Item #: SCP-3240
Object Class: Keter Neutralized Hiemal
Special Containment Procedures: At least twelve afflicted specimens from each species susceptible to SCP-3240 should be in Foundation custody. Captive specimens are to be contained in enclosures that mimic their natural biome, but do not allow for contact with unaffected members of their species. Populations of susceptible species should be monitored in locations of appearance and locations of predicted future appearance. The location of future occurrences is determined using the Lowell-Kost Algorithm described in Document 3240-Asterion.
Description: SCP-3240 is a learned behavior observed in certain predatory animals. In order for a species to be able to exhibit SCP-3240, it must be a predatory animal that resides in one of the following biomes: taiga, chaparral, tundra, desert or mountain. Affected animals show no other behavioral anomalies except that they no longer engage in hunting behaviors.
Known affected species include corsac foxes, gyrfalcons, arctic foxes, leopard seals, Canadian lynxes, snow leopards, king cobras, arctic wolves, goshawks, diamondback rattlesnakes, saker falcons, coyotes, snowy owls, and burrowing owls.
At solar noon each day, SCP-3240 affected individuals within a 5km radius of a predetermined location will congregate1 and engage in autosarcophagy. Afflicted individuals will consume approximately 10 to 15 percent of their own body weight, usually from the body parts most easily reached: for example, the forelegs and tail on quadruped mammals. Affected subjects will consume muscles and connective tissue, but never bone or enamel. The flesh consumed is always fully healed 12 hours later. Blood loss is normal during consumption, but ceases after finishing SCP-3240. Mated pairs will sometimes feed one another their internal organs or offer them up in courtship rituals; parents will tear the flesh from their offspring and feed it to them if they are too young to feed themselves. Social species such as arctic wolves have unique sets of vocalizations used when engaging in SCP-3240.
Affected animals never show any form of pain response, despite the fact that no endorphins or other analgesics are generated. Between initial consumption and recovery, affected animals do not appear impeded by their injuries.
SCP-3240 has a roughly 54% transmission rate2 between unrelated adult individuals, a 63% transmission rate between siblings, mates, and members of the same social group, and a 99% transmission rate between parents and offspring.
Addendum 1: SCP-3240 has been found to affect humans. Afflicted individuals have been located among the homeless population of several cities, most prominently in Moscow, Salt Lake City, and Marrakesh. Sidewalk orators preaching the tenets and benefits of the religion associated with SCP-3240 are becoming increasingly common. Due to the nebulous nature of these communities, active surveillance and neutralization of the humans afflicted with SCP-3240 has proven difficult. Any attempts to capture humans afflicted by SCP-3240 have been foiled by opposition from affected animals. Covert intelligence operations have proven more successful at gathering information, though any leader figures, if they exist at all, have not yet been found.
Foundation Agent Lucas Bayard infiltrated a Salt Lake City sect to gain more information about the motives of those who joined. The following is a transcript of a conversation he had with a fellow convert, ███ ████████. ████████ was attempting to engage in SCP-3240 using a rusty knife, and Bayard approached him to offer a clean one.
Bayard: Hey, man, put that down. You'll give yourself tetanus. Here, use mine.
[████████ accepts it, and begins cutting a slice of flesh from his thigh.]
████████: Much appreciated. My teeth aren't what they used to be, you know? Neither is the rest of me. Not like you. What's a good strong fellow like you doing here?
Bayard: Wasn't me, needed strength. Wife's cancer ate through our savings, and then through her stomach lining. Insurance wouldn't cover it. Pre-existing conditions.
████████: That's a shame. That's a real damn shame. I'm sorry to hear that. That's the whole damn problem. Everybody's got everyone else wrapped up around them on a string. You gotta kiss ass after ass to get what you want, and then they throw you out and you have to beg them for scraps in the street.
Bayard: Exactly. I could never bring myself to go in a soup kitchen. I was so fucking ashamed. I used to be, I don't know, a provider. And then I was just a charity case.
████████: That's exactly it. If they want us to eat, we eat, but it's all at their whim. We're fucking pets. But this? I like this. The guy told me that all a man needed to live was given to him when he was born, and as long as he had his bones he was all right. And I'll tell you what. I've got my fucking bones. And now I don't need nobody else. I got the sun on my skin, and the wind in my hair, and the flesh on my bones, and I can live wherever the hell I want, because ain't nobody can take that away from me.
Addendum 2: Despite the active public attempts at conversion, actually partaking in SCP-3240 was done in private until an incident on January 25th of 2017, whereupon a Moscovian man who had just engaged in SCP-3240 climbed onto the roof of an Orthodox church, followed by three northern goshawks. A transcript of recovered video footage taken by a civilian witness is included below.
(The man is approximately halfway up the side of the church. The goshawks circle around him whilst he climbs. When he reaches the top, he leans back against the church spire, grasps it for support, and begins to speak.)
PoI-3240-Delta: You'll regret this one day, you sordid, gluttonous bags of fat and blood. You and your sap-filled monstrosities you call gods.
(The largest goshawk makes the first incision with its beak. The footage is briefly blocked by someone moving in front of the recording device. When the man is visible again, two goshawks have begun to probe within the incision. They eventually remove a large dark mass - the footage is too low quality to allow for detailed inspection, but the organ removed appears likely his liver. PoI-3000-Delta shows no discomfort as it is removed. An unidentified man next to the recorder of the footage vomits on his shoes.)
Unidentified man: Is that - oh god, is that his liver?
PoI-3240-Delta: The Verdant has abused us for so, so long, leaving us their scraps, permitting us to feast on their weak and dying. Pushing us to the harshest parts of your overgrown world. But the blade turns in the hand now, hah! We don't need your leavings, not now! We can exist alone, and you cannot.
(All three goshawks begin to peel away the the skin and inner lining from his ribcage.)
Unidentified woman (off screen): Somebody get him the fuck down from there!
(No one moves or makes any audible remarks.)
PoI-3240-Delta: The Veldt provides so we survive! Without us, you'll suffer! You don't know it yet, but you'll see! You'll grow and rot and grow and rot until there's nowhere left to go and the vines are wrapped around your own throats and you are strangled and choked in your own waste. Unbalance! Unbalance! The cycle goes both ways! You've forgotten it, but we'll make you remember. Remember that predator needs prey, and prey needs predator. You'll beg us for help, for mercy, like that which you never gave us. And for once we'll feast as you look on, starving, and you'll finally know.
(The goshawks remove the last of the tissue from PoI-3240-Delta's chest, leaving his ribs exposed. He begins breaking off his own ribs and tosses them to the crowd below. Multiple observers have begun screaming.)
PoI-3240-Delta: Go on! Eat! Crack them open, suck the marrow! Know what it is to taste the Veldt!
(The footage is blocked once more, and the recording device falls to the ground face down.)
The next day, another man climbed a church in Butte, Montana, and began reciting a similar speech, accompanied by turkey vultures. The church's reverend attempted to argue with him, and began quoting Bible passages at him. After arguing with the man for some time, the vultures descended upon the preacher and tore out his tongue. Witnesses were detained and given medical aid if needed before being amnesticized. Both incidents were passed off as performance art pieces. Undercover Agents are now directed to incapacitate those who intend to engage in SCP-3240 publicly before civilians are exposed.
Addendum 3: Observation has shown that areas high in animals affected by SCP-3240 are having die-offs of local prey species, some reducing populations by up to 80 percent. These die-offs appear to be due to population growth running unchecked, causing starvation when food sources were depleted. Recovered bodies contain no bone tissue whatsoever; further testing shows that all bone disintegrates immediately upon death. In addition, there have been more than 20 cases over the past month where humans affected by SCP-3240 have deliberately destroyed plantations or farms. They used a unknown substance that causes calcification of plant tissue on contact to do so. All perpetrators in custody committed suicide before reaching trial.
Addendum 4: The Foundation has obtained custody of several human children afflicted by SCP-3240. When surveyors in a rural Alaskan town were contracted to determine the placing of a hydroelectric dam, they noted the local Arnatsiaq family engaging in SCP-3240 alongside several other affected animals. Authorities were called when parents were seen aiding their children in participating; upon police arrival, the adults appeared to have deserted their property. Several arctic wolves and gyrfalcons were found in the residence and attacked the social workers when they attempted to remove the children. Undercover agents intervened in order to extract the children and place them in Foundation custody for further observation. The animals found in the residence were placed with the other members of their species currently in captivity.
An interview with Dmitri Arnatsiaq, one of the children recovered from the Arnatsiaq residence, is recorded below.
The Arnatsiaq children were restrained to keep them from engaging in SCP-3240; but they refused to eat any food provided by the Foundation. When asked about any foods he and his siblings would be willing to eat, Vasily Arnatsiaq told Foundation staff to check the animal enclosures. The specimens in captivity had left some of their flesh uneaten in piles by the entrance. After some deliberation, the use of this meat to feed the Arnatsiaq children has been approved.
Copies of the Book of Bone and Book of Frost referenced by Dmitri were found in the Arnatsiaq residence. The books were in disrepair, and had been damaged like many of the items of the house, but there were several other excerpts which could be salvaged.
A description of the Veldt entity, from the Book of Bone:
The spirits and sense and souls of all the stones and bones and mountaintops, the owl's cry, and the lynx's eye, and the rich grey fur of the wolf in the moon light. Tooth and claw and howl we are, and footprints in the snow. Predators, they call us, but we will turn our fangs inwards, to the bone.
The Verdant, as detailed in the Book of Frost:
The sinful overrun life of the oozing, spreading swamps, the twisting ingrown forests, the soft and rotting plants, and the mouth-breathing beasts that feed on them, all ruled by the sinful glutton Pan, who tosses us his sickly, aging scraps to make his brood stronger, and expects us to be thankful. No more shall we feed on their scraps.
A passage from the Book of Feather and Fur regarding the animals affected by SCP-3240:
… paragons of independence, of tenacity, of sustenance in self-contained tranquility. They are troubled nevermore with any thought but the texture of the lichen on the rocks, or the feeling of the wind that brings the blizzard. They are companions, protectors, mentors - pure distillation of a hunter.
Addendum 6: As of March 14, all major communities of humans afflicted by SCP-3240 have been forcibly dissolved by Foundation agents, with members being brought into Foundation custody and restrained to keep them from engaging in SCP-3240. No public displays of SCP-3240 have occurred since March 12th. Extermination and breeding programs meant to replace animal populations afflicted by SCP-3240 have proven successful, with an 83 percent reduction in SCP-3240 occurrence. SCP-3240 has been deemed Neutralized.
Addendum 7: As of March 21, 80 percent of all plant life between 38° N and 38° S has begun growing uncontrollably, at anywhere from two to twelve times their normal growth rate. All strictly herbivorous mammals in this area have begun to reproduce at similarly unnatural speeds, with gestation rates divided into a quarter of their former duration. At times, plant growth will produce masses of animal tissue on their roots. These cysts develop into herbivorous animals over the course of one to three hours. The animals formed are often considerably larger and more territorial than their counterparts, and prone to deformity. Animals that form this way may also develop other plants and other animals, including humans, through the tumor generation method, with the likelihood of a chained development event growing higher as the equator is approached. The region affected is spreading by 30 kilometers per day, in the north and south directions.
Due to the generation of new anomalous phenomena as a result of its containment, SCP-3240 has been reclassified as Hiemal.
The humans afflicted by SCP-3240 no longer demonstrate regenerative qualities and have ceased engaging. Those affected will not respond to questioning, save for Dmitri Arnatsiaq. When a researcher inquired as to what he knew of the recent anomaly, his only response was to quote a passage from the Book of the Canyon:
The green will shut us in, and twist us, and devour us alive. There is nothing in the forest that is not hungry, everything the trees say is a lie. Farewell to sky and sun and wind - farewell, farewell! For Pan is waking! And he starves!