Into the Unknown: Exploring the SCP Foundation

Updated on July 1, 2020
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With a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology degree, Darius was a former high school literary and feature writer.

Logo of the SCP Foundation
Logo of the SCP Foundation | Source

Similar to Ours

Imagine a world similar to ours, even call it a parallel dimension or universe, where "anomalies" exists. These anomalies are sometimes beyond human comprehension, are very beneficial or dangerous, or simply characters, circumstances, materials, events, etc. of a fiction novel turned into reality.

This is a world, or rather the universe, where the so-called "SCP" and SCP Foundation exists.

What is the SCP Foundation?

In the real world, the SCP Foundation is a fictional organization documented by the web-based collaborative-fiction project of the same name.

A bit of a disclaimer that this article doesn't necessarily cover all information about SCPs and the Foundation itself, but rather a starting milestone for anyone who wishes to dig deeper into the said universe.

SCP is an abbreviation for the words "Secure. Contain. Protect." that shields mankind from "anomalies," harmful or not, that exists in the world, in the system, or the universe thus firmly ensuring that the "Normal Life" is not disturbed among the masses. The SCP Foundation is a (very) huge organization that is globally trusted to catalog over thousands of artifacts, beings, phenomena, and many more. It is a major organization with a number of laboratories, facilities, and networks capable of securing, containing, or even destroying these anomalies that are individually named as "SCP" followed by a given coded number (such as SCP-173, SCP-049). SCPs are subjectively also called as "Skips."

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Secure. Contain. Protect. | Source

Is SCP and the Foundation a Real Thing?

Whether you're asking if the said major foundation, a globally enforced organization, is either real or not — it's not. And thank everything that it is definitely not real.

Everything is fictitious, from the organization itself to the anomalies. Although, it does exist as a collaborative wiki and cooperative writing hub on the internet where users can create their own SCPs by adding more SCPs, contribute additional lore and stories behind already existing SCPs, and even upload photos, videos, or even recorded media (most of which are edited or fan-made) that would enhance and expand the overall storytelling and experience of a certain SCP and the universe. Think of it as other information sites like Creepypasta, where stories are published by anonymous or non-anonymous horror story writers, or Wikipedia, where each article and material is contributed by comprehensive and well-collected research, studies, footnotes from digital media and physical prints.

Also, think of it as another massive blog catalog or website on the internet where users can write and publish their works. The SCP Foundation site accepts submissions from everyone, and once the article, or the story, is within their scopes and terms or within the specific SCP's lore, it will be accepted and will be added. The real-world website is community-based and includes elements of many genres such as horror, science fiction, and urban fantasy where the series has been praised for its ability to convey horror through its scientific and academic writing style, as well as for its high standards of quality.

Individual wiki articles can continually prolong as long as users contribute more substance to their specific universe. These articles usually detail the manner of phenomenons, creatures, artifacts, etc. as well as the security measures and procedures to have them contained. A particular SCP may reference other webpages, as well, which somehow helps to control a manner of consistency within the vast universe. Most articles of this nature contain several features such as redactions, witnesses, testimonies, security protocols, object classification, name and description, and many such items. Many of these articles also come with project tapes, or "Addendum Editions," which can be used for constructing a legitimate timeline of the events in the narrative.

Logo of 4chan website, the birthplace of the SCP universe.
Logo of 4chan website, the birthplace of the SCP universe. | Source

Origins of the Foundation

According to sources, and to a narrative essay posted on the SCP website, the whole universe was created during the age of "paranormal" /x/ forum in 4chan. If you're like me who doesn't have a single idea what 4chan is, it's basically an anonymous English-based imageboard website where people, or users, can share and comment topics, topics that are under the sun. It's an internet bulletin board where users can create topics and posts.

The first-ever SCP ever posted in the said forum was SCP-173, along with its special containment procedures in the year 2007. Other details are well-written and well-versed in SCP's narrative history essay. Many additional special containment procedures were created shortly after; these new SCPs copied SCP-173's style and were set within the same fictional universe. Paranormal /x/ is also the forum where Creepasta stories are born.

Aside from the usual bland flash horror fiction or the one-way-of-scaring-people-by-writing-scary-stories method or posts created in the forum, the SCP universe was deemed somewhat unique because of its extensiveness and usage of scientific-ness. The website for SCPs was soon launched in the year of 2008.

According to some sources, the SCP Foundation was built before the 1900s. Soon, the organization gained global support because of the continuous and persistent anomalies that occurred (and still occurring) in corners of the world.

SCP-173
SCP-173 | Source

SCP in the Real World

Have you heard or read of tales, articles, news, and podcasts about:

  • Does the existence of the famous Bigfoot and Yeti that terrify multiple witnesses in North America and on the mountains of the Himalayas certain?
  • How about the authenticity of the still viral picture of the Loch Ness monster said to be living in the deep, murky Scottish waters in Europe?
  • Or the countless documented videos of unidentified flying objects (that even Pentagon, themselves, finally opted to release allegedly real footage of an encounter) soaring above the sky?
  • Several accounts of sightings, hauntings, and activities of alleged ghosts, shadow people, and the paranormal?
  • Or the truth behind the ever evasive, yet highly dangerous, Chupacabra of Latin America and Wendigo of the native Americans?

These are just a few of the real-world "anomalies" that are continuously circulating through pop culture, experts, and the internet up to this day. Although most are recorded as plain witnesses or myths and folklores, or even explained by scientific evidences, their mere existence still boggles the simple human mind (especially cryptozoologists), especially the process of their resurgence from time-to-time. News articles have been reported about a discovered a parallel universe next to ours, a universe where time runs in reverse. Although, there are several sources that continues to debunk this news as fake news or misinterpreted news.

SCPs, however, is a wide range of... basically anything: from the smallest of material like a coin or a doorknob, to even colossal underwater entities. Some are even quirky like the term "Memetics" or anomalies that exist in the digital world. A number are truly horrifying and terrifyingly well-written and well-built that readers may subconsciously think that the stories may be true. Each anomaly is unique, and each unique anomaly requires a special containment procedure because the bottom line of each anomaly is that almost all of them offer a spectrum of risks for harming mankind.

If you look at the SCP Foundation website's frequently asked question, all written materials and articles in the communication are pure works of fiction. Any suspected "SPC" in the real world are not really considered as SCPs. It is also said there the Foundation itself is a work of collaborative fiction since the site, itself, is a creative writing website where people can join and submit their own version of SCP wiki.

SCP-049, A.K.A the Docctor
SCP-049, A.K.A the Docctor | Source

Building the Foundation

It is said that the SCP Foundation is a globally-led initiative. Its highest priority is the prevention of having the humankind revert to the "dark ages," a time where humans once came to be. As a result, most of the Foundation's actions may seem cold and unapologetic since lives aren't valued as much when they stand in the way of the Foundation's objectives. However, they do create a net positive effect on the world. Some of these major objectives are protecting humans and mankind by the use of containment, research and understanding, and even destruction of a particular anomaly.

Keep in mind that the Foundation is also responsible for locating and containing individuals, entities, locations, and objects that violate natural law. SCPs are covertly hidden to the public to avoid mass hysteria. When an SCP is discovered, agents from the Foundation will try to seek it and contain it in a facility. These facilities are built all over the world, hidden from the public eye. Only those who are working with the Foundation are capable of locating these facilities. These facilities are often built on land such as unexplored terrains and unexplored locations, underground tunnel networks, underwater or below the seabed, and even in outer space if needed. If an SCP is difficult to contain in a particular facility, the Foundation will try to contain it within the location of discovery. These contained SCP's follow a specific set of containment procedures and are classified into six categories. Contained SCP's are then researched for further understanding of the anomaly. If an SCP is left uncontained, it would pose a direct threat to human life and humanity's perceptions of reality and normalcy.

All anomalous objects, entities, and phenomena requiring Special Containment Procedures are assigned an Object Class. This catalogs these anomalies based on the degree of difficulty in handling and containing them. In the universe of SCP, these object classes also pertain to the purpose of identifying containment needs, budgeting, research priorities, and other consideration. Object classes are indicators of parts of the standard SCP template, the systematic way of writing an SCP, where, according to the site, it serves as a challenge to the substance contributor (and by my understanding, you can't just write a particular SCP all willy nilly).

There are six primary object classes and three non-standard object classes existing in the universe:

Object Class Name
Object Class Description
Safe
SCPs with this category are easily and safely contained.
Euclid
SCPs with this category is almost hard to contain and requires more resources, or the containment procedure isn't always reliable.
Keter
SCPs with this category are highly difficult to contain consistently and reliably. Containment procedures ares often extensive and complex/
Thaumiel
SCPs with this category are SCPs that are used to contained other SCPs.
Neutralized
These are the SCPs that are no longer anomalous.
Explained
These SCPs are fully understood and/or researched.
Esoteric
This is a class for an SCP that doesn't fall to any of the above mentioned object class.
Decommissioned
Decommissioned SCPs are article that are put into the trash or examples of what not to do.
A table of the SCP Foundation's object class categorization and their brief descriptions.
Class-D personnel, or the expendables.
Class-D personnel, or the expendables. | Source

Since SCP's are classified into an object class, the Foundation's personnel are also subjected to their own systematic classification; each person within the Foundation, or in any existing Facility within the universe, is given a hierarchal form of clearance and authorization. The Foundation's personnel classification determines the level of power of which has a specific and particular level of access for an object class. Hence, lower-class personnel handles safe-categorized SCPs, and those with higher clearance takes care of the more dangerous (and more terrifying) SCPs that are usually Euclid to Thaumiel. And by "taking care," I mean from discovery and containment procedures to researching and experimentation, neutralization, and other means of surveillance and maintenance.

Another class within the facilities is the so-called "D-class" personnel or those people subjected to experiments with a particular SCP. The "D" in D-class is an acronym for "Disposable" since most of these anomalies are threats. D-Class personnel is collected prisoners around the globe with harrowing and unforgivable divine and moral cases, such as murder. In short, they are unwillingly recruited by the SCP Foundation worldwide and are usually death row inmates used for experiments together with a specific or particular SCP, especially SCPs with Keter object class.

  • Although the name Safe is the name given as the object class, the SCP can still be a threat. The Safe object class is given to SCPs once they are fully understood or if they are easily contained. Imagine a wild cat contained in a small box. You can deem it as "Safe" but once it gets out it could pose risks and threats.
  • The Euclid object class SCPs are anomalies that are inherently unpredictable or insufficiently understood. Thus, these are rather difficult to contain. But they are within the grasps of the facilities and the Foundation. This is the object class with a greater scope if an SCP is not easily categorized or if an SCP doesn't fall to any of the object classes.
  • An SCP with a Keter object class, however, doesn't necessarily mean that it is dangerous. But Keter object class SCPs are extremely difficult to contain since the Foundation lacks the information, solid understanding, and technology needed to properly contain and counter it. Containment procedures are often complex and often costly.
  • Thaumiel object class SCPs are in a different manner: one, because they are used to contained other SCPs and two, because they can sometimes be an anomaly capable of destruction of the world, reality, and space, and time. They are classified as the highest level and the mere existence of it, as well as its location, current status, and functions are only known by a few Foundation personnel with the highest clearance.
  • Neutralized object class SCPs are no longer anomalous and are successfully eradicated SCPs by either intentional or accidental methods.
  • Explained object class SCPs are SCPs fully understood through scientific methods and research, or are acclaimed viral mainstream science fiction in-the-works, or falsely mistaken and categorized as an anomaly.
  • Esoteric object class SCPs are narratives written on the site, are generally only used once, and are created to further the narrative in a particular SCP. It is highly recommended that SCPs use one of the standard Object Classes. Site members and users will downvote a non-standard object class article if used without merit. While some authors choose to introduce exceptions to these rules, they are only very rarely done and need to justify their existence and placement.
  • Decommissioned object class SCPs are used by the senior staff of the site for "decommissioning" unwanted and unrelated articles. They are either deleted or moved in a "Wall of Shame." Decommissioning articles are not done anymore, however, partly because of heavy-handed edits by the SCP staff and backfire. In short, this object class still exists but is not being used anymore.

SCP — Containment Breach, an indie video game.
SCP — Containment Breach, an indie video game. | Source

Impact of the Foundation

When you type "SCP-" in your search engine's search bar, it will often automatically suggest a search phrase for you to look at. The suggestions are sometimes worded "SCP-" followed by a random string of numbers. These numbers represent the SCPs item numbers whenever they are either discovered or contained or, in real-world's term, whenever they are written gracefully and eloquently. You'll find yourself looking with search results of that particular SCP if you managed to click and view it.

SCPs inspired indie video games like "SCP — Containment Breach" released and developed by a Finnish developer in the year of 2012. Since then, it has become one of the most popular games that base its plot on the SCP Foundation. The indie game tells a story of an unarmed D-Class who attempts to escape the facility, whilst avoiding escaped SCPs and Foundation Guards. The game is followed by a multiplayer game based on Containment Breach. A readable print was also made that is based on the SCP Foundation. It follows a young boy kidnapped by the SCP Foundation and an escape strategy from the Foundation by cooperating with another SCP, a female SCP that exists in every book he opens. The light novel series publication was released in Japan by the year 2018 and to North America by the year 2020. A stage-play was also conducted on the year of 2014 in Glasgow that focuses on the SCP Foundation's unethical means of containment procedures.

A funny meme created by Tiny Snek Comics in Facebook featuring SCP-049
A funny meme created by Tiny Snek Comics in Facebook featuring SCP-049 | Source

SCP-049 and other SCP-related posts and memes often took the spotlight circulated throughout the internet and social media because of 2020's COVID-19 pandemic. Various YouTube channels and gamers often stream and upload videos of them playing SCP-related video games, explanations, theories, sketches, and many more.

The SCP Foundation website is more than just reading and writing SCP articles, such as how-to write pages for submissions, canons, events and contests, and many more that it almost looked like a social media application built on a web-based platform.

Have You Ever Visited the SCP Website?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Darius Razzle Paciente

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      Shaik Shafi 

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