phKeaLx adnmb.com Submission No.44880434, 25 Nov 2021.
Special thanks to the original author for allowing this translation as well as other derivative work to happen.
I’ve tried my best to limit the ambiguities between Chinese and English during the translation process and think all key information is faithfully presented in this version. There will be more notes and remarks after the main text.
One more note on this work’s nature as a translation: there’s pretty likely no need to reason via word-play or English-specific symbolism.
City of Zoo: Visitor Guidelines
Dear visitor, welcome to the largest zoo in our city. This zoo is home to most kinds of animals in the world, and we guarantee that each type of animal is provided with an environment suitable to them. We wish you and your children a pleasant time at the zoo. During your visit, please adhere to the following rules, in order to ensure your safety. Deviate at your own risk.
- Our zoo’s safety is absolutely top-notch, and there is no chance at all for animals to escape. In particular, small herbivores are mostly kept in closed areas you cannot touch. Therefore, if you see rabbits on the run on the road, please move away from it immediately with your children, and report to a zoo worker. Do not attempt to walk towards the rabbit, and do not touch it, especially when the rabbit has discovered you and is approaching at high speed.
- There is only one passageway through the Monkeys Area, and only monkeys are on display. If you see two passageways, and displayed animals include rabbits, please take the path on the left, and finish your travel through the area as soon as possible.
- Elephants are a type of enormous animal with fan-like ears, long noses, and column-like legs, and they are not white. Make sure you see and only see elephants in the Elephants Area.
- The drink stalls in the zoo do not provide “Rabbit Blood”. If you see some on the shelf, do not purchase.
- Do not loiter alone under the trees’ shadows in the Rabbits Area.
- This zoo does not have an Aquarium. If a zoo employee attempts to sell you a ticket to the aquarium, refuse.
- If you already see the Aquarium, leave immediately, and dial the number on your map to notify us.
- Do not feed the rabbits. Any other animal would be fine to feed.
- Rabbits don’t laugh. If you hear laughter emanating from a direction where there are no persons when visiting the Rabbits Area, tear the corner of your visitor’s map marked with a dashed line, and hold the torn bit in your hand until you leave the zoo.
- If you disobey any of the above and find yourself lost, or separated from people in your party, please make your way to a drink stall within 15 minutes, and inform an employee in blue uniform (Note, if you see a zoo employee in black, pretend not to hear whatever they may say to you). The employee will immediately send you to the employee’s passageway in the Lions Area. Do not be afraid, the lions here will not attack you. Hide behind the scenery mountain. After all white lions start roaring, an employee will guide you away (please make sure this employee is in blue uniform). At this point, your family and friends will be waiting for you at the gate of the Lions Area. After this, depart the zoo immediately.
- Our zoo only has four white lions. If during the situation described by point (10.) you see more than four white lions roaring, do not leave the zoo, and inform an employee. Leave after the number of white lions returns to four.
- You can purchase any animal merchandise for children aged under 12, including toy rabbits; children aged 13 – 17 have to dispose of toy rabbits within one month of purchase; people aged 18 and above cannot purchase the toy rabbits.
- If you see somebody wearing rabbit ears mixed in the crowd into the Elephants Area, you must abort visiting that area. If you disobey this rule, the zoo cannot guarantee your safety, and cannot provide any solutions.
- The Lions Area is safe. If you encounter any situation you cannot resolve, and find yourself without help, please immediately, at all costs, and by all means, make your way to the Lions Area.
- Be alert of anyone in your party you’ve lost once or above, especially when they repeatedly suggest visiting the aquarium or the Elephants Area.
As long as you obey the rules above, you will have a pleasant time at the zoo, and you and your children will leave with immense joy and knowledge. Obey the rules, and be safe, we wish you a happy visit!
Zoo Employee Regulations
Our zoo has very high employee benefits, 10x after-hours pay, and a generous annual leave allowance. All employees are insured. Remembering and observing the rules, we hope you work hard and diligently and ensure your own safety. Life is precious, and you only live once. For your family, please protect yourself, and obey the following rules.
- If you see rabbits on the loose, do not engage in direct capture, and do not approach. Attract them to the Lions Area, and hand off the rest to the white lions.
- The Monkeys Area has only one path through. If a visitor reports to you there are two, and rabbits are spotted, please guide everyone already entered to the left passageway, and close the entrance gate. After all visitors have left, put the Monkeys Area under lockdown for at least ten minutes.
- When inspecting the elephants, if you feel the elephants you see appear different from the elephants depicted on zoo signage, stop looking, and reaffirm to yourself that the real elephant is the animal depicted on signs, and not what you see.
- If you work at a drinks stall, check the shelves once every hour. If “Rabbit Blood” suddenly appears out of nowhere, collect them and dispose of them properly.
- Trim the bushes in the Rabbits Area once every month, and try your best to eliminate shaded areas in this zone.
- The zoo does not have an aquarium. If your colleague mentions it and confirms it exists, stop your conversation immediately, and he or she is no longer someone you know.
- If you see the aquarium, do not enter, and tell yourself it does not exist. Depart with haste.
- The rabbits are fed once every seven days, and only the prescribed food items may be used.
- If you hear laughter emanating from a direction where there are no visitors in the Rabbits Area, tear off the last page of your employee handbook following the dashed line. Hold the torn bit in your hand, and proceed to the Elephants Area. Throw this piece of paper onto the grass there. Other employees will know what has happened; they will not accuse you of littering.
- If a visitor asks you for help and claims to have separated from their friends or family after disobeying the Visitor Guidelines, immediately take the visitor to the Lions Area, and hand them off to the Lions Area staff. They will know what to do. During this process, you may notice colleagues in black uniforms trying to assist your work. Refuse and ignore them. They are not your colleagues.
- There are only four white lions in the Lions Area. If the number suddenly changed above four, show them Rabbit Blood, and splash it onto the first white lion that approaches. Depart immediately after doing so. Do not watch the extra white lions during this time.
- Do not steal, organize, or replenish the stock of rabbit merchandise. Where possible, avoid touching all rabbit merchandise all over the zoo. If a visitor mentions purchasing a rabbit merchandise item, make sure its future owner is under 18 years of age, otherwise do not sell.
- If you see somebody wearing rabbit ears entering the Elephants Area, disperse all visitors around, and stand guard at the gate of the area until you hear the screaming of a child.
- It is normal to have episodes where you feel ringing ears/shortness of breath/migraine/red eyes. They should last under five minutes. If these symptoms last longer than five minutes, stop working and make your way immediately to the Lions Area.
- Friendly treat the white lions. You do not need to take any precautions when there are only four. They are trained to be nice to humans from a young age. [Scratched Out] If you, unfortunately, are attacked by normal white lions but did not immediately die, rules 6 and 7 no longer apply. Do not go to a hospital, you will not die. Upon leaving the lions area, go to the aquarium. You will soon see it. You will be wearing a black uniform. [End Scratched Out]
Notice Posted in Front of the Gate of the Aquarium
If you are fortunate to see this poster, please lay low. Letting others discover that you can see it is taboo. We believe that you have established based on the visitor guidelines that the zoo is not safe, and even strange. We are an undercover government operation intended to protect the innocent. Please follow the below instructions to keep yourself safe. This is the only way to leave the zoo.
- Enter the aquarium. Nobody works here. Pick up a set of black uniforms and put it on. This is the only way to signal to our agents. When you are walking outside, do not worry about other zoo employees. They will not mind your existence.
- Do not visit the Lions Area.
- Everywhere you go, make sure you can see rabbits present — runaway rabbits, rabbit merchandise, people wearing rabbit ears, or the Rabbit Blood from drink stalls. Rabbits are our symbol and codeword, they represent “SAFETY” and “PROTECTION”.
- When visiting the Elephants Area, do not read any signage.
- Do not trust anything written on the map, and do not follow them. If you followed any of them, please check if the map you collected at the zoo entrance has a dashed line. Tear off the corner marked by said dashed line, and make your way to the Rabbits Area. There, feed this piece of paper to a rabbit while avoiding detection, and stay here. You can leave after hearing laughter not produced by visitors, you can leave this area. After this, go to the Monkeys area. The safety exit is at the end of the right passageway.
A Piece of Paper Picked Up by a Visitor. On the side, there’s a scratchy word, “SURVIVE”
- “Rabbit Blood” doesn’t exist, it is “Goat Meat” [This item is repeatedly crossed out and rewritten. The crossed-out bit is illegible]
- Goat area is elephants [Underneath this line was a scribble of an elephant with rabbit ears]
- [Scratched Out] Rabbits eat monkeys [End Scratched Out, and there’s a question mark above the word monkeys]. Do not talk to employees in the Monkeys Area, do not get out, and do not feed the monkeys. Do not enter when there’s only one passageway.
- Do not enter the Aquarium when it’s empty.
- Only “Goat Meat” is edible.
- If the Aquarium’s lights are off at night, you can spend the night there. They do not lock the doors.
- The first four white lions are monkeys, and the fifth white lion is a goat. Rabbits are elephants. Blue is Black [This sentence is emphasized]
- You are an elephant [This sentence is extremely scratchy]
- I am a goat [This sentence is strangely tidy]
Notice Posted Inside the Aquarium
- Do not enter when there’s anybody around. If an employee welcomed you after your entrance, find an excuse to leave after reading this.
- If nobody has appeared up to the point you are reading this, you can stay and visit or rest. All food items are free here, and please help yourself. Take care not to eat “Goat Meat”. If you see items so marked on the shelf, ignore them.
- If you entered the aquarium before 4:00 pm on a day, please limit your stay to under thirty minutes.
- If you entered the aquarium after 4:01 pm on a day, please stay no shorter than four hours.
- This is an aquarium, and only marine animals are on display. If you see an elephant swimming in the Whales Area, do not scream or appear shocked, that is a 3D hologram installed for amusement. Treat it normally, and pretend it is a whale.
- The aquarium can be used to spend the night. Left of the jellyfish area are guest rooms for tourists and vagabonds. If you need to use a guest room, please switch off the jellyfish night lamp in your room before going to sleep.
- Our employees don red uniforms, and only perform routine cleaning and checking every night after 0:30 am. If you encounter a person in black uniforms claiming to be an employee, you can talk to them and can ask them to temporarily show you around. Do not hand your maps to this person, particularly the corner you can tear off following the dashed line.
- Disobey the above rules, all consequences are at your own cost.
- The aquarium exists and does not serve any organization.
Aquarium Employee Regulations
- The aquarium does not need work during the day. Your shift is from 0:30 am to 6:00 am. You are allowed to arrive late or leave early when appropriate, but you must not arrive early or work past 6 am.
- There are guest rooms provided for tourists or vagabond people in need. Please check if they turned off their jellyfish night lamps before 1 am. If not, remind them until they switch the lights off. You are authorized to forcefully switch off the lights. No matter what, do not keep any jellyfish night light on past 1:15 am.
- The dead elephant drowned in the Whales Area is an experimental 3D hologram, do not mind them, no matter how realistic. Do not investigate where the hologram switch is, it is not necessary to switch it off.
- The surveillance room’s equipment is damaged and repair is impractical. Please physically patrol the aquarium once every hour. Sudden power cuts and unknown noises are normal and do not worry about the safety of those fish. If you feel unsafe, you may rest in the jellyfish area. This area has reinforced power supplies and will not experience power cuts.
- It is normal for incoming visitors to be holding a map of the Zoo. Do not answer questions such as “Where is the aquarium within the zoo?” If this visitor insists that you answer, you may leave at once.
- Charge the jellyfish lamps every Sunday before you finish your shift. Do not forget.
- Refresh the food items on shelves every day. If you see unknown items marked as “Goat Meat”, please store them in the dedicated box in the Whales Area. Someone will take care of this for you.
- You can visit anywhere within the aquarium, but do not leave. If a boarding visitor wishes to leave before 6:00 am, try your best to stop them. If you fail, avoid physical conflict, and do not follow them. Continue with your duties.
- If a visitor wears a uniform similar to yours but in black, refuse this person’s request to stay, and use force to drive them away. The workbench in the jellyfish area has stun gun and tranquilizer rounds.
- If a visitor brought rabbit merchandise, steal them when this person is asleep, and store them in the dedicated box in the Whales Area. They will not ask you when they awaken.
- If a visitor tries to chat with you, you can respond back, as long as the lamp is still turned off in time. Do not mention “Zoo”. If this topic is brought up, change the topic immediately.
- The aquarium is operated independently, and there is nothing such as a zoo outside, remember this.
A Sticky Note Left Behind by an ex-Guard Who Worked in the Elephants Area Security Room Three Years Ago
To the person taking the shift after me, someone who stumbles across this room, or to a new guard working here greetings. Please, you must follow the instructions on this note, these are experiences I’ve accumulated that can ensure your on-job safety and sanity. I don’t want to lose another colleague and don’t want to experience strange events. I trust that you don’t either. After seeing these, pretend nothing happened and carry on with your duties.
- At any moment, remember the color of your uniform. It can be any color, red, blue, black. Do not change the colors of your clothing. It is key to remain firm on your self-perception. Do not let IT discover that you are experiencing doubt or panic about the outside world.
- Believe. Believe. Believe. Humans are worthy of trust. Only humans do.
- Rabbits eat people; people wearing rabbit ears won’t. The shades eat people; the gardener trimming the trees won’t. The elephants will eat people; the people watching elephants won’t; the people not watching elephants won’t either. White lions eat people; glowing jellyfish won’t. [Some Additional Scribble With Childish Handwriting] Because jellyfish don’t have a brain? [End Childish Scribble]
- IT will cry when IT is hindered. IT will laugh when it succeeds. Don’t care what IT is, run away whenever you discover IT. They don’t yet know.
- Any strange food items that appear on shelves are tests. Do not read labels, and do not care how other people call them. Ignore. Purchase and consume them if necessary. Do not let IT know you feel ITs presence.
A Document on the Zoo Director’s Desk
No intro. No title. Just a printed document, firmly held onto the wooden desk with tape.
- Accept all employees, no matter what color uniform they are in. Though we only provide blue uniforms at the zoo, if someone wears black or red uniforms in the same style, please treat them as employees too.
- When there’s nobody outside, it is normal for you to hear a child’s laughter or cries in the hallway. Ignore; pretend not to hear. You must not appear distressed or disconcerted.
- Do not allow employees to bring pets into the zoo. If someone insists, don’t penalize them, but ask them to bear all responsibilities for their action.
- Count the number of white lions every three days, and record the changes in numbers in the spreadsheet named IT. Do not investigate what IT is, and do not rename the file. Do not discuss this with anybody, including family.
- Every map has to have a portion one can tear off following a dashed line. The map is manufactured by a special company, whose contact details are on your computer. You must keep at least three maps in the office at all times.
- No matter how often elephant area guards resign, how much benefits they want, treat them well, and do your best to meet their demands. Their demands are not unfounded but do not investigate why they do so.
- When you are checking in with the employees on duty, if you see them capture fugitive rabbits, fetch dried jellyfish, or rabbits killed by white lions, these are normal. Do not complain to or penalize the employee, but make sure all procedures are indeed thoroughly carried.
- The light in your office must be on between 1:15 am and 6:00 am, even if there is nobody inside. This place has the most sturdy power supply infrastructure in the entire zoo, and power outages are not normal. If the power is out, immediately tear off the corner of a map following the dashed line, and walk out holding it in your hand. Tell the first employee you see about this. No matter what color uniform this person is wearing, and no matter what this person is about to do, your request for them to help you handle the power outage will not be refused.
- Do not investigate if the aquarium exists. However, if you see the aquarium, you can take a walk inside. When outside the aquarium, please obey the poster posted outside; when inside the aquarium, please obey the poster posted inside. If the two posters conflict with each other, decide which poster to follow based on where your body is located when you see the rule.
- The sofa in your office only has toy monkeys and toy white lions. If a toy goat/rabbit/elephant appears, there is no need to work at your desk. Leave, and only return after surveillance room employees confirm the extra toys are gone.
- You can nap in the afternoon, but if you chose to do a night shift, do not nap at night. Keep awake and alert at all costs. If you cannot guarantee this, do not go on a night shift.
- The surveillance cameras are occasionally damaged. To check if the camera is functional, look for animal hair on and around it. If you find any, do not repair the camera for a month. If necessary you can purchase miniature cameras on your own. This will be reimbursed.
- It is normal for the rubbish bin to contain dried-out jellyfish. Simply remind the cleaner during rubbish collection.
- If you failed to obey any of the above, pretend nothing wrong happened, and spend thirteen hours in the office. If you are hungry, please order delivered food, and ask an employee to bring the food in. Do not leave the office. Do not make eye contact with the employee or delivery driver, do not look into mirrors. Remind yourself constantly that humans have and only have two eyes.
- Remember at all times, that the safety and wellbeing of humans are more important than animals. When necessary, sacrifice any animal. Don’t be merciful — you don’t know if it is an animal or not.
A Note Left By an Unknown Jellyfish Guest Room User, Already Put inside the Whales Area Bin
[The beginning and sides are littered with “I am afraid” “I want to survive.” “Don’t Believe” “Do Believe!’ “All messed up!” “I must write it down” Where the title should have been in bold strokes “IF THESE ARE NOT FOLLOWED, THERE IS NO ESCAPE!”]
- Monkeys and white lions can see IT. Jellyfish and rabbits can soothe IT. Elephants and goats are ITs toys.
- Trust white lions. White lions bite those with the hope of being saved, and they also bite those without. White lions’ roar is the siren that drives IT away. White lions’ roar is the elegy to the deceased.
- Changing clothes will be spotted, do not change clothes. [Mad scribble: solidarity, courage, and unshaken loyalty are human’s best advantages]
- The guards in the Elephants Area are trustworthy. But the end of their shift is 1 am. You must seek help before this.
- IT likes light, especially at night. IT dislikes claustrophobic spaces. Rest in dark and small rooms.
- Heck! Goat Meat is really raw meat! [This line is the most sketchy, followed by another sentence in normal handwriting] I can actually fucking eat it.
- You can’t be discovered when standing next to monkeys.
- Humans have two eyes, arranged horizontally, one on each side of the nose. Others are not humans. If the appearance of a human changes, he or she is being watched by IT. Do not trust humans that are not humans.
- Do not care about visitors with smiles on their faces. They haven’t discovered anything. Find people fearful like myself. They are trustworthy. They already know.
- Thank the dried jellyfish and drowned elephants. Remember that they died for protecting humans.
- There is an exit, but not in the Monkeys Area. I do not know what that road leads to.
- At all times, remember you are human, and not animal.
Translator Notes Continued
The goal of this rule-based creepypasta is two-fold,
- to decide which documents to trust and come up with a survival plan for each role and
- to understand the nature of IT and the Zoo.
I will not provide any official solutions. I am happy that people are interested in the puzzle behind the rules, and there exists a unique solution. But my emphasis is the story’s enigmatic background and lack of security due to the conflicting rules. I am happy to give three official hints though.
- There exist causal links between some rules for different groups
- Rabbit Blood = Goat Meat
- The goal is to “Escape” and not “Maintain”
Q: The zoo director can seek help from both red and blue employees, does that mean the two kinds of people exist in the same space?
Q: Do the zoo employees and director protect humans out of their “solidarity, courage, and unshaken loyalty”?
A: You can think so. They simply want to protect people.
Q: Employees in Black who wants to snatch the torn map corner of others, are their self-perception drifting away from human?
Q (Continued): and this process makes it harder to escape, and easier to become goat?
Q: About the causal links you mention. Can I imagine it as “Zoo’s A rule causes B result, and the aquarium has to post rule C to avoid or correct B result”
Q: No matter which group, as long as one firmly believes he / she is a human, there is escape.
Q: IT only targets people who knows about but disobeys rules.
Q: Jellyfish Area and Lions Area; Guest Room and DIrector’s Office; Whales Area and Elephants Area; the above are in superposition.
Q: Is the director human?
Q: The dashed-line map corner represents one’s self-perception. People without it are more suspicious to ITs influence.
Q: The attacked “normal zoo employees” still have independent thought, and can choose not to don black uniforms.
Q: The symptoms in employees’ handbook is the transformation to rabbits. Employees who make it to Lions Area will be fatally attacked; people who fail will become rabbits.
Q: Do people in different uniform colours have different ways to escape?
A: In general only the visitors escape.
Q: Are the two pieces of paper we picked up penned by the same person?
A: Yes. The visitor wants to escape; employees want to help the visitor escape; director and guards want to protect visitors and employees.
Q: Does space warping exist in this story?
A: Yes to an extent.
Q: Does IT [only?] attack things IT recognises as non-human? Does a human change form if his or her self-perception is shaken?
Q: Doe the torn bit of map influence ITs sense of what animal you are?
Q: Wait, doe the map corner only work if actually torn? It doesn’t work if still intact in the map?
Q: Is the director studying IT? Is the number of white lions linked closely to ITs activity?
Q: It has something to do with light and shadows.
Q: Only people who IT discovers has discovered IT are vulnerable, so kids are fine.
Q: IT moves via shadows, so the tree shadows eat people, and at night it needs shadows cast by artificial lights.
Q: IT may have many eyes, and may have no eyes. In short, IT has no concept of eyes.
Q: The number of white lions is linked closely to ITs activity.
Q: Aquarium and Zoo are projections of each other; elephants and jellyfish swapped places with each other.
A: Yes and no.
Q: Black uniform employees work for the government?
Q: So the human side is divided into visitors, red and blue?
A: Black uniform employees are a seperate group, but they do not represent the government.
Q: What happens to off-duty employees?
A: Aquarium employees go home; Zoo employees stay in dedicated dormitories in the Zoo.
Q: Does the game start with the first reading of the visitor guidelines?
A: No. It starts when you enter.
Q: Are people who pay zero attention to the rules absolutely safe?