nn5n Foundation
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nn5n: scp-3572 Sand Cave
EuclidSCP-3572 Sand CaveRate: 7

The exterior of SCP-3572, surface level, outside of the entrance door.

Item #: SCP-3572

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: No human entry into SCP-3572 is allowed except for the purposes of monthly maintenance and measurement, in which case time spent in the interior should be minimized and is never to exceed forty-five (45) minutes total for any individual. The surrounding area is to be cultivated and modified as necessary in cooperation with the United States National Park Service to minimize tourist activity near the area. A metal door and frame that are resistant to environmental damage have been installed into a brick wall barring the entrance.

The interior of SCP-3572 is to be measured and tracked for maximum potential length and a rough estimate of total volume monthly via remote drone. In the event of any notable seismological event, SCP-3572 is to be measured as soon as possible and the surrounding area is to be imaged for potential new cave formations or sinkholes, which are to be filled in expediently. In the event that SCP-3572 comes into contact with any other cave, Foundation personnel are to lock down and close new entrances to SCP-3572 by any means necessary.1

Any and all sightings of SCP-3572-1 are to be reported to the nearest available level 3 research personnel. Any direct contact with SCP-3572-1 is to be recorded, and witnesses are to be treated with Class-A amnestics. Following event 3572-Thien-Cung, Foundation personnel in potential hotspots have been briefed on the nature of SCP-3572-1 and provided training in the use of amnestics where necessary.

Description: SCP-3572 is a subterranean cave network only accessible through a singular surface entry located in Barren County, Kentucky, encompassing a total volume of an estimated ████ cubic meters.2 The initial entry from surface level leads to a set of tight cave tunnels before increasing in size into a large central chamber, roughly cylindrical and approximately 15m in diameter and 30m in height. This central chamber branches out into between three (3) and seventeen (17) tunnels, varying in length, width, level and orientation. Any other subterranean space that is contacted by these tunnels is absorbed into the total interior volume of SCP-3572.

SCP-3572 generally works to keep any human subject that enters its interior inside. While it does not seal itself off entirely, SCP-3572 has been observed moving its tunnels, creating narrow crawlspaces and dropping pieces of stone or other detritus to impede escape. The severity of these shifts intensifies in direct proportion to how long a human subject has been inside of SCP-3572. If a human subject dies inside the interior, the cavern will collapse around them, gradually compressing and grinding the cadaver into a fine, gritty consistency over the course of approximately fourteen days. Following this event, motion of the cavern will cease for a period of time, ranging from three (3) days at the shortest observed interval to one-hundred-ninety-two (192) days at the longest observed interval in length. SCP-3572 is still unsafe to enter during these periods and will resume movement (albeit at a reduced rate) if another human subject enters the interior.

SCP-3572-1 is a level 3 humanoid apparition, conceptually-bound, free-roaming, passive, benevolent. SCP-3572-1 is the wraith of a local cave explorer who died in the interior of SCP-3572 on the 13th of February, 1925. This specter is bound to subterranean cave networks and cannot appear above ground. It appears to roam independently throughout the Mammoth Cave National Park System, though it has also been sighted abroad, returning periodically to SCP-3572. A list of SCP-3572-1 manifestations, both potential and confirmed, is on record with Site-19 and available upon request.

The anomalous properties of SCP-3572 were discovered by Foundation personnel following the entombment of a local cave explorer. At a total exposure time of over fourteen days, this subject survived substantially longer than any other subject to date. Attempts from his family and rescue workers to recover him were covered extensively in the press while he remained trapped following a cave-in. Foundation personnel were able to insert themselves into the rescue effort and after the further disappearance of two more news reporters attempting followup pieces, were able to ascertain the anomalous nature of SCP-3572.

While the initial effort of the public to recover the subject's body was called off after the subject expired, the subject's family returned to attempt another retrieval effort. Owing to the extenuating circumstances surrounding the death of the subject, a facsimile cadaver was provided to the family.


File photo of the first confirmed casualty of SCP-3572. Picture dated 1924, specific date unavailable.

Foreword: The following entries have been transcribed due to the age of the document in question. Some entries prior to the subject's entombment, or those that include no reference to SCP-3572 have been truncated entirely.

January 13th, 1925

Finally, some luck! Mr. Doyel has given me permission to explore his property in search of a new cave. I agreed to promise him fifty per-cent of all the profits should I find a suitable location for a new tourist attraction. I have only had a cursory look over the property, but there are some promising cliffs I intend to further investigate tomorrow.

January 20th, 1925

The cliffs indeed yielded a cave, though the interior of it is far from spacious. I couldn't quite find a way through the initial passageway, but I can tell from the echoes that there must be a sizeable cave behind it. I can only hope for better luck tomorrow. Assuming I can even find the larger chamber, the passageway would have to be widened to make it a suitable attraction, though I suppose I am getting ahead of myself.

January 24th, 1925

This cave is truly incredible, the grandest I have ever seen. The interior is high and arched like a church ceiling, and the surrounding tunnels are so full of crystals and fine, gorgeous rock. The cave was so lovely I would share it for free if I could, if only so more could see it. The initial descent must be much sharper than I suspected, for the roof of the central chamber is so high I should think it would breach the ground above it. The interior floor is unfortunately covered in fine dirt and sand, which should be removed or cleaned to make the attraction more palatable.

Given the sand inside, I have christened it Sand Cave and I will spend some days exploring for another entrance on the property. If I can find none however, I'll push in and see if the tunnel can be widened.

January 28th, 1925

I scarcely dare to write this entry, but the thoughts roiling in my brain will give me no relief until I put them to paper. Perhaps not even then, but I must try.

The initial entrance was just as impassible when I returned to Sand Cave today, but the inside was very different indeed. The quartz on the walls had rendered itself into even more extensive patterns. Were it not for the markers I placed outside and the familiarity of squeezing through the tight entrance, I would have thought it was a new cave entirely. The central chamber had further developed both upwards and downwards, and the formation of rocks became a loose set of stairs descending. Though the impossibility of what my eyes presented to me was evident, I felt compelled to explore. I am not a man to turn down adventure, even if it is strange and fantastical.

As I walked down the stairs, exploring the intricate patterns on the walls, I was compelled quite strongly to wonder about the future. As if the cave was speaking to me, I thought that this place, this wonderful cave, would be everything I had been looking for. It would be victory for my family in the Cave Wars,3 we would have our attraction and everyone would be well provided for. But at the same time I felt a call to stay in this cave. I found myself thinking of the rifle back at the house, and how easy it would be to make sure I stayed in Sand Cave for-ever. I reached the bottom of the steps, and the sand on the floor was even thicker than the last time I'd been inside.

There was something there, a bit like a totem, or a great big wooden nail driven into the earth. Something black was around the base of it. It looked a bit like oil, but it was solid as all the rest of the rocks. It might have been pitch that oozed out and went solid somehow. When I went to touch it there was a great gust of wind from somewhere deeper in the cave, and I very nearly dropped my lantern. Lowering the light let me see a ring of quartz around the base of the totem. I can't imagine how long that thing must have been there to have crystal all mixed up in it, but that was far from the most disturbing part.

There were a great many words written on the wood, with dates that went back years and years. Some were written in some kind of Indian language, I think, and there were pictures drawn, crudely, to go with them. The ones in English had names, and dates, and then strange phrases. I transcribed one, since it rang a bell4 before I left the cave. They were all long since passed, judging from the dates.

That was when I found my name written, as if an epitaph, in the wood, and it had my birth-day, and it had a date not too far from now.

I was gripped by panic seeing my name there and I made to leave. The climb back up seemed much harsher than the one going down, and I was only just able to leave in time. The entrance was just as pressing as it had been, and I squeezed through, but barely, and my lantern was extinguished by the time I finished the crawl. I felt certain for a moment squeezing through the cave that all would be lost, but I made it through alright eventually. I spent some time outside, exhausted by my rapid ascent and panic, feeling the wind on my face.

I have reflected on the event, after a stiff drink, and I think Sand Cave is not worth it. I will return in two days time, with blasting caps and I think two sticks should do to close the entrance and make sure it stays closed. I'll tell Mr. Doyel I found nothing, and thank him for his time, and hope no one passes the barricade I will make.

The sand from the cave floor is in my hair, and I can't seem to wash it out.

January 30th, 1925

I have Failed and I will likely die here

February 1st, 1925

As this is likely my last will and testament, such as it is, I will explain further.

I attempted to dynamite the entrance to the cave but I had the most terrible fortune. A bit of rock shifted, burying and smothering my fuse, and then not long after a rock fell from the ceiling and crushed my detonator. I spent two hours fully attempting to detonate and found that something would go wrong each and every time until I gave up.

The whole time the blasted cave has whispered to me. I can't get the damned sand out of my hair.

When I tried to leave, I met unfortunate difficulties. The entrance collapsed inward. I was squeezing through the scant entrance tunnel when I dropped my lantern, and going to grab it, the cave collapsed further underneath me and a boulder of some size dropped behind me. My leg is pinned, tilted upwards. I suspect it would take several strong men to free me, and only if they had the space to work with.

My lantern is once again drawing low. I will save it in hopes I can signal if someone comes looking before I expire.

February 4th, 1925

They have begun efforts to extricate me. I count my blessings that I was found at all, but I suspect I will still die. The cave continues to shift where they are trying to dig, and when I lie awake at night, shivering and pressed to the rock, I can feel the cavern stirring beneath me. I have remained calm and cordial with those involved, but in some ways I wish they would let me go, if only so that they should forget about this cave.

Now, it calls me by name.

The following entry is undated. The handwriting is markedly different from other entries, and was written entirely in capital letters.






The following entry is undated. The writing is erratic and does not match the lines of the book.

Whoever finds this, if you're reading it, I did not write that!

My journal is covered in this damned sand. Did you write it yourself or did you force my hand you rotten craggy bastard?

I will survive. I will escape. You will be forgotten. Go chase yourself you misera [The writing trails off the page.]

February 9th, 1925

I have been fed and watered by my would-be rescuers, but this is of little comfort to me. Laying here, in my own filth, with a handful of sand in front of my face, the cave has told me it could put me to my end mercifully. I no longer know if I am fully sane. It says they cannot rescue you. It says I am your only hope. IT SAYS- I will write no more on the matter. It has said quite enough.

I wonder how people will remember me. I'm told my story is known across all forty-eight states now, thanks to Mr. Miller coming down into the cave to give me an interview. Even now they work at digging, and it is only by the faint light of their lanterns that I can write. I did not travel with a partner, nor did I have a second lamp, nor did I tell anyone where I was going and for how long. I worry I will be found, upon reflection, to be a dunce who did not care for his own safety. It is not the end I would have chosen. I know what I want on my grave, I only worry I will never have the opportunity, now.

The following two entries were written in an untidy hand that is at times entirely indecipherable. It is believed that the subject no longer had any form of external light with which to write and was using some amount of guesswork.

February 9th, I believe

I'm trapped, and trapped for life!

The cave shifted again, and I can no longer see those digging. I can hear them working frantically but moreso I can hear the whispers. I worry [illegible] mistake but I fear I have no choice. I will grant them a few more days to try and reach me. Let it not be said that I'm a damned quitter!

But after that I will make my demands and the sand will [rest of entry illegible]

The 10th, or so

I want people to see my face and know my name all around the world.

No man or woman or child should suffer as long as I have suffered [Illegible] keep exploring the caves of the world, for Ever [Illegible] and get your damned sand out of my hair!

The following entry was not dated. It alternates between the hand the majority of the journal is written in, and the other, present in a previous entry.

I had no idea.

The cave has shifted again and while I cannot find the strength to move, I can see now, by the luminescence of the crystals. They shine, and shimmer, with an unnatural light. I suspect I'm not in Kentucky.


Cave of lights more like it. It's gorgeous. I could stare at it for a thousand years.


I'd like to look a little longer. I wish everyone could see this.


The following and final entry was not dated and was written diagonally across the majority of one page. Upon initial inspection, the entirety of the page was covered in sand, which fell away not long after the journal was open. The approximate date of writing, based on analysis, is February 13th, 1925.


The following is the police report of Officer Nguyen of the Vietnam People's Police Force Office of Quảng Ninh province, dated October 26th, 1983. The police report was filed in relation to the discovery of a missing child. The child had been lost during a visit to the Thien Cung cave and after five days looking with local volunteers, the search had been called off. The strange nature of the police report attracted the interest of Foundation personnel in-country, leading to a subsequent Foundation investigation.

This document has been translated from its original Vietnamese into English for ease of reading.

I made another sweep of the cave entrance after taking statements from the parents and the proprietors. The search for Le Thi Lam had officially been called off when I made my sweep, but I wanted to check one more time. As before, I couldn't find any sign of the child. At approximately 8 PM, while in one of the central caverns, I was approached by an American foreigner speaking English. He was black-haired, about 170cm tall, of a slight build, dressed in a grey suit and hat. He was covered in dust and sand. I don't know much English, and the man did not know any Vietnamese but he was able to direct me to a tight crevice in the ground where the child was curled up and passed out, but alive.

The American raised his hat and tipped it to me. I remember thinking it was odd that he was so dirty, but his hair looked very clean. I believe the man may have been blind? He was suffering from the most severe cataracts I've ever seen, they raised out of his eyes a little and looked sharp and angular, like crystal. I asked him to wait but he did not understand and went further into the cave.

I was able to get Le Thi Lam out and called for additional assistance. I did not want to pursue the American until I had another officer present to watch the child. Once the child was being medically treated, we performed another sweep of the caves but could not find the foreigner. Le Thi Lam looks to be in good health and will be returned to her parents shortly.

The proprietors have promised to watch for an American with black hair and cataracts but say that they did not see anyone matching that description for several weeks prior to this event. We did find some graffiti in English scratched into a portion of the cave wall. I have attached a picture to this report.

Picture transcribed: A remote corner of the Thien Cung cave has been marked with scratches believed to have been made with another piece of stone. The graffiti reads "I'm free, and free for-ever."

Foundation Internal Memorandum, dated November 5th, 1983:

Incident-3572-Thien-Cung Final Update and Recommended Changes

Police report was recovered and all copies destroyed. Class-B amnestics were administered to police personnel and civilians where appropriate. Cave graffiti was destroyed through acid treatment.

After coordinating with personnel abroad, Foundation researchers believe that this is an SCP-3572-1 manifestation outside of the Mammoth Cave National Park System. Recommending that the classification of SCP-3572-1 be changed from location-bound to conceptually-bound and broader containment measures be put in place.

Researcher Robertson

William Floyd Collins

July 20, 1887
April 26, 1925

Trapped in Sand Cave, Jan.30.1925
Discovered Crystal Cave, Jan.18.1917

Greatest Cave Explorer Ever Known

page revision: 13, last edited: 21 Dec 2018 07:51
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