Kids do the darndest things. Most recently, they're consuming single-load liquid laundry detergent packets on camera. Known as the Tide Pod Challenge, it’s the Internet’s latest meme gone bad.
In the first month of 2018 alone, at least 86 cases of intentional misuse of the delicious-looking laundry packets were reported among teenagers, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. In 2017, there were only 53 — total.
While this meme will most likely be replaced with others by the time you read this, it fits a pattern common to all the great ones: the strange, singular leap to reality — like people actually killing for a mythical online character known as "Slender Man" — that hits the mainstream like a ton of Pepe’s.
VICE News talked to the originator of the meme — who started the viral sensation by sending a tweet to Daniel Tosh as a freshman in high school.
This segment originally aired January 24, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Cover: Tide laundry detergent is shown on display. REUTERS/Mike Blake