The claim: The viral "Milk Crate Challenge" is a satanic ritual
There is yet another viral trend sweeping across the internet. This time, it involves milk crates.
First, participants set up a pyramid of stacked crates. Then, they try to climb up and over the crates, many falling in the process.
The viral "Milk Crate Challenge" joins a long list of internet sensations, including the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge and the Cinnamon challenge. But some social media users speculate there is a wicked meaning behind the pyramid shape.
"There is a new occult ritual taking place and has gone viral on social media," says an Aug. 23 Facebook post. "This trend with the crates is yet again another satanic ritual."
The post puts a picture of a pyramid-shaped group of milk crates alongside a pyramid illustration labeled as "The Steps of Freemasonry."
But it's nonsense.
There is no evidence the Milk Crate Challenge is part of a satanic ritual just because it involves a triangle shape. Guided by this logic, the food pyramid, the triangle instrument and pizza slices would also be satanic.
USA TODAY reached out to social media users who shared the claim for comment.
No evidence of satanic origin
The origin of the trend is milk crate trend is unclear. Know Your Meme, a website that documents internet trends, says the new challenge may be inspired by a 2011 YouTube video.
The video, titled "Guy falls off 6 Milk Crates," was posted June 23, 2011, and resembles a smaller version of the challenge. It shows a man running up and falling off six stacks of milk crates.
One of the earliest appearances of the challenge was an Aug. 14 Facebook video from Jordan Browne of Columbus, Ohio. A screen recording of Browne's video was then posted on Twitter on Aug. 16. Both clips went viral.
"It has nothing to do (with) that. I don’t know nothing about (satanic) rituals," Browne told USA TODAY in a Facebook message.
Browne said he and his friends were bored and found the crates, so they set them up and challenged people in the neighborhood to try running over stacks of them. He said they were not inspired by previous videos of the challenge.
USA TODAY found no evidence the Milk Crate Challenge was part of a satanic ritual.
Our rating: False
The claim that the viral Milk Crate Challenge is a satanic ritual is FALSE, based on our research. The trend may have been inspired by a 2011 YouTube video that shows a man running up and falling from six stacks of crates. One of the first social media users to post a video of the challenge told USA TODAY there's nothing satanic about it.
Our fact-check sources:
Reuters, Aug. 27, Fact Check-The milk crate challenge is not a satanic ritual
Jordan Browne, Aug. 31, Facebook exchange with USA TODAY
JoyRidersTV Bonus Foot, June 23, 2011, YouTube
Washington Post, Aug. 24, The viral Milk Crate Challenge has left people injured. Doctors are begging them to stop.
Know Your Meme, Aug. 18, Walking On Milk Crates Challenge
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 'Milk Crate Challenge' is not a satanic ritual