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nn5n: scp-3180 The Kelp of Amnestics
UnknownSCP-3180 The Kelp of AmnesticsRate: 28

Item #: SCP-3180

Object Class: Neutralized

Special Containment Procedures: Following its neutralization on 07/21/19██, active containment of SCP-3180 is no longer necessary. Instead, designated personnel are to hunt for unusual kelp forests in satellite imagery and instructed to outline any such ecosystems that they encounter. Their findings are to be crosschecked with those of other personnel and passed to Site-113 for verification. The size and location of these forests are then to be cataloged and used to monitor global kelp trends.

Description: SCP-3180 is a kelp forest of multiple species that has autonomously relocated from various locations around the world. Prior to its neutralization, SCP-3180 consisted of seventeen prominent kelp species, which collectively formed a dense infrastructure of overlapping canopies. Unlike most kelp forests that occur worldwide throughout temperate and polar coastal oceans, SCP-3180 lacked any permanent inhabitants. Decades of on-site observations and measurements has revealed that organisms normally associated with kelp forests tend to avoid SCP-3180. Until recently, the cause of this behavior had been unknown.

SCP-3180 periodically experienced a relocation event, hereafter referred to as SCP-3180-A. SCP-3180-A began when the haptera1 of each kelp within SCP-3180 uprooted collectively. Deep sea robotic surveillance could not identify the cause of this phenomenon. SCP-3180 would remain afloat on oceanic currents until it reached a location occupied by another kelp forest. SCP-3180-A could occur for an indefinite amount of time,2 with four years being the longest duration observed.

Upon arrival at a distance of seven to ten meters from the outermost region of the endemic kelp forest, the haptera of SCP-3180 then re-anchored themselves to the sea bed. After two to three hours, a mucus-like substance (designated as SCP-3180-1) would begin being secreted from SCP-3180 for duration of 20 to 80 minutes, depending on the size of the kelp forest involved. Analysis indicates that SCP-3180-1 was secreted automatically through the fronds of each kelp. The biochemical processes involved are still not understood.

Due to its viscosity, SCP-3180-1 disseminated itself until it eventually covered the area occupied by the native kelp forest. After several days, when SCP-3180-1 had completely dispersed and ceased visibility, the haptera of each kelp in the native kelp forest would collectively uproot in a manner similar to the initial phase of SCP-3180-A. The kelp forest would then migrate towards SCP-3180, merging both structures together. SCP-3180 would remain in this location for two to three months until the next SCP-3180-A event began.

Addendum 3180-1: Since its discovery, ██ SCP-3180-A events have been recorded. For every SCP-3180-A event, SCP-3180 increases its volume proportionally to the size of the kelp forest integrated and has not exhibited any decrease so far. Current hypotheses suggest that during SCP-3180-A, SCP-3180-1 triggers a growth factor within each kelp (from both SCP-3180 and the kelp forest) that somehow “replenishes” the meristem.3 This may also explain why these kelp specimens have not reproduced despite the abundance of mature individuals.

Addendum 3180-2: After █ years of research,4 scientists identified SCP-3180-1 as being mostly alginic acid.5 Although despite the chemistry involved in its production is not completely understood,6 it has been found that SCP-3180-1 exhibits medicinal properties with a wide variety of applications. SCP-3180-1 may be used in a hydrogel combined with nerve growth factor to simulate brain tissue for possible regeneration. In research on bone reconstruction, SCP-3180-1 composites have demonstrated favorable properties encouraging regeneration, such as improved porosity, cell proliferation, and mechanical strength among other factors.

Addendum 3180-3: Since 19██, the conventional role of S-556 compound in amnestics includes serving as thickening, gel forming, and stabilizing agents, as S-556 can absorb water quickly and play a significant role in controlled-release of amnestic products. Oral dosage forms are currently its most frequent use in amnestic applications, but the use of S-556 as depots for tissue localized drug delivery is growing. For example, the release of Class-A amnestics from ionically cross-linked, partially oxidized S-556 gels is almost complete in two hours. The controlled and localized delivery of Class-C amnestic agents has also been achieved using partially oxidized S-556 gels. Multiple amnestic drugs can be loaded into S-556-based gels for simultaneous or sequential delivery, as the chemical structure of the drug and mode of incorporation will dramatically alter amnestic release.

Addendum 3180-4: SCP-3180 was declared Neutralized on 07/21/19██ due to continuous harvesting of SCP-3180-1. SCP-3180-1 was subsequently redesignated S-566 on 03/02/19██.

The following document was approved by the Ethics Committee on 04/16/20██ for use by personnel in the Manufacturing Department

Kelp forests have been important to human existence for thousands of years. They’re among Earth’s most productive habitats, and their great diversity of plant and animal species supports many fisheries around the world. Indeed, many now theorize that the first colonization of the Americas was due to fishing communities following the Pacific kelp forests during the last ice age. Kelp forests live for seven years at most, and often they disappear before that because of winter storms or over-grazing by other species. As fishermen know, kelp forests can appear and disappear from season to season, from year to year. But is there a long-term trend or cycle at work?

For decades, Foundation scientists debated whether it was nutrient availability or grazers (not human harvesters, but sea urchins) that had the most influence over kelp forest health, size, and longevity. After using Landsat to look at long-term trends, and comparing those trends to known differences between Foundation sites, it has been found that a third force—SCP-3180—was the kingmaker of kelp dynamics.

In 19██, a cataloged kelp forest off of the coast of Anacapa Island, California (nicknamed “Sedna”) mysteriously disappeared. No storm had occurred within a 300 kilometer radius, and no grazer was known to have inhabited the seamount. The disappearance raised an intriguing question among scientists: How?

We all thought, “We need to find her."

For three weeks, all Landsat images across Foundation sites were searched for similar incidents, and none were found. Sedna was unique, somehow special, and the first of its kind. We remained persistent and dedicated until a trail was found:

Sedna had been existence for ██ years, and had been identified in ███ different locations across the world.

In April of 19██, an expedition was sent to locate and retrieve Sedna for research. The expedition was based on Sedna’s migration pattern, which had remained consistent thanks to predictable oceanic currents. After ██ years of constant satellite mapping, Sedna was successfully located on [REDACTED].

Upon arrival, the team was shocked to find that Sedna was not merely an ordinary kelp forest; Sedna was a chimera, composed of various kelp species found around the globe. We didn’t just find Macrocystis pyrifera as we had expected, we found Ecklonia brevipes from New Zealand, Ecklonia maxima from South Africa, Alaria marginata from Alaska, Durvillaea potatorum from Australia and a dozen more.

I know it doesn’t make sense-we were overwhelmed. We had hit a breakthrough, a discovery that would change the world: Sedna was migrating in order to grow by obtaining more kelp.

So, what did we do?

What would a scientist do?

Of course, we contained Sedna, designated her SCP-3180, and transferred her to Site-113. I’m not going to tell how (because that’s classified), but logistically speaking, it was considerably difficult. You see, she was almost two kilometers across at that time, and incredibly dense. Our first estimates of her weight were around 2,000 tons, but it was way more than that. Despite that, we didn’t flinch. We didn’t even wonder why NOTHING was living in it.

Then, we found another breakthrough. We found that Sedna would secrete a mucus every time a significant amount of kelp was introduced to it, not just during its pilgrimage to kelp forests. And this mucus (referred as S-556) contained properties never before seen and synthesized.

After some time, the Medical Department discovered that S-556 could be used for increasing the healing factor of humans while the Scientific Department found that it could be used for refining amnestics, both of which were incredibly useful applications for the substance.

We needed S-556, but we couldn’t replicate it. Cultivation was plausible, but it was so expensive that it wouldn’t have been efficient at the end of the day.

So, instead, we let Sedna continue her journey and drained every last drop of S-556 we could get. We drained her continuously for ██ years, and we all thought that it was good because it was helping the Foundation make the world a safer place.

It was then that we saw that Sedna was dying. It was too late when we realized what we’d done. She couldn’t secrete S-566 anymore. But we had no other choice; the Foundation needed it then more than ever. So, we did what should have, or what we thought that we should have. We dismantled Sedna. Even though she was immense, we tore apart every kelp inside her in search of the process that created S-566. It took us six weeks.

We did find that the entirety of Sedna could be converted to S-566. We were ambivalent. Indeed, we now have █, ███ tons of S-566, enough to supply the Foundation with refined amnestics for hundreds of years. But is it worth it? Sedna is gone, along with her secrets, and the only things we have now are questions: How did she form? How did she make S-556? Why did organisms avoid her? And why, all of a sudden, did she stop giving us S-566?

Every night, before I go to sleep, I keep asking myself: Have we destroyed a miracle in exchange for mere efficiency?

But since Sedna is long gone, I guess we will never know.

Vinycomb, Graeme
Senior Researcher

PS: Makes me wonder: Since just about every single person in the Foundation has been amnesticized at some point in their life, maybe she isn’t gone after all. Maybe we’re all Sedna now, and we’re her living memory.

page revision: 8, last edited: 29 Jul 2017 03:26
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