From the Department of Monkey See, Monkey Don’t Do comes a slew of challenges posted online which basically double-dog-dare suggestible people – many of them quite young – into doing things that are incredibly dangerous.
Following is a quick run-down on five teen-targeting challenges which have appeared online and created heartbreak rather than heroism.
- DON’T DRINK THE BLEACH!
This includes the trending “Miracle Mineral Solution” – MMS. There is NO CURE for CHLORINE POISONING!
Common household or industrial bleach is used to clean, whiten, and disinfect. Packaged in a distinctive white gallon-sized jug, it is a mainstay of many a laundry room. Chlorine is harmless when added to water in the recommended small amounts for cleaning and sanitizing. Adding a few drops to non-potable water will purify it for drinking.
But breathing, swallowing or skin contact with larger amounts of chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to human health.
Forget the 2009 Jordan Thornsburg video called “The Bleach Challenge” which showed Brad Diehl apparently glugging bleach straight from the bottle. Diehl then appeared to vomit a red liquid, presumably blood, but actually tomato juice.
This video was meant to be a practical joke. It spoofed another online challenge where people tried to drink a gallon of milk without regurgitating it.
The video seemed so real that kids of all ages tried out the challenge for themselves – but for real. As a consequence, 17-year-old Belgian Kris Weemaels was hospitalized with severe burns to his esophagus after he downed “several slugs” of pure bleach.
The young man drank highly toxic pure bleach after his friends bet him 10 Euros (about $11) that he wouldn’t do it.
Videographer Thornsburg said that his would-be comedy creation was, in hindsight, “stupid,” and added that, “It was made to be a totally ridiculous parody on consumption challenges.” He and his production crew assumed that viewers would get the joke.
The signs of chlorine poisoning are downright frightening and include airway irritation, wheezing, difficulty breathing, sore throat, cough, chest tightness, eye irritation, and skin irritation.
Likewise, don’t try the “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) that is trending now. On May 21, 2019, Jordan Sather, who publishes a fan-based YouTube channel, tweeted this message:
“I’ve drank [sic] MMS (a.k.a. chlorine dioxide), brushed my teeth with it, breathed it, cleaned with it, used it topically…If MMS was a ‘toxic bleach,’ I should be dead. Sorry FDA and fake news media, you lose this one.”
Sather really should be dead if he is telling the truth. MMS is industrial bleach, plain and simple:
“Chlorine dioxide is a mix of sodium chlorite and an acid activator that former Scientologist Jim Humble first hawked as a miracle cure two decades ago. Humble claimed MMS had cured malaria, leading him to name himself archbishop of a new religion centered around chlorine dioxide, which he dubbed the Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS. Humble touted MMS as a cure for AIDS, cancer and diabetes.”
ACT IMMEDIATELY if you or someone you know has consumed bleach, whether accidentally or on purpose. The odds of recovering go up the faster you medical aid is administered. Follow these treatment guidelines:
- Never induce vomiting since the bleach will cause more damage coming back up the throat.
- Do not delay! Visit the closest emergency medical facility and explain the details of what happened.
- Dial 911, the Poison Help hotline (800-222-1222) or your local emergency services number if you can’t get to an ER (emergency room).
- DON’T EAT THE GHOST PEPPER!
The lovely red pepper certainly looks good enough to eat – but bhut jolokia is one of the world’s hottest spices. Teenagers are having fun recording their reactions after popping one in their mouths. Severe pain is the least harmful consequence to this action. Expect nausea, vomiting, and an emergency room visit.
- DON’T SET YOURSELF ON FIRE!
Does this even really need to be said? Apparently, it does. Gullible youth are actually dousing themselves in gasoline or another flammable liquid before lighting a match. The least damage this can do is second- and third-degree burns, with death as a distinct possibility.
- DON’T FREEZE YOUR HEAD OR ANY OTHER PART OF YOUR BODY!
Health spas used to feature a small, deep tub filled with ice-cold water called a “Polar Plunge,” often located near a hot tub – until consumers died from heart attacks. It turns out that suddenly lowering one’s body temperature can produce a sudden heart attack.
A more recent online challenge dares teens to either dump a bucket of ice over their heads or race into a frigid lake. Some youngsters have downed alcohol shots before icing up which only adds to the danger of hypothermia – the dangerous loss of body heat – as well as other medical afflictions. One Minnesota youth drowned from this peer-sponsored dare.
- DON’T SNORT WEIRD OBJECTS OR CHOKE EACH OTHER!
Another popular online challenge involves powerfully inhaling or “snorting” a foreign object (such as a condom, balloon or piece of string, to name a few) into one nostril and pulling it out from the mouth.
This incredibly bad idea can lead to choking, some other harmful health condition or even death. Also, don’t play “the choking game” for the fun of passing out due to a lack of oxygen in the brain. This can kill you or cause permanent brain damage.
The bottom line here is that peer pressure is a very potent force – and not just on young people. Most of us hate rejection. We want to be “in with the ‘in’ crowd.”
Just don’t go there. Perform some basic research before attempting a dangerous dare, such as eating detergent pods – which, by the way, is another really stupid thing to do.