SCP-1238
rating: +83+x
tunnelfish.jpg
SCP-1238 specimen in the wild

Item #: SCP-1238

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: Any wild colonies of SCP-1238 are to be destroyed as soon as possible until such time as SCP-1238 can be reduced to and maintained at pre-1850 population levels. The Foundation shall liaise with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and with other oceanographic research institutes as necessary, to track SCP-1238 movements and attempt to locate entrances to SCP-1238 tunnels. Any tunnel discovered should have its entrance sealed by any means necessary that will not result in seismic instability until such time as a means of completely filling in existing tunnels or rendering them structurally stable is developed.

The Foundation is to monitor seismic activity within the Gold Zone at all times for indications of new tunnel construction or evidence that Event 638-Mu-34 is imminent. Whenever possible, persons living above known tunnels should be relocated. No other SCP objects, except those the nature of which renders them immovable, are to be contained within the Gold Zone. No mission-critical Foundation personnel are to travel, remain, or operate within the Gold Zone except as necessary to monitor SCP-1238 or other SCP objects within the area. No member of the O5 Council is to enter the Gold Zone at any time. Personnel whose "home town" is located within the Gold Zone, or who have immediate family members residing within the Gold Zone, are disqualified from participating in SCP-1238 containment.

In the event that Event 638-Mu-34 is determined to be imminent, all Foundation personnel are to attempt to evacuate the Gold Zone immediately Foundation personnel within the Gold Zone are to effect immediate evacuation of high-ranking government officials, military personnel, and culturally significant individuals as per Plan Contra-IK-638, and to secure the retrieval and removal of listed artifacts of cultural or historical value, before attempting to evacuate themselves. Mobile Research Unit 638 is to remain on site within the Gold Zone and transmit observations and data to Overwatch Command until such time as environmental conditions render communication impossible. Following Event 638-Mu-34, the Foundation is to liaise with national governments and employ its resources for humanitarian purposes as necessary to prevent escalation to an IK-class collapse-of-global-civilization event.

Description: SCP-1238 is a species of deep-sea fish with no current taxonomic classification, morphologically similar to the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni). SCP-1238 resides principally in deep waters in the northern Pacific Ocean, along the northwestern American and western Canadian coastlines. Adult SCP-1238 specimens measure on average 1.4 meters in length and weigh 100-110 kg. SCP-1238 is not suitable for human consumption due to the large concentrations of toxic minerals consumed by the fish, and are not currently fished for in any significant quantity or exploited by human industry for any significant purpose.

During most of its life cycle, SCP-1238 specimens subsist primarily on a diet of smaller fish and other small aquatic animals. During spawning season, which lasts from approximately early April to mid-July each year, the secondary digestive tract of sexually mature SCP-1238 specimens becomes active, allowing the fish to digest and metabolize inorganic minerals and metals, particularly deposits of metamorphic rock located below a region of the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada designated the Gold Zone. During spawning season, SCP-1238 will gather en masse at specific sites along the ocean floor and begin a process of tunneling under and through the continental shelf, widening and expanding the tunnel as a result of their consuming the existing rock. During spawning season, an adult SCP-1238 fish can consume and metabolize approximately 120% of its body mass in minerals within a 24-hour period. SCP-1238 produces little waste matter during this stage - volume of waste excreted is approximately 10% of that consumed.

Tunnels produced by SCP-1238 in this manner become the spawning grounds in which SCP-1238 eggs are laid and fertilized. A female SCP-1238 fish is capable of laying up to 40,000 eggs within a season, of which approximately 25-35% will survive to adulthood under current conditions. SCP-1238 hatchlings reach sexual maturity after approximately 10 years and have been documented to live up to approximately 35 years in the wild.

SCP-1238 specimens almost always return to the tunnel in which they were born in order to spawn, with tens of thousands of individual specimens involved in digging a single tunnel. SCP-1238 will continue to expand on a specific tunnel, occasionally forming branching tunnels, until natural phenomena cause the tunnel to collapse, population growth results in excessive competition for resources, or the food supply becomes inadequate. Individual SCP-1238 tunnels have been documented to extend as far as ████ km from their starting point and as deep as █ km below surface level.

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