Supermanning: The New Planking? (VIDEO)
Planking -- the act of making one's body as stiff as a board in bizarre enviroments -- was popular last summer, but the fad has since died, leaving an empty hole in the hearts of those whose identities are based on their participation in bizarre Internet trends.
Sadly, they found little solace in other memes like "owling," where you perch like a bird in strange places; or "horsemaning," where a photo is constructed to make it look the subject is missing a head; or even "coning," the act of taking an ice cream cone upside down so the cream hits the hand instead.
But some Internet analysts believe a new trend is flying into the breach: "Supermanning."
For those not in the know (which, right now, probably includes everyone), "Supermanning" is where a person pops out of the back window of a car and making it look like they are flying by the driver like Superman.
Some people add to the gag by asking the driver for directions or a cigarette.
"Supermanning" has its roots in South America, according to Dennis O'Neill, executive producer of "RightThisMinute," a daily syndicated TV show that focuses on the strangest clips hitting the Internet.
"It dates back to 2009, but seems to have popped up again recently," O'Neill told HuffPost Weird News.
Most of the videos thus far are from Spanish-speaking countries like Spain, Costa Rica and Chile and also Brazil, but O'Neill expects "Supermanning" to catch on in the U.S. for a very basic reason: "This is usually done by teenage boys and they're the same all over the world," he said. "The key to doing this right is the gag, such as asking for directions. If you don't have the driver's reaction, it's no good."
The success of planking is the measure by which all such memes are measured, but O'Neill actually thinks Supermanning is an improvement.
"It takes a certain athleticism," O'Neill said. "It's like 'Batmanning,' where you hang upside down -- not everyone can do it. Anyone can plank."
There is one problem with the term though. "Supermanning" is already a term accepted by Urban Dictionary for a coarse sexual act.
Despite that potential Google problem, O'Neill believes that if Supermanning becomes a big thing, it's only a matter of time before the first official Supermanning death occurs. However, his colleague, Lisa Hudson, doesn't think that will be a deterrent.
"Like a lot of things that are more dangerous, good luck telling people not to do it," Hudson told HuffPost Weird News.
Some have argued that planking died when celebrities jumped on the bandwagon, something Hudson doubts could happen with "Supermanning."
"It's too dangerous," she said. "They'll have their assistants do it."
O'Neill says his research suggests "Supermanning" could go mainstream, but admits that predicting which memes become memorable is far from an exact science.
"There was a guy named Giorgio Fareira, who did a video of himself singing his order through the drive-thru window at Sonic and he went hugely viral," O'Neill said. "I thought it would inspire others but, so far, it hasn't."
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