Modern Mythologies: SCP Foundation

“We secure. We contain. We protect.

– The Administrator”

In the world of modern mythology, one would be remiss not to mention the SCP Foundation. With the last count I saw at upwards of 2000 articles, this is a site I’ve visited for years now and honestly believe to be a gem of the Internet.

The basic premise of the SCP Foundation wiki is simple – there are special entities in the world that, when discovered, are labeled SCP-XXXX, with XXXX being a specific number designation. These entities can rank from the rather useful Safe-level to the nigh-invulnerable and nearly all powerful Keter-level.The Foundation is a group that operates outside of the typical constructs of the world. It does not answer to any government, anywhere. It operates to maintain the status quo and keep the world from ending in some kind of reality-altering cataclysm. The wiki is a gathering of what information the Foundation has gathered for other members of the Foundation to read. It is structured in a very strict, scientific-style format. It is, on face value, the most scientific looking thing I’ve personally ever read for pure entertainment.

Some of the best SCP entries are of the Keter-level variety. SCP-682 is some kind of odd, anteater monster that wants nothing but to destroy humanity. It is capable of adapting to (as of this writing) any attempts to destroy it, even other SCPs. Do yourself a favor and read the Experiment Logs. They are great, and help point toward some other interesting SCPs. SCP-076-2 is a superhuman warrior that is seemingly from the beginning of time, cursed to live on and perpetually seek the thrill of battle when he is not entombed in a large, adorned stone cube. The other Keter-level objects are just as dangerous, and are completely capable of destroying the world.

The website isn’t completely serious though. The humor really comes to light when the Safe-level objects are described. For example, SCP 500 is a pill that can cure any disease that ever existed, including other diseases that have been classified as an SCP. They are in very short supply, and what is the first announcement on the page? The main scientist in charge of research demanding that personnel stop using them for a hangover cure. There is a toothbrush, SCP-063, that can clean anything down to the atomic level. Where is it kept? In the presiding scientist’s bathroom. There is a machine, SCP-914, that will take any input and give the appropriate output depending on which choices between “Rough, Fine, Extra Fine, and 1:1” are chosen. Of course, none of the outputs are to be expected. While there are gross outcomes (including new SCPs, and things so awful that they are relegated to [DATA EXPUNGED] status), there is plenty of humor running through the article.

I think the best part of SCP is when they divert from the course. This probably begins to show itself to most readers with the expertly crafted, Keter-level entity SCP-231. SCP-231 reveals two very important things about the Foundation: one, that they will do anything to further their mission; and two, that they have enemies.

SCP-231 was a group of seven girls (numbered SCP-231-1 through SCP-231-6) that were rescued from the “organization” known as Children of the Scarlet King. Their ages are redacted (though the redaction is strategic, and implies that the youngest girl’s age is in the single digits), and their descriptions are never given. The most description we get is at the beginning, where we are told the different allowances given to protect the mental health of the Foundation personnel.

Then the redaction begins to carry weight. We are told about the holding cell that is used to contain SCP-231-1 through 7, as well as the methods used to restrain the object to a bed. We are told that something must be done to keep SCP-231-1 through 7 from giving birth, what has vaguely happened when SCP-231-1 through 6 have given birth, and that criminals imprisoned for aggravated sexual assault, but not murder, should be used to carry out the containment procedure. But we are not told exactly what happens, nor are we told the exact containment procedure. We must imagine, and they give us just enough rope to hang ourselves with.

The entry reveals that each birth has produced a significantly worse result, with the last birth presumably being the birth of the Scarlet King, or at least a reality-ending event. The personnel involved have decided – this systematic sexual abuse is necessary to prevent the end of the world.

And this is where the cracks of the Foundation show. Are the Foundation good guys? What about these other groups, like “The Chaos Insurgency,” “The Horizon Initiative,” or “The Global Occult Coalition?” If the Foundation is willing to do such terrible things to presumably keep the world safe, then is their characterization of these groups accurate? What else are they lying about? Are all of SCP-231-1 through 6 actually dead? Have they really never attempted to use SCP-682 as a weapon? There is information on every page that is redacted “on order of OS-X,” where X is some number, most likely referring to a number of councils that oversee all of the Foundation. What could they be hiding? More information like what happens to SCP-231-7? (If you look at the Page Source for the SCP-231 entry, you will see even more evidence that the Foundation cannot control all of its information hidden within the source code, hidden by [[size 0%]] brackets.)

That is where the true majesty of the SCP Foundation wiki shines. In an effort completely born of the Information Age and the proliferation of easily available information on websites like Wikipedia, the creators and contributors of the SCP Foundation wiki show that even something as clean and cold as data that is (in story) collected and culled by a group of scientists can be found to contain everything from humor to abject horror.


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