3 Ridiculously Stupid and Disgusting Things That Were Once Wildly Popular
History has seen people embrace some truly bizarre activities
The mannequin challenge, the ice bucket challenge and performing elaborate (and not so elaborate) dances on social media platforms like TikTok are all popular fads enjoyed by people in recent years. For whatever reason, humanity has long had an affinity for identifying odd behaviors or actions that have caught on like wildfire, if only for a short period of time. Here are three of the strangest and most disgusting fads from the past that were strangely once all the rage.
Phone Booth Stuffing: The act of having as many people as possible stuff themselves inside one telephone booth sounds uncomfortable and very unnecessary, yet it used to have people lining up. Originating abroad, the craze swept into the United States in the spring of 1959 and captured the attention of younger people who wanted to test the limits of mass and space.
A record was set in 1959 in South Africa, when 25 people somehow crammed themselves into a booth. The size of the stuffees ranged from people who were 5'4” to 6'2”. A highlight of this beacon of human accomplishment was that the booth’s phone rang in the middle of the arranging of flesh, but predictably it was so crowded that nobody was physically able to answer and see what the caller wanted. This made such headlines that it helped bring the fad to the United States and Europe, including 22 St. Mary’s College students setting the American record, as verified by Life magazine
Phone booth stuffing was especially popular for a brief time at colleges and came with different sets of rules. Sometimes, participants had to have the entirety of their bodies inside the booth, while others simply required certain portions of the body. Additional twists included in some versions the task to not being considered complete until someone inside the overly full booth successfully placing a phone call to memorialize their accomplishment. The zany practice fizzled out as quickly as it exploded, moving to the realm of things passe and gauche by the end of 1959.
Goldfish Swallowing: Pranks and other shenanigans have often been associated with college students. An early version of this was…