SCP-296-FR
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A well known SCP-296-FR-V instance, photographed during the Viking 1 probe flyby above a rock affected by the phenomenon.

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Outside SCP-296-FR episodes, this area of the red planet is entirely non-anomalous.

Item #: SCP-296-FR

Threat Level: Green

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: Upon discovery of the phenomenon by NASA in 1976, multiple dissimulation agreements were reached with national and international space agencies. Images of the surface of Mars under the influence of SCP-296-FR must at no time be revealed to the public and are to be transferred in priority to the researchers at Site-Lamedh. Any human mission to Mars planned by an organisation other than the Foundation and its allies is to be sabotaged through all available means.

For several years, growing suspicion of the existence of SCP-296-FR has been noticed among anti-NASA conspirationists and groups related to the Flat-Earth Society, which required in several occasions the disbanding of the group in question and the amnesiation of members. In order to stop these leaks and prevent them in the future, disinformation agreements were reached with known civilian scientists such as C███ S████ and S██████ H██████.

As of today, SCP-296-FR has not influenced non-anomalous searches for life on Mars; this situation should be maintained as long as possible.

Description: SCP-296-FR is a series of events occuring once per day on the planet Mars, a few minutes prior to solar dusk. Its distance to Earth makes it almost indetectable from the Earth, but not from various technological objects in this area of the solar system, which is the main obstacle to its dissimulation. For approximately six minutes, portions of the martian terrain autonomously locomote on the surface of the planet to form shapes which remind of human and animal faces (referred to as SCP-296-FR-V). This also results in the formation, where orifices would be located on an actual face, of caves and tunnels of unknown length (see exploration logs).

Instances of SCP-296-FR typically span across fifty meters (50m) to twenty-five kilometers (25km) and depict male faces in 55% of cases, female faces in 35% of cases, and non-human animals in other cases (Middle-Eastern dog and cat breeds, lions, several species of monkeys, and species contained by the Foundation such as [REDACTED]). Human faces do not typically bear any distinctive traits except in rare cases tattoos similar to those worn by inhabitants of SCP-2688, otherwise fairly common in Ancient Arabia. The anomalous terrain shifts do not appear to affect the ground or the underground, as opposed to what geological simulations predict for the displacement of such landmasses at such speeds; the bumps and holes slide on the surface without cracking the ground, which appears to behave like a highly viscous fluid when affected by an instance.

At the end of SCP-296-FR, all objects displaced by the movement of an instance are transported back to their original location through unknown means, and SCP-296-FR instances vanish. All displaced terrain features then return to their usual location, and no detectable evidence of SCP-296-FR remains.

Terrain shifts sometimes induce an impression of facial movement, up to and including speech (though no sound is produced). It is not unusual for instances to make "eye" contact with martian probes and rovers, for unknown reasons.

Addendum 1: SCP-296-FR-O is a spherical celestial body which can only be observed from the surface of Mars during SCP-296-FR. The distance from Mars to SCP-296-FR-O was estimated through parallax to a hundred thousand kilometers (100 000 km), for a mean diameter of a thousand kilometers (1000 km). An object of such size would normally have a significant gravitationnal influence on Mars and its satellites, undetected to this day. When SCP-296-FR-O is visible, instances of SCP-296-FR-V continuously stare at it, articulating an array of sounds yet to be decyphered (see exploration log).

Addendum 2: Exploration missions

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