Some people will do anything for 15 minutes of fame, and the internet makes it even easier to make a fool of yourself in the name of likes. Phenomena like the Ice Bucket Challenge are harmless and raise money for good causes, but others have proven to be incredibly dangerous. Some have resulted in disfigurement, jail, and even death for those foolish enough to perform them.
WARNING: The videos on this list contain footage that is disturbing, stupid, or dangerous. Please use discretion so young people or stupid people won’t be exposed to the content.
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10 The Fire Challenge
The Fire Challenge was an internet fad where people poured a flammable liquid over parts of their body and set it on fire. They were supposed to quickly put it out, but naturally, such a feat landed several children in the hospital with second and third degree burns. One 12 year old girl was engulfed in flames when the rubbing alcohol she smeared over herself got out of control (possibly due to flammable perfume she was wearing.) Aside from the grave bodily harm the “challenge” can inflict on those who attempt it, it has also landed at least one woman in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor when she helped her son film his own Fire Challenge.
9 The Condom-snorting Challenge
The Condom-snorting challenge is exactly what it sounds like—snorting an extended condom through your nose. The idea is that it will come out of the back of the nasal cavity, where it can then be pulled out of the mouth. Youtubers have been doing this for laughs, but it is actually very dangerous. The nasal cavity is sensitive, and you can do long term damage both with the condom and the chemical lubricants it might have on it. More importantly, since you are snorting a long piece of stretchy plastic into your airway, it can easily keep going past your nasal cavity into your lungs. This has happened during at least one condom-snorting challenge, which resulted in the snorter having to endure surgery, and suffer through months of illness.
8 Banana Sprite Challenge
The Banana Sprite Challenge is based on the (extremely unscientific) claim that your body cannot digest bananas and Sprite at the same time. The claim, baseless as it may be, says that since your body cannot digest these two substances together, it will reject both, causing you to vomit. There are several Youtube videos (that we don’t recommend watching) of people attempting the challenge, and then vomiting everything back up.
To be clear, the vomiting is less likely caused by the indigestibility of the banana-Sprite mix, and more likely the sheer volume of food and drink the challenge requires. The challenge is to eat two bananas as quickly as you can, then chug a liter of Sprite. Eating and drinking that much so quickly could easily produce vomiting, regardless of the combination.
7 Salt and Ice Challenge
The Salt and Ice Challenge is a very dangerous internet phenomena where people (including children) have been putting salt and ice together on their bodies. Mixing salt and ice causes a chemical reaction that induces frostbite, and the challenge involves seeing how long you can withstand keeping it on your body. The internet is brimming with pictures of second and third degree burns suffered by those who attempted the challenge.
Unfortunately, and probably because of the ease of acquiring the ingredients for the challenge, several young children have been rushed to the emergency room with severe burns on their arms after giving themselves frostbite. One child even said that he left it on for so long because it “didn’t even hurt” when they burned themselves.
6 Cinnamon Challenge
The Cinnamon Challenge is to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking anything. It sounds easy, but is actually extremely hard—and dangerous, according to doctors. The problem isn’t actually eating and digesting the cinnamon itself, which is, after all, a common spice. The problem is that trying to eat that much cinnamon will trigger the gag reflex, which causes you to inadvertently inhale cinnamon dust.
Cinnamon dust can be extremely harmful to the lungs. It is caustic, meaning that it can burn or corrode tissue. This is not a problem for your stomach, but getting a caustic compound in your lungs can be damaging. The cellulose matrix of cinnamon also cannot be metabolized, which means that getting it out of your lungs can be a nightmare. Doing the challenge once probably won’t give you “cinnamon lung,” but it can trigger an asthma attack, which can be fatal for some people.
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5 Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
Kylie Jenner is a reality TV star known for her plump lips. Some teens have taken to temporarily enlarging their own lips with the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, in which they put their lips and mouths inside a container, and then suck the air out to create a vacuum. The lack of air pressure inside the container caused by the sucking causes their lips to temporarily plump, creating the short-term appearance of large lips.
Unfortunately, this not only looks ridiculous, but can be painful, damaging, and cause permanent damage. The swelling expands blood vessels and can tear the sensitive skin of the lips, and make them bleed. Some who attempted the challenge sucked for so long that stitches were needed to repair the damage to their inflated lips.
4 Hot Pepper Challenge
While hot pepper eating competitions are not uncommon, some Youtubers had their own private challenges to see if they could down some of the hottest peppers in the world. “Monkey see, monkey do” unfortunately applies to middle schoolers who wanted to test their own pepper-eating mettle during their school lunch. A middle schooler brought in a Carolina reaper pepper to school to attempt the challenge with their friends.
Eating such hot peppers straight, though, can result in vomiting, breathing problems, and other complications—which is exactly what happened to the 30 middle schoolers who tried to down them in their cafeteria. The principle had to call emergency services, just like another principle the very next day when 40 students put ghost peppers in their lunches.
In another challenge at a restaurant, one man ate a ghost pepper-topped burger and began vomiting uncontrollably. It caused Boerhaave’s syndrome, a tear in his esophagus that led to a collapsed lung. The condition is potentially fatal, and landed him in the hospital for almost a month. (We assume that he also lost the restaurant’s challenge.)
3 24 Hour Fort Challenge
The 24 Hour Fort Challenge is where someone creates a “fort” in a large store where they can hide out for 24 hours, avoiding security, and ultimately spending the night until opening. The challenge seems rather harmless to those who participate, so there are hundreds of posts on youtube from those who have accepted it. Hiding out in a store after it closes, though, is essentially trespassing. It can and has led to criminal charges being filed against individuals who have undertaken it. And while some people are potentially ruining their futures for the sparse fame of uploading a youtube video, younger children are taking the challenge and causing large-scale searches when their parents call the police to report them missing.
2 Hot Coil Challenge
Thanks to the power of the internet, anyone can create any kind of challenge they want, no matter how dangerous or dumb. A pair of Youtubers created the Hot Coil Challenge, where they turn on their stove and press their forearm over the red-hot coils to withstand the burn as long as they can. Naturally, the member of the pair that pressed his arm to hot coils gave himself 3rd degree burns, which he showed off on the expletive-ridden video.
This challenge was so absurd that it was restricted on Youtube for viewers over 18. And perhaps because of its obvious danger and consequences, the challenge has fortunately failed to gain traction among teenagers seeking to permanently disfigure themselves. Still, there are always people willing to do anything for views, and a few copycats exist.
1 Blue Whale Challenge
The most horrible of internet “challenges” was perhaps the Blue Whale Challenge. It was allegedly the brainchild of Philipp Budeikin, who pleaded guilty to creating the challenge in 2017. His challenge consisted of inciting those he called “biological waste” to ultimately commit suicide.
The “challenge” involved getting those who accepted to do 50 days of increasingly horrifying self-harming activities that culminated in suicide. It also had those who participated delete all evidence of the “Blue Whale Challenge” from their computers before commiting the final act.
Budeikin was caught after one of his participants gave up near the last stages of the challenge and told the police. He was held on charges of inciting 16 teenage girls to commit suicide, and ultimately found guilty on two counts. Unfortunately, he is believed to be only one of many administrators of the challenge. Due to the challenge’s nature, it is difficult to verify exactly how much of it is actually taking place and how much of it is just an internet rumor. But at least two american teenage suicides are suspected of being linked to it.
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About The Author: Mike has a lot more time to write lists recently.
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