Parents everywhere are taking part in the ‘baby shark challenge’, the latest bizarre and – possibly – dangerous dance craze that has racked up millions of internet views.
Videos of the challenge show people across the world dancing and singing along to the children’s nursery song Baby Shark, doing actions to its simplistic and repetitive lyrics.
But in some circles its rise to global popularity is seen as potentially hazardous because some parents are stepping out of moving cars to bust the moves.
Jordan Foster, cyber safety expert and child psychologist, said she is extremely concerned by the dance’s following.
“It’s simply dangerous to be jumping out of your moving car to perform this dance,” Ms Foster told The New Daily.
“My main concern is parents are prioritising their audiences rather than their own safety.”
She said the Baby Shark challenge had surged in response to another recent viral craze.
“People are doing the same thing to Drake’s In My Feelings song, where they’re dancing to the song outside their moving car.”
“Parents need to stop thinking about getting more ‘likes’ and be good role models for their children.”
The song’s rise to fame
The Baby Shark song caught on in 2016 with its catchy beat, simple lyrics and fun dance movements.
The song was created by Korean-based company Pinkfong, who are renowned for developing animated content for children worldwide.
The song mentions the members of a shark family, starting from the baby to the grandparents.
On Monday, Ashleigh Waller, 23, from Britain, painted herself blue, and created a fin out of her son’s school letter and performed the children’s song beside her moving car, while on her way to deliver pizza.
The video, which has been viewed more than four million times on Facebook, caused mixed reactions among thousands.
“I laughed more than I should have,” said one user, who found the video hilarious.
“What is wrong with people?” said an outraged user.
A father in the United States also made headlines with his version of the dance, calling it the #daddysharkchallenge. He had attracted almost nine million views at the time of writing.
Passing fad or here to stay?
Social media challenges have come and gone throughout the years, including the MND/ALS ice bucket challenge, which helped raise Motor Neurone Disease awareness.
But then there was more sinister fads such as the cinnamon challenge, which left one person dead and several hospitalised, after people tried to swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon without water within sixty seconds.
There’s also been several dance crazes that have struck a lyrical cord with users among social media, including Psy’s Gangnam Style, Soulja Boy’s crank dance and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (shuffle dance).
Professor Harmen Oppewal, head of marketing at Monash University, said people are often drawn to content that made them feel good.
“You can’t really plan or predict the success of these videos but they often go viral very fast because a medium such as the internet has the power to do this,” Professor Oppewal said.
“People just love something they can socially engage with.”