The Dangers of Stupidity: The Dumbest Internet Challenges

The Internet has enriched our lives in unimaginable ways. Not only has it democratized information, ushered in a new era of globalization, and connected us in ways we never thought possible, but it’s also gifted us with the phenomenon known as the Internet challenge.

While some challenges have the ability to do good, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised money for ALS research, most are just stupid and sometimes even downright dangerous. Here are the most reckless challenges that have been circling the Internet in the last few years.

The Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge, in which a person films themselves attempting to eat a spoonful of cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking anything, sounds innocent enough but can actually cause more damage than you might think.

The Cinnamon Challenge has been floating around the Internet since 2001 but got so popular by 2012 that there were more than 30,000 videos on YouTube, including ones made by politicians and NBA players. Doctors have warned that swallowing dry cinnamon is dangerous because it can cause gagging, choking, vomiting, and if inhaled, can affect your breathing. One Michigan teenager was even hospitalized for a collapsed lung after her attempt at the Cinnamon Challenge in 2013.

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The Hot Water Challenge

Back in 2014, the Internet was abuzz about the Ice Bucket Challenge, which saw approximately 17 million people around the globe dump buckets of ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS. Luckily far fewer people took up the Hot Water Challenge, which involves dumping boiling water on someone or even attempting to drink it.


This ill-conceived viral trend was thought to have started when a YouTuber posted a video in which he dumps boiling water on himself. Although his video later turned out to be fake, sadly it inspired some very real people, mostly young children, to try do the same.

Several children have suffered severe third degree burns from this challenge and one eight-year old girl in Florida tragically died after attempting to drink boiling water from a straw on a dare.

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Tide Pod Challenge

From a young age, we’ve all been warned about putting foreign objects in our mouths, but this hasn’t stopped an astounding number of people from eating Tide Pods, the most recent viral challenge to sweep the Internet.

Children under the age of five have mistakenly been ingesting the pods since they hit the market, but in late 2017, the Tide Pod Challenge started making the rounds amongst teenagers who ought to know better.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that there were 39 cases of teenagers eating pods in the first 15 days of 2018 alone, forcing them to issue a warning about the dangers of the Tide Pod Challenge. Not only can the pod’s contents burn your mouth, throat, and stomach, but should the detergent make it into your organs or bloodstream it can prove to be fatal.

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