Item #: SCP-2438
Item Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Bio-Site-34, Satellite Annex 5 has been constructed around SCP-2438. This facility has been constructed as an independent BSL-2-compliant campus. Researchers assigned to SCP-2438 must eat in the Annex cafeteria to enable caloric monitoring. Personnel must not remain in SCP-2438 for more 6 consecutive hours at any time.
SCP-2438 personnel must attend regular counseling sessions, and researchers who display impaired judgement are to be transferred to other projects. Additionally, personnel may voluntarily transfer at any time.
Personnel transferring away from SCP-2438 are to be confined to Bio-Site-34's Medical Wing for a minimum of 14 days for observation and withdrawal treatment. Per directives of the Ethics Committee, SCP-2438 personnel will have preferential assignment to Sites with addiction support groups for the remainder of their employment.
Personnel are to be made fully aware of these procedures before accepting assignment to SCP-2438.
Description: SCP-2438 is an immobile, roughly cylindrical area 5 m in height and 6 m in diameter located in rural Cumbria, UK. Any living being possessing an open digestive system1 that enters SCP-2438 will spontaneously develop an infection of a protozoan intestinal parasite, designated SCP-2438-1. SCP-2438-1 cells will survive and and reproduce while the host remains within SCP-2438, but the parasite will die and rapidly decompose as soon as the host exits the anomaly. To date, all attempts to remove living or inert samples of SCP-2438-1 from SCP-2438 have failed. As such, all research on SCP-2438-1 must be conducted within SCP-2438.
Hosts of SCP-2438-1 infections display anomalous efficiency at deriving chemical energy from food, deriving more energy than is chemically feasible. Humans within SCP-2438 can survive on less than 200 kCal per day.2 In addition, consuming food before entering or while in SCP-2438 leads to intense energetic feelings, with an effect proportional to the amount of calories consumed and the time since ingestion.
Consuming a snack or sweetened beverage (200-250 kCal) is sufficient to induce intense euphoria, heightened self-confidence, irritability, and paranoia. Consuming a full meal (400-500 kCal) can lead to respiratory failure, cerebral hemorrhage, or death.
These effects rapidly fade as anomalous digestion reaches completion or the host leaves SCP-2438's boundary. As a result, exposed personnel are highly likely to display addictive behavior towards SCP-2438 and may suffer withdrawal when removed.
SCP-2438 was originally marked with a 3 m menhir, or standing stone monument, which was later determined to be non-anomalous. This stone bore markings associated with various Celtic hearth deities dating back to 200 BCE, although many of these had later been vandalized and replaced with Celtic Christian imagery of loaves and fishes.
Selected SCP-2438/SCP-2438-1 Research Documents
Procedures: R. norvegicus, and M. auratus are to be contained in individual self-cleaning cages with air-gapped feeding systems. Examination and dissection equipment will be rotated into SCP-2438 as needed.
Results: Trial aborted at day 12. By this point, 13 R. norvegicus and 24 M. auratus had expired from cardiac disorders or hemorrhages, with onset highly correlated with feeding times. It is believed that these deaths were related to accidental overfeeding.
Continued Exposure Studies, Trial 2
Start Date: 1/27/1998
Research note: In addition to long-term exposure trials, human trials were deemed essential in order to investigate cognitive effects and to gauge the safety of exposure for personnel. Given the urgency of both objectives and a desire to maximize use of the limited research space, Trials 1 and 2 were implemented concurrently.
Subjects: 3 x Homo sapiens
- D-2438-7 (Male, age 21, 80 kg)
- D-2438-14 (Male, age 50, 68 kg)
- D-2438-15 (Female, age 25, 59 kg)
Procedures: D-Class subjects are to be shackled to a structural post to prevent them from leaving SCP-2438. Medical equipment, furniture/bedding, exercise equipment, and physiological monitoring devices are to be rotated into the area of effect as necessary. Autopsy within SCP-2438 may be conducted at the discretion of the Lead Researcher.
Day 3: Feeding with rations was replaced with an intravenous, time-locked dextrose solution due to increasingly aggressive and erratic behavior in the subjects.
Day 6: Apparently believing it has caloric value, D-2438-15 consumed 1.8 L of USP (95% pure) ethanol which had been left unattended on a lab bench. D-2438-15 immediately showed signs of extreme distress as well as symptoms of severe alcohol poisoning. After a decision by the Lead Researcher that nothing useful about SCP-2438-1 could be learned from this incident, the subject was removed from SCP-2438’s area of effect and taken to the medical wing for emergency treatment. Subject is not expected to recover.
Day 12: During a rotation of security personnel, D-2438-7 and D-2438-14 overpowered their guards, entered the animal trial area, and killed the remaining R. norvegicus and M. auratus. D-2438-14 was successfully restrained, but D-2438-7 consumed 4 animal carcasses and subsequently expired from acute myocardial infarction.
Continued exposure trials with humans have been discontinued indefinitely.
Note: During months of post-exposure observation, D-2438-14 developed persistent gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms typical of hereditary mitochondrial disease,5 despite not having any family history of these disorders.