What Happened to the Cinnamon Challenge?

WARNING: The cinnamon challenge is dangerous. Please do not try this at home!

Cinnamon Challenge, GloZell Green 

The general gist of this challenge is to try and swallow a large spoonful of cinnamon within 60 seconds. This challenge is called so because it is practically impossible. Although the challenge is fun and mostly harmless, there are some cases where severe health issues have occurred.

“He started choking. It was like he was having a seizure and just collapsed.”

Brianna Radar, Mother of the four year old who died from the Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge used to be among one of the most popular videos on the Internet that would pop up on everyone’s Youtube recommended. Like all good viral Internet trends, this one came to an end.  Originating in 2001, long before Youtube even existed, Mark Buffington first posted the challenge on his personal blog (which has now been deleted). The challenge first made its appearance on Youtube in 2006 in a video titled “Pipe Attempts the Cinnamon Challenge” The Cinnamon Challenge gained the most popularity in the early 2010’s thanks to GloZell Green, her cinnamon challenge video has gained over 50 million views.

Most people can’t swallow cinnamon due to the fact that the spice blocks the saliva creating glands. Saliva is what allows for food to move down into our digestive system by since the saliva glands are blocked it causes difficulty swallowing. Most people simply cough up the cinnamon. Once they breathe in, it causes all of the cinnamon to fly right out. But this challenge can cause major health concerns, particularly for people suffering from conditions such as asthma.

There were a scary number of phone calls to poison control centers due to the challenge. In one severe case, a four-year-old ingested almost a whole container of cinnamon, his whole body started to seize and he chocked to death, his mother stated that “he started choking, it was like he was having a seizure and just collapsed.”

Around the mid-2010s the challenge seemed to have lost its fun and people stopped doing it, there isn’t one clear answer to the mystery of what happened to it. Perhaps it was the fact that people started noticing the dangers, but it was probably just because like all other viral internet challenges, they all eventually fade away.

Author: Cassandra Lundsgaard

Cassandra Lundsgaard is currently a junior, and this is her first year as a staffer of The Eye. She was born and raised in China, but is originally from Denmark and Singapore. In her free time, she typically procrastinates by "accidently" spending hours on Netflix binge-watching every sitcom, as well as taking naps and eating snacks. She can be contacted at lundsgaard770785@sas.edu.sg.

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