Item #: SCP-410
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-410 is currently held at Site-23, Entomology Lab 14/Zeta, and maintained in a 1 x 1 x 1m transparent acrylic glass container. The top of the container is perforated with thirty-three (33) 1mm holes to allow for ventilation and features a small, hinged, lockable hatch in its center measuring 5 x 5 cm. The hatch utilizes a simple cylinder lock which is to be re-keyed every three (3) months. The hatch is to remain locked unless SCP-410 is actively being fed or constituent members of SCP-410 are being removed for/returned from research applications.
Every twenty four (24) hours, a visual inspection and inventory of SCP-410 and its constituent members is to be performed and logged according to Level IV Archival Standards by designated observational staff. Any increase or decrease in the number of constituent members of SCP-410 should be reported to the senior researcher on duty immediately.
Every twelve (12) hours, a document containing no fewer than five thousand (5000) words in any language, but possessing a minimum syntactical, orthographical and/or grammatical error ratio of 1% (50 errors/5000 words) is to be placed inside the container. The document should be removed after one (1) hour, reviewed by a staff linguist with a specialty in the language the document was composed in, and subsequently filed in the SCP-410 Feeding Archive. "Food" documents should be composed specifically for the purpose of sustaining the SCP-410 colony. No existing archival materials or official SCP records should be given to the entire SCP-410 colony under any circumstances.
A single individual from the 14-member colony that comprises SCP-410 may be removed for research and functional application for a single two (2) hour activity period daily with approval from the senior researcher on duty. No more than four (4) members of the colony are to be removed at any given time. Transport of a single SCP-410 colony member should be facilitated by no fewer than two (2) Class 2 entomology staff using only an approved SCP-410 transport module to do so. The current SCP-410 transport modules are 20 x 20 x 20cm transparent acrylic glass containers perforated with twelve (12) 1mm ventilation holes and each featuring a hinged lid equipped with a simple latch.
Description: SCP-410 is a colony of fourteen (14) individual beetles (designated Scarabaeus scriptor by staff coleopterist Dr. Langstrom), each measuring approximately 5cm and possessing a carapace color variation from light blue to deep emerald green. A visual examination reveals nothing distinctive from other members of the genus Scarabaeus with regards to their appearance (number of legs, wings, eyes, etc). Dissection of a single member of the colony by a trained coleopterist showed no discernible anomalies in internal morphology with the exception of a small additional organ (designated the "scriptorgan" by Dr. Langstrom) capable of producing a variety of fluids both caustic and inert. It is worth noting that following the death and dissection of this member of the colony, a "replacement" beetle larvae was seen fourteen (14) days later and grew to full maturity within one month.
Members of SCP-410 appear to subsist entirely on inscribed language; more specifically, on syntactical, orthographical, and grammatical errors found in any form of writing physically inscribed on any surface by any currently available method. SCP-410 has no effect on electronic displays or digitized data. Consumed writing disappears from the surface of whatever material it has been inscribed upon. Between eighteen (18) and twenty-two (22) minutes following a feeding, SCP-410 will excrete "corrected" writing; inscribing it by unknown means back upon the surface from which the errors were consumed. To date, all corrections made by SCP-410 have been evaluated as 100% accurate by both staff and independent orthographers and linguists.
Individually, members of SCP-410 each seem to be able to consume and correct an approximate maximum of twenty-five thousand (25000) characters worth of errors daily and appear healthy and active with as few as five (5). Lack of sustenance for a period in excess of one day results in increasing lethargy until SCP-410 becomes completely inert, entering an apparent state of hibernation. SCP-410 can be roused from this state with a minimum of fifty (50) errors placed within its proximity. In groups of three (3) or more, SCP-410 will not only correct grammatical and orthographic errors, but begin to alter the style of the original text slightly; often using a somewhat expanded vocabulary and incorporating more complex narrative methods. When the entire colony is applied to a single document, all linguistic errors are corrected and the document is "perfected" in clarity, style, word choice, and rhetorical technique to such an extent that the original author's voice is nearly non-existent. Although the central thesis of a document always remains, the arguments supporting it may be vastly more complex or compelling in the case of research writing. In the case of basic lists of short statements or simple observational reports, enhanced correction may be in the form of layout alterations to provide greater clarity. See archival files 410-A44.2 through 410-A59888.6 for examples of editing.
There appear to be few limitations on the languages or materials that SCP-410 can interpret and harvest sustenance from. Hieroglyphs from the 31st century BCE Narmer Palette were successfully corrected by SCP-410 just as easily as errors created in the modern constructed language Esperanto. Excreted corrections match the original colors, method and medium of the errors with near-perfect accuracy. Graphites, inks, engravings, acid etchings, and high-energy laser inscriptions have all been successfully replicated in appearance by SCP-410's corrections. The only anomaly found within excreted corrections appears to be an inability to replicate aged materials. Errors inscribed in ink on a 14th century CE illuminated manuscript were ingested by SCP-410 and while corrections were excreted in a matching color, they possessed the vibrant intensity of new ink. Staff experts were easily able to spot the corrections in the manuscript visually, and spectrographic analysis confirmed the excreted inks were modern while the surrounding text dated from the time of the original manuscript.
SCP-410 has successfully harvested error sustenance from and excreted corrections onto the following materials:
- Human Skin (see Experiment 410-7.9)
- Beta Carbon Nitride
One (1) heavily-tattooed Class D exposed to one (1) constituent member of SCP-410. Class D staff member (hereafter "Subject D") possessed a prison-created tattoo with the words "Foerever Your's Babey" on her left forearm.
15 seconds: Subject D secured in a motion-restricting harness and fitted with a pulse rate monitor. One (1) constituent member of SCP-410 removed from transport unit and placed on Subject D's left arm.
49 seconds: SCP-410 begins circling the perimeter of the tattoo.
122 seconds: SCP-410 begins consuming the tattoo's error, beginning with the first extraneous "e" in "Foerever". Subject D indicates an 8 on the NRS-11 pain scale. Pulse rate reaches 106.
149 seconds: SCP-410 finishes consuming the first extraneous "e". It no longer appears on the subject, revealing a bare patch of slightly reddened skin. Subject D reports pain has ceased. Describes the pain "like putting my goddamn arm in a blender." Pulse rate 94.
224 seconds: SCP-410 finishes consuming errors in the tattoo, appears to fall asleep. Tattoo now reads "Fo ever Your Bab " Subject D experiences pulse rate fluctuations between 102 and 144. Reports pain ranging between 6 and 10 on the NRS-11. Subject D requests painkillers. Request denied.
1226 seconds: SCP-410 rouses, begins excretion/correction process. Subject D's pulse rate 113; reports NRS-11 rating 3 to 4; describes it as roughly analogous to being tattooed.
1494 seconds: SCP-410 completes excretion/correction process. Tattoo reads "Forever Yours, Baby", with corrected lettering's colors significantly more vibrant than unedited counterparts.