cThe setting centers around the findings and activities of the SCP Foundation. The Foundation is an international secret society, consisting of a scientific research institution with a paramilitary intelligence agency to support their goals. Despite their extremely secretive nature, the Foundation is entrusted by governments around the world to capture and contain various unexplained phenomena that defy the known laws of nature (referred to as "anomalies", "SCP objects", "SCPs", or colloquially "skips"). They include living beings and creatures, artifacts and objects, locations and places, abstract concepts, and incomprehensible entities which display supernatural abilities or other extremely unusual properties. If left uncontained, many of the more dangerous anomalies will pose a serious threat to humans or even all life on Earth. Their existence is hidden and withheld from the general public in order to prevent mass hysteria, and allow human civilization to continue functioning normally.
Whenever an SCP anomaly is discovered, teams of undercover Foundation agents (often called Mobile Task Forces) are deployed to either collect and transport the object to a Foundation facility, or to contain it at its location of discovery if transportation is not possible. If an anomaly is too widespread, elusive, or otherwise inaccessible, containment consists of suppressing all knowledge of the SCP from the public. This is accomplished both through censorship of mass media, and forcing all eyewitnesses to take amnestic drugs which erase their memories of anomalous events.
Once SCPs are contained and secured at the Foundation's secret facilities by armed guards, they are studied and researched by scientists in order to improve containment methods for them. The Foundation acquires human test subjects known as D-class personnel (who are usually convicted criminals taken from prisons around the world), and force them to interact with SCPs in science experiments or containment procedures, due to the potential danger posed by some SCPs and the expendability of the D-class. The Foundation maintains documentation for all SCPs which they are aware of, which can include or link to related reports and files. These documents describe the SCPs and include instructions for keeping them safely contained, as well as supplementary incident reports or experimentation logs.
Apart from the Foundation itself, there are numerous rival organizations (collectively referred to as Groups of Interest, or GoIs) which are also aware of the existence of paranormal phenomena, and interact with them for various purposes. Examples of major GoIs include the Chaos Insurgency, a terrorist splinter group consisting of ex-Foundation defectors, who attempt to capture SCP objects to weaponize them; the Global Occult Coalition (GOC), a secret paramilitary agency of the United Nations which specializes in destroying supernatural threats instead of containing them; and the Serpent's Hand, a militant group which advocates for the rights of anomalous beings, resisting both the Foundation's and GOC's efforts to suppress all paranormal activity worldwide. Other Groups of Interest seek to exploit anomalies by producing or selling them for monetary profit; or using them to serve their own religious, political, or ideological goals.
Examples of contained SCPs
SCP-087, with SCP-087-1 in the background
SCP-055 is something that causes anyone who examines it to forget its various characteristics, thus making it indescribable except in terms of what it is not.
SCP-087 is a staircase that appears to descend infinitely and significantly inhibits any light lit within its space. The staircase is inhabited by SCP-087-1, which is described as a face without a mouth, pupils or nostrils.
SCP-108 is a Nazi bunker system that is only accessible through a portal found in a woman's nose.
SCP-173 is a humanoid statue composed of rebar, concrete and Krylon spray paint. It is immobile when directly observed, but it attacks people and breaks their neck when the line of sight with it is broken. It is extremely fast, to the point where it can move multiple meters while the observer is blinking.
SCP-294 is a coffee vending machine that can dispense anything that does or can exist in liquid form—including, on occasion, abstract concepts. Regardless of the properties of the substance chosen, the machine's polystyrene cups appear to suffer no damage from the substances dispensed into them.
SCP-426 is a toaster that can only be referred to in the first person.
SCP-999 is a Safe-class orange slime based entity that smells whatever is most comforting to each person. It has a friendly personality and is known to induce positive emotions on contact with humans and other organisms, therefore, it is sometimes used as a tool by the SCP Foundation.
SCP-1171 is a home whose windows are always covered in condensation; by writing in the condensation on the glass, it is possible to communicate with an extra-dimensional entity whose windows are likewise covered in condensation. This entity bears significant hostility towards humans but does not know that the Foundation members are humans.
SCP-1609 is a mulch that teleports into the lungs of anyone who approaches it in an aggressive fashion or while wearing certain uniforms. It was previously a peaceful chair that teleported to whichever nearby person felt the need to sit down, but it entered its current aggressive state after being inserted into a woodchipper by members of the Global Occult Coalition.
SCP-3008 is an IKEA retail store that has an infinite interior space with no outer physical bounds, causing prospective customers to be trapped inside the building after they become lost within its associated pocket dimension, designated as SCP-3008-1. It contains a rudimentary civilization formed by those customers, who are forced to survive and defend themselves against hostile creatures known as SCP-3008-2: tall, faceless humanoids wearing IKEA employee uniforms that become violently aggressive towards all humans during the dimension's simulation of night, in which its lights go out.