A Chinese vlogger, 35-year-old Sun, was found dead two days after swallowing poisonous centipedes and geckos alive.
We live in the internet era. It comes with social media platforms, where people would do just about anything to gain attention. One of the fastest ways to grow your audience is to participate in a challenge. The more bizarre, the better.
This brings us to the death of Sun, who posted videos on the Chinese social network DouYu. His niche was drinking alcohol while enjoying live insects.
Sun's lifeless body was found by his girlfriend, who went to check in on him in his apartment in Hefei, Anhui Province.
The late influencer ate centipedes, geckos, and mealworms and washed them down with alcohol. The police said there was no foul play.
Three years after this man's death, the challenges became so regular and familiar that we no longer see them as a threat.
Sun, who had 15k followers, made stunts where he would spin a wheel marked with items including centipedes, geckos, mealworms, vinegar, eggs, beer, and baijiu - a clear distilled liquor. When the police came, his camera was still rolling.
This 2019 incident is one of many live streaming tragedies. Two years earlier, in 2017, a 26-year-old internet sensation Wu Yongning, known as "China's first roof topper," fell to his death.
He was on the top of a 62-story skyscraper in Changsha, filming a video.
The late stuntman had over a million followers and posted over 300 videos of climbing rooftops with no equipment.
Another young woman from Korea was left injured after eating a live octopus. Of course, the video was live-streamed.
In China alone, there are over 100 streaming platforms, and the chase for followers is a full-time job. Of course, the issue is recognized worldwide, as David Dowell, 34, from Australia, died after reportedly eating a gecko at a party in a similar stunt as Sun.
A Russian YouTuber, Stas Reeflay, was arrested after live-streaming his pregnant girlfriend's death.
Antonio Perkins, 28, was recording himself and a group of other people on Chicago's West Side when an unknown attacker suddenly opened fire.
Océane E., 19, from France, live-streamed her death from self-inflicted wounds.
In 2016, Armin Schmieder, an Italian thrill-seeking wingsuit pilot, streamed his death live on Facebook. The 28-year-old pro jumper suffered a fatal accident after taking a massive dive from the top of a mountain in Kandersteg, Switzerland.
The biggest social media challenge is surviving trending challenges, from eating Tide Pods to licking toilet seats and, yes, live, poisonous animals.