Those who grew up in the ’80s may remember the television show He-Man; the title character, the half naked, buff, blond guy, would gain extra strength by raising his sword and saying “by the power of Grayskull.” He-Man was not only a prime example of ’80s hyper masculinity, he was also a pretty smart guy with lessons for kids at the end of each episode. For example, in episode 41, “House of Shokoti Part 2,” he states, “even if one of your friends dares you…taking a risk like that [putting your life at stake] isn’t brave, it’s just dumb.” Unfortunately, it seems like many teenagers and adults could benefit from listening to He-Man’s advice. Too many people do things without thinking either because they are told, because they want attention, or because of peer pressure. One particularly dangerous example is food challenges. Food challenges have become a popular form of entertainment at parties, as well as popular on YouTube. While food challenges may be stupid, the bigger issue is that they are also dangerous. Medical professionals all over the web are warning parents about the teenage challenge trend. Here is a list of 10 incredibly stupid and dangerous food challenges. Remember He-Man’s advice and do not try these at home, unless your idea of a fun time is cleaning up a ton of vomit off of your furniture.
10. Milk Gallon Challenge
Milk is one of the most “natural” products people can drink: we survive solely on milk as infants, it goes great with cookies and cake, so what can be so hard about drinking milk? The rules of the milk gallon contest are simple: you have to drink an entire gallon of milk without throwing up. The danger of the milk challenge is how much milk is being consumed with the small time slot. The average human stomach can stretch up to one liter. As a gallon exceeds a liter, the body’s reflex is to violently vomit.
9. Mentos and Diet Coke Challenge
Remember high school science class? Your teacher may or may not have shown you the Mentos and diet coke experiment: combining Mentos and Diet Coke to create a large, foamy explosion. Rumors have been circulating on the Internet that the Mentos and Diet Coke challenge can cause your stomach to explode. Discovery’s “Myth Busters” proved those rumors to be false. By the time Coke reaches your stomach, it will have lost too much carbon dioxide to cause such a spectacular chemical reaction. However, if you do attempt this challenge, you will most likely wind up with a sticky counter full of spewed coke.
8. Banana and Sprite Challenge
The banana and Sprite challenge functions on the same principle as the milk gallon challenge: trying to drink more fluids than your body can handle. Remember how the average stomach can expand up to one liter? Well, image trying to fit two liters into a one liter container. Now toss two or three bananas into the mix. What you see before you is the banana Sprite challenge. This challenge is guaranteed to leave you surrounded by a pool of yellow, fizzy puke. The goal of this challenge is not even to try and keep the bananas and Sprite down, but to see who can go the longest time without throwing up.
7. Chubby Bunny Challenge
Smores, roasted by the fire, in hot chocolates; marshmallows can be eaten in many delicious ways. They are even good when eaten straight out of the bag. So why wouldn’t you want to try and shove as many in your mouth as you possibly can? This is the logic behind the “chubby” or “fluffy” bunny challenge. The goal of the challenge is to put as many marshmallows in your mouth as you can, until you can no longer utter the words “chubby bunny” (either because your mouth is too full or you’re dead). So, not only are you putting way too much food in your mouth, you’re also opening up your airways as you try to speak. Smart. Needless to say the biggest danger with the chubby bunny is the choking hazard it represents. Bunnies may be cute when they are fluffy and chubby, but not when they are dead.
6. Cupcake Challenge
This challenge is so popular that it was even featured on National Geographic’s “Do or Die” television show. The goal is to eat as many cupcakes as possible in a given time. The person who manages to eat the most cupcakes wins. Wherein lies the danger? Similar to the chubby bunny, the biggest hazard with the cupcake challenge is your liability to choke (in the literal sense). Perhaps a better question would be why would anyone want to waste so many cupcakes? Not even being able to savor their deliciousness? Shame.
5. Ghost Pepper Challenge
In the ghost pepper challenge, the participant is supposed to eat a bhut joloka pepper, the spiciest pepper on earth. The burning sensation occurs roughly 45 seconds after eating the pepper, and gets increasingly worse for up to 15 minutes. Only after half an hour does the sensation start to fade. What makes the pepper spicy and dangerous is the “capsaicin.” The ingestion of too much capsaicin can lead to the irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, an upset stomach, and diarrhoea (thank goodness for PeptoBismol). Even smelling bhunt joloka peppers is unhealthy: leading to cough, sneezing and rhinitis.
4. Cinnamon Challenge
Perhaps the most famous food challenge, the cinnamon challenge is also one of the most dangerous. Though eating cinnamon without water does not sound difficult, it has the potential to land you in the hospital or worse. Minor side effects can include: coughing, chocking and gagging. The more serious side effects can occur due to inhaling the cinnamon. Cinnamon contains a substance known as cellulose, which the human body finds difficult to break down. As a result, if cellulose is inhaled it is likely to get stuck within the person’s lungs, causing all sort of problems such as: lung inflammation, thickening of lung tissue, scarring, pneumonia or even causing a collapsed lung.
3. Flour Challenge
Every baker knows how vital and useful flour is. Here is one use however, which is not recommended: the flour challenge, the cinnamon challenge’s white cousin. The rule of the challenge is to find the biggest spoon you can, fill it with flour, and then try to swallow said flour without the aid of any liquids. The results are also similar to the cinnamon challenge: the participant is very likely to suffer from coughing, wheezing and gagging. So dry is the participant’s mouth, that sometimes a puff of flour will appear as he/she coughs. At least cinnamon tastes good; having a mouth full of flour must not be a pleasant taste.
2. Soya Sauce Challenge
Have you ever looked at the nutritional information of the back of a soya sauce container? It contains a frighteningly high amount of salt. It should be no surprise then that taking the soya sauce challenge (drinking an entire container of soya sauce in one sitting) can lead to a salt overdose. In 2011, a teenager took the challenge and started having twitches, which developed into seizures, and ultimately resulted in a comma. It took six liters of sugar water to save the boy’s life. Though he survived the ordeal, his case serves as a warning to all those who may be tempted to try the soya sauce challenge.
1. Water Drinking Contest
Though not technically food, the water drinking contest involves the ingestion of a liquid necessary for survival and therefore deserves to be on this list. Moreover, it is one of the most dangerous food related challenges. The challenge requires drinking a large quantity of water and then not going to the bathroom for as long as possible. The human body however, can only contain a certain amount of water and can drown internally (which sounds a little strange since human bodies are mostly made up of water). The world became tragically aware of the danger from water drinking contests in 2007, when a mother, partaking in a water drinking contest to win a Wii for her children, died from acute water intoxication.