Every once in a while, the internet is blessed with something so extraordinarily horrifying, it brings our entire wildly connected world to a halt in order for us to pay attention to it. The internet is weird, and the nature of virality is even weirder. In case you needed further proof of that, allow me to direct you to an Aug. 2017 video that — months later — started positively crushing it with views on Reddit... and then everywhere else. This video of two massive blackheads being removed from someone's ear is incredibly gross... and so fascinating you won't be able to stop watching. Well, you might be able to. Honestly, the whole thing has disturbed me in such a way that I'm not even sure what to say to you about this.
I'm going to try to get over it, though, because you deserve the facts. So, let's review. Weeks after it was first posted, the goosebumps-inducing (in a bad way) video started picking up steam on Reddit along with its caption:
I never knew blackheads like this developed in ears until I saw the first one of these. Now, I don't know what is more disturbing, that they exist or that they are CONNECTED.
I, too, was unaware of both of these facts, but I can't say that I wouldn't prefer to go back to that time when I was blissfully unaware.
There's no way for me to accurately describe this to you — nor would I want to — so I'll just let the video speak for itself. Are you ready? (Hint: you might never be. And if you've eaten anything recently, then you definitely aren't right now.)
Assuming you've adequately recovered from that, well, marvel, let's focus on what's really important here. (If you haven't recovered yet, rest assured that there's no judgement here.) More than the reason that this particular kind of blackhead exists, I'm left puzzled as to why videos featuring said blackheads — and close-ups of other equally disturbing quirks of the human body — are so darn irresistible to so many people. A quick glance and involuntary shudder as you scroll through your Twitter feed is one thing (it's not unlike a car crash in that way), but this thing is viral, people. Months after it was originally posted, thousands of people are stopping their day, clicking a link, and more or less willingly spending their valuable time watching an up close and personal blackhead extraction inside someone's actual ear. And that's putting it politely.
I just have one question about this. Why?
Despite the flak that social media and — more generally — the internet get for eating up so much of our time, the truth is that there's actually a lot of interesting content out there for us to consume. From the palm of your hand, you can learn to launch a business, put yourself smack in the middle of some of the planet's most beautiful places, read articles by brilliant minds about how we can make our world a better one, and scroll through photos of really cute dogs that don't have any blackheads in their ears (at least, none that are visible). I'm just not quite sure why anyone would want to spend time on anything quite so, well, gross when all of these other options are readily available.
If gross videos like this are your thing, then I guess it's not up to me to understand it. You do you. But can I make just one simple request? Could you perhaps watch them a little less in an effort to drive down those numbers so the rest of us don't have to see them in our Twitter feeds? Much appreciated.