Young people do it anywhere. Finding a crazy place for the performance of it makes the experience more valuable. Another requirement is to photograph or videotape it and post it on a social networking page. They plank in public places, in front of semi trucks, at the foot of a statue, atop police cars, on steps, on rails, across rails, on the tracks, or on the beach.
Sadly, it has led to the first death. A young man, Acton Beale, 20, in Brisbane, Australia, fell from an upper story of an apartment building while planking on a balcony railing.
Police speculate about serious injuries occurring from the extreme forms of the sport and wonder whether planking is worth a lifetime of disability.
They ask, “Ultimately, is it worth life in a wheelchair to take a funny photo to impress somebody you don’t know on the Internet?” All major news outlets on the Internet used the quote in their stories. ..
The craze spread around the globe quickly, thanks to social networking sites. Most countries boast of plankers and the craze is now sweeping the United States of America.
What is planking?
Planking originated in Australia and spread quickly to the young population around the world. Rumor says that the game derived its name from the youth who originated it, who went by the nickname “Plank.” It has caught on like wildfire, everyone wanting to do it in a more unusual and original place.
David “Wolfman” Williams, Australian rugby player, planked during a game on March 27, 2011 and later talked about it on a show. He called it “active laying down.”
According to Wikipedia, “Planking is the action of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it.” It began as a game of “playing dead,” also known as the “laying down game.” The plank is also an old time exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
It looks uncomfortable. Some plankers stretch out between two supports and must hold the rest of the body in a rigid position, which requires great body strength.
It even has a Face Book page, Planking Australia, which announces that May 25, 2011 is Planking Day. They hope to attract new plankers and planking groups. It has 136,202 fans as of this writing.
Why do they do it?
Why do they do it? No one knows. People want to do it if others have done it. Fads suddenly appear, catch on, and just as suddenly, disappear. In an effort to be cool, participants try to outdo their contemporaries in more outrageous displays of the behavior.
Fads and crazes are frequent in modern history. Some recent fads include Rubiks Cube, Beanie Babies, and the Hacky Sack.
A fast food establishment offered Beanie Babies (adorable baby animals made of beanbags) with children’s meals. Lines formed outside some restaurant at dawn and people ordered large quantities of the meals to get the Beanies. Shortages nearly caused riots.
The Hacky Sack was a small ball or beanbag, which young students kicked around as a form of entertainment and was the rage in high schools, colleges, and even on Navy ships.
The Rubiks Cube was a maddening game consisting of a small block with a different color on each side. Players twisted rows of colors to try to restore the block to its original perfection.