- "The Great Race's members were immense rugose cones ten feet high, and with head and other organs attached to foot-thick, distensible limbs spreading from the apexes. They spoke by the clicking or scraping of huge paws or claws attached to the end of two of their four limbs, and walked by the expansion and contraction of a viscous layer attached to their vast, ten-foot bases."
- -H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Out of Time
The Great Race of Yith are a race of sentient beings of extraterrestrial origin. They are capable of projecting their consciousnesses across time, inhabiting the bodies of individuals of other species and swapping their minds with their own. At some point in the distant past, they abandoned their original bodies for those of a species living on the primitive Earth, and built a flourishing civilization on the planet in their new bodies.
They were eventually wiped out by a race of extraterrestrial beings known as the Flying Polyps, but they survived by projecting their minds en masse into an insectoid race that will one day inherit the Earth after mankind.
The shape of the original forms the Great Race took on Yith are unknown; after migrating to Earth, they housed themselves in a species native to the planet. These beings resembled large cones, with a muscular foot for locomotion and four extensible arms or tentacles projecting from the apex. Two of these arms ended in claws or pincers, the third terminated in four clustered trumpet-like organs, and the fourth was topped with a spherical yellow "head" with three dark eyes, four stalked flower-like hearing organs on top, and a number of green tentacles dangling beneath.
The Great Race spoke using their pincers to produce a series of clicks and scraping sounds, and probably also with some form of telepathy, and wrote using their head tentacles. How they ingested food or drink is unknown, but it is possible the trumpet-like organs served as mouths.