The world is in trouble. Serious trouble.
“Why,” you ask? Has Putin finally pushed that big red button on the underside of his desk? Has ebola taken root in other countries, spreading virulently throughout the world population? Has Israel turned their formidable nuclear capabilities outward? Have mutant ichthyoid creatures from the Marianas trench risen to destroy the world?
Nope. It’s the fact that the next generation to take the reins of the world are the first digital natives. That is, people who have never known an analog anything in their entire life. No Walkmen, no records, no VHS. Purely digital.
These narcissistic, indulgent individuals are currently teenagers, and following in a long line of teenagers, they have shown a remarkable proficiency toward stupidity, foolishness and danger.
The only problem is that their idea of “pushing the envelope”, so to speak, is miles beyond what any generation before has considered wild. With the pervasive, infinite grasp of the internet, these crusaders of imbecility have upped the ante to nearly unthinkable heights.
Unlike the days of auld where the ultimate apex of youth was egging a house, creating a burn on your skin with salt and ice or spray painting a wall in the search of glory, the goal for these teenagers is to now be the greatest or die trying, with legions of underdeveloped brains thinking up new ways to risk their lives for Youtube glory.
With the worryingly large amount of these stunts coming up on Youtube recently, we’ve put together a list of the five most dangerous of these challenges that you need to know about, to make sure your son or daughter doesn’t end up on the evening news.
1. The Fire Challenge
This stunt involves fire, flammable liquids, and a bunch of skin, usually a chest.
As you can see from the video above, the fire challenge involves pouring nail polish, hair spray, lysol, perfume or really anything with a solvent in it, onto your body, then lighting said fluid aflame.
The solvent works like a quickly-dissolving shield against the flames, so you don’t (granted you pull it off right) burn your skin. The goal is to create a raging fire that you quickly put out with water before the flammable liquid burns off, allowing the fire to engulf your skin. This usually takes the form of showers, although some of the dumber contestants decide they don’t require that, and they instead go for slapping themselves with a fabric of some sort.
There’s been several injuries already this year, with a Kentucky boy suffering 2nd degree burns just this month.
2. The Condom Challenge
The condom challenge involves, well, condoms. Much like the much safer “spaghetti trick”, wherein you snort a nice, long noodle of your childhood favorite up your nose and then regurgitate it out through your mouth (believe it or not, our mouth and nostrils are connected!)
Only, instead of using a skinny, digestible noodle, you use a rubber device that’s specifically designed to withstand extreme heat, fluid and friction.
This repulsive challenge is not only disgusting and strange, it’s also dangerous. Condoms aren’t really supposed to be insufflated, so, as you might expect, there’s a pretty good chance that one could end up choking on the latex glove.
Neknominations are a new fad that has only come about in the last half a year or so.
Originating from Australia, Neknominations is a 21st century chain-letter that involves a feat of extreme alcoholic imbibation. The way it works is this. Person A films themselves drinking a copious amount of strange alcohol, because of a previous nomination from Person X. Person A, after finishing their cocktail of choice, then nominates Person B, giving them 24 hours to complete the challenge, or risk ignominy, and around and around this goes.
Unlike some of the other challenges, it’s more popular on social media sites like Facebook, where it has completely dominated news feeds for months.
There’s obvious dangers involved with this stunt, and it has led to 5 deaths so far, according to CNN.
4. The Cold Water Challenge
The cold water challenge is an understandably stupid stunt.
It, like the Neknomination, involves a nomination of some sort from a previous competitor who accomplished the feat. In order to satisfy the nomination, one must jump in a frozen, freezing or otherwise dangerously cold body of water, and then swim back to shore.
The implications of a human jumping into a frozen lake are obvious and terrifying, as many have found out. It has already taken a deadly turn, with a 16-year-old Minnesotan dying as a result of the dare.
Although this one’s not as obviously dangerous like the Fire Challenge, the pure possibility for death is arguably higher.
5. The Choking Game
This one has been popular for about 10 years now, and despite the obvious problems with it, teenagers still do it — all the time.
The choking game, also known as the pass-out game or the fainting game, involves huffing and puffing for a period of around 2 minutes, then, once you’ve sufficiently hyperventilated, having a friend come and either choke you out with their arms or hand, or picking you up from behind and squeezing hard on your chest.
The basic idea behind it is simple: stop the flow of oxygen to the brain, and thereby make the person pass out. There’s about a billion problems with this, with just a few of the problems being the possibility that the person never wakes up, or they hit their head on something when they’re passed out.
This game is incredibly dangerous, as you’d imagine.