The Dark Continent (
It is written on ancient artifacts that disasters occurred every time humanity excursed to the Dark Continent. Therefore a protocol was established by the V5 200 years ago,[note 1] also known as the Inviolability Treaty, that prohibited said action. But, over the past few years, there have been recorded 149 attempts of voyages to the Dark Continent. Of these only five were successful and had survivors, in the aggregate they were 28, which possessed immense physical prowess and prodigious luck—one amongst them being Beyond. The mere survival rate of 0.04% is indicative of the Dark Continent's hostility toward outsiders. Furthermore, only three of the survivors managed to clear the post-evaluation test and return to their daily lives. However, these voyages were not sanctioned by the V5 and were, therefore, unofficial.
An indispensable component of a successful voyage is a Guide. The Guide is a being summoned by the Gatekeeper, a race of magical beasts, which holds the only known connection to the Dark Continent. Without them, it would be impossible for humans to get past the Known World's oceanic borders. At the end of each one of the V5 expeditions there were brought back one of the Five Threats: the botanical weapon Brion, the gaseous life-form Ai, the twin snake Hellbell, the human feeding beast Pap, and the immortality disease Zobae.
A younger Isaac once went on an undocumented expedition to the Dark Continent while being accompanied by Linne and Zigg. Furthermore, an individual tried to travel the Mobius shoreline all by himself 300 years ago, and is the alleged author of the traveler's guide Journey to the New World. It is known that two editions exist, for the East and the West respectively, but only the East one has of yet been found. Ging proposes three possibilities for the West book's fate, one of those being that it's still being written to this day by none other than Don Freecss.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
The existence of the Dark Continent was first implied when Ging and Gon met atop the World Tree and Ging revealed that the Chimera Ants whom the Extermination Team faced off against came from somewhere other than the Known World, a land Ging wishes to explore. Soon after that, the King of the Kakin Empire, Nasubi Hui Guo Rou, finances an expedition there, in which Beyond is the leader of a unit that is interested in journeying into the Dark Continent. On top of the glory and economical returns from the exploration and the acquisition of new resources, King Nasubi intends to have his children fight a succession war during the voyage. V5 initially opposes the project and enlists the help of the Hunter Association to keep Beyond in custody. However, after the latter hands himself in, V5 includes in the unit, becoming V6, in order to share the profits and thus permits the expedition, stipulating however that the ship will disembark all passengers, except for the Hunter Association members, at an island complex named the New Continent which will be passed off as being the Dark Continent itself whereas it is merely near its border.
Summary of the Five Trips
|Summary of the Five Trips|
|V6 Member||Begerossé Union||United States of Saherta||Federation of Ochima||Mimbo Republic||Kukan'yu Kingdom|
|Direction||Northeast shore of Lake Mobius.||North shore of Lake Mobius.||Far southeast shore of Lake Mobius.||Southeast shore of Lake Mobius.||South shore of Lake Mobius.|
|Location||In a steep mountain range.||In the ruins of an ancient labyrinthine city that lies 400 km in a forest.||Swamps||-||-|
|Resources||Unmanned Rock||Unknown Herb||Nitro Rice||Trinity Elixir||Metallion|
|Use||An ore that generates electricity when placed under water. One small bead can generate 20,000 kW a day.||Can cure all kinds of diseases.||The ultimate secret of longevity.||The mother solution for all sorts of liquids.||An alchemy plant.|
|Returning Survivors||7 out of 1000 (0.7% survival rate)||2||11 (99% fell prey to Hellbell)||3||6 (including Beyond Netero and the Hunter afflicted by Zobae)|
- The continent's name, Dark Continent, most likely comes from the real-life identical term or expression used before the late 19th century to describe Africa (particularly sub-Saharan Africa) due to its interior being considered mysterious and dangerous at the time.
- In Chapter 359, the mentioned notion is reinforced by the fact that the New Continent, faked as Dark Continent to the general public, is presented to the Black Whale's civilian passengers using an upside-down map of Africa (or the Africa-like unnamed continent where the Republic of Padokea is located in the Hunter × Hunter world).
- According to Ging, the giant Chimera Ant Queen who gave birth to Meruem was not born in the Known World. It is currently unknown if she originated in the Dark Continent or if she drifted into Human Territorial Waters from one of the islands in Lake Mobius which have never been colonized by humans (such as the New Continent), which are not classified as being part of the Dark Continent.
- The fauna and flora that inhabit the Dark Continent could be based on those that are found in the Amazon Forest, the dense tropical jungle in South America. It contains a number of unique plant and animal species that are not found anywhere else in the world, and is the home to several uncontacted tribes that have no contact with the outside world and have often shown hostility to visitors.
Intertextuality and References
- Although the idea of a place like this long precedes Hunter × Hunter and other mangas, the concept of the Dark Continent has some similarities with Toriko's Gourmet World and may have been inspired by it.
- Their size dwarfs and they enclose their known world.
- Access to these places is hampered by things like ocean currents and other factors.
- Both are extremely dangerous places, in contrast to their relatively hospitable counterparts (the smaller "Human Worlds"), with many failed attempts of exploration which led them to be banned. Also, few humans are strong enough to survive their environments.
- There is not much knowledge about them.
- Much of their fauna and flora is gigantic in relation to human proportions.
- The Five Threats are somewhat similar to the Eight Kings.
- In Monsters: Dark Continent—a 2014 British science fiction monster film—a boy wearing a Hunter × Hunter T-shirt appears briefly, which could be a nod to the manga indicating inspiration or recognition of coincidences between some elements of the movie in relation to the Dark Continent (although this may be just a coincidence).
- Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 340
- Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 342
- Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 344
- Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 338
- Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 348
- According to the Timeline, the Inviolability Treaty protocol was established by the V5 around the year 1800.