Item #: SCP-995
Object Class: /Safe/
**Special Containment Procedures: Currently, the Foundation owns █2 specimens of SCP-995. All specimens are to be contained within a 4mt3 plexiglass container, filled with saline water, free from any life forms except for SCP-995 located in Sector-28. They are to be fed a soy protein mix diluted in the water once a week.
**Description: SCP-995 is an organism resembling the Coelenterata phylum species, it was retrieved from ████████, Australia in June 19██ after reports of abnormal medusae population rising in their coasts. Its umbrella has been show to contain a highly specialized nervous net. The ectodermal and endodermal lining of the umbrella presents no distinct characteristics compared to other cnidarian classes, however the mesoglea found between these linings has been found to have anomalities, such as totipotential cells resembling the mesenchymal cells found within the mesoderm of certain embryos of other species. See Addendum 1.
SCP-995 possesses cnidocysts all over its tentacles but their function is different with other species in that once they have stung, they fuse with the peripheral nerves of the victim and liberate neurotoxins that deprive the victim of its senses for a short time and paralyzes agonist muscles preventing the removal of the cnidocysts by the victim, during this event, cells within the mesoglea differentiate and secrete an enzyme that causes the tentacles to retract, pulling the victim closer to the umbrella, when the umbrella comes in contact with the skin of the victim, the cells within the mesoglea produce a different enzyme that catalyzes cellular apoptosis and liberates a virus that penetrates through the unions between the cnidocysts and the nerves of the victim. Once the umbrella has been destroyed, and the virus inoculated in the victim, the tentacles decay and release the nerves.
The virus found within the umbrella of SCP-995 seem to share properties with the Togaviridae and Retroviridae families and it shall be refered as SCP-995-1. The virus has a predilection for nervous and connective tissue cells. After infection, it replicates in local connective tissue cells and reaches the spinal cord via retrograde axonal transport from where it ascends to the encephalon. It may also reach the blood vessels from connective tissue and enter into the viremia phase.. It should be noted that the virus does not infect other organs during the viremia phase and is sensitive to cellular immunity in this phase.
When the encephalon is infected, it changes some behavioral patterns in the infected subject, ranging from a decrease in social communication to complete isolation and prolonged state of sleep. The infected connective tissue continues to function normally, but it is sensitive to cellular immunity responses, it should be noted that infected subjects display slight cyanosis, due to the protein synthesis that the virus induces. After a period ranging from a month to a year, the cyanosis disappears, and the subject regains its former behavior, the pores all over the subject’s skin secrete a gelatinous, gooey, blue substance which has a chemical structure similar to the mesoglea of SCP-995 and has many viral particles suspended in it. If this substance is put in a physiological serum formula, or in saline solution with a cellular line conserved in it, it develops into a new specimen of SCP-995. This substance is highly infectious, and it decays in a 7 day period approximately.
The life cycle of SCP-995 begins with infection, after the expulsion of the substance, a new specimen is formed, which may then infect another subject or may die in approximately two months without replication. It has also been observed that when no potential victim for infection is available, the medusae form enters a period of hibernation that lasts four weeks. When the medusa form dies, it leaves behind the same substance that begins the cycle, but it is not infectious anymore.
Addendum 1: During dissection, it was found the medusa form of SCP-995 had similar morphology to other specimens of medusa from the Cnidarian or Coelenterata phylum, an ectoderm, mesoglea and gastroderm. Further tissue examination of the mesoglea showed totipotential cells similar to the ones found in chicken, elephant and most interestingly human mesoderm in the embryo. Further testing proved these cells can be made to differentiate into normal human cells, however, human cells derived from these cells activate immune response and subsequently rejection.
Addendum 2: Testing with Class-D personnel has shown that the virus promotes the secretion of GABA, Glutamate and Serotonin within the brain, neurotransmitters that are responsible for the behavioral changes of the victims.