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Brown Note / SCP Foundation

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With such an abundance in The Foundation’s line of work, it has its own field or two of study on Brown Notes, that which is referred to as a "cognitohazard"; a hazard to the cognitive senses (usually sight or sound, but can apply to smell, taste and even touch). These can simply be something that can alter or erase from the mind to something more dangerous.

A subtype of cognitohazard is the “memetics”: it actively spreads itself through knowledge; if someone is told about the meme then they too can spread the meme’s effects themselves. And yes, it can be that kind of meme.


The Wiki itself, understandably, has a far more complete documentation of their Brown Notes. The out-of-universe page Tech Hub Tag gives a short and dry explanation as to what is or isn't an infohazard or memetic, while the in-universe Understanding Memetics and Memetics and Infohazards Division Orientation give longer and more entertaining explanations of memetics but don't cover congitohazards in-and-of themselves.

  • A "Langford-Berryman Memetic Kill Agent" triggers a fatal neurally-induced heart attack in any "un-inoculated" personnel trying to view the SCP-001 entry. Try your luck here.
  • Second one in and SCP-002 already has an effect on people’s perception of it; albeit a rather weak one that can be nullified by taking the hand of someone else.
  • A grisly start in just the first fifty, SCP-012 is "On Mount Golgotha", a handwritten musical score quilled onto the script with a person's bloodied fingernails. People introduced to the parchment go insane, clawing open their wrists before they Rage Quit over the impossibility of getting the piece right.
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  • SCP-023 is a Black Shuck, a Hell Hound of British folklore. If someone looks at it, either they or one of their immediate family members will die one year after the viewer breaks eye-contact with the creature, the affected dropping dead with internal burns and ashes filling their organs.
  • The pheromones released from SCP-031 instantly causes the inhaler to perceive its Blob Monster body as whatever arouses them. A Chubby Chaser would see a Big Beautiful Woman instead; Mrs. Robinson would find herself a nice young man; an asexual would see… a foggy silhouette. Huh.
  • SCP-055 would be an iconic example, possibly even the Trope Codifier of anti-memes. It's not like You Cannot Grasp the True Form – you can look in its cell and see it quite clearly – if only we remembered, that is, whatever we were talking of...
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  • Inverted with SCP-096: if someone see its face, even as a photo or video recording, it ruthlessly murders them after an extended Freak Out.
  • SCP-099 is René Magritte's 1935 Spooky Painting "The Portrait"; the one in New York is a Foundation-made forgery, with the real one cursing prolonged viewers with extreme paranoia over Being Watched to the point of hallucinating that The Walls Have Eyes. The Foundation tried to weaponize the effect, but the results were bad enough that the entire section was expunged.
  • Almost a companion piece to SCP-099, SCP-151 is an oil painting of underwater sunlight shining through the ocean surface. Viewers of the painting start producing seawater in their lungs, drowning by the next day.
  • SCP-224 ("Grandfather Clock"). When the clock chimes, anyone in range of the sound will undergo Rapid Aging.
  • SCP-298 is an Ominous Pipe Organ that causes the blood of anyone who hears it to be expelled from their body and gain the consistency of cellulose, and paralyzes them to stop them from escaping. Believed to be entirely sonic in nature, as people who can't hear it are not affected. Active noise cancellation technology, however, is only partially effective, so deafness may not be as effective as soundproofing. Also if the organ is used for parts, organs repaired with those parts may start to take on diluted forms of the originals’ powers...
  • SCP-332 is a marching band that plays every 48 hours, or when someone gets too close. People hearing the band play will be overtaken by an intense desire to acquire an instrument and join the band, or pretend to play an instrument if they cannot find one, and play until they pass out from exhaustion and are subsequently trampled by the band members.
  • Perhaps the most dangerous is SCP-370. The first victim had to actually look at the thing - that's all it takes - but it's so contagious that knowing too much about what it looks like or what happens to the infected is enough to become infected. Finding out what could and couldn't be safely known of it was something that happened the hard way to its discoverers. Some of those infected cannot help trying to give out information that will spread the effect and even secretly edit documents previously thought harmless, though of course precautions are taken against this.note  Because of this, we are absolutely positively mostly sure reading the SCP writeup won't affect you, and therefore almost sure the words you’re reading right now do not mean that You Are Already Dead.
    • The object itself is a key. That is the only thing safe to know about what it looks like. If you learn anything else about it you are infected.
  • SCP-407 ("Song of Genesis"), is a cassette tape of a Black Speech cappella that triggers "rapid cell generation" in listeners, to the point where after around five minutes of exposure causes the attendant to rupture into a plethora of Meat Moss molded into an Alien Kudzu habitat covering the room.
  • SCP-413 ("Endless Garage"). It gives off a low-frequency sound inside itself that harms human navigation abilities, balance and short term memory. Prolonged exposure can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, vertigo, anxiety and claustrophobia. Luckily, the effect will wear off after the victim leaves SCP-413.
  • And then there's me, SCP-426, the toaster who makes you refer to me in the first person, and will make you act like a toaster if you're in my presence for two months.
  • SCP-513 is a rusty old cowbell kept sealed in an insulating cube of gelatin. Once you hear it ring, you find a Lean and Mean apparition stalking you for the rest of your days… which isn’t much.
  • SCP-571 ("Self-Propagating Infectious Pattern"). Observing this pattern causes the unlucky victim to have a compulsion to draw the aforementioned pattern, using any methods available, up to and including their own blood. Once the victim copies it, they urge other people to look at their work, triggering the cycle again. The site that contains it is in an isolated location, since a population of a massive size becoming infected could cause The End of the World as We Know It. One of the worst parts about it is that the anomalous effect occurs in the pattern itself, not just the medium it's on, which means that anyone can scribble down a random pattern of lines and get infected.
  • SCP-572 is a decorative katana subject to high praises from whoever wields it, boasting under the delusion of their offensive capabilities. In actuality, the wielder is less of an elite swordsman and more like an eighth-grader. Once it's out of their hands, a Tap on the Head should turn them back to normal. Should the person keep the katana, they will attempt to do incredibly idiotic things like Parrying Bullets or cutting a moving car in half.
  • A millennium-old flute carved from a child’s femur, SCP-573 (“The Pied Pipe”) gives the holder the know-how to play it. Its songs place both animals and prepubescent children in a trance,note  during which they are submissive to the player’s demands.
  • SCP-621 (“Hypnobulbs”), “a series of highly invasive flowering plants”note , completely hypoallergenic with a strong aroma, vibrant colors and a faint bioluminescence. Those hypnotized are compelled to assure the plants’ longevity: pollinators take priority over the bulbs, herbivores avoid eating or trampling them, and humans often get the idea of relocating them a la potted plants.
  • SCP-628 ("Flute Copse"). A grove of hollow sycamore trees with their tops broken off, they can play music like an organ when the wind blows. Their music includes infrasound (AKA subsonics) that can cause disorientation and the emotions of fear, awe, sorrow and anxiety in those listening to it.
  • SCP-632 is a species of spider. The combination of the sight of them, the feel of them crawling on your skin and smelling the chemicals they emit will cause baby versions of the spiders to grow in your brain.
  • SCP-701 is a play very reminiscent of The King in Yellow. There's a 37% chance that the audience watching/listening to the play will go insane and start violently rioting. In a small number of cases the insanity is permanent.
  • The containment procedures for SCP-823 give nothing more than a paragraph mentioning that security should don earplugs and retreat by two kilometers to the Yellow Zone in the event of music emanating from the restricted Red Zone. Never giving an explicit reason why, it is implied that whatever the music forebodes may have had something to do with how half of the Task Force sent in there ended up killing themselves in unique, elaborate ways.
  • "Mnemonic Meme", Exactly What It Says on the Tin if you inspect the etymology. SCP-868 is a Mind Virus spread through lengthy conversations that improves the affected persons' long-term memory; the problem is that it gets in the way of the Foundation’s Laser-Guided Amnesia used to keep their Masquerade.
  • SCP-882 is a nonsensical, complex mass of clockwork parts that was made as a makeshift Heart Drive used in the revival of a long-broken god of machinery. Metals introduced to it fuse and transmute into new cams, gears, springs and pistons, yet all these parts doesn’t make a sound as they move; only after staying in its presence does an incessant ticking keep you up at night, with the act of “feeding” it metals easing the noise stuck in your head.
  • The only piece in its collection that isn’t lost or in the hands of another Group of Interest, SCP-884-4 is a handheld mirror from the 1910s. Through the D-Classes, they found that the wielder never perceived the loss of hair when they shaved. Briefly stolen by The Chaos Insurgency before the Foundation reclaimed it, over twenty CI agents died going after it again. Only after decades of laborious, inconclusive testing did the Foundation find the reason for the Insurgency’s obsession with it: after looking in the mirror, the dozens of researchers contracted feelings of self-doubt and indecisiveness indistinguishable from mild O.C.D., culminating in the point where - around ten years after their symptoms first arose - they were left incapable of making decisions of their own.
  • SCP-895 is one, but only when seen or heard through something such as a camera lens or radio.
  • The silhouette figures of SCP-899 pose a minor threat to adults. Should they advance from throwing rocks, they will attempt to lay a hand on the adult, stripping them of the memories before their adolescence, drastically shifting their demeanor.
  • SCP-920 has some sort of innate charm that compels people who talk to him to join him on his stroll… a long one since they both have No Sense of Direction and he is named "Mr. Lost" for a reason.
  • Like any dog, SCP-955 ("Mr. Sillybug") would love any group of kids that spared some time to pet him. The adults, however, would see differently, acting appropriately to seeing kindergarteners handling a dog-sized anglerfish with legs.
  • Not too dissimilar to SCP-224 (listed above), SCP-983 only activates and affects someone on their birthday. Said someone can reverse the Rapid Aging by eating the Soul Jar candy rewarded by adequately participating with its Playground Song.
  • SCP-993 broadcasts can only be perceived by young children, causing anyone over the age of nine to fall unconscious for its duration with only memories of a "stabbing headache".
  • SCP-1012 (“Secret Chord”), a collection of five widely-varying tones that will literally destroy the world, at the atomic level, if they are ever produced in unison.
  • SCP-1025 is a ≈1,500 page encyclopedia of diseases titled “The Encyclopedia of Common Diseases”. The reader contracts the symptoms of the page’s content, despite previous inoculation, the removal of an organ, the absence of tumors, etc.
  • Several personnel died after SCP-1048’s first creation, SCP-1048-A, let out a shrill wail that caused everyone in five meters to suffocate on ear-like growths filling their throats.
  • SCP-1098 is an infectious Smurfing word. English speakers who hear or read the word will gradually have all of the vocabulary replaced with the word.
  • SCP-1127 is a collection of short films, or at least parts of one, that all permanently alter the minds of any who view them:
    • "Were Clowns Always Yellow? (Number 5)", a film where a Nazi Monster Clown rants at viewers for several minutes about humor, interspersed with him executing people. After watching the film, viewers will find disturbing things funny, and funny things disturbing. note 
    • "Crazy Where? You Are (Number 0)", a film where a little girl slowly dismembers her teddy bear with a knife while ranting about how violence is the answer. It turns people into hyper-sociopaths who often engage in injuring others out of "curiosity", and usually have to be outright terminated after exposure because they pose too great a risk to others.
    • "All? Comes With Yesterday (Number X)", a film where a woman wearing a Victorian gown and a metallic mask which is stitched onto her face narrates over images of machinery and other artifacts, reciting random words and at one point repeating the word "liar" over and over. Viewers develop an extreme phobia of pretty much anything man-made, especially technology, and have to be institutionalized.
    • "Why Are You Crying? (Number -1)", a film where a bruised, leather-clad man narrates over pornography and sexual imagery. Any viewers lose all interest in pornography and develop obsessions with various creepy, harmful, and criminal paraphilias.
  • SCP-1207 is a metal sign saying “THIS IS A MIROR YOU ARE A TYPO”, causing viewers to perceive it as a mirror both to the eye and by touch. This invokes an obsession with their “reflection”, alway finding a Fatal Flaw in their appearance and a growing want to correct it.
  • SCP-1423 is a Polaroid photograph from the summer of 1976. After holding the picture, the viewer will begin vividly reminiscing over their last summer vacation from high school, eventually leading to an obsession. They attempt to recreate and improve upon the original memories to their dismay, eventually cataloging discrepancies in their recurring dreams about it. The Foundation retrieved the photo from ███  █████, a survivor  of SCP-332’s first performance.  
  • SCP-1529 (“King of the Mountain”) lures stray climbers of Mount Everest with a gaze into its goggles, presenting visions of warmth and hospice as they succumb to the cold.
  • SCP-1759, an American bomber from World War II with artwork of a blonde woman labeled “Lovely Lucy” on the side. Anyone touching the artwork automatically learns how to pilot Lucy, begins conversing fondly with the plane, ending with the reenactment of a dogfight that leaves the pilot riddled with sudden bullet wounds. Testing ended when a D-Class rebelled on Lucy’s behalf, wrestling a pistol from a guard in an attempt to kill the doctor overseeing the tests.
  • SCP-1833 appears to be a normal, aged, fifty-page copy of the ███████  High School’s yearbook “Reflections of '76”, but upon opening things get weird. High school-graduated readers perceive the yearbook as their own, finding themselves in some of the pictures, fellow classmates, and even the school band. Gradually, things get more sinister with each page — the photos’ subjects become more harsh, the others’ quotes become disparaging and abrasive and the occasional face appearing scarred and deformed.  
  • The scholar’s textbook titled "Reproductive Methods of Bony Fish", by Uriah Fetch Publishing, has a notable record of its "duller" readers asphyxiating themselves under the delusion they are fish. You, on the contrary, are far more capable of fulfilling your inner fish than those mouth-breathers...
  • SCP-1875 sends emails and modifies incident reports with these. Considering the circumstances behind the situation, it's quite understandable.
  • SCP-1993 is the severed right leg of a human. When someone sees it, they instantly think it's their leg and amputate their own to "reaffix" SCP-1993 to their body. Subjects usually die from either the injuries or infections from their Self-Meatgrinder Surgery, with their actual, newly amputated right leg becoming the new instance of SCP-1993.
  • Viewers perceive SCP-2046 as an accurate chart if they don’t have a genuine Periodic Table of Elements to compare it to.
  • After an “Entire Local Family Chokes To Death On Single Calculator”, the Foundation found that SCP-2061 causes anyone in 20 meters who looks at it to be compelled with shoving it down their throat. The only people immune are those who have gotten a paycheck from Sharp Corporation and those who have had “unprotected sexual intercourse” with the former.
  • SCP-2076 is a phenomenon where posters appear across Illinois, appearing to be some publicity campaign preaching Meaningless Meaningful Words or just Blatant Lies that the reader takes at face value, whether it says that putting baked potatoes in boxes helps endangered animals or that shooting yourself increases bullet resistance.
  • Your best guess what SCP-2304 (“Like This Image To Die Instantly”) does.
  • SCP-2316 is a fenced-off lake with somewhere from around forty-five to two hundred corpses floating in the water. Viewers knowledgeable about the phenomenon’s properties  begin to recognize their faces, so the Foundation combats the effects with a mantra to remind yourself that you do not recognize the bodies in the water.  
  • SCP-2519 is an MP3 file called 'Babylon.mp3. It's a recording of "By the waters of Babylon" by Phillip Hayes that makes any technological equipment work poorly and eventually not at all, and if played on any device will cause them to propagate it to other devices linked to it and compose more bars of the song. The Foundation decides to test it on their sentient machine SCPs, and they all uniformly become sluggish, moody and embittered. And in the case of Mr. Brass, murderous.
  • Around 5% of humanity is susceptible to SCP-2662’s innate effect of causing Apocalypse Cults in those who are Weak-Willed. The juvenile Cthulhumanoid, however, isn’t interested in having a cult to play with and would rather play games on the Steam library.
  • The original SCP-2678 is a phenomenon starting with random billboards along highways in the southeast U.S. compelling a viewer to detour to an abandoned building. There they will find the inside of a decrepit church with a flesh-lined wormhole in the center, where the affected will jump in for a hot, steamy and euphoric sensation as they are slowly Eaten Alive. The SCP is listed as “The Vorehole”, did I forget to mention that?
  • SCP-2805 (“Disney on Ice”) is the Older Than Cable TV rumor of Walt Disney’s severed head in a cryogenic freezer. Anyone who looks at his head will receive sometime in the next 24 hours a phone call where Disney’s voice will talk with them about their ambitions for the future and the EPCoT note  portion of Disneyworld.
  • SCP-2927 ("Soundspots"). SCP-2927 is two tones generated at 75 dB at frequencies of 16.8 kHz and 27 Hz. Anyone who listens to them suffers from dread and unease, which get stronger the closer the person gets to the source of the sound. Anyone who approaches within two meters will permanently experience night terrors, insomnia and a strong fear of prolonged noises.
  • While the Foundation uses the mucus that SCP-3000 secretes, Compound Y-909, to make strong amnestics, the mere presence of the thing fucks with your head. People's memories are affected, and they start losing themselves. It gets worse the closer to the eel you get, with the initial dive team eventually having their minds entirely destroyed. Worse, it also can give you the memories of others. One scientist got a nasty shock when he realized his wife and child were actually the relatives of his deceased coworker, while he was single and childless. He still remembered raising the child and being in love with the woman despite never having done so.
  • SCP-3007 ("The World of two Artists") features a sentient Infohazard, according to Word of God. We never get to know it personally, but we see the aftermath of its rampage. Bodies mutated beyond recognition, crashed and destroyed planes, and a dead city. A series of paintings left by the other Artist tells the story of how the people of this world traveled far, and accidentally brought the Infohazard with them home, and the last painting implies it's coming for earth. Said Infohazard is rendered in Red, or rather Scarlet.
  • The creator of SCP-3078 (“Cognitohazardous Shitpost”) intended to make a self-reposting meme guaranteed to make viewers laugh, but ended up Going Horribly Right just about instantly; it functioned like a virtual Joker Gas and by the time the Foundation neutralized the images they had already caused 3,578 people worldwide to Die Laughing.
  • SCP-3270 (“The Painting That Makes You A Furry”) is a painting of a cat sleeping upright into a pillow where looking at it causes just that. The affected will start adopting feline behaviors in the first three weeks, and after a gradual and excruciating metamorphosis, by the sixth month, they'll be a talking cat.
  • More Furries. SCP-3312, (“OWO what’s this?”) is a website drenched with Brown Notes posing as a fan community for furries. Going from Stage 1, starting with piqued interest in anthropomorphic characters, this steeply devolves into Stage 6: a delusional Manchild with “a total loss of higher cognitive functions”, wearing Brown-Pantsed costumes as they wail on people like a feral toddler.
  • SCP-4774 is a hypothetical gas planet that might be past Neptune. If someone thinks about the possibility of its existence they will arrive to one in a set of commonly-reached conclusions despite their knowledge of astronomy. A 2021 expedition of the Foundation sent a voyage to the predicted location of SCP-4774 disappeared and came back 34 days late with no memory of their voyage after their disappearance. Since then, they came up with new conclusions; such as if the planet existed it shouldn’t support life, but if it did have life, the equally hypothetical life only partially exists and that confirming whether it exists or not would threaten its further existence and/or non-existance. Upon discovering this, the Foundation banned research into whether it's real or not.
  • SCP-5319 is a song that causes orangutans to burst into flames on exposure to it. This works no matter what form the song is presented in; playing the melody, singing the words a capella, or even showing a printed sheet of the lyrics to an orangutan will cause ignition.
  • SCP-5999 "This Is Where I Died" seems like a long string of events revolving around typical horror movie tropes. Each iteration of the file includes a warning about containment breach imminent, and the phrase "this is where I died." The final file is a video of a satanic-looking creature emerging from the darkness and mist. The articles are red herrings. The Foundation is trying to scare the reader to death.
  • The Global Occult Coalition has KTE-6024, a weapon designed as a way to stop the spread of Brown Notes. Upon infecting a person, it renders them unable to speak or understand language. With the foundation of society gone, infected regions quickly devolve into mass chaos and despair. When it was first found running rampant through a small German town, the Coalition was forced to deploy 200 M240 machine guns and a pair of missiles to kill everyone in town, as well as two surrounding towns just to be on the safe side. In the end, after containing it at great loss of civilian life, a crazed artist spreads it anyway. The final section of the document implies it resulted in most of humanity stuck unable to use language.

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