The #MannequinChallenge Explained

By now you've probably seen some mannequin challenge videos and wondered what the hell is going on. The purpose of new viral sensation is to make everyone in your video look like they're not moving to create a tableau effect. When it works it's actually pretty cool and when it doesn't it's cringe worthy.

The phenomenon started with students from Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida on October 12, 2016. The initial posting has inspired other groups to take on the "challenge" (YouTube is weird), especially celebrities and athletes that have posted increasingly complex and elaborate videos. Suddenly people everywhere were creating insane scenes of frozen movement and the viral trend shows no sign of slowing down.

The trend of making movies of people frozen in time stretches pretty far back into film history, and this 2009 Philips Carousel commercial might be what inspired the high school students in the first place. It still blows all the other videos away. Oddly enough, it's even got creepy clowns. Maybe it's also responsible for another 2016 craze.

If you're still left wondering why the hell anyone would do something like this, Michael McCrudden is here to help. His new video documents the origins of the absurd mannequin challenge back to its roots in performance theater.

Even though Joe Biden memes are giving this viral trend a run for it's money, there's no end in sight for the mannequin challenge. So if you're thinking of making a mannequin challenge video, why not add some social commentary? The world needs it right now.