Let us all go back for a moment to a time when the internet was more of a peaceful place. People used things like MSN Messenger and ICQ to chat to their friends and they thought it was super cool when you could download music or watch movie trailers (that you could only see at the theatre before your movie started) on the internet. Sometimes we really miss those days when the internet wasn't so vast, scary and at times very stupid and dangerous.
Speaking of stupid and dangerous, here are 15 of the worst internet challenges to ever exist.
15 The incredibly stupid and dangerous Tide Pod challenge
If this wasn't one of the saddest and disturbing ways for humanity to kick off 2018, we're not sure what is. Seriously, if we never hear the words Tide Pod again in our lives (even in relation to doing laundry—sorry Tide!), it'll be too soon. Even after this challenge erupted all over the internet and the news and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) released a warning about the dangers of consuming the pods, it seems that there are still many reports of teens "intentionally eating the laundry detergent-filled gel capsules this year." We're not sure we'll ever understand the appeal of challenging yourself to deliberately put something filled with chemicals that are potentially poisonous in your body for all to see, but we're kind of hoping the next stupid challenge would hurry up and make its appearance because this one is getting super old, super fast.
14 Smokey the Bear would say no to the fire challenge
Speaking of living life dangerously (and just plain stupidly)—have you heard of the fire challenge? It set the internet world ablaze a couple of years ago when videos and posts on people's social media kept popping up of them putting some kind of inflammable liquid on their half naked body and setting it on fire and basically seeing how they react from there. It usually ends in people going into complete hysterics because they purposefully set their own body on fire, but there have been people who have ended up in the hospital after doing this challenge with second- and third-degree burns and one young boy even died. So, to say that this challenge is completely moronic, very dangerous and unnecessary for anyone to even attempt should be what people think of before dousing themselves in anything flammable and lighting a match.
13 The duct tape challenge
Remember the good old days of duct tape when the craziest thing people would do with it was secure a glass of wine to their hand for the evening? Well, gone are those days and what's taken over in the world of duct tape seems to be at a much larger and scarier scale. Essentially, the duct tape challenge involves entrapping or wrapping tape around an individual heavily in duct tape—oftentimes it can involve them hanging from a chair or off a wall—and seeing if they can escape. There have been multiple reports of people injuring themselves as they try to make their way out of the tape, so we can only hope that duct tape makes it's way back into people's garages or sheds or tool boxes and stays there for the foreseeable future.
12 Yes, that is a condom over someone's head
Apparently, most of these insane internet challenges involve an individual freely looking for someone else out there to help them put themselves in grave danger—and all for a laugh, no less. The next challenge we're talking about is the condom challenge (yes, you read that correctly). Supposedly, there was a lesser known condom challenge of 2013 where people were snorting condoms up their noses—which, seriously, who even knew you could do that? But the more recent condom challenge that had the internet going crazy was people filling condoms with water and dropping them over people's heads. So, yeah, it became an actual thing to envelop one's head in a latex bubble filled with water for God knows what reason. Let us all take a deep breath and think about that one for a moment.
11 The #passout challenge
Let's all think back for a moment to a time when the youth in our lives didn't have the internet to turn to in times when they felt they needed attention or gratification. That usually meant they would in turn do things like steal their neighbor's gnomes during a sleepover or get sent to their room for sassing their parents, but it was all a part of growing up in an age when the internet wasn't a thing.
Cut to nowadays when if you want a little (or a lot) of attention, all you have to do is turn the camera on yourself doing something incredibly stupid and post it on your social media for some likes. To see that some teens out there were playing the choking game challenge—which is exactly what it sounds like—in order to gain their 15 minutes of fame on the internet, it truly makes you wish for those days back when things were more simple (and less choke inducing).
10 The car surfing challenge
We weren't lying when we said that these are some of the worst internet challenges to ever exist. Again, the car surfing challenge is exactly what it sounds like. In 2015-2016, some people thought it was a good idea to jump on top of their friend's moving vehicle and try their hand at "surfing" on the roof of a car that was usually either driving around in a parking lot or, even worse, down the road with other cars going full speed. Not only did this stunt lead to people ending up in the hospital with all kinds of injuries but it actually claimed the lives of several people who attempted it. A 21-year-old woman from New Mexico reportedly lost her life after she attempted the challenge and was flung from the moving vehicle on a dark night.
9 It just goes from weird to weirder
Talk about people who have an exponential amount of time on their hands and maybe not much creative brain power to actually put that time to proper use. Can we talk about the corn on the drill challenge for a moment and how they've taken something so simple and sacred that makes us think of summer and corrupted it to the point where we're now a little nauseous whenever we think of corn on the cob. Apparently, the whole point of this one is see how fast you can eat your corn off the cob at an obviously quite accelerated speed from the drill on one end. This lovely challenge has actually gone as far as people losing their teeth and one vlogger recorded herself doing this one only to be left with a rather huge bald spot on the top of head after a large portion of her hair got stuck in the drill and was ripped out. Ouch.
8 Let's just say salt and ice just don't mix
This is one of those challenges where if people stepped back for a moment and thought of things logically then they could probably tell the outcome of said challenge before it even happened and wouldn't even need to go there in the first place. But we're not here to talk about logical people doing nice things that make sense, are we?
And that train of thought brings us to the salt and ice challenge. When we were talking about people thinking logically, we couldn't help but think about the fact that anywhere that gets a lot of snow in the winter, salt is used to melt the ice and snow on the roads and is very effective in doing so. So, for people to douse their skin in salt and then see how long they can last when they put ice over it, well—it's not going to feel very nice now, is it?
7 Sometimes these challenges go right for your self-esteem
Some of these challenges that are out there don't just rest in the area of testing out what one's body is capable of in the most absurd and dangerous setting, but some of them are actually a way of body-shaming. The collarbone challenge is definitely one that exists to help people feel bad about their bodies because it's all about testing to see how "skinny" you are by stacking a row of coins in one's collarbone and seeing how far your stack goes back without toppling over. Yes, we're completely aware of just how ridiculous this sounds as a way of measuring your body type, but there were plenty of people doing this challenge and many people on the sidelines commenting harsh things because sadly, that is just the weird and cruel world we live in sometimes.
6 Hot pepper challenge
Before they added this little twist, the hot pepper challenge might have been one of the most annoying things to ever show up in your timeline, but since they recently took after the popular ALS ice bucket challenge and added a charitable component, we can't hate on it quite as much.
But before people were doing this challenge for charity, let's try and pin down just why this particular challenge was so annoying. Maybe it's because things inevitably get very loud and reactive very quickly when someone does something like eat hot peppers on camera, so watching those obnoxious reactions can turn us off. Or maybe it's because the hot pepper challenge isn't flashy enough because it's just a hot pepper and a human—that's it. Really, we're getting a bit bored just talking about this one.
5 The Kylie Jenner challenge
As if the Kardashian family wasn't over-saturating the media enough—and this was long before the mystery behind Kylie's secret pregnancy took over the gossip magazines—some idiot had to go and invent a challenge that made teen girls everywhere get on the internet to try and look like them. This one happened to be all about trying to get the lips of the youngest sibling, Kylie Jenner, which anyone with half a brain can probably tell simply by taking a quick glance at a photo of her a few years ago, those lips of hers probably have a 99% chance of being cosmetically altered. (She later admitted that she has fillers.) Even with doctors warning against this challenge (which involves inserting your lips in a glass jar and sucking the air out), due to "bruising, blistering and even infection," it certainly didn't stop this internet challenge from becoming a craze for a few months.
4 The A4 waist (AKA how skinny are you) challenge
Speaking of challenges that exist to highlight any flaws you might have and make you feel less than, here exists the A4 waist challenge. Basically, the premise behind this one is you hold up a piece of printer paper (usually around 8.3 inches in width) to your torso and see if your waist is smaller than it. Sounds simple, right? It may a simple challenge that takes literally two seconds to complete, yet the results of this challenge are disturbing on so many levels. Business Insider did the math and if their calculations are correct, if your waist is smaller than 8.3 inches then it's roughly around 25 inches, which is way below the size of an average American waist. This challenge is all about reducing how you look down to an unattainable number or size and for many people, it's the kind of thing that can be triggering in terms of their health goals and what they end up putting in their bodies.
3 The eyeballing challenge
Seriously, what happened to the good old days when people simply challenged each other to a few shots in a bar? The eyeballing challenge takes on that basic notion and adds a whole other level of stupid and dangerous to it because in order to properly take part in this challenge, one has to consume alcohol (usually vodka) through their eye socket—yes, you read that right.
Apparently, it can be a little fun for the person participating because it helps to get you drunk a lot quicker, but optometrists have warned against this activity because it can "essentially melt the cornea." With everything like all the screen time we experience nowadays and not wearing protective eyewear while outside in the sun, we would think that people would want to do everything they could to protect against vision loss, but sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.
2 The visuals on this one just freaks us out
If you happen to be wearing any sort of makeup while even glancing at this photo, you're going to want to run to the bathroom and cleanse every last stitch of it from your skin until all you're left with is red blotches (from all the scrubbing) because no one should ever have this much makeup on their face at one time.
What you're looking at here is the 100 layers challenge and a year or so ago it was all the rage on YouTube for popular beauty vloggers to put 100 layers of makeup on their face to see just how hideous and unappealing it looked. Seriously, if there was ever an ad needed that was meant to convince people to go sans cosmetics for a while, this would be the one!
1 The cinnamon challenge
For the longest time, when someone even mentioned the idea of an internet challenge, quite often this was the stupid one that came to mind because when the cinnamon challenge was happening, there weren't as many making the rounds as there are now. Funny enough, when we think of the cinnamon challenge, we can't help but feel a little nostalgic because even though it is completely absurd and stupid to see how much ground cinnamon one can consume in 60 seconds, it's not like anyone was lighting themselves on fire or deliberately ingesting dangerous chemicals (like with the Tide Pod challenge). In 2018, we remember you fondly, cinnamon challenge—and thank you to its original creators for not being completely insane (just a little crazy and bored).