Viral Internet Crazes: Planking, Owling, Teapotting, Horsemanning and more.

A few months ago I blogged about ‘Planking’ (with my Planking: 10 Things You Didn’t Need To Know About It post). I thought it was funny. I wouldn’t try it, but it seemed light-hearted humour with a short shelf life.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Aside from the ‘planking death’ in Australia, and the many near misses, it has become increasingly popular. There are hundreds, thousands, possibly even tens of thousands of photos of people planking all across the internet. I have yet to pose myself. I think I’m far too busy to be caught up in such viral crazes.

It gets worse.

Not only do people continue to ‘plank’ on cars, streets, in over-head compartments (yes, I’ve seen it too many times now)… They also plank on other ‘plankers’ (for want of a better name).

Planking has now been joined by a whole host of new crazes: Owling, Teapotting, Headless Horsemanning and Tombstoning.

Stay with me. Don’t click away before you have been ‘enlightened’.

I expect you may have heard some, possibly even most of them. If not, let me explain:

Owling: First documented in July 2011.

Definition: ‘Owling is a variation on planking in which a person squats “like an owl”‘. (Wikipedia).

Okay. It doesn’t quite seem as impressive as planking. I Googled it. Again, I was met with thousands of images of people trying it. Admittedly, the guy in the pictures some have good balance to do that. But, it’s not great. Moving on…

Teapotting: Started shortly after planking. Who cares when…

Definition: Teapotting is one of the many variations of planking that arise shortly after planking went viral. Teapotting consisted of bending the arms in a shape of a teapot in reference to the children’s song “I’m a Little Teapot”.

I’m sure the kids I teach would love this craze. Simple. This girl went to the Great Wall of China and posed like this. Oh the shame. In years to come, when she is regretting it, her photo will still be circulating the internet. A craze may be for a week or two. The photo online is for life.

Headless Horsemanning (or just Horsemanning): First done in the 1920’s! (Seriously?)

Definition: Horsemaning involves posing two people so that they appear to be a single body with a detached head and is a revival of a photography fad popular in the 1920s.

I do think that this one looks pretty cool – If it’s done properly. I found this website, dedicated to people trying it. Check it out. Some are quite funny. I cannot believe that this craze started over 90 years ago. So, the younger generation are not to blame. Phew! Oldies – you have yourselves to blame for this one.


Definition: The practice of jumping into the sea or similar body of water from a cliff or other high point such that the jumper enters the water vertically straight, like a tombstone.

*DO NOT TRY THIS. Seriously dangerous. I’ve read some grim stories about people who’ve done it and been paralysed from hitting rocks beneath the water. Is an internet craze really worth that? There is no way I would jump off rocks like that.

All these crazes seem to be fuelled by the need to have something funny for Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Are people craving something new? Are they really that desperate to have something to upload to their sites? Well, clearly I couldn’t resist adding something about them all to my blog.

What’s next…. I just discovered this photo. Are there no limits?

I hope you’ve discovered something new today.

Well? What are you waiting for?

Which one are you trying first?

Jumping off a mountain. Simples.

What better way to remember a birthday than by jumping off a mountain. That was how I celebrated my 32nd birthday.

It could have been my last.

I said that to the guy…

…He laughed.

I survived – clearly.

Paragliding is a must. I am now converted the wonders of the jump.

I’ve just got back from a two-week camping holiday in France. It was amazing. Lac d’Annecy is a stunning location for a holiday for all tastes. Relaxing if you like. Sporty if you want. Adventurous if you dare.

We dared.

Our paragliding experience was well organised. A team of instructors picked us up (me, Bas and A.N.Other). We headed up a windy and very steep death trap mountain road. The madman driver clearly hadn’t taken his tablets knew the route and we whizzed around bends on two wheels. Oh the joy. We reached the summit and grabbed the gear from the back of the minibus.

What was the gear being strapped to my back. I asked no questions.

I didn’t really want to know.

We walked a couple of metres up a pathway and then on to a steep slope of astro-turf (fake grass) which led over the edge to nothingness….. Long grass could be seen poking up, but beyond that…nothing. The lake, hundreds of metres below, was shimmering in the mid-day sun. Stunning. Terrifying, but stunning.

My instructor lay the wing (or canopy) out across the grass, while I looked at at the view and contemplated the drop.


There were loads of ropes called lines (yes, I’ve read up on it now that I’ve done it and survived). He untangled the whole lot and prepared it, then attached his harness to mine. Once secured he said “Right, now we just run”.


That’s the extend of my pre-flight briefing?….”Now we just run!????” (I thought this part – I didn’t want to sound panicky).

We ran…Off the edge of the mountain.

I was expecting a sudden drop. It never came. Unbelievably, we glided off the mountain and into the air. It was the most gentle take-off I’ve ever experienced. The view was amazing! I was silent. In total awe of the view. The lake below looked incredible.

The instructor was busy controlling the wing (fiddling with the lines). I just grinned and enjoyed the view. I looked across and watched Bas and his instructor floating ahead of us. I didn’t hear any screams. All was good. For thirty minutes we floated down above the lake, the trees and roads below.

Sheer bliss.

There had been no wind at the top of the mountain. It was eerily still. Once we were a few hundred metres from landing we hit a rush of wind. With a jolt we were carried higher and higher. It made landing quite a challenge. Our landing field was too far to reach and the wind was too strong. Plan B – land closer. We ended up in a field nearby.

The landing was smoothe. Until a gust of wind caught the wing and whipped us backwards across the field. What a sight. The instructor was laying on his back trying to regain control and there was me, on top of him, wondering when we’d stop. I couldn’t help but giggle some more.

I survived. I loved it!

Enjoy my slideshow…


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Want to read more? Some links you may enjoy.

The Mysterious Case of Missing Underpants

In the life of a teacher – this is just another of those mysteries.

I was teaching a class of 5 and 6 year olds last week. Working with young children is great fun, but it comes with consequences…. Sometimes children have accidents at school.

Wet accidents.

It happens…. It’s part of life. No problem.

The little boy in my group didn’t seem too fazed. I led him to the toilets and gave him spare pants and trousers to change into.


Well, I thought it was sorted…

About 5 minutes later the boy returned to the classroom followed by my assistant. She brought the plastic bag containing the wet trousers and asked where his wet pants were.

Where did they go?

I looked at her with a puzzled look.

“Are they not in the bag?”

“No” she replied.

“Where are they?” I asked myself…

I’ve been teaching long enough to consider all possibilities…… It could only mean one of the following:

  • He had hidden his wet pants somewhere in the boy’s toilets.
  • He had binned them (children do this from time to time).
  • He had not taken them off and was now wearing two pairs of pants: 1 wet, 1 dry (bizarre, but I’ve seen it before).
  • He had flushed them in an attempt to hide the ‘evidence’.

We went and searched the toilets.

No pants!

The boy didn’t speak any English so we couldn’t ask him – that plus we didn’t want to make ‘a big thing’ of it.

How can a pair of underpants go missing?

Any ideas? What do you think……?

The next day I stopped to talk to his mum in the playground. We talked about the accident. Not a problem she said – it happens.

I asked about the missing underpants. I said we couldn’t find them.

“Oh yes, they were on his bed at home. He forgot to put them on in the morning!”


You gotta love boys.