SCP Foundation is an internet-based, collaborative speculative fiction project about an organization whose role is to secure, capture, and protect supernatural phenomena. Think of it as X-Files meets creepypasta, where anyone can contribute a story.
While it has its roots in a 2007 4Chan post, it is the SCP Foundation wiki, started in 2008, which houses and organizes all of the community’s creative output. Writers craft dossiers describing the creatures and other phenomena, and the containment procedures necessary to protect them, and those dossiers live within the wiki, each possessing its own case file number.
Some SCP stories are creepy, and others are droll. Anyone who has ever found themselves wandering around a cavernous IKEA might be able to relate to SCP-3008:
“SCP-3008-1 is a space resembling the inside of an IKEA furniture store, extending far beyond the limits of what could physically be contained within the dimensions of the retail unit. Current measurements indicate an area of at least 10km2 with no visible external terminators detected in any direction. Inconclusive results from the use of laser rangefinders has led to the speculation that the space may be infinite.” - From "SCP-3008," SCP Foundation
While videos inspired by this collaborative project have been uploaded to YouTube for almost as long as the project has existed, in recent months, viewership of these videos have reached unexpected highs.
Global viewership of videos related to SCP Foundation topped 1 billion views last year.
SCP Foundation videos topped 1 billion views in 2019
Annual views of videos related to SCP Foundation
Source: YouTube Data, Global, 2008 - 2019
These videos, which range from adaptations of the lore in the SCP wiki to let’s play videos of games derived from the SCP Foundation’s stories, peaked in monthly viewership this year.
SCP Foundation views hit all time high in August
Monthly views of videos related to SCP Foundation
Source: YouTube Data, Global, 1/2020- 8/2020
This explainer is representative of content from channels that explore the lore of the SCP Foundation. It was uploaded by The Exploring Series, which has over 600K subscribers.
Each of the SCP phenomena has its own case file, and the case file that has inspired the greatest number of uploads is SCP-3008, the story of an endless IKEA.
Top 10 Most-Uploaded SCPs
Uploads of videos with “SCP” and a number in the title
Source: Global YouTube views, 1/2020 - 8/2020 * SCP-6789 aka Siren Head is not an actual SCP
The ever-expanding universe of SCP phenomena is reflected in the shifting array of most-uploaded SCP subjects.
Top 5 Most Uploaded SCPs since 2012
Annual uploads of videos with “SCP” and a number in the title
Source: YouTube Data, global, 2012 - 2020 * SCP-6789 aka Siren Head is not an actual SCP
This adaptation of the SCP-3008 story comes from SCP Animated - Tales From The Foundation, which began uploading in January of this year and has gained over 600K subscribers. This video has over 3.75 million view
SCP viewership peaked as all-time Google search interest in SCP Foundation was peaking.
Global Search Interest in SCP Foundation Peaks In May
Indexed Google search interest in SCP Foundation topic
Source: Google Search Data, Global, 1/2008 - 9/2020
Interest is truly global as viewership of these videos stretches from North America to Europe to Asia, where even smaller countries like Japan and Vietnam have creators who have gained subscribers and views from leaning into SCP Foundation content.