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Planking to Death

Updated on June 17, 2011
Three people planking on top of each other, as seen on
Three people planking on top of each other, as seen on

Why I Don't Hate Planking, but Don't Like It Either

The only reason I've heard about planking is through a Facebook post a friend made about someone's death resulting from it. Now this is a fad I chose to look up later, something I find wholly ridiculous and frankly the opposite of Parkour, which is a trend I can actually admire to some degree.

It seems Australia's citizens have become so bored and censored in life (their government seems to ban practically everything remotely immoral, much like Germany) that they've resulted to making an art of lying down. And even this fad has apparently been threatened by the law, as the site dedicates a whole section to “keeping planking legal”. Yes, even lying down in public at random places is possible to outlaw these days, and people are actually fighting to keep it legal.

The trend of planking is recent, apparently, though I certainly never would have heard about it unless the poor idiot who tried to plank off a balcony fell to his death. I'm guessing he tried lying on the edge of his apartment--or his friend's--balcony vertically, and so his weight fatally shifted before he had time to grab the railing before plunging twenty stories below.

Even if planking seems incredibly stupid and purposeless, I don't believe it should be outlawed for this single death. This is someone who deserves a Darwin Award, simple as that. Plus, he was probably drunk or stoned, or most likely both, when he attempted this feat, adding to his own ignorance and stupidity. Planking is simply something that shouldn't exist as a trend from the start. I'm sure many of us as kids have tried lying as perfectly still as possible for fun, perhaps on the bottom of a pool for a short time (I've done this), but to do it between two cars' roofs? Or on a chimney? As adults?

It's not so much that I care that it's dangerous, which I really don't as it's their own business, whoever does it, but it kind of bothers me how surreal the idiocy of the trend itself seems. I don't get how lying down as straight as you can on as many objects as possible could possibly be fun. Part of the rules are that you have to make a blank face and announce plainly that, in fact, you are planking. It's almost satirical in and of itself. It's like people have simply given up and grown so tired of living, that someone simply fell over one day in the middle of a street while crossing it, tried to go straight as a board, and it caught on with everyone around him.

Certain celebrities have even performed planking demonstrations, comically of course, on talk shows. In fact, I'm even more amazed this hasn't become a fad already at some point, what with all the other idiotic memes and trends there are, most inspired by the Internet.

Really, the one thing that baffles me more than anything is that this trend, or whatever it is--I don't know what to really call it, is that planking wasn't invented in America. But like I said, maybe Australians are much more bored than we are, or maybe they simply wanted to create something that somehow nobody has made popular before, and lying down in random places just happened to be that thing. One thing is for sure, though, I guarantee more will be dumb enough to kill themselves for it, probably even more so than Parkour, simply because it seems like something an intoxicated person might find more fun to do than anyone sober, and especially over high edges. I'm not trying to bash Australia itself for creating this, but it's just something I can't see as anything more than another thing to laugh about or find moronic about humanity, and the fact that people are beginning to kill themselves over it furthers my confusion about its popularity. It's quite possible and fathomable now to die from simply lying face down. I'm just wondering how much time will pass before I see people here on State Street in Chicago attempting to go horizontal over a mailbox regularly, while someone snaps a photo.


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    • Ben Graves profile image

      Ben Graves 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Of course I know it's supposed to be ridiculous fun, but the stupidity of the people getting killed doing it was what this article was about. And I really don't think most of the people doing it (if there still are any) know what satire is.

    • profile image

      duhhhhh 4 years ago

      Are you seriously suggesting planking is serious and not done solely for a funny photo op? Are you really incapable of seeing that planking is supposed to be ridiculous, comical, satirical? Please tell me this was not a serious article

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      If it's not bagel heads it's planking what next..........I do think that there are those who are taking this planking to the extreme (in reference to the ban).If death due to this game never occurred would anyone really care.......

    • profile image

      ramboruiz 6 years ago

      Ben, nice hub I didn't know there are other hubs about planking, I also created a hub about it.

      -peace &LOVE-

    • Ben Graves profile image

      Ben Graves 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks for that info, Jagodka. I think I've heard of the "lying down game" meme myself, just never actually knew how it worked.

    • Jagodka profile image

      Jagodka 6 years ago

      I've never tried this before but I sure heard of it. It's also called the "Lying Down Game" and was apparently caused by a FB group created by two UK teenagers. The Aussie government needs to get over it.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 6 years ago

      Thank you for your common sense.

    • Ben Graves profile image

      Ben Graves 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Taleb80, I certainly don't intend to spread this trend, but I hope the only people who read this hub are the ones who can acknowledge how ridiculous it is and not try it, especially at a dangerous level.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 6 years ago


      I am sorry that some people try their best to develop a new technology, while some others are planking.

      It is really a crazy fun, especially when it is killing people.

      I hope you don't mean to spread it by this Hub.


    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Good hub, planking is a stupid craze. I'm Aussie, and I had not heard of it until that planker died. The guy who started it talked on TV about it, and was really sorry for the guy who died, and was sincerely sorry that what started out as fun grew into people doing really dangerous things. This is one invention that we really should not export!

    • Ben Graves profile image

      Ben Graves 6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks for the comments. It'll probably start to catch on here sometime, and ironically I think writing this article will help it catch on here in a small way. More people don't know about it than I even thought.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Thanks for informing us of this 'crazy' trend. I had never heard of it before. I kind of hope is spreads to the U.S.

    • Carolyn2008 profile image

      Carolyn Gibson 6 years ago from Boston

      Planking - OMG! Great article.