HunterxHunter: Dark Continent, The Unexplored World
The world of HunterxHunter is huge, it encompasses 5 main countries across 6 continents all separated by oceans and huge distances. These areas all have their own geographical features and are home to many millions of people of different cultures, races and historical backgrounds. But in chapter 338 of the manga, it was revealed that the world we have been introduced to was just part of what is termed as the known world and actually a small part of an even bigger world. The current 6 continents most people thought made up the world were just a small collection of islands located within the center of a gigantic lake called Lake Mobius and surrounding this lake is a huge landmass that largely remains unexplored and is known in the HunterxHunter universe as the Dark Continent.
We first find this out when Ging Freecs tells Gon Freecs about the origin of the world tree and how the one they were sitting on was merely a sapling. He explains that there are more of these trees within the HunterxHunter universe located in the dark continent which are much bigger than the singular world tree in the known world and are able to grow into the atmosphere while having roots so deep that they absorb magma and run across whole mountain ranges. He also goes on to explain that the chimera ants that Gon and his friends fought originated from this external place and implies that what they’ve seen so far is merely a small piece of the bigger picture.
Most people are not aware of the dark continent as they 5 major governments of the world, the V5, keep this a secret from them. This was done to discourage any person from carrying out their own private expeditions to the dark continent due to the danger it poses not only for the expedition but also a fear of bringing something back. This was something the V5 had learnt the hard way as there have been a total of 149 expeditions and each failed except for 5 which were done with the cooperation of the gatekeeper and the guides, all 5 times however they brought back what is termed as the 5 great calamities. Before we get into that it’s important to know why it’s even worth venturing out to the dark continent if each expedition only caused problems.
Because of how huge the continent is, there are alot of materials, herbs and elixirs that can be found on the dark continent. These substances can be used to produce amazing things which hold tremendous benefit for all of humankind such as the unmanned rock which is a mineral that once submerged in water is able to generate electricity and even a piece the size of a bead can generate 20 megawatts of energy. There are also medicinal herbs and foods such as a herb that can cure any illness as well as nitro rice, which is a cereal that once eaten can increase the length of a person’s life. These treasures are the reason why the V5 venture out and risk many lives to obtain them. However, after about 5 expeditions, the V5 deemed it too risky to continue due to what the expeditions brought back, which are the 5 great calamities mentioned earlier.
In order to enter the new continent, one must cross the vast Lake Mobius and at the edges request the aid of a guide through the gatekeeper and each time the gatekeeper would force them to take a calamity back as a lesson. Each of these calamities are extinction level threats and Ging even mentioned that its lucky humanity hasn’t been wiped out yet after these expeditions. The 5 calamities that have been brought back are the gaseous life form Ai, Zobae the immortality disease, Brion the botanical weapon, Hellbell the twin-tailed snake and Pap the beast that keeps people as pets. Each expedition that met with these threats ultimately ended up being wiped out completely except for single digits of their original teams which numbered in the thousands.
These calamities are so dangerous that Ging mentioned that as advanced as the HunterxHunter universe is, they are only able to lock these dark continent threats up in vaults or facilities and leave them undisturbed and says that all 5 threats are even more dangerous than the chimera ant threat which took the combined efforts of high ranking hunters as well as the hunter association leader Isaac Netero giving his life to stop. Another example of how threatening these calamities are is the being living within alluka zoldyck’s body who was originally from the dark continent. This being was so incredibly powerful it was able to essentially grant wishes to anybody it wanted for a price and was able to completely heal Gon from an otherwise irreversible state, an extraordinary use of nen that most hunters felt it even from far away.
This is why the major governments of the HunterxHunter universe, the V5 are extremely scared of the idea that Beyond Netero along with the Kakin government wishes to venture to the dark continent as they are scared that a 6th calamity is brought back with untold destructive capabilities.
That being said, there have been a select few very powerful people who have gone to the dark continent without the aid of the nations such as Isaac Netero, Beyond Netero, Zigg Zzoldyck and Linnet Audoble who were shocked at the scale of things they saw there. For those who wish to brave the expedition however, there are 2 must read guides and is the actual reason the V5 even knew about the special and rare herb and minerals located in the dark continent.
The legendary guide “Journey to the new world, east and west editions” were so outlandish that many thought they were just stories or made ramblings until the V5 actually went there and this book is now taken as the definitive guide for those wishing to brave the dark continent. However, only the east edition is available with the west edition either being lost or is speculated by Ging to be still being written by his ancestor Don freecs. While most think this is impossible, Don Freecs was said to be the only person crazy enough to explore the entirety of the Lake Mobius shoreline and with the dark continent being home to life extending rice and cure-all herbs there might be more truth to this than merely legend.
The dark continent presents a whole new area of discovery and is home to many foods, herbs and minerals that can completely change how humanity evolves in the future. But the threat of the dangerous environment may end up wiping out humanity instead and thus makes this a truly interesting balancing game of risk and reward. In the current storyline the main characters are making their way to the dark continent, and it would be exciting to see what they discover when they finally make landfall on the edges of Lake Mobius.