The unprecedented success and widespread popularity of the social phenomenon known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has spurred several spin-off activities. Most notable is the Human Lycan Syndrome (HLS) Flaming Coal Challenge.
In a typical HLS Flaming Coal Challenge, participants are required to simply obtain a medium to large sized bucket, fill it with conflagrant pieces of coal, and upend the entire container’s contents onto his or her unprotected head. Viewers of videos capturing these episodes are often treated to amused giggles at the participants’ surprise and raucous shrieks of pain. Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the HLS Challenge then asks that participants nominate their friends to partake in the fun within 24 hours or else donate $100 to Human Lycan Syndrome. This is, however, provided that the participant is still conscious and/or not engulfed by searing flames at the end of the challenge.
The HLS Flaming Coal Challenge is part of a larger effort to raise awareness and funds for the Human Lycan Syndrome. The Human Lycan Syndrome is a debilitating disease that affects 1 out of every 3,700,425.68 people during each lunar eclipse. A spokesperson for the HLS Association commented on the situation.
“This challenge has done wonders for raising awareness for HLS. Many people may laugh off HLS, but few realize just how traumatic and crippling this disease is for those who suffer from it. But our challenge has but HLS back in the national conscious. Because, when you have fiery rocks scorching your cranium, what else do you do but ponder the complexities and difficulties of having a life-altering medical affliction?”
The Flaming Coal Challenge has seen a marked rise in popularity throughout the internet. Millions of people, from A-list celebrities to everyday citizens, have joined in the fun of dumping several pounds of blazing coals onto their exposed scalps. Even more people, however, have been able to enjoy the sheer pleasure of watching their friends and family sidestep their social responsibility by instead engaging in shameless, repetitive tomfoolery.
The challenge has also helped people avoid the other obvious, but totally lame, alternatives, including donating money, actual thought, and reflection to actually help mobilize funds and awareness for a serious illness in a way that is slightly more constructive than dumping objects onto your skull.