Remember 2014? Ahhh, simpler times. Especially on the internet. It was a time when you could go on your social media and not worry about ruining relationships (mostly). A time when you actually looked forward to be being on FB/Twitter/IG/et al. A time when you'd scroll through your timeline and find things like this:
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge for A.L.S.? Everyone did it. You did it. Your uncle did it. Your high school history teacher did it. Yeah...even Zuks did it.
But for every successful and worthy challenge that went to a great cause (the Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $115 million and even helped scientists discover a new gene tied to A.L.S.), there was a viral internet challenge that was not only crazy stupid, but crazy dangerous. The challenges weren't for a good cause. Hell, they weren't even fun. But a whole bunch of people did them. Why?
Cause the internet said to. What follows are some of the worst (aka, stupidest) challenges the internet ever put into the ether...
1) Cinnamon Challenge
The cinnamon challenge was an incredible popular meme for awhile. Rules were to try to swallow a spoon full of cinnamon without any water. That's it.
The problem is that ground cinnamon dries the throat and mouth, which will lead to coughing and gagging. It might be hilarious to see these reactions on video, but the challenge can still be incredibly dangerous. Just because it's something edible doesn't make it harmless if not consumed properly. And even worse, the challenge gave cinnamon a bad name. And cinnamon is wonderful!!
At the height of the challenge's popularity, U.S. poison control centers received more than 120 emergency calls related to the "game." Cray that poision control had ti get involved with a spice. Participants suffered lung scarring and emphysema. One person, on their fourth attempt at the challenge, suffered a collapsed lung.
2) Banana Sprite Challenge
Banana and Sprite: two great tastes that should never remotely go together. Seriously, they shouldn't even be in the same room with each other. And yet, someone decided to make a challenge out of it. Because why not?
Those taking part in the banana Sprite challenge were required to eat two bananas and drink a 1-liter bottle of Sprite as fast as they ccould, and then try their best not to vomit it all back up. Most people failed. Similar versions of this challenge are the gallon challenge, which requires drinking a gallon of milk in under an hour and not throwing up. There is also the Mentos and Diet Coke challenge (not the fun explosion one) which means drinking the soda and eating the candies in under five minutes and not — you guessed it — throwing up.
No serious health consequences have sprung up from these challenges, but they're still gross. Why would you want to make yourself throw up?
Oh, yeah. The views.
3) The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
When Kylie Jenner seemed to suddenly have plump lips, everyone wanted to know how they came to be. She claimed (and lied) that she had no cosmetic work done to them, so the internet tested some techniques that would lead to impossibly large lips. "Test." Therein came the challenge.
Some people found that sucking on a shot glass would create a vacuum that would cause lips to plump up to a comically large size. YouTubers across the world then filmed their attempts at the Shot Glass Challenge. Because if it's not filmed then it doesn't exist, right?
It made for a lot of plumping of the lips, as well as a lot of saliva and, of course, a lot of views. But it was gross. It was also dangerous. Shot glasses can break, lips can be bruised, and sometimes they can even bust. It's not your best look by any means.
4) Corn Drill Challenge
Yes, this was a thing. Someone came up with this and people actually did it. Hilarity ensued?
The Corn Drill Challenge involved eating corn on the cob as quickly as possible by attaching it to a power drill. It's a pretty simple concept. What could go wrong? We're so glad you asked...
5) Here's What Went Wrong
A woman in China was left with a bald spot after taking part in the challenge. She was told that it would grow back normally, but it will be a painstakingly long process.
Many people have criticized the challenge as being unsafe and dangerous because, well, you're putting a power drill near your mouth. But we're pretty sure those warnings were about tooth damage, not sudden, premature balding.
6) Fire Challenge
There is absolutely no indication the fire challenge is remotely safe to do. Participants set themselves on fire and try to put the flames out as quickly as possible.
It hurts every time as you might surmise. You're guaranteed first-degree burns at a minimum, and third-degree burns on average. An endless amount of teenagers found themselves in the hospital because of this challenge. Doctor's had to issue warnings multiple times.
Do. Not. Do. This. Challenge. Like...EVER.
(The fact that we even have to type that out says everything about the internet, doesn't it?)
7) Eraser Challenge
The Eraser Challenge predates the internet. It's a classic (we use that term very, very loosely) endurance challenge that's taken place in school yards and on school buses for years. Maybe you remember it?
The challenge was to rub the eraser on your skin and say a word for each letter of the alphabet until you couldn't handle the pain anymore. (So it's kinda,sorta like learning?) Then you'd challenge a friend to reach a higher letter than you. In the end, you'd compare red marks on your arms, and decide who is the cooler grade schooler.
We all did it, but we none of us ever went as far as those who did the challenge. And we certainly never recorded it — whether photo or video — for posterity. Why? Cause it wasn't that fun, it hurt, and because there was never a record of it (besides raw skin of course) we'd forget about it. But in these days of all things viral....
8) Cause Skin Cannot Be Erased
Like we just stated, kids can be dumb. REAL dumb. After the eraser challenge found new popularity on YouTube, some people took the challenge too far.
Erasers are able to do real damage on the skin, tearing it apart with each rub. When skin breaks, it becomes prone to infections. One junior-high student had to be hospitalized after his Eraser Challenge injury became infected. He went into toxic shock and had to be placed in a coma.
9) Duct Tape Challenge
In the Duct Tape Challenge, a participant is wrapped in duct tape and then tasked with getting out of it. Sounds simple enough. One group of teens had a pretty harmful experience, though.
And it went in an unfortunate direction no one could have anticipated. Skylar Fish (right) and his friends were taking on the challenge. When it was Fish's turn, he experienced serious injuries.
Fish, whose arms and legs were bound while standing, fell and crashed onto concrete, causing bleeding in his brain and crushing his cheekbones and left eye socket. The teen couldn't break his fall, and as a result, experienced a severe brain injury and a seizure.
He was left with 48 staples in his head and is permanently blind in one eye.
10) Salt And Ice Challenge
The Salt And Ice Challenge requires participants to put salt on a part of their body, usually their arm, and then put ice on top of the salt. It creates a burning sensation, and the challenge is to see how long you can withstand the pain. Seeing a trend here?
The mixture of ice, water and salt creates a eutectic frigorific mixture which can grow as cold as 18 degrees Fahrenheit. This sometimes causes second — and third — degree injuries similar to frostbite. You know how in the winter you try to do everything to avoid frostbite? Yeah, these people were getting it ON PURPOSE.
Most people who participate in this challenge don't realize the extent of the injuries that can happen, and they are pretty brutal. How brutal?
11) This Brutal (Warning: Not For The Squeamish)
The image seen here on the left was that of a 12-year-old Salt and Ice Challenge taker. Doctors said that "within a few hours of the boy's injury, the skin appeared red and by 48 hours, his back developed blistering second-degree burns which will heal over...several weeks," according to CBS News.
The image on the right comes from from a YouTube video by Brianna Edwards, who took part in the challenge. She claims the challenge burned off layers of her skin, formed a large blister, and then came off. This photo was taken six days after she took part in the challenge.
"I don't think I'm gonna ever do the salt and ice challenge again," she said.
Ummm...good thinking. Neither will we.
Neknomination is a drinking game popular in Australia that is said to have inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Except instead of awareness for a little-understood disease, it led alcohol poisoning and death.
The rules of Neknomination were to film yourself chugging a beer in a humorous fashion, and then nominate someone to do the challenge. Participants are encouraged to heighten whatever the last person did. Participants started making the drinks crazier, quickly consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol. In 2014, five men in Australia died after taking on the challenge.
Yes, drinking can be fun. And adding a game element to it can make it super fun. But everything in moderation, right? We're not against fun: We're against dying.
And speaking of even dumber drinking games...
13) The Eyeballing Challenge
Sometimes people have to go against the grain and buck up against conventional wisdom. Sometimes it produces wonderful inventions. Other times, it produces this:
So the idea was to consume alcohol (usually vodka) through the eye socket—cause consuming via your mouth is soooo 1990s. Apparently, it can be a little fun for the person participating because it supposedly helps to get you drunk a lot quicker. On the other hand, optometrists have warned against this activity because it can "essentially melt the cornea. Hmmm...sort of a Sophie's Choice for idiots, right?
14) The Fainting Challenge
Fainting is awful and scary and should be a terrifying experience that no one wants to ever go through, right?
Um...apparently not. But for awhile there, teens, and sometimes even younger people, were literally out there hyperventilating, choking themselves, or performing some other oxygen-restrictive task to get high or make themselves faint. Are people that bored? Isn't that why we have all our technology at our fingertips now? So we don't do dumb, dangerous, potentially fatal challenges like purposely trying to pass out?
15) The Knockout Game
In the Knockout Game, people filmed themselves attempting to punch strangers with the intention of knocking them out. This was often done with a single sucker punch for the amusement of the attackers and their accomplices. (So it's not so much a game as it is a STRAIGHT UP CRIME.)
The knockout game was around for awhile before going viral in 2013 after a series of severe injuries and deaths came about because of it. As a result, officials stepped up and brought about laws and policing that would prevent the game from taking place, causing it finally to decline. In late 2013, a man was charged with a hate crime and sentenced to five years in prison after he shared his video attempt at the game with a plainclothes cop.
16) The Condom Challenge
All of these challenges are dumb, and dangerous, put we'll add disgusting as well for this one.
How could snorting a condom up through one nostril and pulling it out the other not be anything but just plain gross? This horrific-to-watch trick first gained popularity back in 2013 and since has managed to disgust millions of viewers. Great job, internet!
And, not to sound like an old fuddy duddy or stick in the mud, but we're 99.8% positive that that is not how condoms are supposed to be used. Water balloons? Yes. Shoved up your nose? Yeah...um...NO.
17) The Tide Pod Challenge
There are a lot of dumb challenges out there, but this one takes the
Yup. Eat detergent. That's it. Why? Because it's small, it's colorful, and because the internet is filled with dumb dumbs. It's like people forgot that Tide is a detergent that contains like...you know...chemicals? And bleach? You know, things you shouldn't digest? In the first half of 2018, a number of people contacted the American Association of Poison Control Centres (AAPCC) to report they had poisoned themselves with Tide pods.
In fact, things got so bad that the manufacturer had to warned that pods: "should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if meant as a joke. Laundry pacs are made to clean clothes. Like all household cleaning products, they must be used properly and stored safely."
Yeah, this is what modern society has become.
Okay, so maybe times weren't as simple as I thought they were. We guess things are pretty terrible pretty much 24/7/365, huh? Sorry if we brought you down. So let's end on a much happier note and mention some awesome challenges similar to the A.L.S. challenge that actually brought some good into the world (and still are) and aren't...ya know...killing people.
The founders of Movember have hijacked the entire month otherwise known as November to spread awareness about men’s health issues.
Urging men to put down their razors on the November 1st, Movember then challenges its participants to grow their mustaches to their fullest potential for a full 30 days. The men of Movember have created a community of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas; and since its inception in 2003, Movember has scored 55.7K followers on Instagram and has raised $559 million to date.
Founded in 2014, this UK-based selfie movement became popular among some of Hollywood’s famous faces, who dared to go bare for a notable cause, namely, cancer research.
Posting pictures of their true self, women nominated their friends in order to raise awareness with as little as a $5 donation. In less than a week, donations reached over 8 million pounds (over 10 million US dollars).
Blake Mycoskie, owner of the shoe company TOMS’, created One Day Without Shoes to challenge those who take something as simple as shoes for granted.
Fora single day, participants would go about their daily activities, doing it all without shoes. The campaign quickly spread awareness, but the people at TOMS upped the ante by incorporating social media. The hashtag #withoutshoes turned thousands of Instagrammers into advocates. The shoe brand was doing the unbelievable: Donating a pair of shoes for every Instagram post that incorporated their hashtag. TOMS was able to donate over 256,000 pairs of shoes to impoverished children thanks to social media.
So I guess there is some good on the internet after all. Yay!!!!! Let's just hope those dangerous and dumb internet challenges never come back...
Cause the internet is already dangerous and dumb enough.