A Voracious Coin
Special Containment Procedures
The original copy of SCP-588 is maintained in a minimum security storage locker at Site-19. SCP-588 is contained in a clear, plastic box and is fitted with metal restraints. Researchers coming into contact with SCP-588 are required to wear padded protective gloves. If SCP-588 is removed from containment, absolute attention is to be maintained to ensure that it does not escape (see Incident Report 588-B). Any additional copies of SCP-588 produced during testing are to be subjected to temperatures in excess of 1100˚C for a minimum of five minutes in a Site-19 disposal furnace.
SCP-588 is an American twenty-five cent piece (25¢) minted in 1972. Analysis of the chemical composition of SCP-588 has confirmed that it is a standard 91.67%-8.33% alloy of copper and nickel. The depiction of American President George Washington on the obverse side of the coin displays activity consistent with being “alive.” Despite being bound to the plane of the coin face, the head of Washington has a full 180˚ range of horizontal movement and a vertical range of approximately 90˚.
In addition to movement of the head, SCP-588 is capable of opening and closing Washington’s “mouth,” and will attempt to feed ravenously upon any organic material brought within its proximity. No other parts of the face on the obverse side have been witnessed displaying movement, including the eyes.
SCP-588 has demonstrated the ability to consume up to 1 gram of organic material in a single feeding. Researchers have snapped several specimens of SCP-588, revealing a minuscule air pocket in the area of Washington’s neck which appears to serve as a pseudo-stomach. Analysis of the composition of SCP-588 has revealed no organic structural components; however, trace amounts of digestive enzymes have been isolated from the pseudo-stomach, including ███████████, █████████, and ██████. Between thirty minutes and one hour following feeding, specimens of SCP-588 will secrete a clear and sticky substance from the base of the reverse side. Laboratory analysis has confirmed that it is the digested remains of any organic material the specimen has fed upon.
Copies of SCP-588 have the capability of limited flexion of the coin of up to 2 mm. In this manner, specimens of SCP-588 are able to move rapidly across flat surfaces using rhythmic contractions in the manner of a slug. When approaching a food source, specimens alter their movement pattern to short, upright “hops” on the base edge of the coin. All activity appears to be motivated by the desire to feed and reproduce.
SCP-588 does not require organic material to survive; all consumption appears to be for the purpose of reproduction. After three to four feedings, specimens of SCP-588 will begin to thicken. Over the course of several hours, a specimen will increase its thickness by 1.75 mm, after which a copy of the specimen will split from the reverse side through binary fission. Remarkably, offspring of SCP-588 will display the year they were “born” at the base of the obverse side, although they are identical to SCP-588 in all other aspects. Regardless of the year of their creation, offspring of SCP-588 are uniformly of the style of quarters from prior to the “State Quarter Program” of 1999.
SCP-588 has displayed rudimentary cognitive ability. Copies of SCP-588 will often lay face up on surfaces with the obverse face in the standard ½ profile position, mimicking standard quarters. If a human being touches the specimen, it will attempt to bite their finger and flee rapidly. Multiple copies of SCP-588 tend to gather in large groups and will coordinate feeding attacks if allowed (see Incident Report 588-B).
Incident 588-B: On ██/██/2002, junior researcher Dr. █████ reported to a senior staff member that while transporting SCP-588 from its containment locker to a testing room it “slipped out of the box and scuttled away.” The unfortunate containment breach of SCP-███ at approximately the same time and the resulting death of Dr. █████ led to the incident not being logged. Five months later on ██/██/2002, janitorial staff member ██████ ████ came into contact with a colony of over four hundred individual copies of SCP-588 living off detritus behind the shelves in Storage Pantry-B10. ██████ ████ was discovered unconscious by his coworkers two hours later and was treated for several thousand minute bites on his limbs and body. All escaped instances of SCP-588 are believed to have been retrieved and destroyed, but any Site-19 staff members finding loose change in unlikely places are to report to an on-site security officer immediately.