Congratulations, Internet—you won. You took a live stream of two BuzzFeed employees in white lab coats place rubber bands around a watermelon and turned it into a global phenomenon. You, and about 800,000 of your peers, took 45 minutes to internalize the pressure that watermelon was feeling, and you turned it into cyber-gold. You’ve made us listen to T.I. on repeat all morning, and for that we thank you.
BuzzFeed streamed the Gallagher stress test through Facebook Live, the service that will soon cause you to miss appointments so you can watch your friends live stream their Tinder dates or laundry folding. BuzzFeed is one of Facebook’s paid media partners, and boy did they earn their cut yesterday. This was the apex of BuzzFeed’s ‘so-dumb-it’s-genius’ ethos. The experiment took 45 minutes and 686 rubber bands before the watermelon turned to fruit salad. At the peak there were over 800,000 people streaming the video…that’s about 200,000 more people than the entire city of Baltimore.
And how were people feeling about the watermelon? Mostly stressed, anxious, and perplexed by their emotional investment. #Watermelon started trending on Twitter; Facebook blew up with timelines full of melon-talk; and the meme generators did what they do best. Here are a few of our favorite reactions to the watermelon madness: