Beckoning you to the cliffs

People are taking part in dangerous, viral challenges


The YouTube channel Cut asked 100 people to attempt the Cinnamon Challenge. Here, a woman tries to ingest a spoonful of cinnamon, then begins involuntarily retching cinnamon immediately thereafter.

Sam Covalt, Asst. Editorial Editor

As time goes on and a generation passes by its predecessor, things change, grow and evolve. However, some trends tend to become worse. It seems that each generation looks at the following generations sometimes with distaste; and the current generation seems certainly to be looked at with aversion.

With all the challenges that have arisen over — and only since — approximately the past two decades, people have taken the risk of danger, and sometimes to deathly outcomes. Perhaps the first internet challenge was the Saltine Cracker Challenge. According to the Los Angeles Times, it actually started with quarterback Peyton Manning in 1996, who bet he could eat six saltine crackers in under 60 seconds.

Another challenge people undertook years ago and continue to try is the Cinnamon Challenge. One video of the Cinnamon Challenge featured a man who attempted to ingest a spoonful of cinnamon. As soon as he put the cinnamon in his mouth, he immediately began screaming erratically, threw off his hat and went to his kitchen sink to drink water directly out of the faucet. The danger with attempting to ingest a spoonful of cinnamon is in the fact that it is next to impossible; scientifically, when one tries to accomplish this, the cinnamon coats and dries out the mouth, clogging the salivary glands and hindering saliva from wetting the mouth, which prevents a person from breathing. This can result in suffocation.

“Before, people couldn’t share [their attempts at challenges] as well as they can today. The internet allows people to share things because of the overwhelming amount of the population that can now view that information,” sophomore Kameron Skrobacz said.

The latest challenge is the Bird Box Challenge, inspired by the new Netflix Original, Bird Box. Fox News says that the hit movie became the most-watched Netflix film within the first seven days of its release. The challenge involves people blindfolding themselves and performing daily tasks. The problem is, some people have taken it to trying to cut people’s hair while blindfolded, walking down the stairs or pouring boiling water or coffee into a cup they are holding; of course, if they miss the cup and land the water or coffee on their hand, this would quite obviously lead to serious burns. In one video, someone even blindfolded their dog as he walked around their home.

Aside from all these dangerous dares, however, it cannot be said that all challenges are bad or harmful; the Ice Bucket Challenge, for example, was a challenge that raised awareness for the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord,” according to the ALS Association website.

As there is with many things, there is a gray area with the matter of these “challenges.” It is how people go about them, which ones they partake in, that makes all the difference.