Welcome to Mystery Flesh Pit National Park
January 18, 2020 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Tor.com brings us the horrifying tale of Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, the “brainchild of Redditor u/StrangeVehicles, aka designer, illustrator, and writer Trevor Roberts.”
posted by Etrigan (13 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I love this so much. It gives me Motel of the Mysteries and Dougal Dixon feelings from back in the day.

The funniest part is the "taste of the Southwest" with Chili's Too.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:09 AM on January 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

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.

Sometimes the absorption goes the other way.

Department of the Interior, indeed.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:12 PM on January 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

Last time we went there, right before it closed, we missed a giant gastric spasm by like, an hour...

They were still doing cleanup.
posted by Windopaene at 12:20 PM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you're heading there via 62, don't fall for the tourist trappy "Mysterious Flesh Pit" just east of Carlsbad; it's essentially just a rhinoceros rectum in formaldehyde at the bottom of an abandoned well.

Good slushie stand, though.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:18 PM on January 18, 2020 [15 favorites]

A reason to go to Texas, finally.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:21 PM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Scarfolk, Texas style!
posted by doctornemo at 2:53 PM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by genpfault at 3:02 PM on January 18, 2020

Following its accidental discovery, the Mystery Flesh Pit and the unique phenomena surrounding it were targets of a headfirst and furiously paced campaign of commercial exploitation. Once architects, engineers, geobiologists and clerical members of the development team had done their work to make the park safe and viable, marketing teams faced the daunting task of selling the public on the intriguing and miraculous phenomena of the Mystery Flesh Pit while downplaying the visceral cosmic horror of the pit itself.

Families were a particularly difficult sell, as children often displayed an overwhelming fear and aversion to descending into the throat of the pit. One strategy early in the park’s history was the creation of friendly cartoon mascot Caver Coop. A brief animated film starring Caver Coop was shown at the park’s visitor center, where the character would attempt to assuage worries about being “eaten alive” or “swallowed”, reassuring children (and often parents) that the pit was perfectly safe and reinforced.

When the attraction was absorbed into the National Park System in the early 1990s, signage and other graphic materials were updated to the NPS Graphic Identity. The architecture of the park’s surface facilities was also expanded and renovated during this time to better fit with the “Natural Resort” image of the Mystery Flesh Pit brand, drawing inspiration from the local Santa Fe style integrated with unique bone formations discovered within the pit itself.

posted by doctornemo at 4:35 PM on January 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

"This one mile tour will require visitors to...climb and eight-story actively-peristaltic esophageal passage."

I laugh-retched.
posted by notsnot at 5:09 PM on January 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

"Pregnant women are not advised to explore the Mystery Flesh Pit, as smoking is permitted within all trails."
posted by ckape at 9:43 PM on January 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Came here to say, Arthur Conan Doyle got here first (link to text on Project Gutenberg), in 1928 with "When the Earth Screamed".

Doyle's Professor Challenger stories—are less well-known than Sherlock Holmes, but nevertheless pretty damn famous: he pioneered some classic tropes in SF, starting with "The Lost World" (you've seen one or more of the movie adaptations, right?) and continuing with "The Poison Belt" (Fred Hoyle re-ran this one in the 50's with "The Black Cloud") and this one.
posted by cstross at 3:07 AM on January 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

I look forward to diving into this (not literally). It sounds like a comedy take on the Interface Series, aka Mother Horse Eyes
posted by ejs at 6:06 PM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Challenger stories are wild, cstross.

Beloved of Deleuze and Guattari, too.
posted by doctornemo at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2020

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