Besides serving as a brilliant case study for the evolution of 1990s hairstyles, The X-Files taught an entire generation that Occam's razor -- the simplest explanation for strange phenomena is usually the correct one -- is boring and stupid and completely wrong. No, the superior explanation is always 44 minutes of aliens and Sasquatches.
That same lesson applies to these four recent news stories, which are all so bizarre that even the Gillian Andersonest of Gillian Andersons would have a tough time denying the involvement of interstellar poltergeists.
#4. The Mars Rover Found a Mystery Rock (That Wasn't There Before)
As far as exciting discoveries go, Mars has been kind of a wet noodle -- the Opportunity rover has found no signs of ancient teleportation arks, atmospheric reactors, or dead John Carters. Just as it seemed we were all about to stop pretending we cared about any of Opportunity's billion-dollar photographs of orange dirt, it sent back this picture:
Big deal, it's a shiny rock. We've got those here on Earth. Now, look at a photo taken of the same area 12 days earlier:
That shiny rock wasn't there two weeks prior. Scientists are baffled by the rock's composition -- it contains high amounts of sulfur, magnesium, and manganese, something they claim they've never seen before on the surface of Mars. Of course, all of this takes a back seat to the more pressing question: Who the hell put that rock there? Did it grow legs and crawl like the moon rocks in Apollo 18?
Yes, that is actually what that movie was about.
Scientists suggest that the rock might have been kicked up by Opportunity itself, or maybe it struck the red planet as a meteorite, but as far as we're concerned, that's just big-city college babble for "space is haunted."
#3. A Wandering Pit Bull Was Found With an Old Black & White Photo in Its Collar
Earlier this month, animal rescue workers in Greenville, South Carolina, picked up a stray pit bull that had wandered into town with absolutely no identification ... except for a completely unlabeled black-and-white photograph of a man from Grapes of Wrath times sitting on a porch banister and smiling tucked into its collar.
Greenville County Pet Rescue
That, or this dog is just another douche that overdoes it with Instagram filters.
Presumably the photograph is a picture of either the dog's human form before he was metamorphosed by a gypsy curse or the man that the dog was sent back in time to destroy. Considering that they have yet to find the dog's owner or any explanation for its sudden, mysterious appearance, our guesses are as good as any.
#2. A VFW Post Kept a Skeleton in the Basement for Rituals
Recently, a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Colorado called the local coroner's office to report a human skeleton in their basement. Strange, but not totally unheard of, right? That is, until the coroner showed up and discovered that the VFW post had been keeping the skeleton in a casket in the basement to be used in regular rituals and only called to report it because a flood had destroyed the casket and littered the basement with bones and putrid rot stench, at which point it became an episode of Tales from the Crypt.
Boulder County Coroner's Office
"We thought a bunch of white skeletons would offset the curse of the Native American ones we built this post on top of."
The coroner was able to determine that the remains belong to a male in his 30s who died around a half-century ago, presumably after declining to give money to the veterans' fund.
#1. A New Species of Sea Anemone Lives Upside Down in Antarctica
An Antarctic drilling program recently busted through a sheet of ice and discovered a new species of ethereal sea anemone that clearly came from space, finally proving our longstanding suspicion that every single facet of John Carpenter's The Thing was 100 percent truth.
Antarctic Geological Drilling Program
"We also saw a guy from that weird Norwegian team chasing after his dog. He fell down a couple of times; it was pretty funny."
There were literally tens of thousands of these things right underneath their feet, the first known species of sea anemone to live in the ice (presumably because their home planet in the Negative Zone is a moon of perpetual winter). It's not like there's a ton of stuff living under that ice with them, so what are they eating? They look like grasping hentai ghost hands, so our guess is that they snatch the grotesque spirits of the damned on their descent down to hell and digest them for a thousand years.
Either that, or plankton.