Fame First, Life Later: Internet Challenges

There are a lot of Internet phenomenon happening every day, from memes (image, video or text went viral) to mysteries. Then, there are internet challenges. While some of them are harmless, like the Mannequin Challenge, there are few of them that are harmful, if not, lethal. It requires certain amount of courage and a lot of foolishness to do them. All for that 15 minutes of fame. These are five dangerous challenges that were once very popular among the Internet users.

1. Cinnamon Challenge

What is it all about: Cinnamon Challenge is a dare which one must shove a spoonful of cinnamon powder into their mouth within 60 seconds and should not drink anything afterwards. The challenge started way back in 2001 and revived somewhere in 2013. Thankfully, the challenge died a year later.

The danger: If taken in a large amount, say, a spoonful of cinnamon, it can cause choking and coughing at least. At worst, serious lung damage if inhaled which usually done accidently by people as they are coughing the powder out.

Cinnamon contains chemical such as fibre which humans are unable to break it down. Hence, it clogs the lungs and the airways. As a result, people have been suffering from nosebleed, vomiting and difficulty in breathing. In more serious cases, some suffer from lung collapse which resulted in ventilators treatment.

2. Salt and Ice Challenge

What is it all about: Participant pours salt on their body and then ice is placed on the salt. This will cause a painful cold sensation (called frostbite) on the area which the person tries to withstand the frostbite as long as possible. This challenge existed since 2013.

The danger: The salt helps to lower the ice temperature so low it will cause third degree burn. The affected area of the skin feels leathery as the nerves are destroyed due to low temperature. The results? Permanent damage and scars to remember. All that for few minutes of fame.

3. Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

What is it all about: Started around 2015, the challenge requires one to plump their lips using shot glass. Putting their lips over it and suck. This creates vacuum which causes the lips to swell. Hence, creating plump lips just like the reality TV star.

The danger: Besides the swelling lips, people will also suffer from pain and bruises as the blood vessels in the lips is filled with blood. This will cause irritation to the lips (which makes it swell). Sucking the bottle harder will result in damage in the thin blood vessels. Besides, it may cause the shot glass to break which will scar and cut the lips badly.

4. Tide Pod Challenge

What is it all about: Tide Pod is a colourful detergent capsule which make it looks like a candy. A joke circulated about eating the detergent started in 2012 and persisted until 2017 before it came to YouTube on December 2017. This is the starting point of Tide Pod eating challenge. Basically, the challenger is required to eat the detergent. Fortunately, this challenge only lasted for half a month.

The danger: Eating detergent containing chemical which is toxic to human will cause a lot of complications. Vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, seizures and worse, death. In short, detergent is the danger.

5. Fire Challenge

What is it all about: People need to douse themselves with flammable liquid such as alcohol and set themselves on fire. That’s basically it. It started around 2012 before gaining firing the netizens up, especially the YouTube community, in 2014.

The danger: Clearly, setting oneself on fire will be at risk for third degree burn. If lucky, they will survive with long lasting scars after being placed in hospital for a long time. If not, they ended up with bandages and put into intensive care for much longer time.


  • Nurul Athifa Binti Mohamad Aslam adalah pelajar Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.
  • Dr. Mohd Syuhaidi Abu Bakar adalah Pensyarah Kanan, Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.

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