The Anti-Planking Act 2011 And Other Endangered Photography Memes

Just when you thought planking was nothing more than an amusing way to take a nap, some Filipino students use it as a form of protest and a Quezon City representative is drafting a a bill to ban it. What does this mean for Owling?
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During the transport strike in Sampaloc, Manilla, on Monday, Filipino students staged planking protests along the Espana road to show support for the protest against the hike in oil prices. Rather than giving them kudos for actually having the gumption to protest in the modern era, Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo has moved to ban planking, saying that, "the parent in me tells me that this precedent in the case of the this massive transport strike where militant street protesters who are students of various schools have to lie down or serve as ‘planks’ across the road to disrupt what should be normal traffic could just be very dangerous in the future. Life and limb are pretty much at risk here where unbelieving bus drivers or law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways."

So, what she is saying is that bus drivers and police will purposely RUN OVER students? Surely there should be a bill for that Winston?

Before planking is outlawed, here's a look at the phenomenon and six other mesmerising photo memes...

Since modern man first got their hands on a camera there have been untold pranks, japes and the just plain weird involving photography. In the digital age we’re putting our megapixels to good use by creating photo-pranks. With unprecedented access to cameras and the technology to take and share photo’s rendering them throw away items we’re collectively snapping away at anything that moves like an ADHD afflicted paparazzi.

Even the normally pedestrian Victorians were up to some freaky shenanigans back in the day with post-mortem photography. Photos were so expensive people often put off getting a family portrait until it was too late. Ever practical they opted for gathering round the corpse for a family snap -- say cheese!  Wind on to 2011 and we’re still taking odd pictures, only this time it’s without the unsettling stench of death lingering.

Are we striving as a species to make our mark in the world of still photography? I’m sure there must be a better way than to take a comedy snap? Whether it is an attempt at image-based immortality or just a desperate bit of procrastination, the ever evolving internet meme trend for picture-posturing is certainly entertaining. But are we filling cyberspace with nonsense?

When aliens find the burnt and tattered remnants of our planet, all that’s likely to remain is a few cockroaches and Google’s offshore servers for them to establish how our existence came to such an untimely end. What the lifeforms will undoubtedly find is billions of videos showing collections of images displaying people in unusual contorted positions and a few ‘lolz’ in the comments section. Will it all have been worth it? Here’s seven ways to entertain the little green fellers when the day comes...



The unfortunate death of a ‘planker’ in Brisbane, Australia has elevated planking to the number one photo-prank of the year so far. The worldwide publicity ensured everyone is at it, including celebrities. Even Hugh Hefner got in on the act. It’s popularity may also lie in it’s simplicity. You just need to be able to lie face down in an amusing place. No word yet on how many plankers have been lured to the Playboy Mansion for some fervent planking.



Not to be confused with wanting a pet owl just because you saw one on Harry Potter, Owling requires you to sit ... well ... like an Owl. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Anyway, it’s another in a long list of wannabes to the meme throne. Just for God’s sake don’t make the rookie mistake of dressing as an owl for your pic, you don’t want to look a twit too.



Slightly more difficult to pull off than Owling, Batting requires you to hang like a bat from a place of your choice. Ladies, I recommend a decent bra, depending on the look you’re going for. It’s also an idea to get the picture done sharpish as all the blood rushing to your head leaves you looking a little red faced.  Everyone knows bats are pale creatures of the night.

The Leisure Dive


A personal favourite. The Leisure Dive involves someone (often fully clothed) managing to dive and yet be completely relaxed at the same time.  The effect if done right means the diver looks like they are floating or levitating above the pool or soft surface.  No snaps of professional footballers taking part so far .. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Horse Maning


Horse Maning takes it’s name from the Headless Horseman story.  It also possibly takes the crown for oldest form of photo hoax. Apparently a popular way to take a picture in the 1920’s, this one requires a partner in crime.  You need to position one person so their head is out of sight and then place your head in their arm or hand depending on the crazy headless antics you’re after.  Tip: If you’re the body in the ruse, be sure to have someone check for camel toe - you don’t want your moment of YouTube fame blighted by an unslightly crotch.


Honorary mention for this mainly video-based prank.  Cone-ing involves ordering an ice cream, (usually from a McDonalds drive-thru) taking it by the ice cream instead of the cone and recording the reaction of the McWorker.  Definitely one to try next time you want to give your snack run the lol-factor.



The latest trick shots doing the rounds involve the art of Stocking.They manage to raise the often dull world of stock photography to an interesting new level. The ultimate goal here is to faithfully recreate the stock photo of your choice.  Bonus points if you manage to look uncannily like the person in the original picture. Whether anyone will ever be able to capture the joy of women laughing alone with salad is doubtful.

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