If you thought we were past the “viral and dangerous” trends on social media, think again because the “Shell On Challenge” is the latest social media stunt that will have you scratching your head. It may not be as silly as the Tide Pod Challenge, but the Shell On Challenge requires kids to consume plastic all for the change to pick up some extra retweets and likes.
The trend is most popular on Snapchat, with high school students daring their friends to eat food in whatever package it comes in, according to the New York Post.
The Arizona Republic adds:
Teens have posted videos of themselves and their friends eating banana peels, the core of apples, plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and more. Liam Hamm, a sophomore at McClintock High School in Tempe, participated in the challenge by biting through a plastic bag of carrots. His friends captured it in a Snapchat video. Hamm said there is a national Snapchat story that includes clips of people all over the country performing the shell on challenge
While eating fruit peels isn’t really too dangerous, it’s the eating of plastic and cardboard that raises some concern.
“Organic material like fruit peels are typically not dangerous. Zest is often used in recipes (lemon zest) which is the shavings of the rind,” physician Max Plitt of Chicago noted. “Eating plastic, on the other hand, can be dangerous. BPA has been suggested to influence hormones. Chemicals in PVC like vinyl chloride have been linked to cancers.”
And if you wonder what appeal the new challenge has, Hamm attempted to put it all in perspective.
“It just looks funny, because it’s not really a shell but people are calling things shells. I guess that is what’s funny about it,” he said.
The only response we can think of is this: