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What is Facebook Planking? - With Photos

Updated on October 02, 2012
Planking on camels
Planking on camels | Source

Planking has reached the world's attention after a young man has tragically died in Australia after an episode of Facebook planking went wrong. But just what is planking? And more especially, Facebook planking?

It's a worldwide craze among young people to have their friends photograph them while lying completely flat like a plank of wood, preferably it seems while in a dangerous position, like on a tree branch or in the middle of the road.

The photographs are then posted on social media sites like Facebook. In fact, one page on Facebook claims to have 90,000 fans and rising, of this crazy trend that has recently gone viral.

The Australian man who died was only in his 20s, and fell to his death while planking on a balcony railing in Brisbane.

Planking is dangerous and illegal

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett is quoted as saying to a Press conference "This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony, and unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death." He then added "As planking gains popularity, there may be more injuries and potentially further deaths".

He went on to say they first became aware of the growing problem when they caught a planker planking on the roof of a police car. The 20 year old man was later charged with 'being on police equipment without lawful excuse'.

Sergeant Matthew Russell of Gladstone Police told the Press conference that plankers may find themselves being charged with "unauthorised high risk activity".

Planking in a rock
Planking in a rock
this plank looks painful
this plank looks painful

Planking has rules

Planking, which is known in some parts of the world as 'Facedown' is potentially very dangerous for youngsters as they try to outdo each other, posing in riskier and sillier positions, sometimes putting themselves in great danger.

Strangely enough, planking has rules.

  1. You must lie face down with an expressionless face for duration of plank.
  2. Your legs must remain together, with toes pointed.
  3. Your arms must also be straight, and at your sides, with fingers pointed.
  4. You must also tell people that you are planking by saying "I am planking".
  5. Your safety should be your first concern. Plank safely. (Guess that's one rule that got ignored).
  6. You must name your photograph.

What has started out as a fun craze has ended tragically with the sad death of this young man, which will no doubt put an end to planking.

precariously planking from a height
precariously planking from a height
planking on a road
planking on a road
Planking on a pedestrian walkway
Planking on a pedestrian walkway
Planking on a busy hghway is especially dangerous
Planking on a busy hghway is especially dangerous
Acton Beale, died planking
Acton Beale, died planking

Planking Safety

Over on Facebook, more and more people are planking in crazy and sometimes dangerous situations, trying to get the best and most talked about shot on camera.

Click on the blue hyperlink to view more planking photographs.

While the whole idea of planking is indeed funny, it is also dangerous, especially if you ignore rule 5 which clearly states that personal safety should be paramount.

Police have named the man who died as 20 year old Acton Beale. Sincerest condolences to his family.

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    • stclairjack profile image

      stclairjack 5 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      i am SO old,... this seems so damn rediculous,... how could it possibly be that great? i having a big party at my place next weekend,... can i post picture of the dribks that crash,... i mean as long as they are face down, and not in danger? ha!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Probably lol, just remind them to point their toes and fingers as they crash out!

    • stclairjack profile image

      stclairjack 5 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      will it be absolutely nessesary for them to say "i am planking",.... or will "i'm too drunk to get up" be ok?,... i think the expressionless look on there face will be no problem,... the puddle of drool should realy make the photo pop,... dont ya think? ha!

      this was great, loved it!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      I don't imagine they'll say anything at all when they have reached that state of inebriation! Just photograph them anyway and send it to Facebook! Title the picture "Look at Those Planks!" and it'll be fine :)

    • stclairjack profile image

      stclairjack 5 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      oh oh oh,... a whole new slam,... now we can say,.. "what a plank" in stead of calling some one a ,... well,... you know.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Funnily enough, that's a British expression to call someone a plank, meaning they are thick - or maybe it's Scottish, who knows? Plankers on the other hand could be a polite word for bankers?

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      New to me! But I think it's kind of cool (except for that poor man, of course)

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Yes he was on his way home from a night out, so I dare say he wasn't too sober - making it a VERY bad idea!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I had never heard of this before and it certainly looks like it's dangerous much of the time. Thanks for the information. Rated up.

    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      The world has gone "plank-ed"! To be honest, I never knew about this until I read this hub. To me, it's just silly. I am afraid of death, so planking is definitely not for me.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Thank you for sharing this one Izzy,

      Hubs such as this one are priceless and I am bookmarking for easy future referance.It is very worrying to learn that people are taking part in these so very dangerous activites.

      Thanks again for sharing and I also vote up/useful.

      Take care,

      Eiddwen.

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      I think it wise of you to try and bring things like this to our attention, I for one would never have known such stupidity was even going on.

      However, now I know I think the term Planker is a miss spelling for what they truly are !

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Well I suppose it would be better to use photoshop, or even the free program of Paint, to make pictures like that. But planking for real, that is just silly.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 5 years ago

      It never fails to amaze me: a) how many stupid people there are in the world b) how many people are so desperate for attention that they will do anything to get it.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for all the comments everyone, sorry I left the computer for a short time and cam back to all those comments. This craze would be harmless of people weren't going out of their way to snap the craziest photos.

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      This is crazy, I had not heard of this. I agree IzzyM it would be a cool thing if people didn't take it to the limits like they are doing. Great info and thanks for sharing.....Blessings!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      I suppose that is the nature of young people - think they are immortal.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have not heard of this until now but it seems sort of dangerous.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      I think it depends where they plank. Suppose it's safe enough in your living room.

    • stclairjack profile image

      stclairjack 5 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      i think planking may be the best proof of darwinism yet,... if you do something soo idiotic that it gets you killed,.. you get on face book for planking and get nominated for a darwin award all at once,... efficient.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      LOL...absolutely!!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      Izzy, how you find these cool topics is beyond me! This is tragic and pretty funny all at the same time. Your hub will hopefully bring awareness to the public and those who may continue to try riskier and riskier planking poses. I recall when train surfing was all-the-rage, many lost lives with that fad as well. So sad for the young Mr. Beale, and his family.

      Nice job here Izzy, up and awesome.

      K9

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Hey thanks! I think you'll find the story is world-wide today - I found out about it yesterday in a breaking news site when only a few thousand posts had been made. It's half a million and rising now and this poor wee hub has been lost in the deluge! (8 million posts for planking Australia).

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      i had to read this, such a unique title- i shall shortly attempt the reverse plank in bed- no photos please- the flash will wake the cats

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      ROFL!! Yes now you mention it, reverse planking has been a craze like, forever! These young folk thing they invent everything :)

    • profile image

      donna suthard 5 years ago

      Sounds, like the young people don't have anything useful to do in their lives. They need to be encouraged to help someone!! Thanks for writing this great hub!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      You're welcome! One way to look at it is...while they are planking they are not mugging little old ladies so in that sense it is harmless :)

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 5 years ago from Australia

      What a crazy world we live in. Planking sounds harmless enough but done in the wrong place at the wrong time and obviously it is dangerous. Thanks for sharing.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      I was thinking of thinking it up, but if I lay down on the ground, I might never be able to get back up again! Thanks for commenting :)

    • goprisca profile image

      goprisca 5 years ago from Bangalore

      You have given me a new information. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Well, I have done some stupid things in my life. And some dangerous things, but I have not yet planked. I could see some artistic intrepretation...it kind of reminds me of..."Are you a turtle?...You bet your sweet ass I am." "What are you doing, lying in that dangerous place?...I am planking.." The depths of stupidity never cease to amaze and entertain.

      Namaste

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Yeah but its fun :)

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      This is just plain crazy haha. Wow. Nice hub.

    • profile image

      TajSingh 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is actually the first time that I've heard about this. I agree with Jed. Some of this looks pretty dangerous. For those who plan to do it in a busy highway or a balcony, it'd be better to just edit a photo in Photoshop.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Yeah its all younger ones - you'd think they'd all be experts in everything computing and photo-editing would be a breeze! Who's to say some of the above aren't photo-shopped anyway.

    • profile image

      bagschain 5 years ago

      it's crazy,good hub

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan

      I did not know what this was, but now I do, thanks to you! It seems like a silly pastime, especially when people are putting themselves in dangerous positions. What an awful tragedy about that young man!

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      You are right, a silly wasteless death. His poor family must be shattered.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Apparently planking started in the UK a few years ago but some Brisbane boys put it on Facebook and like anything viral it has become a 'hit'. Stupid, dangerous and illegal in some locations, a tragedy was just waiting to happen. My heart goes out to the young man's family.

      (BTW, my teenagers think it's the coolest thing ever. I am Old!!!!)

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      I am old too, but I also think it stupid enough to be funny! Just my sense of humor I suppose :) Shame about the lad who died.

    • bopra30 profile image

      bopra30 5 years ago from nigeria

      so crazy with dis

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 5 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      facebook is truly becoming a tool for a lot of oddities. a bunch of insane people did this kind of show off and became popular because of FB! it is getting more shallow than ever.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Sadly bingskee, this is true. Odd behaviour by youngsters is a global phenomenon that Facebook has allowed to spread quicker - do you remember America has a craze for pet rocks years ago? Everyone had a shoe box with air holes cut in it so their 'rock' could breath. Now that was crazy!! lol

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      What will they think of next? I wonder if they are doing this solely for attention. Or do they find it fun? Sad thing about the 20-year-old who died. Goes to show how silly this craze is. Anyway, interesting Hub. I voted up.

    • IzzyM profile image
      Author

      IzzyM 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks Glenn! It' just another mad craze which will die its natural death in due course.

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