Tracking the Fad: 'Planking' Searches

July 28, 2011

Back in May, we discussed how a popular fad/prank in Australia called "planking" was starting to spread to the United States. (Australia is apparently the new hotbed for silly, inventive pranks now.)

In the past month, over 8,000 videos have been posted of or about people planking, where someone is filmed or photographed laying facedown motionless and stiff. (Tom Green even posted one of him performing the prank all the way back in 1994.) While it may seem at this point that it could be on its way out, YouTube's data shows, planking is still pretty popular, particularly in the United States.

The chart below shows daily searches globally for "Planking." Interestingly, the first spike is entirely associated with searches from Australia, while the second swell is almost entirely associated with search interest from the United States.

This meanwhile as another similar gag called "owling" has started to take off. We've seen upwards of 500 "owling" videos posted in the past two weeks or so. If you haven't seen this one already, here's an explanation from -- where else? -- Australia:

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