What Does 'You Do Not Recognise the Bodies in the Water' Mean? Creepy SCP TikTok Explained

An alarming video, posted by an account known as "SCP Realised", is causing a stir on TikTok, as it issues a chilling message to viewers warning them that they "do not recognise the bodies in the water".

What is the "You Do Not Recognise the Bodies in the Water" video about?

Presented in the style of a public service announcement, the unnerving clip shows grainy footage of a small waterfall cascading into a lake. While this recording loops, a robotic narrator describes some kind of supernatural event that is related to the water.

According to the voice-over, this lake (labelled SCP-2316) is the source of an "anomalous sensory phenomenon". Supposedly, it causes passersby to hallucinate images of people they know drowning in the body of water.

The narrator then reports that several individuals have already died trying to rescue people who are not even there. The video continues to reveal that the phenomenon has spread to 65% of the earth's water supply and that viewers should remain indoors until the situation has been contained.

It then ends with the disturbing message: "It is essential you remember at all times that you do not recognise the bodies in the water".

SCP Realised Explained

Since the clip went viral, many have been left wondering where it came from, if it is genuine, and who administrates the SCP Realised TikTok account.

If you are worried about the content of the unsettling video, rest assured that is indeed fictional and that it is all part of an elaborate urban legend.

SCP Realised is a TikTok account that regularly posts clips of this nature, producing authentic-seeming reports on things like escaped creatures, catastrophic events, and otherworldly discoveries. Its output is inspired by the collaborative fiction project, the SCP Foundation, which has been running for over a decade now.

In case you are not familiar with this, the SCP Foundation is a "creepypasta", which means that it is an urban legend that gained traction on the internet (like Slenderman). It is supposed to be a covert organization that monitors supernatural phenomena and defends the world from paranormal threats.

The initialism stands for "Secure Contain Protect". Think of it a bit like a darker version of Men in Black or one of those shady organizations from the X-Files.

Since 2008, fans have been able to contribute to the evolving lore of the SCP Foundation, by writing fictional scientific reports and short stories that are hosted on a dedicated wiki page. One of the most famous examples of this is the "The Sculpture" legend, which revolves around a malformed creature that will attack if you break eye contact with it (like the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who).

The SCP Foundation is a community project, which means that it is not the intellectual property of any given person, and that anyone can submit their ideas to the website. For example, the original SCP-2316 post (from which the recent TikTok video was derived) is authored by the user "Djkaktus," who has produced several other articles and reports for the wiki.

It has become such a popular online sensation that it is even transitioned into the world of video games. The urban legend is the subject of immensely successful horror titles like SCP – Containment Breach and SCP: Secret Laboratory. Meanwhile, although it is not explicitly based on the project, Remedy Entertainment's Control also takes inspiration from the creepypasta, featuring a very similar premise and world.

It was inevitable that the mythos would eventually reach TikTok, with the SCP Realised account feeling like a logical extension of the wiki page. A testament to the power of this concept, the latest "bodies in the water" video has been viewed over 5.5 million views since it was published in late July.

Correction 8/13/21, 02.21 a.m. ET: This article originally claimed that The Sculpture creature was like the "inverse" of Doctor Who's Weeping Angels. It has now been updated to reflect that the premise is actually the same. It has also been updated to include a reference to Djkaktus.

Stock Photo of a Lake
Image shows Pantano Redondo lave covered with fog. DANIEL MUNOZ/Getty Images