The Milk Crate Challenge: Don’t try this at home

A new trend emerged over the weekend that quickly went viral on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. People are putting their balance to the test to conquer the Milk Crate Challenge, at the risk of potentially dangerous consequences.

milk crate challenge

Photo credit:

What is the “Milk Crate Challenge”?

Built from the same type of crates used to deliver milk to grocery stores, a pyramid is formed from stacking the crates on top of one another. Some are as tall as seven or eight crates at their peak. The challenge is to carefully climb to the top of the pyramid and back down to the other side without losing your balance.

This may not sound very difficult, but these types of crates are flimsy and do not stack securely on top of one another. While some have completed this challenge successfully, most lose their balance as the unstable crates wobble under their weight.

milk crate challenge fail

Credit: @albowmanceo via Twitter

Why is this challenge so dangerous?

Unlike the Tide Pod Challenge of 2018, injuries that occur from the Milk Crate Challenge are primarily external. Falling from these towers could result in any of the following injuries:

  • Back injury
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Neck Injuries

These are just a few  of the potentially devastating injuries that could come from attempting this challenge.

Why do people engage in dangerous challenges?

For many who participate in risky behavior, it is in the hope of “going viral.” It’s a way to achieve instant popularity on social media, gaining many followers in what seems like an instant. Based on a VCU study commissioned by Allen & Allen, this phenomenon is known as “quantification popularity.” Receiving many followers or “likes” will entice social media users to engage in risky behavior they may not normally participate in.

When this happens, the risk-taker experiences a surge of dopamine in the brain, which provides a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine also motivates the user to seek this sensation again. We encourage readers to resist the urge to engage in this dangerous trend. Like the Tide Pod Challenge, injuries will result, the fad will pass quickly, and we’ll look back on it with incredulity.