After the Tide Pod challenge, you would think that the internet would be hard-pressed to find another trial that’s half as ridiculous, dangerous and sheer idiotic. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. It turns out people online are full to the brim of simply terrible ideas and that the lure of viral fame is enough to overcome any fear or common sense they may or may not have.
This theory has been proved with the return of the ‘Snorting Condom Challenge’, the viral fad that has seen thousands of people online inhaling condoms and posting the video online afterwards. Yep, that’s right. While some teenagers across America are busy creating movements like #NeverAgain, organising marches and interviewing prominent politicians on gun policy, others are doing this.
The Snorting Condom Challenge normally goes something like this: The participant takes the contraceptive out of its packet, they snort it up one nostril to the back of the throat, and they attempt to make the latex condom come out of their mouth. I know what you’re thinking: Hardly what they meant in Sex Ed when they said “stay safe kids”.
While it has gained steam on the internet recently, it is hardly the first time a trend like this has become popular. The condom challenge was first created back in 2003 and made returns in 2006 and 2012, before going viral in 2013 when Youtuber Savannah Strong uploaded footage of her doing the trick. Since then, thousands of people have taken part and shared their videos on social media.
Despite its popularity, experts have named the challenge as dangerous and have advised people not to encourage the trend, which carries a risk of choking. They have pointed out that snorting a condom can become a hazard if it blocks the airway, as well as citing fears of infection and allergic reactions likely to happen in the nasal cavities.
Over the years, there have been several reports of participants suffering from medical complications after snorting condoms, with one woman coming down with pneumonia and suffering a partial lung collapse after it got stuck in her lungs, and another woman getting appendicitis when a condom fragment got stuck in her appendix.
Bruce Y. Lee, an associated professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has commented on the fad, asking people taking part if the risks were really worth the video views. He wrote: “Even if you manage to successfully pull the condom out through your mouth, inhaling a condom up your nose would be very uncomfortable and potentially quite painful. Would it really be worth all that just to get more likes and views?”
Of course, the Snorting Condom Challenge is just one of the dozens of bizarre challenges that have gone around the internet over the years. As well as the Tide Pod challenge, which saw people eat plastic packets of laundry detergent, there was the Cinnamon Challenge, in which participants ate a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything, the Fire Challenge, which saw participants douse themselves in lighter fluid and immolate themselves, and the Gallon Challenge, where people drank a whole gallon of milk in one sitting.
So, tell me what you think, honestly: Can the internet get any stupider? You’d think it would be impossible at this point, but crazier things have happened.