Mystery Flesh Pit National Park

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Fandom
Name: Mystery Flesh Pit National Park
Abbreviation(s): MFPNP, MFP, PBSO
Creator: Trevor Roberts (aka StrangeVehicles)
hypnoticwinter (Down The Rabbit Hole)
Date(s): First Reddit post created in May 2019
Medium: Audio, visual, prose
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Official Tumblr
Official Reddit
Official Twitter
Official Youtube
An in-universe "tourism poster" for the Mystery Flesh Pit, purportedly from 1980. The poster is accompanied by the caption, “While the rural areas of west Texas are known for their sparse populations, one tourist attraction seems to continually generate a steady stream of visitors around vacation seasons. The titular "Mystery Flesh Pit” has been a wellspring of fascination for geologists, biologists, sociologists, engineers and the general public alike. Guests are advised to book age-appropriate tours and activities well in advance of their visit, though the pheromonal discharges and the overall agitation level of the MFP can vary with short notice. Visitors should be advised to be prepared for changes in schedule & availability.“
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Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, often shorted to Mystery Flesh Pit, is a horror worldbuilding project by Trevor Roberts, known on Reddit as StrangeVehicles. The project focuses on the titular park, a tourist attraction that is built inside a giant flesh monster discovered in Texas, known as the Permian Basin Superorganism. The official Tumblr presents itself as an internet/historical archive of the park, and posts images and videos of in-universe documents, objects, and other media.

Canon

Updates are posted on Tumblr twice a month. While the Tumblr page itself exists in the present day in-universe, artifacts are posted in the order that they are discovered, and not in the order of the timeline. Examples of artifacts posted include but are not limited to:

  • Advertisements
  • Emergency alerts
  • Government reports
  • Letters
  • Park signage and guides
  • Photographs
    • Tourist photographs from the park
    • Images of equipment used by park workers

In-universe events and artifacts posted fall within three main time periods that make up the bulk of the project.

  • Pre-1976: In 1973, employees of the mining corporation Anodyne accidentally discover a massive subterranean organism. Anodyne spends several years developing and building a tourist attraction inside the organism, opening it in 1976 as the Mystery Flesh Pit.
  • 1976-2007: The heyday of the park. In 1980, the park is absorbed into the United States National Park System, and rebranded as the Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, becoming a joint operation between Anodyne and the NPS. Revenue from tourism and products produced from materials sourced from the Flesh Pit allows Anodyne to grow into the 23rd largest company in the United States.
  • Post-2007: On July 4th, 2007, neglect by Anodyne and a series of events leads to the catastrophic failure of the park's safety systems, resulting in the destruction of critical park infrastructure. The infrastructure failure results in mass casualties and the Flesh Pit becoming semi-active. Anodyne is investigated and quickly goes bankrupt, the park closes, and efforts surrounding the Flesh Pit pivot towards monitoring and containment.

In addition, Trevor Roberts occasionally publishes Q&A posts on the official Tumblr, answering questions users have about the Flesh Pit and related matters from an in-universe perspective, in a form of kayfabe.

Fandom

Most fandom activity for Mystery Flesh Pit takes place on Tumblr, Discord, and the official subreddit for Mystery Flesh Pit, /r/FleshPitNationalPark.

The fandom has significant overlap with fans of analog horror and horror alternate reality games/series due to the shared horror genre, similar methods of storytelling, and concept of blurring the line between fiction and reality. In addition, Mystery Flesh Pit has gained popularity among Youtubers that cover or are interested in horror content. This has resulted in an increase in fandom members when big Youtubers mention or discuss Mystery Flesh Pit, such as Tom Scott[1], Markiplier, and Wendigoon.

In line with the idea of mixing fiction and reality, kayfabe/roleplay takes place on /r/FleshPitNationalPark and other fandom spaces. Users will discuss the Flesh Pit and park as if it were real. This includes sharing experiences that they had at the Flesh Pit, asking questions about the in-universe world, and more.

A number of fanfics for Mystery Flesh Pit exist, mostly split between Archive of Our Own and the fan archive Mystery Flesh Texts on Google Drive. As Mystery Flesh Pit is a project that focuses on the setting and world instead of characters, many of these fics are crossovers in the form of fandom fusions. This includes characters from other properties visiting the Flesh Pit, fictional works that exist in-universe involving real-life people, and others. However, some works focus on original characters existing within the Mystery Flesh Pit universe, as well as fanon, such as fan-created organisms that live within the Flesh Pit.

In February 2023, Trevor Roberts has stated that he is "totally fine with fan projects" in response to continual inquires about fan projects.[2]

Outside confusion

The use of kayfabe by Trevor Roberts and fans has occasionally resulted in confusion from those unfamiliar with Mystery Flesh Pit and misinformed communication that the Mystery Flesh Pit is real.

An ominous response by Trevor Roberts to a question from british-men-can-get-it regarding if the Flesh Pit is real went viral on Tumblr, amassing around 30,000 notes[3]:

british-men-can-get-it asked:

Your blog is satire, right? This flesh pit isn’t a real thing??

mysteryfleshpit answered:

Go to Texas, drive south on Ranch Rd 33 out of Garden City TX and take the exit near mile marker 177 until the road ends in a fence. If it is only satire, then you will have nothing to worry about.

Similarly, in March 2022, a Facebook post circulated that the Mystery Flesh Pit was real. Around the same time, a similar trend occurred on TikTok. This occurred to the point where Snopes created a page debunking the rumor.[4]

Down The Rabbit Hole

Down The Rabbit Hole is a three-part series on Archive of Our Own written by hypnoticwinter, following reporter Roan Dzilenski investigating a conspiracy surrounding the Flesh Pit. Down the Rabbit Hole was written with assistance from Trevor Roberts for lore accuracy, and is considered a fan project.[2][5] On September 29th 2021, Trevor Roberts endorsed Down The Rabbit Hole via a Reddit comment. He stated that the series canonically exists as an "in-universe narrative", making it an example of a story within a story/embedded narrative.[6]

Example Fanworks

Audio

Fanart

Fanfiction

Meta

Memes

Other

Roleplay Reddit Posts

Communities

Archives & Fannish Links

References

Citations

Works cited

Reddit comment by StrangeVehicles, posted September 29, 2021 (Accessed February 11, 2022) (Archive link).

Down the Rabbit Hole by hypnoticwinter, Tumblr. Posted August 17, 2020 (Accessed February 11, 2022) (Archive link).

Tumblr post by psiking-liker, original from mysteryfleshpit, post date unknown. (Accessed February 11, 2022) (Archive link) Tumblr post by Trevor Roberts, posted February 23, 2023 (Accessed March 11, 2023) (Archive link) Tom Scott, newsletter, July 12, 2021. Evon, Dan (31 March 2022). "Is 'Mystery Flesh Pit National Park' a Real Place?". Snopes. Archived from the original on 10 May 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2022.

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