Item #: SCP-001
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-001 is to be kept locked along with all data pertaining to it inside the Primary Archival Vault on Sub-Level 1 of Site 10. The Vault is a custom-manufactured, reinforced concrete and steel, vertical octagonal prism (see Appendix U for full schematics) with a 2000-kg, 0.9-m-thick, time-locked access portal in the ceiling. The time-locking schedule should be classified and available only to Dr. Y. Mirski. Access is conditional on three-factor authorization (e.g. keycard+fingerprint+passphrase). SCP-001 is among the safest artifacts in the Foundation's possession and these measures are primarily intended to prevent theft.
Description: SCP-001 is a smooth, black, perfectly ellipsoidal (~15.1 cm x 15.4 cm x 16.5 cm) onyx gemstone with a mottled white pattern. Wrapped around its exterior, encompassing its equator and both poles, is a complex and layered fractal filigree of gold metal. The gold is sculpted into broad strokes at what is now usually agreed to be the lower or "south" pole of the object, but with increasing "latitude" the pattern becomes progressively more intricate. Near the "north" pole, also called the "lock" or "singularity" (see acquisition report, below), the pattern complexity progresses beyond the capability of optical or electron-beam microscopes to resolve. Further investigation is pending advances in microscopy technology.
The gemstone continuously emits a small quantity (~34.5007 to 34.5010 mW) of thermal radiation in the microwave range. As a result, the gold filigree is warm to the touch. The white mottled areas emit fractionally more radiation than the black onyx areas.
Other than this, SCP-001 is totally inert. It is opaque to all forms of electromagnetic and hard radiation, and, so far, indestructible (see log for Project Pluto, below). Its onyx/gold composition is guessed from visual inspection, since the taking of samples for chemical analysis has proven impossible.
Project Pluto Master Log
The following experiments have failed to open SCP-001:
- conventional lockpicking
- brute force assault with hammer, chisel, sledgehammer, bolt-cutters, welding torch, bandsaw, etc.
- sustained heating to 5000 degrees Centigrade in industrial furnace (artifact reflected all thermal energy, did not increase in temperature)
- direct application of industrial cutting laser (~160 kW/cm2 concentrated on the "lock") (artifact reflected all energy)
- compression in vice, car crusher, hydraulic diamond-face press (all destroyed)
- application of corrosive acids and other highly-oxidizing compounds (no reaction)
- detonation of plastic and solid explosives up to 0.5 kt TNT-equivalent at point blank range (no effect)
- detonation of a 15 kt TNT-equivalent atomic warhead at point blank range [authorization granted retroactively by Dr. Mirski] (no effect)
Project Pluto is to be immediately terminated. - Dr Hack
Project Pluto is ongoing with the full support of Foundation resources. - Dr Mirski
SCP-001 Acquisition Report
The earliest record of SCP-001 is in the handwritten journal of the minor Scottish aristocrat Sir Edwin Young, 3rd Baronet (1611-1677). As was customary at the time, Young kept a "Cabinet of Curiosities", a small room of artifacts of undetermined providence such as sculptures, preserved creatures, and trinkets. Young's journal includes references to his acquisition in 1654 of "ane bouned jew'l of onycs and filigree gold, of fineneſs beyond rational ſtatement" while travelling across the Mesopotamian desert. The journal indicates that SCP-001 was found buried in the ruin of "a bitter, blaſted place, older than days", or what Young took to be a temple to "a fearſome death god". SCP-001 was found encased in stone at the centre of four enormous runic stones. Young's journal includes a sketch of the most readable side of the most well-preserved stone, but he was unable to read the runes or find a scholar who could translate them.
Young's account of his journey to the location of the ruin is incomplete. It has not yet been located.
Young's "ſelections of curious providence" lay in storage for several centuries after he died. In 1805, his descendants donated SCP-001 to the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh. The curators of the museum regarded SCP-001 as an ancient, fragile, and priceless example of ancient Sumerian metalworking. They therefore failed to discover its anomalous warmth, its indestructibility, or its impossible microscopic-scale construction. They were, however, able to identify the runes in Young's sketch as Tertiary Sumerian Cuneiform, circa 3400 BCE. Only a partial translation is possible:
with loss and ????? we/I ?????? [a noun] Apakht [probably a proper noun] on this ending/finality ?????????? joy + permanence [possibly 'protection']
Mr. McCandlish, who performed the translation, noted:
This appears to be some sort of incantation or "spell of containment". "Apakht" is the name of whatever is imprisoned within the gemstone.
SCP-001 was finally placed on semi-permanent display in 1949.
In 2003, Foundation staff observed that the mottled white patterns on the surface of SCP-001 resembled the cosmic microwave background, a pattern of microwaves encompassing the entire observable universe, as mapped by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe earlier that year. Closer inspection showed the two patterns to be identical. SCP-001 (along with Baronet Young's journal) was immediately purchased by a Foundation front organization and transferred to Site 10 where Dr. Q. Hack and Dr. Y. Mirski performed initial routine analysis.
Research continues under the auspices of Dr. Mirski, Dr. Hack having recently left the Foundation.
Young's journal also includes several detailed sketches of SCP-001. In one of the sketches a small ornate object resembling a key is shown fitted into its "north pole". The key has not been recovered.