planking: “the act of lying face down, motionless… just like a plank; usually performed in bizarre locations where same persons would normally not lay down.”
What is planking all about?
Planking is probably one of the most popular Internet memes in the past few years, meaning it’s a dumb idea that spread very rapidly and profusely, just like a virus. In essence, it’s a lying down game in which participants compete by resting flat in the most unusual and bizarre places. To qualify as perfect planking, a pose must obey certain rules:
1) person must be laid down voluntarily
2) arms should be stretched alongside body, palms up
3) face should be pointing down, expressionless
4) planker should remember his life is most valuable than playing
What’s so stupid about planking, anyway?
It’s not that laying down in unpredictable places is such a dumb thing to do. It’s not that we’re concerned about the disruption of the urban status quo, or whatever. It’s not that we aren’t amused with the deluge of planking pictures available on-line. Much the other way around, in fact: to create this post we’ve spent a bunch of hours looking at hundreds of pictures, selecting the very best. And it was fun.
No, the reason why we think planking is stupid is because people have been injured doing it. People have been suspended and even fired for doing it during their work hours. People have been arrested for planking on top of a police car. There’s at least one report of an Australian youth who perished while trying to engage planking on a balcony. We’re very sorry to know this, but the take-away is not “planking is dangerous”:
The take away should be “dangerous planking is stupid“.
As mentioned before, planking only makes sense while you’re alive. After that, it becomes “corpsing”, and it’s no fun at all. So if you want to keep having fun participating in the latest Internet memes, make sure you treasure your life and keep it going.
Further Criticisms of Planking
Some critics have pointed out that Planking is also stupid because it’s reminiscent of a common practice in the dark period of history in which slave trade occurred. To maximize the space in slave ships, sometimes the unfortunate African slaves were forced to lay down in a plank-like fashion. While this is indeed an historical fact, we believe the comparison does not make sense except in the head of historians.
The overwhelming of people who are entertained with planking and indulge upon it have no idea of this historical detail, and their intentions bear no connotation to the unfortunate practice of slavery which seemed like such a good idea to our ancestors.
Why are we still publishing all these planking pictures?
Are you kidding? Just wait until you scroll down and look through the pictures we’ve selected for your viewing pleasure. There’s comedy, there’s drama, there’s stacked human bodies. There are spin-offs such as naked planking, and there’s even a bunch of pictures showing some great displays of animal planking. There are even celebrities who have been caught planking – can you spot one Hugh Hefner of “Playboy” fame, in the following gallery?
Make no mistake: planking can be utterly silly, and it can be dangerous if you are not careful about it. But when done right, it can be a great way to express your sense of humor and shake up the routine of people. A fun way to prompt awareness to their surroundings, if only to observe a moment of simple dumbness. Yes, it can even be a way to promote social intervention, as you can see in this special picture… where 1500 people planke together as a sign of political protest, in Thailand.
Tom Green and the Real Origins of Planking
Several factions have claimed merits on the invention of this “noble” modern “sport”, planking. But since none of those people have produced video evidence dating as far back as 1994, capable of sustaining their claims… the credit goes to one Mr. Tom Green, the visionary who stars in the following video. Which incidentally is the oldest documented evidence of a human being planking deliberately and voluntarily.
Did you know? Planking is also known as….
“Playing Dead” – South Korea
“On Your Belly” – France
“Extreme Lying down” – Australia
“Facedowns” – Ireland
The most humongous planking gallery you’ve ever seen, EVER:
Nude Planking: just like a naked board
Some people don’t just settle for planking and insist on taking it to the next level. In some cases this implies stripping off their clothes before acting like a plank. Like so:
Planking masters of the animal kingdom
If you think planking is something that humans made up, these pictures will prove you wrong. As you can see, may animals have been doing it for a long while… although some of these admittedly haven’t quite nailed down the rules of planking.
Not exactly planking, but worthy of mention…
While the following pictures wouldn’t accurately be described as planking per se, they’re just too cool not to be posted here. Enjoy!
And remember, If you don’t think planking is *so* last week, have fun doing it… but keep it safe.