Item #: SCP-156
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-156 is locked in refrigerated Storage Unit 19c except for experimentation. An accounting should be made before and after each experiment to make sure that all 181 instances of SCP-156 are accounted for. Living infected subjects are to be restrained and monitored for their own safety. The bodies of those infected by SCP-156 should be kept within a secure refrigerated unit with filtered ventilation. Both storage facilities should be monitored by security camera. The termination and autopsy of D-Class Personnel assigned to SCP-156 should be delayed until after March 21st, the year of the end of the experiment in which they are involved. No personnel are permitted to consume SCP-156 except D-class personnel for the purposes of experimentation.
Description: SCP-156 is a group of exactly 181 pomegranate arils. The number of arils is constant — i.e., when one is ingested, or is destroyed in such a way that it cannot be consumed, another aril is found with the largest group of touching arils. Otherwise, the arils can be moved around freely. After leaving the group (i.e., after an aril is touching no other aril), the arils will spoil normally before another aril joins the group. When separated so that no aril is touching any of the others, a destroyed aril will reappear with another aril, apparently at random. When all arils are destroyed simultaneously, all the arils reappear randomly at the location of one of the destroyed arils. All reappearance occurs at the exact same time as the destruction of the aril(s), to the point where the intervening time cannot be measured by high-speed cameras, much less the human eye, although most observers fail to notice the new seed until a few seconds after reappearance.
When SCP-156 is ingested, the subject continues to live as normal until noon of the autumn equinox of the current year, when the subject will collapse and show no vital signs. Despite being technically dead, postmortem examinations are unable to discover a cause of death. Subjects appear to be in perfect health, aside from any pre-existing conditions. While "dead", subjects do not show any signs of rot or decomposition. Infected subjects remain dead until noon on the spring equinox the following year, upon which all vital signs will reactivate, even if the body has since been severely wounded or dismembered to the point of non-functionality during the interim period. Medical examination after reanimation will show exact same results as medical examinations immediately prior to October 21st with the exception of the ████ and █████ which are often bruised and/or covered in scars consistent with overexertion or torture. After questioning, reanimated subjects are able to vaguely recall a pale white male face and a wilting pomegranate tree.
Subjects continue to die and reanimate annually until killed by another cause. Reanimation only occurs from deaths caused by ingesting SCP-156.
Subjects that undergo a single death-reanimation cycle display irrational fear towards their temporary deaths, but will be unable to explain what, exactly, they are afraid of. Also, subjects tend to become more fatalistic than previously. Furthermore, the subject will become paranoid and avoid objects that could pose any potential danger to themselves, including Foundation personnel. Over the course of multiple death/reanimation cycles, the symptoms become more pronounced, as does the post-reanimation scarring or bruising and eventually begin to include puncture wounds. Over the course of several years, subjects gain a paranoia of dead plants and dogs. Between four and six years after ingestion subjects do not regenerate their eyes, and the eyes continue to rot after animation. Eventually, animations leave the subject in a catatonic state. Death and reanimation continues annually even after subjects have reached this stage.
SCP-156 came to the attention of the Foundation after an incident in ████████, Greece, wherein several dozen people died on September 2█, 19██, without cause (far above the normal death rate for the town of just under 4,000 people). It wasn’t until several of those reported dead were spotted (notably, those that had been cremated) that the Foundation became involved, however. Upon investigation the only commonality between the dead was attendance at a house party. In a standard investigation of the house in question, SCP-156 was discovered in a small bowl belonging to the late A█████ G█████. The rest of the house had deteriorated since the owner’s apparent death after the incident, but the pomegranate arils had remained fresh. The arils were confiscated for testing. Testing commenced on D-Class personnel on August ██, 19██. D-E15624, the first test subject died on September 2█, 19██, and was autopsied. No cause of death could be found. Subject was left under monitoring in storage. On March 2█, 19██, subject began to show brain activity and subject's heart began beating, despite having been removed from the chest cavity for examination. Subject regained consciousness only for a few seconds, wherein subject screamed before falling unconscious due to oxygen deprivation. D-E15624 expired shortly thereafter. Arils given SCP status and longer term testing was ordered.
Addendum: Subjects of SCP-156 experiments must not be informed of the existence of SCP-910 or SCP-963. For details, refer to Incident Report-156██, which resulted when Dr. █████████ made a passing reference to SCP-910 within earshot of the then-current SCP-156 subject. Subject attempted immediate escape, killing the two agents attempting to restrain him, and was only terminated after receiving three gunshot wounds to the torso.