Humans are famous for being afraid of all the wrong things. It seems impossible to convince people that a lifetime of greasy cheeseburgers is far more likely to kill them than terrorism or Ebola. Yet some of the silliest, most irrational fears that keep us up in the dead of night do happen from time to time. Like when ...

A Boy Had 232 Teeth Removed In A Six-Hour Tooth-Pulling Surgery

Not even the world's toughest bastards like going to the dentist, but for a kid with a cavity, it's like getting strapped into the chair of some supervillain's chief interrogator. As such, we're betting that right now, some kid is having a nightmare in which they keep growing more and more teeth, endless rows of them, and the dentist has to keep twisting them out of their skull over and over again until the end of time.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

"Heads up, looks like we ran out of Novocaine ..."

With that in mind, allow us to introduce you to Ashik Gavai. Having suffered from a swollen jaw and severe pain for 18 months, Gavai, a 17-year-old student in India, finally gained access to the dental department at Mumbai's JJ Hospital. His father was worried that his jaw pain was cancer, and technically he was right, but this particular cancer was teeth. Over 200 freaking teeth, all jammed in his mouth like he was trying to smuggle several sets of dentures through an airport security checkpoint.

"Wait a minute, Cracked," you might be saying, "I'm no mouth bone doctor, but don't humans normally have, like, 32 teeth?" Generally, yes. However, Gavai suffered from a rare non-malignant dental tumor known in scientific terms as a "composite odontoma," and in layman's terms as "a horror movie curse that turns your mouth into a tooth fountain."

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

13 tooth fairies filed for bankruptcy.

As you can probably assume, Gavai's smackers were tightly packed, so dentists were unable to reach the extra teeth with contemporary dental tools. So, tearing a page out of our collective nightmare diary, they began the operation by chipping away at Gavai's jaw with a hammer and chisel.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

It took fewer chisel strikes to make most Renaissance statues.

The six-hour surgery resulted in the extraction of 232 tooth-like growths -- or denticles, as they are more appetizingly known -- which had bloomed deep inside Gavai's lower jaw. As a small consolation, Gavai earned medical textbook immortality, having had nearly 200 more teeth removed than the previous record holder.

Also, the doctors removed a wisdom tooth while they were at it, so hey, there's one extra trip to the dentist taken care of.

A Woman Got A Song Stuck In Her Head For So Long That She Had To Go To The Hospital To Get It Out

Everyone who has ever involuntarily toe-tapped their way through an important business meeting / funeral while thinking of the Bodyguard soundtrack knows how annoying it can be to have a song stuck in your head. There's always that brief fear that the song will never leave, and you will be humming it for the rest of your days until your family tearfully removes your feeding tube.



Which is, of course, ridiculous -- a couple of hours later, that mysterious mechanism in your brain will have moved on to whatever it's supposed to be doing. Or so you'd hope.

That brings us to a certain 60-year-old woman in the U.S. who, while lying in bed one night, had her peace unexpectedly disturbed by an unfamiliar song that lodged itself in her psyche like a stray bullet. No big deal, right? Just pop some earbuds in and chase it away with a strong dose of Smash Mouth's All Star. However, the song wouldn't go away. No matter what this woman did, the song would play through, then start again ... and again ... and again -- her own brain executing the exact same torture technique used against Daryl in that one episode of The Walking Dead.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears
AMC Studios

In addition to withholding his conditioner for days on end.

This bizarre mental break / haunting lasted for three weeks. Then, like that, the song changed. But like the last one, it remained in her head on a never-ending loop. At this point, the woman had understandably had enough (and we're honestly surprised she hadn't tried to stab the tune out of her brain with an ice pick). She sought help from Loyola University Medical Center, where doctors eventually managed to cure her baffling affliction with an anti-seizure drug.

Even weirder, the woman didn't recognize the songs assaulting her gray matter. Her husband identified them as real songs when she hummed the tunes, meaning she'd heard them at some point and her brain had squirreled them away to annoy her with at a later time. It's a scientific first, and an unprecedented example of the brain being able to recall seemingly lost memories. But that revelation presumably offered little comfort to the patient herself as what we're going to assume was Pharrell's "Happy" repeated in her brain for the 8,000th time.

A Woman Was Eaten Alive By An Escalator

Much as they help humanity in our quest to avoid exercise, the ever so tiny jagged, snarling gaps at the lip of every escalator gives the impression that you're riding a lethargic meat grinder that could pulp you into flesh yogurt if you let it grab an errant toe or trouser leg. And that is why you ride the escalator with your toes scrunched whenever you're wearing sandals.

Fig 1. Fig. 2

Still, at least it doesn't actively target your crotch, unlike some of the earlier designs.

However, what may seem like a childish fear became a terrifying reality a few years back at a shopping mall in Jingzhou, China.

You have to be wary of any fantastical news story about China, because they nigh-invariably turn out to be bullshit, but this unfortunate horror show was reported in multiple reputable sites and was captured unflinchingly on camera by a universe that wishes for nothing but our suffering. In the video, a 30-year-old woman and her son ride to the top of the escalator, as you do -- but as soon as they step off, a maintenance panel collapses beneath them.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

We refuse to post footage of it, so here are some puppies on non-mechanical stairs.

At the last second, the woman heroically pushed her son out of harm's way before she was pulled down by the still-moving escalator. Her mangled body wasn't recovered until hours later, presumably because nobody wanted to volunteer to crawl down inside that metal demon to carry her out.

Preliminary investigations revealed that an error by the escalator manufacturer resulted in the panel gradually coming loose. When it inevitably did, the mall staff didn't bother to fix it, or to even close the escalator off so that it didn't eat anyone. The only conceivable silver lining in this relentlessly grim and depressing story is that the accident was caused by plain old neglect and not a machine suddenly becoming sentient and immediately developing an unquenchable thirst for blood.

People With Long Hair Keep Getting Scalped By Random Machines

It takes a lot of hard work to maintain long hair. An adequately flowing mane requires styling, washing, and brushing, not to mention making sure those hairs stay firmly attached to the head from which they grow. Incidentally, that last part opens long-haired folks up to a whole new bag of irrational fears, all revolving around getting their locks tangled up in anything from car doors to power mulchers to carnival rides. We regret to inform you that this is not as irrational as it seems. In fact, it happens way more often than you'd think.

In 2016, an 11-year-old girl was attending a Cinco de Mayo festival in Omaha, Nebraska and hopped aboard a spinning carnival ride, where she somehow fell out of her seat with her hair caught in the powerful machinery. The ride, presumably not wanting to spoil the fun for the other carnival patrons, continued right on spinning with her hair trapped in its gears, ripping her entire scalp, from her eyelids to the back of her neck, completely off her skull. She survived, but suffered a fractured skull and required 15 blood transfusions and multiple surgeries, including a skin graft. She was also nearly blinded, but has since regained some of her eyesight.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears
Wiki Commons

They really need to add a "Hair Must Be THIS SHORT To Ride" thing next to the "Must Be THIS TALL" one.

And while that sounds like a convoluted sequence from the Final Destination franchise, she's far from the only person to parts of their head torn off in hair-related mishaps. Go-karts in particular are a serial offender.

In 2012, a woman in Indiana got her hair stuck caught in the axle of a go-kart, leading to partial scalping, a skull fracture, a serious brain injury, facial paralysis, and broken temporal bones (the ones covering your temple). Earlier in the same year, an eight-year-old girl in Kentucky suffered a 270-degree scalp laceration after a sprocket chain caught her hair. In 2003, a 10-year-old girl in South Africa was scalped in a similar incident. And then there's the woman in Utah who had her ear straight ripped off, and the woman in Scotland who was left paralyzed after her neck snapped, all due to hair getting caught in various parts of the vehicles.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

You don't want to know how many stock photo models died to get us this picture.

Basically, Stephen King was onto something when he made Maximum Overdrive, and it wasn't just a massive stash of cocaine.

Two People Were Attacked By A Flying Lawnmower

Since a lawnmower is nothing more than a pair of whizzing swords attached to a screaming engine, a certain amount of fear is warranted. Still, there's a reason dads all around the world are willing to force their 10-year-old sons to operate the things -- the machine isn't going to hurt you if you take the right precautions. It's not like it's going to become sentient and hunt you down.

5 Nightmare Stories To Justify Anyone's Irrational Fears

Cue Jaws theme

Like, say, if you were at a football game and suddenly saw speck in the sky and heard an ominous, familiar drone. A sound that is getting steadily closer.

That frankly ridiculous situation occurred in 1979 at a game in Shea Stadium featuring the New York Jets against the New England Patriots, because of course the Patriots were there. As Bruno Mars hadn't been born yet, executives were forced to scramble to find entertainment for their halftime show. The Jets decided on allowing amateur pilots to fly remote-control planes sculpted in fanciful shapes around the stadium, in a show themed "We Guess Somebody Somewhere Will Find This Interesting." For reasons that have forever been lost to history, one of the novelty-shaped planes was a flying lawnmower, imaginatively named "The Flying Lawnmower."

aio 411040

"We have liftoff!"

At the time, there were virtually no regulations on these radio-controlled contraptions, and nobody bothered to warn the crowd beforehand of the impromptu airshow that would be taking place. As such, absolutely no one was prepared when the flying lawnmower suddenly plunged into the crowd, catching two fans completely by surprise, because when you're talking about being struck by an airborne lawnmower, "surprise" is the only possible emotion.

Apparently, the lawnmower pilot (which is a word pairing that was never meant to exist) lost control of his model aircraft, and it dropped out of the sky and smashed directly into the fans' heads. According to witnesses, one of the two men "looked like he had been attacked by an ax."


A double-edged ax that spins at 200 goddamn miles per hour.

Unsurprisingly, that man eventually died in the hospital as a result of complications from getting hit in the face by a freaking lawnmower, and the aviation show was canceled for all future games. And the NFL never used a squadron of remote-controlled airplanes to dazzle its captive audience ever again.

Peter wants everyone to read this super captivating but terribly written short story about two tonsil stones that fall in love. Alyssa Feller has an irrational fear of not having enough Twitter followers. Jordan Breeding is a part-time writer, full-time lover, and all-the-time guitarist. Check out his band at or on Spotify.

For more reasons to never leave the house again, check out 6 Statistically Full Of Shit Dangers The Media Loves To Hype and 4 Irrational Fears That Aren't As Irrational As They Seem.

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