average sized Octopus like creature in the pond.
6. A giant Crab
Crab like creature with eight tails and they look similar to a spider too.
7. Flying Dragon/Humanoid
These are really interesting. They look like a humanoid dragon like creature like how Chimera ants looked or they may be just be a flying dragon.
Looks like the elephants in our real world. But there are few differences, they have four ears on each sides or maybe a single ear with four folds. They also have bush like tails unlike a elongated one.
Looks similar to a seal by looking at its teeth. Also their body proportions are similar to a seal. They are larger than a dinosaur and big enough to eat them.
10. Giant Insect
A typical flying insect but the size is similar to that of a dinosaur. They have eight wings and several legs. These can be seen catching an elephant pretty easily.
Simple boars with nothing specific interesting.
14. Some Creatures nest
Looks like a giant nest for some creature.
14. Mysterious Head – Tsurube-otoshi
If I have to take a guess on what this head is, it may be a reference to yokai Tsurube-otoshi. Tsurube-otoshi are a severed head creature that suddenly drops from trees and eat the people there.
15. Mysterious Hand
Whose hand is this? How large can this person be for hand to be that big. This hand is not a feature of an insect or an animal, it is definitely a human hand. This is probably the most definite proof in the map for existense of human like creatures in Dark Continent. They may be just a tree that looks like a hand but I doubt it.
16. Bird – Gastornis
This bird looks similar to now extinct prehistoric bird Gastornis. They are really tall around human height in the normal world, and they maybe even taller in Dark Continent.
Flora in Dark Continent Land mass
1. World Tree
World tree which Ging spoke of, that eats the magma of volcanoes and piercing outside the atmosphere can be seen. Like Ging said, they grow several kilometers tall and go above the clouds.
2. Carnivorous Plants
Carnivorous plants that eat large animals as big as dinosaurs.
3. Giant Mushroom
Tall group of mushrooms, with height few meters long from the looks of it.
4. Sea of trees
Ging mentions about the sea of trees in the north of Dark Continent while taking about the plant weapon Brion. These may be the trees he was talking about.
Looks like palm or coconut like trees, with nothing special in their appearance
We are shown three volcanoes, which may imply that volcanoes are very common in Dark Continent. Also all of them seem to be in active state.
Lightning looks really huge and seems to cover several large kilometers more than the average in “known” world. Maybe they aren’t natural but made by Nen of someone.
Sea/Ocean in Dark Continent
It is a giant reddish Squid like creature. They may be a reference to mythological creatures like “Akkorokamui” or “Kraken” or they may be literally the same creatures as well. Akkorokamui is a mythological creature in Japanese folklore.
2. Blue Whale
There is a blue whale in the Darlk Continent seas. Another being that is also common in “known” world. Dark Continent whales might be even bigger or may be of magical type. They may be a reference to “Bake-kujira“, an whale like yokai in Japanese myths that brings great curse and misfortune.
3. Sea Dragon
Dragons are common in Japanese mythology and it is no surprise dragons exist in Dark Continent. This dragon is greenish in colour. They may be a reference to Wani or Tatsu, both being sea dragons. Both has the power to transform into a human form.
These are definitely a reference to sea Yokai Umibozu in Japanese mythology. Often a few meters to several tens of meters length, they attack the ships and sailors and drowns them.
5. Tsunami waves
Tsunami waves are several meters long. This may be one of the main reasons that traveling to Dark Continent is very difficult.
Why Guides are needed to travel to Dark Continent?
We know that without the help of Guides, one cannot travel to Dark Continent. The main reason for that is probably the Tsunami waves and the dangerous big sea creatures. It definitely seems impossible to travel by normal ships to go there considering so many risks involved.
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As every fan of HxH, I am really excited about the adventures on the Dark Continent. Though it is a huge doubt that we will ever get to see it, but thinking and analyzing it in the mean time keep me interested in it. I tried to check every possible detail on those images and gather as much info as possible. If you have any other info or if I am mistaken somewhere do comment it.