Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011


No one predicted something so simple could be so addictive — and deadly. Emerging from its sleepily named Australian predecessor "The Lying Down Game," planking is achieved when someone lies face down, arms to the side, feet straight out — just like a wooden plank. No one is sure how the game made its way to the U.S. this year (although comedian Tom Green claims to be one of planking's original founders back in 1994), but it's an easy bandwagon to hop on: simply snap a photo and post it on your social network of choice. The best plankers take it much further than that by striking their poses in places that seem incongruous with lying flat as a board. Places like a soccer field, bowling alley, airplane storage bin¬†and even a seventh floor balcony railing, from which an Australian man tragically fell to his death in May as his friends attempted to take a picture of him. The 20-year-old's tragic death somehow led to an even greater boom in planking, with the risk perhaps only adding to the reward. But as the year winds to a close, planking has already become old hat, with newer and equally inane trends emerging such as owling and horsemanning.