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A recent forum on Reddit demonstrated that "shocking" is in the eye of the beholder.

Particularly, the thread asked users to focus on the rituals and practices practiced in cultures all around the world. Redditors came to enlighten others with some far-out practices--usually involving pain inflicted on the vulnerable--that many cultures still deem ethical and significant.

Of course, priorities and ethics change with time and geography, so plenty of horrified commentary made its way into those explanations.

desi_londoner asked, "Which human culture or practice has shocked you the most?"

Many Redditors chose to focus on the plight of women and girls.

All too often, it seems, the female body is the expendable battleground on which religious ritual, male ecstasy, and societal greed rests.

A Well-Known Issue 

"In high school I did a project on Somalia and read about the process of female circumcision (aka genital mutilation) and how when it was time to consummate the marriage sometimes they'd need to carve it open with a knife so the man could fit."

"Makes me feel uneasy just thinking about it."

-- Content_red

How Is This Happening So Much?

"Child brides.wtf." -- Ultraviolethead

"Literally makes me sob every time I read stories about them. Being forced into a marriage before you can even really think for yourself. :( -- Dolphinkush

Even Televised 

"Beauty Pageants for Kids. Seems so creepy" -- Naweezy

"Idk how they're legal?? They seem quite manipulated by their parents at such a young age it's honestly sad..." -- thevibesaretrash

"In the same vein."

"This weird fixation on "barely legal" or just really young girls as some 'pinnacle of beauty' "

"As a dude in his mid twenties, the idea of dating an 18 year old, sort of grosses me out to be honest. I don't understand how there's a bunch of 50 year old men, drooling over 18 year olds. They're basically children." -- anooblol

Rites of passage are also a commons site of shocking physical abuse.

Often imposed on young boys as they enter puberty, these rituals are still a heavy blow dealt to a largely powerless, vulnerable person.

Bullets For Manhood

"I always thought insemination rituals were bizarre af."

"Took a cultural anthropology course in college that briefly touched of different insemination rituals—usually semen is rubbed on skin or ingested by coming-of-age boys as a ritual to become men."

"Some cultures have other bizarre rites of passage—one comes to mind, in the Amazon there's a group that engages in pain rituals with bullet ants."

-- Hippopotamidaes

And I Just Wanted to Get On the Right Bus 

"Spartans sending small boys out to hunt, kill and terrorize slaves. The most skilled boys from military training (which began at age 7) went out into the wilderness armed with a knife as low as age 12"

"they were expected to sleep during the day and hunt and murder slaves on their farms at night"

-- cartoonsoundeffect

Lastly, there were rituals that actually involved the killing of another human being.

However the culture in question justify the act, Redditors can't believe it happens.

"Severed From Live Victims"

"Muti murders or medicine murders. In several African countries, people believe that medicine made from human body parts is especially effective. From The New York Times:"

"Muti murders, especially of children, remain disturbingly common; South Africa's police investigate an average of about one a month [...]"

"The killings follow a pattern. A client approaches a healer, who orders a third person to collect body parts. A hand in a shop's doorway supposedly attracts customers; genitals allegedly enhance virility or fertility; fat from a stomach is prescribed to ensure a good harvest."

"Lore says parts severed from live victims are most potent because their screams awaken supernatural powers. Parts from children are considered especially strong."

-- Aqquila89

Difficult to Wrap One's Head Around 

"I've watched a fair amount of documentaries about honour killings and it disgusts me that people could value their perceived 'reputation' more than their own blood relatives."

"The fact that they can kill (and usually in very brutal fashion) their own daughters/nieces/sisters/cousins in order to protect their fragile ego and supposed 'honour' is just sickening to me."

"What makes it even worse is that they are supposedly trying to preserve their honour by committing one of the most dishonourable acts one can commit. Anyone who partakes in such a heinous practice is worse than scum and deserves the harshest possible punishment."

-- WhySSSoSerious

Wanted: Leopardmen 

"The Leopardmen of Guyana select a victim and then kill them by stuffing various herbs deep into every one of their orifices. After the family buries the person, the Leopardmen come and dig up the corpse and rebury it in a place convenient for them."

"They leave it to rot a while and then come back with long reeds that the poke into the ground and into the corpse to drink the juice produced by the rotting body. They believe this gives them special powers, like shapeshifting."

"They usually eventually get really sick and die young. The populace have carved special wood clubs with spikes to kill Leopardmen with."

-- paracelsus53


Of course, it is very important to avoid superimposing our own system of ethics and cultural priorities onto another culture, especially societies so much older than ours.

And yet, it's clearly difficult for people to hold back their shocked impressions.

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Typically, I would write an intro about my own experiences with the weird kids at school, but I WAS the weird kid in school. Not in a bad way, more like a “I had a John Waters phase” when I was 16 and everyone knew it. So like, cool-weird. At least I hope so.

Schools aren’t always so lucky to have the cool kinds of weird kids though. The spectrum of weird extends even further than that, and can sometimes end up very disasterous.

U/Imaginary_East5786 asked: What was the weirdest thing the weird kid did at school?

​Let’s start with the grossest of the gross. Because why not.

Was it worth it?

peeing ralph wiggum GIF Giphy

He heard that you'd automatically get suspended if you peed your pants at school. He wanted to find out if it was true, peed his pants, got suspended.

Memoryduel

Scientific method:

> Observation: 'I've heard that by peeing your pants you will be suspended'

> Hypothesis: If I pee my pants I will be suspended

> Experiment: I peed my pants and I got suspended

> Conclusion: If I pee my pants I get suspended

Glez_fdezdavila_

Uhhh what was the intention here?

He got mad that he didn't understand how to play a game at lunchtime so he started hitting and punching the nearest person to him, who happened to be me. When I shoved him away and asked him what the hell was he doing, he whipped his unit.out, charged at me and when I shoved him away from me again he started crying and ran away with his member still sticking out.

Kurtles12

​Next ones up are the lowkey (or even highkey) disturbing stories. These weird kids can get a little scary.

Boom theret.

At my middle school, someone decided to get a little attention with a good old fashioned bomb threat. Except they thought that a bomb threat meant literally writing "bomb threat" somewhere. Worse yet, they misspelled the f*ck out of it, and wrote "boom theret."

So we had to go on a brief, very awkward lockdown while the police checked the perimeter for booms.

Angusthedangus

I hope there was no overlap in the columns.

Serial Killer Halloween GIF by GIPHY CAM Giphy

She wrote a list of all the girls and boys she wanted to kiss and murder and then casually passed it out on the playground.

Fun-Acadia-8735

2 separate lists or just the 1?

OppositeYouth

Same list 2 columns lol.

Fun-Acadia-8735

Holy crap.

Had the weird kid in high school ask the teacher to use the bathroom. She said no and this dude legit stabbed his hand with a pencil. Went all the way through then asked if he could now...sh*t was wild.

This was Pearl High School in Mississippi. This was the school Luke Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and her friend at the school. This kid stabbed himself with the pencil about 2 months after that happened. This was late 1997.

Roberted1982

​Most of the time, however, the weird kids are pretty d*mn funny.

Ok, but this takes a lot of skill.

Had a kid nicknamed "cheeseburger" in the grade ahead of me in high school. He got his nickname because when it was time for his class to go to lunch, he snuck into the roof and crawled his way into the cafeteria, dropped down and proceeded to steal all the cheeseburger put out for lunch. Unfortunately they caught him in the act and sent him to the principal's office.

A year later he was caught stealing a teacher's computer, and in the process of being arrested he bit the officers hand, getting him sent to juvi never to be heard of again.

Theonering1

Every school had the cat girl.

cat dragging GIF Giphy

The weird kid at my highschool tied a string around his pencil case and pulled out around the halls pretending it was a dog. He still lives in my hometown. I think unemployed.

Oh also weird girl in middle school acted like a cat. She would meow and hiss at people, lick the water fountain and rub her body on the teacher's legs. In 8th grade. I have no idea where she ended up.

SendmePMsofyourBMs

Mood.

Weird kid in elementary was a self proclaimed alien. Once, while waiting for the bus, she told me "On my planet we eat people like you" and proceeded to bite me. We later became friends in high school and she used to give me massages during lunch break in the quad. Just realized now she was likely tenderizing me.

Iheartrevolution

I was exactly this kind of weird.

He didn't say much, but if asked, he would go to the front of the class and perform Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with all of the emotion and volume of Tiny Tim, holding nothing back.

The last I heard, he became an energy trader, made a ton of money and married well.

10per

I can definitely relate to that last one. In middle school, my English teacher would let me go to the front of the class and perform monologues or songs from Broadway musicals. Weird, but that’s what happens when schools cut funding for the arts and the theatre kids have no outlet.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I say let your freak flag fly, man

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