Item #: SCP-1137
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1137 is held in a locked box in item storage locker 8A at Site-19. Level 3 clearance is required for access to SCP-1137. It requires no extraordinary physical measures to contain it; however, due to its memetic qualities, knowledge of SCP-1137's true nature is to be tightly controlled among personnel. See Document 1137-17 for a detailed description of anti-memetic safety standards.
Description: SCP-1137 is a blue glass sphere approximately 10cm in diameter. To ordinary observers, it does not appear to have any special qualities, nor does it pose any risk. It is possible to take measurements of its material composition, weight, opacity, hardness, and any other physical properties of the sphere. However, its anomalous properties take effect if any attempt is made to measure the sphere's curvature or smoothness, or any other properties related to its spherical nature.
If anyone does try to measure SCP-1137's spherical properties, they will become convinced that it is in fact a mathematically perfect sphere. They will believe that measurements consistently return results confirming this, regardless of the accuracy of the measuring device being used. Due to the memetic nature of SCP-1137, it is unknown whether SCP-1137 actually possesses these dimensions, or whether observers merely interpret the measurements as such. Small samples taken from SCP-1137 also display its memetic properties, and do not seem to affect the perception of the shape of SCP-1137.
It is not actually necessary to perform the measurements oneself for a subject to fall under SCP-1137's memetic influence; merely being told that its shape is physically impossible is enough for the memetic agent to take root. However, transmission in this fashion requires the listener to understand the reasons why a perfect mathematical sphere cannot exist in material form; thus, memetic transmission to subjects without a scientific background is unlikely. It is also possible to circumvent the memetic agent by specifying that SCP-1137 only appears to be a perfect sphere when measuring, without actually stating outright that it is such.
Once infected, a subject will become obsessed with the fact that, although all measurements indicate that SCP-1137 is a perfect sphere, it is physically impossible for this to be the case. This paradox will become deeply ingrained in the subject's mind. The subject will attempt to disprove this inconsistency, resorting to more and more accurate tools. Researchers have been recorded utilizing equipment including the on-site electron microscope in these endeavours. Despite this, they will never be able to perceive any results other than those indicating SCP-1137 is a mathematically perfect object, even when performing measurements at the picometer level.
After extensive testing during which they are unable to prove their conviction, the subject will eventually decide that SCP-1137's nature must actually be possible. At this point, the secondary memetic properties of SCP-1137 will take effect. The subject will slowly acquire the compulsion to reproduce an instance of SCP-1137. Subjects with proficiency in a physical craft (e.g., sculpting, glassmaking, metalworking) will begin by attempting to produce a perfect sphere in that medium. Subjects without prior experience in crafting will attempt to learn.
The subject will continue attempting to produce replicas of SCP-1137, but will always determine that their replicas are insufficiently precise. Subjects will become increasingly frustrated and obsessed, and will often try to experiment in other media subjects, using increasingly unconventional materials (e.g., animal or human remains) to attain their goal. Eventually the obsession overwhelms the subject's thought processes, with the subject forgoing sleep, food, and ordinary bodily functions in order to continue attempting their constructions. Subjects invariably expire either due to starvation or self-mutilation.
Because a mathematically perfect sphere cannot actually physically exist, SCP-1137's spherical qualities were at first assumed to be its only anomalous feature. As a result, after being taken into the Foundation's possession, researchers were immediately exposed to its memetic qualities. Because the memetic effects of SCP-1137 are at first indistinguishable from ordinary scientific testing, [REDACTED] days passed before the Foundation realized SCP-1137's true nature. Because of this, an estimated ███ individuals were infected. Strict anti-memetic procedures have been implemented surrounding knowledge of SCP-1137's anomalous properties, and a cover story is given to personnel lacking Level-4 clearance regarding SCP-1137's status and true effects.