One of the best things about blogging back in the pre-2010 era when the big social media websites were still finding their feet was the randomness of it all. I could spend hours trawling the blogosphere. It wasn’t just about reading about random people’s lives. The best thing was coming across some weird and wonderful things that just begged to be blogged about.
Of course, nowadays you can just send out a quick tweet, but I do feel as though social media takes away the wonder of just exploring the Internet. Part of the reason I started this blog is to share things that interest me, and weird creative stuff is one of the many things that interest me. Enter the Mystery Flesh Pit National Park.
Ok, so I’d be lying if I said I’d discovered this while randomly trawling the Internet. I heard about it on a recent episode of Waypoint Radio, a gaming podcast from Vice. The Mystery Flesh Pit National Park began as posts on the subreddit r/Worldbuilding. The posts document a fictional National Park where the star attraction is a giant orifice in the Earth’s surface that is literally made of flesh. Underneath the surface lies a massive superorganism, with its internals regularly explored by thousands of tourists.
I’ll let its creator Trevor Roberts, describe it better:
The Mystery Flesh Pit is the name given to a bizarre natural geobiological feature discovered in the permian basin region of west texas in the early 1970s. The pit is characterized as an enormous subterranean organism of indeterminate size and origin embedded deep within the earth, displaying a vast array of highly unusual and often disturbing phenomena within its vast internal anatomy.
Following its initial discovery and subsequent survey exploration missions, the surface orifice of the Mystery Flesh Pit was enlarged and internal sections were slowly reinforced and developed by the Anodyne Deep Earth Mining corporation who opened the Pit as a tourist attraction in 1976. In the early 1980s, the site was absorbed into the National Park System which operated and maintained the Mystery Flesh Pit until its sudden closure in 2007.The Mystery Flesh Pit National Park
The best place to follow this fascinating project is to check out the Tumblr blog, where Roberts says new art and lore will be posted at a minimum of twice a month. You get such delights as this beautiful cutaway page that reminds me of Dorling Kindersley books:
Or this one showing a map of the ‘Amniotic Thermal Springs’ where visitors can bathe in amniotic fluids for its perceived health benefits:
There are also adverts:
You can also read a detailed investigation conducted by the US government into the disaster that ultimately led to the closure of the Mystery Flesh Pit National Park to tourists.
I LOVE stuff like this. I love how much detail, world building and sheer amount of creativity that gets put into something that’s entirely fictional, but comes across as if it could be very real. I’m also interested in fiction that creates parallel universes that are very close to our own reality, but with random batshit things like this in them.
If you know of more projects similar to this then drop them in the comments as I’d love to explore them!