Cinnamon Challenge is Deadly – Don’t do it

By Anupum Pant

A couple of years back a dare game went viral on the internet through YouTube. It was called the Cinnamon challenge. Literally everybody was doing it. There were more than half a Million videos uploaded, of people doing that challenge. Although the popularity has declined to very low levels today, there still are people who haven’t stopped trying this fad out. Here is a tiny contribution, backed by solid science, from my side to help stop this deadly challenge.

What is Cinnamon Challenge?

It is a dare game where a person dared to do it has to attempt swallowing a tablespoon of cinnamon in under 60 seconds without vomiting or inhaling the powder. Seems easy, but is extremely difficult and people take it on their ego to take the challenge. Moreover it has some serious long-lasting health effects. On video it looks something like this – [Video]

The ill-effects of Cinnamon Challenge

Before I talk about what it can do to you, let me introduce to you Dejah Reed – A girl from Ypsilanti, Michigan who tried the challenge four times. For the first three times fortunately, she did not experience any lasting effects apart from a lot of coughing and spitting. The fourth time proved to be deadly. One of her lung collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Now she runs a website where she urges people to say no to Cinnamon Challenge.

What can it do to you?

Cinnamon is a healthy thing to eat in small amounts. Although ingesting a spoonful of cinnamon would seem  like a harmless thing to do, it can be really deadly. –

  1. Since it comes from the bark of a plant, it has cellulose. This substance can’t be broken by our bodies easily and can get lodged in the lungs to cause a permanent damage to your body.
  2. Talking about the instant effects, it can prevent oxygen from reaching your lungs and make you choke to death.
  3. The caustic nature of it can cause chronic inflammation on the interior walls of your respiratory system.
  4. Can cause pneumonia.
[Read more]
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The Marathon Monks of Japan

By Anupum Pant

I saw this on TV a couple years back. Just now when I was going through my archives, I came across the Tarahumara people article and I remembered having watched a documentary about the Marathon Monks of Japan.

Who are they?

Just outside Kyoto there is a mountain that goes by the name, Mt. Hiei. If you happen to spend a holiday there, you might notice a very absurd thing – hundreds of unmarked graves dotting the mountain terrain. These graves are the resting place of those Buddhist monks, who couldn’t complete a spiritual challenge called the Kaihogyo.

This challenge, Kaihogyo, which has killed several monks on Mt. Hiei is an extreme physical challenge that involves an inordinate amount of running and other related endurance activities, which if a monk fails to complete has to die.

How much running?

Well, the challenge lasts for 7 years. For the first 3 years, a monk has to run at least 30 km (18.6 miles) everyday for 100 consecutive days. For the 4th and 5th year, he has to run 30 km everyday for 200 consecutive days. All of this running is done on the mountain terrain, making their way through dense forests and surviving on just rice (or noodles).

It doesn’t end there. Once a monk is able to some how complete these 5 long years of pain, then he has to go 9 straight days without food, water or even sleep. Let me remind you, the world record for the longest span a human being has been awake is 11 days. To make sure that the monk doesn’t sleep accidentally, there are 2 other monks watching him continuously.

If you think that was a lot already, wait, there is more. For the 6th year, the monk has to run for 60 km (37.2 miles) everyday for 100 days.  During the 7th year he has to run 84 km (52 miles) every day for the first 100 days and 30 km per day for the remaining 100 days.

Withdrawing: In the first year, if a monk wishes to withdraw, he can. But, if he moves on to the 101th day, there can be no withdrawal. The only way to withdraw after the 100th day is to commit suicide.

In the last 400 years only 46 monks have been able to complete this. Watch the short documentary below. [Video]

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