When you're trying to get work done and are constantly being distracted by the incessant buzzing of social media notifications, it can almost feel like a lot of these applications were scientifically designed to waste your time. It doesn't help that folks on these various platforms are constantly developing new trends and challenges for people to engage in, and there seems to be a new niche created for these challenges each and every day, like the Gauntlet Challenge. And a lot of curious TikTokers want to know: what is it?
What is the "Gauntlet Challenge" on TikTok?
In case you're a Medieval armor enthusiast who's now thinking, "Finally, my time has come!" after seeing the Gauntlet Challenge trending, put away your buffing towels and metal shine lotion, because the gauntlet that this specific challenge is referring to is a trial, or rather an endurance test.
It's also known as "run the gauntlet" as it challenges the fortitude of viewers who are asked to watch some of the most disgusting videos the internet has to offer to see if they can get to the end without looking away for quitting the challenge. Each video ups the ante in terms of grossness and disturbing imagery, sort of like The Game of Death, but for social media.
A lot of the videos in the challenge are "classic" internet urban legends that have existed and gone viral several times over throughout the last decade or even longer. The true horror of the challenge is that many folks presume that the videos they're watching are all true, however, this isn't the case and some were created simply to freak people out.
What videos are included in "the gauntlet challenge?"
Folks who've seen the video have reported that it's filled with a ton of gut-wrenching media, like a clip of a dog being skinned alive, to the "three guys one hammer" murder, to other...things most people wouldn't even feel comfortable typing out, let alone watch. This specific "challenge" has existed for quite some time, however, it's just recently gone viral on TikTok.
The "Run The Gauntlet" website has been around for a while, and if you and your friends used to browse obscure subreddits and 4chan forums to find links to horrifying clips, then you'll probably be familiar with all of the shocking gauntlet videos.
Urban Dictionary writes of the challenge: "There are 20 levels and each one gets harder. They include a dog being skinned alive, a baby being run over by a car, and the infamous 'three guys one hammer.' It is currently unknown why anyone would do this to themselves."
The Run the Gauntlet Challenge can be deleterious to one's mental health.
Vibrant has cautioned against watching shocking imagery and writes that "Even a single instance of exposure, but especially repeated exposure to graphic online content, risks embedding disturbing sights and sounds in your mind that can be hard to forget, interfere with sleep, hinder your ability to concentrate, and affect your mood."
While you might be curious, there really is no upside to watching the videos. It's not like you get a reward for doing so and being subjected to that kind of pain and suffering to pass an internet challenge all feels kind of pointless, even if some of the clips were viral media hoaxes to try and fool people into thinking something horrible exists.
On the other hand, some of the videos in the challenge are very, very real, which is all the more reason to stay away from it. Seriously.