The Internet can beautiful, educational, and hilarious place…or it can be extremely dark and even dangerous. While some use it to promote ideas, be creative, and spread knowledge, others use it to upload dangerous Internet challenges for people to try. Not only are these challenges stupid, but they are incredibly risky and have lead to countless hospitalizations and even some deaths. From choking your friend until they pass out to eating a spiked cactus, these are the most dangerous viral challenges. Please don’t try these at home.
The Duct Tape Challenge
The duct tape challenge is not necessarily a new challenge, but it has resurfaced on Facebook and YouTube in recent years. The object of the challenge is to duct tape someone to a chair and watch as they try to get out of the bindings. Sounds like a bad idea, right? In 2016, 14-year-old Skylar Fish and his friends attempted to replicate this challenge and duct taped Fish while he was standing up. He ended up falling, causing him to slam his head on a window frame and then the concrete. The fall crushed his eye socket, caused a brain aneurysm, and required 48 stitches in his head. He recovered but is lucky to be alive.
The Cinnamon Challenge
The cinnamon challenge is another internet fad that has been circulating on YouTube for over five years. The object of the challenge is to try and swallow a spoonful of cinnamon and see how long you can last without drinking water. Although it may seem easy, that amount of dry cinnamon essentially cuts off the person’s airflow and basically suffocates them. In the 2013 Pediatrics report, physicians warned against attempting the challenge because cinnamon is a caustic substance that can cause respiratory issues such as choking and can even lead to a collapsed lung. Although this challenge is done by mostly teenagers, a 4-year-old boy choked to death after eating too much cinnamon.
The Choking Game
The choking game is another sensation that swept across Facebook and YouTube. If the name didn’t already give it away, the choking “game” takes two people to play. One person cuts off the other’s oxygen in some form of strangulation until they pass out in order to achieve a supposed “rush of euphoria” associated with the experience of fainting and waking back up. In 2014, the game became a social media craze among kids and young teens who filmed themselves playing the game to show off to others. Unfortunately, with that trend, there have been a significant number of deaths associated with the game. A Lifetime movie was even made in order to bring awareness about the dangers of the game.
Car surfing can be traced back the ’80s and can even be seen in the 1985 film Teen Wolf. It involves climbing onto the roof of a moving car and “surfing” as the car moves forward. After it first became popular, it caused 58 deaths between 1990 and 2008. These deaths mostly came from young males living in the Midwest or the South that were bored and looking for something to get their blood pumping. With the rise of YouTube, however, the dangerous cheap thrill made a comeback and has led to the deaths of numerous teenagers and the injuries of countless others within recent years.
The Salt and Ice Challenge
Somehow, teenagers discovered a way to make ice cubes and salt as dangerous as possible. They made a game out of it and all you need to play is some salt and an ice cube. The purpose of the game is to put salt on an ice cube and hold it against your skin for as long as possible. Although this might not seem dangerous, the combination of the ice and salt creates a chemical reaction that burns the skin. The point is to see who can endure the most pain. Yet, the game doesn’t just hurt but physically damages the skin. Teenagers playing this game have been reported to have given themselves or their friends second and third-degree burns just using these two household items.
The Tide Pod Challenge
One of the most foolish Internet challenges is the Tide Pod challenge. The challenge became popular when Tide Pods were the center of an Internet meme that was spread on Twitter. Although it was originally a joke, some people began to take it seriously and were filming themselves eating Tide Pods and then posting it online for views and likes. But ingesting detergent is extremely dangerous because the pods are poisonous to the human body and the trend has sent countless participants to the hospital. Eating the pods can lead to critical health issues and death and Tide Pods now have to be locked up in stores so they aren’t as accessible as they used to be.
A Different Way To Drink
Well, there are absolutely zero redeeming qualities about this challenge if that’s what you can even call it. Thankfully, this trend isn’t popular among young teens, but instead, young adults, which actually it any better at all. This is the act of ingesting alcohol through one’s rectum, which allows the alcohol to bypass the liver’s filtering and metabolic process in order to achieve intense and almost instantaneous effects. Clearly, by skipping the process that allows us to drink alcohol in the first place, this act can have serious detrimental effects. It can lead to severe alcohol poisoning, tissue damage, and even death.
That’s Not What They’re Intended For
We have no idea how this ever became an online trend, but somehow it did. Now, when you see young people buying condoms, chances are it’s not so they can practice safe sex, but so they can try their hand at snorting condoms. The idea is to snort a condom through your nose and simultaneously pull it out of your mouth for some reason that we can’t seem to figure out. Not only is the challenge incredibly bizarre and gross, it can be extremely dangerous. The challenge went viral back in 2013 and is still popular today regardless of the very obvious potential choking hazards. What a way to go out.
The Condom Drop
Yet again, in another attempt to become social media famous in the weirdest ways possible, teenagers came up with the condom drop test. For the condom drop, one person fills a condom with water to create a giant water balloon but doesn’t tie a knot to close the hole. They then drop it on the other person’s head from a distance. The force of gravity and the strength of the latex causes the condom not to break but wrap around the person’s head creating a human fish tank of sorts. While people think this is funny, it is incredibly dangerous and could lead to asphyxiation if they aren’t able to get the condom off in time.
The Kylie Lip Challenge
The Kylie Jenner lip challenge was another internet sensation that came into popularity in 2015. It involves taking a shot glass, putting your lips inside of it, and sucking as hard as you can for an extended period of time. After you take off the suctioned shot glass, it leaves your lips plump and swollen from the pressure. While some believed this to be a harmless joke, it is not necessarily the case. The amount of pressure on the shot glass because of the suction can cause it to break, leading to facial injuries including glass inside the mouth. Participants have also experienced broken blood vessels, intense bruising, and split lips that require stitches.
The Fire Challenge Just Sounds Dangerous
The fire challenge is yet another internet trend that has an increasingly high possibility of inflicting serious bodily harm. The fire challenge first came out in 2014 and reached its height on social media in 2014, but is still popular today. To do the challenge, the participant applies flammable liquids onto exposed parts of their body and then proceeds to light in on fire, engulfing themselves in flames until the chemical burn off. This is another endurance challenge with participants seeing how long they can be on fire until the pain is too much. Obviously, this challenge has led to countless cases of participants giving themselves severe second and third-degree burns
Here’s another dangerous online challenge involving consuming alcohol in completely unnecessary and risky ways. Although we’ve already seen butt chugging, apparently that wasn’t enough, so eyeballing was born. Eyeballing is the act of taking a shot of hard liquor through their eye socket. Unlike butt chugging, this doesn’t have any effect on the buzz from alcohol and is done for no actual reason at all except to inflict pain on oneself and maybe go viral for being extremely negligent to your own health. As you can imagine, this challenge is extremely dangerous and can lead to corneal swelling, irritation, and even blindness.
Good In Theory, Bad In Practice
If you don’t already know, Chatroulette is a website that puts you into anonymous and random online chatrooms. The website uses a computer’s webcam to shows you another person on the other side of the screen. Although it may seem that this could be a fun and interesting way to meet people, the history of Chatroulette has proven otherwise. Since before 2012, it has been popular for young teenagers to go on Chatroulette to see what kind of crazy things they can see on the other side of the camera. Unfortunately, Chatroulette is usually just filled with people exposing themselves to the young teens fooling around on the website or strangers trying to get users personal information.
Chugging Entire Bottles of Alcohol Is As Dangerous As It Sounds
Recently, on Instagram and Twitter, it has become popular to film and post videos of people drinking entire bottles of hard alcohol without stopping. Popular among mostly college students, it has become a joke to see already inebriated young adults essentially give themselves alcohol poisoning on purpose for some amount of social media recognition. Of course, there are serious consequences to not only drinking an entire bottle of alcohol but chugging it all at once. The body isn’t designed to handle that amount of alcohol all at once which can lead to severe alcohol poisoning and potentially death. With so many alcohol-related deaths a year, it’s already known that drinking mass quantities of alcohol is dangerous, so it’s curious how this challenge ever came into existence.
When Planking Goes Too Far
Planking is an internet sensation that came about in 2008 and took the internet by storm. The idea of planking is to lie face down with your hands at your sides in weird, and sometimes precarious locations. The term refers to mimicking a wooden plank. It is common for “plankers” to take pictures of themselves planking on weird objects to try and outdo each other on social media. However, this is where it gets dangerous. The more planking became popular, the riskier it became with people planking off of the sides of building and cliffs. Some people have even fallen to their deaths or were seriously injured while planking in dangerous situations.
Nobody used to enjoy having a sunburn, but now it’s cool thanks to social media. In the summertime, teenagers and young adults have been selectively applying sunscreen to certain areas and allowing to themselves to get extremely sunburnt in order to contrast where they put the sunscreen. Although it can be funny at the time and cool to share on social media, experts have warned of the serious dangers involved in this bizarre form of body art. A severe sunburn can lead to damaging skin conditions such as skin cancer and skin aging, but the people part of the trend couldn’t care less.
The Eraser Challenge
The eraser challenge isn’t a new “game” by any means, however, it has experienced a resurgence due to social media in the recent years. The point of the challenge is to rub an eraser against your skin while saying a particular phrase (typically the ABCs) and then compare the burn with another person. The challenge leads to bad skin abrasions, cuts, and burns, which kids then show off on social media to show their supposed pain tolerance. It’s easy to do because all you need is an eraser, and apparently it’s a way of proving yourself because the kids wear their scars with pride and post them on the Internet.
The Ghost Pepper Challenge
The ghost pepper challenge (or the hot pepper challenge) is a viral internet food challenge that involves filming yourself while eating and swallowing a chili pepper that is extremely high on the Scoville heat scale. The video shows the progression of the before, during, and after effects that the pepper has on the person that ate it. Sometimes, the heat can be so intense that it induces vomiting and hallucinations which people love to see on the Internet. But there can be serious consequences to eating a pepper with such a high level of heat. There have been reported cases of health problems and scares associated with the challenge which has put people in the hospital.
Yes, that’s right, cactus-eating has recently become a YouTube sensation. People who want to prove themselves on YouTube have begun eating prickly cacti, spikes and all. Here’s how the challenge works: someone who successfully ate a cactus and uploaded a video nominates someone else to do the same. Unfortunately, this challenge somehow caught on, so you can go watch people eat cacti on YouTube if you really want. Clearly, this is extremely dangerous with all of the potential health risks that come with eating a plant with spikes on it.
The Gallon Challenge
The gallon challenge (or milk chugging) is the act of attempting to drink a gallon of whole milk in under 60 minutes without vomiting. Although the challenge has been discovered to have originated in 1997, social media and YouTube have provided a platform for users to post their own gallon challenge videos and compete with each other. It has been assumed to be “impossible” which is also why it is so popular because so many people believe that they are the ones that will be able to do it for fame and bragging rights. Although this is one of the less dangerous Internet challenges, doctors have still spoken out against the challenge saying that it’s still not a healthy activity ad that you could choke on your own vomit.