The internet has been flooded with teen challenges over the past few years; random acts that (mostly) teens are challenged to do. These challenges have ranged from eating a whole spoonful of cinnamon, a duct tape challenge, the choking game, to the latest deodorant challenge where teens burn themselves with aerosol deodorant.
A frightening new challenge has found its way into our lives with scary, sometimes fatal, results. This challenge is being called the “Blue Whale Challenge”. This challenge is said to have originated by a man in Russia, who has since been arrested, who admitted to using psychological manipulation to convince teen girls to kill themselves. That’s right…the final task of the Blue Whale Challenge is suicide–and our children seem to be falling for it. Many people believed the 50 tasks and challenge were a hoax, but now some families are coming forward to share that they believe their children committed suicide because of the challenge.
What are the 50 tasks? Every parent should know because it will help us watch for signs not only in our own children, but our friend’s children, kids we are teaching at school or church and so many more. The original tasks we have listed below were reported on Russian and Lithuanian websites known to be associated with the challenge. Media reports have said that participants are required to send photos to a “whale” or “curator” to prove they completed the tasks. The “whale” is usually an older person manipulating them and does not complete the tasks themselves. While this list is authentic, it is said that the tasks can vary and change at any time.
Carve a specific phrase on the person’s own hand or arm.
Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and watch a scary video (sent by the curator.)
Make lengthwise cuts on the person’s own arm.
Draw a whale on a piece of paper
Write “yes” on the person’s own leg if ready to be a whale. Otherwise, they should cut themselves multiple times.
Secret task (written in code.)
Scratch (a message) on the person’s own arm.
Write a status online about being a whale.
Overcome a fear.
Get up at 4:20 and go to the roof.
Carve a whale on the person’s own hand.
Watch scary videos all day.
Listen to music the “curator” sends.
Cut your lip.
Poke the person’s own arm/hand with a needle.
Make yourself hurt or sick.
Go to a roof and stand on the edge.
Stand on a bridge.
Climb a crane.
At this step, the “curator” somehow checks to see if the participant is trustworthy.
Talk with a “whale” on Skype.
Sit down on a roof with legs dangling over the edge.
Another job that is in code.
A secret mission.
Meet with a “whale.”
The “curator” assigns a date that the person will die.
Visit a railroad.
Do not talk with anyone all day.
Give an oath/vow about being a whale
After these initial steps, the additional 30-49 steps involve watching horror movies and listening to music selected by the curator, talking to a whale and make cuts on your hands. The last and final task is to jump off a building.
Psychological manipulation is real and can truly affect those we love. Please pay attention to your children, what they are reading, watching and doing. Know what they are posting and sharing with friends and on social media. Knowing these tasks and the true reason behind them could save a life. A licensed therapist, Kati Morton, posted a video on YouTube stating why she believes these tasks are working on our impressionable youth.
If anyone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time. Available 24 hours every day, they can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. You can also reach the hotline via an online chat, or text HOME to 741741 (only available in the U.S.).