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Being from a small town means you're either going to grow up to become part of a John Cougar Mellencamp song or a horror movie, and neither outcome is ideal. However, sometimes there's a third option, in which the horror movie comes to a small town and John Mellencamp doesn't do a damn thing about it, leaving them to deal with problems they are in no way equipped to handle. For instance ...

7
A Dutch Town Was Under Siege From An Owl

mzphoto11/iStock/Getty Images

The Harry Potter series did a lot of good to promote a positive view of owls after years of hit pieces like The Secret Of NIMH, but the town of Purmerend, Netherlands would probably be totally fine with a few stray Avada Kedavra spells flying around, because they've recently been terrorized by an owl.

gurineb/iStock/Getty Images
"Try putting that graduation hat on me one more time, I dare you!"

Let's be clear here that this isn't some Legend Of The Guardians-style parliament of owls teaming up for justice. This is the work of a recklessly insane lone wolf of an eagle owl, which has carried out over 50 attacks on humans in the span of a few months. While residents could move about town during the day, they quickly learned not to be caught outdoors after dark without the protection of helmets and umbrellas.

There are two prevailing theories as to where this owl came from and why it's somehow become a bigger problem in the Netherlands than windmill uprisings. The first is that the owl was raised in captivity and associates humans with food, meaning that it's more interested in snacking than scalping. The second is that the hormone levels associated with mating season has made the (apparently) female owl extremely territorial.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
She was wanting to give all the fucks and none of them at the same time.

Making matters worse, the citizens couldn't just find a way to, uh, eliminate their feathered frenemy. In an annoying twist of bureaucratic fate, the eagle owl turned out to be an endangered and protected species, meaning that even as it attempted to gouge out the eyes of Purmerenders, they couldn't do anything but run and pray. Finally, the town was able to seek special permission to remove the owl. After filling out what must have been a mountain of paperwork and probably running it by singer-songwriter Adam Young, a falconer was brought on to capture this gunslinging owl and safely relocate it far from any tasty human heads.

6
The Ocean Is Piling Disgusting Goo On Penmarch, France

brytho9y/YouTube

Even in the harsh cold of winter, beauty can be found in the majesty of a snowy landscape. And few places are as beautiful in the snow as France ...

brytho9y/YouTube

brytho9y/YouTube
"Not in my hair!"

The snow, however, seems to have an almost sugary quality to it -- as if the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man got into an explosive bus accident on Main Street. Here, take another look:

brytho9y/YouTube
"No, it's way too salty to be a marshmallow ..."

You might have noticed that the snow looks a bit odd, like it was mixed with frozen whipped cream and ejaculated all over town. That's because the residents of Penmarch don't get the normal snow that most people are used to. Penmarch is located right along a particularly violent stretch of coast, and high winds in the winter kick up large quantities of sea foam and carry the sticky, salty white liquid and deposit it on the city. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claims that this is in fact a good thing, since the high quantity of foam indicates a productive ecosystem. It presumably also provides the benefit of making the entire town smell like demon shit.

While this wouldn't make us feel better about being bukkaked by fish-smelling sea spunk, the people of Penmarch don't seem to mind that much, freely wading around and playing in the nastiness. It seems that once you deign to eat snails, it's a little late to start drawing lines on appropriate behavior.

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5
Several Lost Cell Phones Keep Leading Their Owners To The Same Wrong House

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We now live in a world in which losing your phone could turn into a personal apocalypse. Luckily, many phones have locating apps that will broadcast their position so that their owners know where to send the A-Team can retrieve their wayward devices.

Fusion
"I love it when weatherproof siding comes together!"

Unfortunately, if you live in the Atlanta area, there's a chance that you will end up at the door of Christina Lee and Michael Saba. Not only will they not have your phone, but you would also be far from the first person to show up making wild accusations as to the whereabouts of your expensive missing toy. For reasons unbeknownst to them, over a dozen people have shown up at their doorstep looking for lost or stolen phones. Understandably, these people are not convinced when Lee and Saba politely say, "Nope, not here," and things got bad enough that the police were considering getting a search warrant for their house.

While we've all had a GPS point us to a deserted murder house when we asked for the nearest McDonald's, that's a reasonably rare occurrence, which makes it extremely suspicious that all these different phones with different carriers keep zeroing in on the exact same house. One expert theorized that it's because of an unlikely confluence of factors -- namely, that Lee and Saba live only a few hundred feet from the geographic center of their area code, and because they are one of the only houses around that have WiFi.

monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
Which probably means their neighbors discovered their network was unsecured.

See, when your phone can't get a fix from GPS or cell towers, it has to use less accurate methods, such as WiFi signal strength and what area code it's in, leading a lot of confused phone owners straight to Lee and Saba. Either that, or they are master phone thieves with the most brilliant cover story in history.

4
It's Raining Blood In India And Spain

National Geographic

For older folks, "raining blood" probably invokes some type of Biblical imagery -- specifically Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the Book of Slayer. For the people of Kerala, India or Zamora, Spain, it's more or less a regular Tuesday.

National Geographic
"The union contract clearly states that we get paid leave in the event of the End of Days. I'll see you on Monday."

In July of 2001, people in Kerala looked outside to see streaks of red running down their windows, as if the Kool-Aid Man had detonated in the upper atmosphere. After calling up friends and relatives to see if they were getting an apocalypse too, local officials confirmed that this nonsense was confined to some very specific areas of Kerala. This bloody rain was pouring down intermittently, sometimes with regular rain falling just a few feet away. To add to the overall strangeness, the red rain would disappear as quickly as it appeared, leaving everyone in town to question what they had done to receive this terrifying warning from the Universe and what it could possibly mean.

via New World Encyclopedia
Other than giving the Red Weed its necessary nutrients.

The phenomenon struck Kerala again in 2012, this time lasting over a month, and also hit Zamora, Spain, continuing through fall and into winter. There have been several hundred recorded instances of red rain over the course of history, and as it turns out, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation that doesn't involve vengeful gods or drunk aliens.

Scientists, ever the killjoys, were quickly able to determine the culprit was a form of algae that turns red under certain circumstances. The algae is small enough to be caught up in the evaporated water which eventually coalesces into the unholy weather that plagued Kerala and Zamora. In retrospect, this should have been a short mystery, considering the algae involved is called Haematococcus pluvialis, which literally translates to "blood-rain algae."

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3
Michigan Was Carpet-Bombed By Bird Poo

WJKB

If anywhere in the country had enough problems without having to deal with actual shit raining down from the heavens, it'd be Michigan. But that's exactly where tons and tons of birds have decided to unleash their particular form of punishing fury.

WXYZ

WXYZ
"No, you're right. We deserved this, surely."

Saying a silent prayer of thanks that it wasn't something worse, residents of Selfridge, Michigan simply went about their day. They have described the substance as "ash-like" yet "sticky," initially believing it to be some kind of leak from the military jets flying out of nearby Selfridge Air Force Base.

But after careful analysis, the Air Force PR office was able to breathe a sigh of relief. It hadn't been a jet that crapped out the mystery goo; it had been a plain old bird. Well, a lot of plain old birds. Traces of plants and fruits were found, which is indicative of bird crap, and the Selfridge town supervisor was happy that it wasn't an environmental or chemical disaster, once more demonstrating that Michiganders have very different standards for relieving news.

WXYZ
Life in Michigan: "Oh thank God. It's just bird shit."

2
Windsor, Ontario Won't Stop Vibrating

CBC News

Windsor, Ontario is a pleasant place to stay if you would like to visit Detroit without getting acute depression. It also has some decent casinos and is the actual birthplace of the male protagonist in "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. If you've stayed in Windsor, you might have also noticed a fairly constant buzzing sound.

Take a listen to this. We recommend using subwoofers.

In 2012, officials in Windsor received over 22,000 phone calls in one night about this mysterious humming, which was rattling windows and vibrating dishes off shelves. On another night, the hum so incensed one man that he hopped in his car at 2:00 in the morning and began prowling around town in search of the source, presumably so he could shake his fist at it. The SyFy channel even visited Windsor to investigate whether or not the hum was caused by HAARP, a government communications research project that totally logical people claim also controls the weather and minds. It was not.

Chad Mcdermott/Hemera/Getty Images
"Back to the old conspiracy theory drawing board."

People whose science degrees didn't come in a Happy Meal decided to go a different route, and were able to trace the hum to Zug Island, a little patch of land in the Detroit River where a US Steel factory is located. The hum is believed to be caused by the furnaces releasing pressure, resulting in the annoying yet haunting vibrations in nearby Windsor. Because Detroit didn't have enough things to worry about, now it has a giant mumbling factory.

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1
Kazakhstan Has A Sleeping Plague

K31 TV

In the rural towns of Kalachi and Krasnogorsk, some villagers developed a peculiar habit whereby they would fall asleep right in the middle of what they were doing, even mid-stride while walking. Some people would fall asleep multiple times per day, and others would stay asleep for a week straight, experiencing that unique form of "surprise coma" restfulness. Here's the weirdest part: When the people woke back up, they had no memory of what happened, and would occasionally have terrifying hallucinations, like snakes in their beds or worms eating their hands.

K31 TV
There's a carnival of horrors dancing behind those eyelids.

Doctors initially blamed the symptoms on cheap moonshine (which apparently everyone was drinking), until young kids start suffering the strange illness too. One guy even reported that his cat went nuts and attacked the walls and furniture for no reason before sleeping for 12 hours -- which, if we're being perfectly honest, sounds like standard cat behavior. Residents blamed the local long-abandoned uranium mines for causing the strange behavior, because not everybody gets cool superpowers from radiation.

It turns out they were right, but not in the way they expected. Instead of radiation turning people into walking accident reports, large volumes of carbon monoxide were leaking out of the mine, reducing the local oxygen level to the point where everyone in town was passing out. The government evacuated the residents, though we're sure it will only be a matter of time before some group of vacationing teens ignores all the local legends and drives their VW van in for a weekend of terror.

Zamzagul Adrakhmanova via Siberian Times
"Who would've thought these old abandoned mine shafts would come back to haunt us?"

When he's not shitting on Michigan, Chris writes for a website and tweets.

Deep inside us all -- behind our political leanings, our moral codes, and our private biases -- there is a cause so colossally stupid that we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it's toilet paper position, fedoras on men, or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful we can't help but proselytize to the world. In this episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim, and comedian Annie Lederman to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!

For more small town issues, check out The 7 Most Insane True Stories Of Neighbors From Hell and 6 Of The Weirdest Tiny Towns In The United States.

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