What Is The Invisible Box Challenge? This Viral Trick Is Actually Really Hard To Pull Off
Like most millennials, I like to think I have an idea of what's trending at any given time, but I often find out about things way late — the life cycle of a viral trend is often frighteningly short. (Remember the Running Man Challenge? Me neither.) Teenagers seem to come up with silly challenges on a regular basis, but the latest viral challenge involves an invisible box, and actually requires a fair amount of skill. All it requires is two feet and a fair amount of coordination. You "create" an invisible box about a foot or two off the ground by hovering one foot in the air, tap it with the other foot, and film yourself stepping over it — creating the illusion that there's actually a box there. It seems deceptively simple, but it's actually pretty hard.
After watching videos of teenagers excelling at this challenge, I knew I had to give it a try. I lack hand-eye coordination, leg strength, and anything else that would make this a good decision, so I decided to make my invisible box as close to the ground as possible to make it easy for me. I still almost fell flat on my face. Again, it sounds super simple until you actually attempt it yourself.
According to Know Your Meme, the first Invisible Box Challenge video was shared back in August by a football player from Anderson University, but it gained steam on Dec. 2 when Ariel Olivar, a high school cheerleader from Texas posted a video of herself doing the challenge. Her tweet racked up nearly 300,000 likes and almost 150,000 retweets, and she visited the TODAY show earlier this week to do the challenge on live television. I'm seriously impressed by her skills and anyone else who can pull this off without injuring themselves. Seriously, it isn't easy. Try it for yourself, and you'll see what I mean.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the two people who have gone viral for this are athletes. If you aren't strong and graceful, the outcome will likely be somewhat comical, and that's okay.
Like many things that go viral, this all seems entirely pointless to some people. Television host Piers Morgan faced criticism after asking Olivar repeatedly what the point was "other than making people look ridiculous" when she appeared on Good Morning Britain. While Morgan was called out for being a bit of a downer, others had slightly more legitimate questions. They wondered why Olivar was getting credit for a challenge that's been around for months. Dontez Hines, the football player who shared himself mastering the challenge earlier this year, has been retweeting posts asking TODAY why he wasn't interviewed or credited for starting the viral trend.
Regardless of its origins, it isn't hard to see why the challenge is spreading so quickly. The beauty of the Invisible Box Challenge is that there's no reason to do it other than showing the world you don't take yourself too seriously. Much like planking and other viral challenges, there's no real point to it other than having fun, and it doesn't matter if you succeed or fail. Some people have even put their own spin on it, like the guy who somehow manages to jump on a chair from his invisible box.
I don't think I'll be attempting the challenge anytime soon because I'll likely break something, but everyone should give it a try. You may surprise yourself, or you could embarrass yourself like I did. The possibilities are endless here. Even if you fall on your face, you'll have a video worth posting to the Internet, and if you're lucky, you could end up going viral.