Internet challenges are a thing that are gaining popularity as the years go on...though it's not really clear why. From what I can tell, people film themselves doing dumb things, then post it on social media in the hopes that others will see it and...laugh? I'm not entirely sure.
But what I do know is that these internet challenges are pretty stupid. I guess that's what happened when you have the ability to share content with literally billions of people at the touch of a button. I can't really judge, however. My school had the "milk challenge" which is when you consume a gallon of milk as fast as you can. The first person to throw up "loses," though it quickly became clear that everyone involved were the real losers.
I'm just saying, there's something about the current string of internet challenges that's even more stupid than our high school ones.
1. The Fire Challenge
Starting in 2012, the fire challenge encourages people to douse themselves in flammable liquid, then light themselves on fire...all on camera. What could go wrong, right?
Well, first and second degree burns to start. Then of course, there's the people who would run away in panic (naturally,) which only allowed the flames to spread further on their bodies. Participants would also inhale "super-heated air" which can seriously damage your lungs.
Things got so bad, that Colorado fire officials actually had to tell people not to do it.
2. The Salt And Ice Challenge
It's unclear when the salt and ice challenge really became a thing, but it's been around since at least 2012. Participates are encourage to pour salt on their bodies, then stick ice on it. It can be on your hand, arm, or anywhere else there's exposed skin. The result is an extreme burning sensation, and you have to try and see how long you can withstand the pain.
The "challenge" can result in second and third degree burns, frostbite, and even painful open sores. The cold sensation stops your body from realizing how much pain it's in. But even if you can't feel it, the damage can be done. Some participants had permanent skin discoloration from the chemical reaction.
Of course, once again, experts had to step in.
"Actually what they're doing, is they're burning it. The salt and the ice mixture will actually remove the heat from the body. It's like a chemical reaction and it's absorbing the heat and it's lowering the temperature causing anywhere from frostbite to second degree burns," educational coordinator with The University of Kansas Hospital's Poison Control Center Daling McMoran said.
3. The Duct Tape Challenge
Sorry, what? This challenge asks you to have someone cover you in head to toe with duct tape, usually while sitting in a chair, and then see how long it'll take you to escape. Basically, it's asking you to turn into Harry Houdini.
While it may not be as bad as the fire challenge, this one can still lead to physical harm. People contort themselves and throw their bodies around to try and escape from the tape, which can cause broken bones and other injuries.
4. The Tide Pod Challenge
Perhaps the most famous Internet challenge of this decade, teens were literally eating laundry detergent and taping themselves doing it. It's really unclear how the challenge got started, but once it did, it spread like wildfire (or like someone doing the fire challenge). Videos were popping up all over the internet with teenagers eating the laundry detergent pods.
Things got so bad, stores had to start locking up the pods to prevent people from buying them for purposes other than doing laundry. Tide even had to release a statement on their product's involvement.
Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products. Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they're used safely in millions of households every day. They should only be used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. We have been consistently proactive in providing consumers with the right usage guidance and tools to enable them to use the product safely. They [pods] should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.
In case you were unaware, eating laundry detergent is bad, poisonous, and not something you should do.
5. The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
The only reason I want to be a Kardashian-Jenner is because I love money and hate working. Not that they don't work...but, well it's different.
But some people apparently want Kylie Jenner's lips, and thus the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge began. The youngest KarJenner had gotten lip fillers, and it prompted people to create a vacuum over their lips with a glass in order to puff them up. It sort of worked, as their lips definitely plumped up. But it also caused permanent damage and bruising.
“The new trend in trying to DIY lip plumping is quite concerning. Not only can significant pain, swelling and bruising result from these suction techniques but there is potential risk for scarring and permanent disfigurement with repeated attempts,” Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologic surgeon, told Seventeen magazine.
Probably not worth it.
Kylie herself responded to the challenge:
I'm not here to try & encourage people/young girls to look like me or to think this is the way they should look. (Cont...)— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) April 21, 2015
I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF & not be afraid to experiment w your look. ❤️❤️❤️— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) April 21, 2015
6. The Ghost Pepper Challenge
Seems harmless, right? It's just a pepper!
Wrong. It's a pepper that is 100 times hotter than a jalapeno and it literally almost killed someone. The challenge is "just" to eat a ghost pepper on camera, but the entertainment factor is watching you react to the heat. It's called a ghost pepper because the heat sneaks up on you, so the increasing intensity is apparently something people want to see.
But for a 47-year-old man who attempted the challenge, it burned a hole in his throat. Not worth the risk, if you ask me. But I'm also not a cool youth.
7. The Condom Challenge
If anything, this is a good thing because it's encouraging kids to have condoms around. The bad news is, they're not using them for the intended purpose. That being said, it's not harming anyone either.
The point of this challenge is to fill a condom with water, like it's a water balloon, and drop it on someone's head. It doesn't break on impact, because the whole point is for a condom to not break, but instead forms a weird bubble on your head. It usually bounces right off, and that's the end of that.
But it's the other condom challenge that's cause for concern.
8. The Snorting Condom Challenge
Yes, you read that right. Teens are literally snorting a condom up their nose and pulling it out through their mouth.
“Even if you manage to successfully pull the condom out through your mouth, inhaling a condom up your nose would be very uncomfortable and potentially quite painful,” Bruce Lee, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote. “Would it really be worth all that just to get more likes and views? The condom could easily get stuck in your nose or your throat, blocking your breathing or causing you to choke."
But that's not stopping anyone from doing it. These videos are popping up everywhere, and I'm proud to say I haven't watched a single one. Just thinking about it is making my nose hurt.
9. The Cinnamon Challenge
It may sound harmless, but the cinnamon challenge is actually extremely dangerous. Even though it sounds like it involves cinnamon buns (which are delicious) it does NOT. Participants had to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without drinking anything. It dries your throat out and makes you gag, which apparently people find hilarious.
Most of the time people spit out the cinnamon all over the room, but in other cases, it can cause you to choke. It can also lead to vomiting. If you happen to breathe in some of the cinnamon, it can lead to pneumonia or a collapsed lung.
Once again, experts had to stop their important work to let people know consuming mass amounts of a spice is bad.
"This is a dangerous practice which can result in choking, aspiration of cinnamon powder into the lungs, and even respiratory failure requiring a ventilator in extreme cases," Dr. Robert Glatter said. "The stunt can also be deadly as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain in cases of choking and aspiration of the powder."
10. The Sprite and Banana Challenge
I like to think of myself as relatively internet savvy, but I have truly never heard of this before. Starting in the mid-2000s, people were challenged to eat two bananas and drink a quarter gallon of Sprite as fast as you can. The idea is that your body can't process both foods at the same time because of the different chemical makeups, so you'll vomit. Frankly, you're going to vomit anyways.
"Too much food or liquid in your stomach if your stomach doesn’t have that capability can make you vomit," dietician Heather Boline said.
11. The Eyeball Challenge
There's not a lot of information on this challenge, and I think that's because it wasn't around for too long, but it definitely was one of the dumbest internet challenges around.
Teens are going to drink, it's just a way of life, but you never think they're going to drink THROUGH THEIR EYEBALLS. That's right. The point of this challenge was to take a hard shot of liquor right into their eye socket.
Obviously....this is bad.
12. The Pass Out Challenge
This internet challenge was so popular, there was a Lifetime movie made about it. Also known as the choking challenge, kids and teens would choke themselves and each other until they faint.
Games Adolescent Shouldn't Play, or GASP, described the game on their site.
Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves … others push on their chest or hyperventilate. When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.
Garrett Pope Jr., an 11-year-old South Carolina boy, died when he attempted to play this game. His parents found him dead in his bedroom due to accidental asphyxiation.
“He took this terrible ‘game’ too far,” the boy’s father, Garrett Pope Sr., wrote on Facebook. “My family has never felt pain like this before, and we don’t want anyone else to go through what we are going through…[Garrett] was so young and impressionable, he didn’t know what he was doing, and made a terrible mistake."
Between 1995 and 2007, 82 kids died from accidental asphyxiation. A movie, aptly called The Choking Game, was made for Lifetime, which is described as "a girl desperate to be in the "in" crowd, learns the perils of getting a high from asphyxiation."