Some people crave attention and are willing to do anything to get it – participating in ill-advised Internet ‘challenges’ is one of the most convenient ways to accomplish this. Here are some of the most incredibly stupid ones from the past few years.
10. The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
For a few months in early 2015, it was all the rage for teenage girls to create a vacuum over their lips with a glass in order to puff up their lips, replicating the bee-sting look of Kylie Jenner herself. It worked like a charm, blowing their lips up to monstrous proportions. It also, however, bruised and split their lips so badly that it hurt just to look at them.
9. The Ghost Pepper Challenge
This one requires little explanation – you take a ghost pepper and consume it on camera. If it sounds uneventful, that’s because it mostly is. It is also likely to be an extremely unpleasant experience for the person doing the challenge. Ghost peppers are so named because of the way that their heat sneaks up on you, so you don’t realize that you’ve swallowed something 100 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper until it’s too late.
8. The Condom Challenge
To participate in this challenge, you fill a condom with water and have someone drop it on your head. It doesn’t typically break on impact, or bounce off, but spreads over your head like a bubble. It’s mildly interesting to see being done the first time, but there’s really no point to it after that.
7. The Duct Tape Challenge
This one takes a cue from old-fashioned escape tricks and calls for the participant to be wrapped head to toe in duct tape to see how long it will take them to break free. The fact that the average person is not Houdini and is likely to injure themselves while doing this apparently escapes the general population.
6. The Salt and Ice Challenge
Anyone who has poured salt on an icy driveway has seen the instantaneous and dramatic reaction it causes. For whatever reason, thousands decided to subject their body to that same trauma by pouring salt on their flesh and pressing ice against it. This caused severe skin damage for many, as well as scarring that will never heal.
5. The Cold Water Challenge
This one is more location-specific than most, daring a person to leap into a very cold lake, river or pool to promote donating to a particular charity. One might think that it would be more expedient to simply make the donation without the added rigmarole, but apparently one would be wrong. It is perhaps better known in its infamous spin-off form, the Ice Bucket Challenge, which exchanges the body of cold water for a bucket of ice water dumped over the head. It remains equally pointless.
4. The Pass Out Challenge
That name sounds alarming, right? Unfortunately, it’s a perfectly accurate descriptor of what this challenge entails – kids hyperventilate or restrict their blood flow until they pass out. While most do come out of it without any lasting damage, it is far from guaranteed and obviously not worth the risk.
3. The Underboob Pen Challenge
In January 2016, the Internet was suddenly overcome by revealing pictures of women trying to prove they were a ‘real woman’ by pinning a pen or other small object between their ribs and their breast. This transparent attempt to get semi-nude pictures posted all over social media should never have been able to pass as anything else.
2. The Cinnamon Challenge
The Cinnamon Challenge sounds like a harmless schoolyard dare at first. To participate, you have to consume a spoonful of pure cinnamon, which is hard given its dry and spicy nature. It’s stupid, but it’s just a quick moment of discomfort for laughs… right? As it turns out, no; cinnamon is a potent drying agent that ill coat your mouth and throat and force you to inhale it. Once that happens, it can irritate your lungs to the point of making it impossible to breathe. It’s extremely dangerous.
1. The Fire Challenge
As stupid as the Cinnamon Challenge turned out to be, at least its danger wasn’t obvious: there is no such excuse to lean on here. The Fire Challenge involves taking a flammable liquid, coating yourself in it, and actually setting it on fire on video. The fact that this was attempted by anyone at all should have us very concerned for the future of humanity. That it has been a trend of fluctuating popularity since 2014 is almost inconceivably frightening.