12 creepy places 'The Elf on the Shelf' was found hiding this year

Ever year around the beginning of December, homes across the globe start experiencing a strange infestation from a colorful little critter. (No, not the carpenter ant, but good guess!) We're talking about a clever creature called "The Elf on the Shelf," and he seems to be popping up more and more frequently these days.

If you're not familiar with the phenomenon, allow us to explain: It all started relatively recently, when authors Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell wrote a book called "The Elf on the Shelf." In it, they encouraged parents everywhere to adopt a tiny "scout elf" to watch over the their children and report back to Santa on a nightly basis. The idea was a hit, and now millions of families are the proud owners of these festive little humanoids. 

WOMAN'S 'ELF ON THE SHELF' MAKEUP SHOCKS INSTAGRAM

These elves, however, have a reputation for being slightly mischievious. For starters, none of them really like to sit on shelves anymore, with most preferring to hide themselves away in strange places — and put themselves in even stranger situations.

To see what we mean, take a look at where these elves have been spotted this holiday season:

Frozen in a block of ice

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Holding a fellow elf hostage

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Dangling over some type of fiery sarlacc pit

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Peering out from the ice dispenser

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MELANIA TRUMP TROLLED OVER WHITE HOUSE DECORATIONS, OUTFIT

Using toilet paper incorrectly

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Bench-pressing an objectively unimpressive amount of weight

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Protecting New York from Hobgoblin

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Hanging out at your orthopedic surgeon's office

Dropping sick beats

Trying to win over his Tinder date

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Taking your Mazda for a joyride

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Going fishing in a bucket hat, presumably before bringing back a fish dinner for the Skipper, the Professor and Mary Ann

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