1) Is planking harmful? Anything that’s harmless and fun can easily be ruined my rumors and stupidity. If you’re going to plank, please don’t do it somewhere that can cause you serious injury, harm, or death. Recently someone’s died from planking, but that doesn’t make planking unsafe. Please use common sense when planking. The whole concept is to be creative and funny and original. Not deadly!
2) Did planking originate from slavery? Planking did not originate from slavery. It was originally called the “Lying Down Game”, where people would just fall face down onto something and take a silly picture. It is believed to have started in 1997 in England as a meme that has slowly gone viral and global.
3) Are their incidents of slaves laying down face first? Of course, but that doesn’t mean planking originate from a slave ship. There are many ways slaves were positioned on ships, and the idea was to pack as may Africans as possible into a small space in order to make the biggest profit. The majority of the slaves were positioned side ways or face up to avoid asphyxiation.
4) Was the word plank used to describe the way slaves were positioned? Slaves often wore what was a called a plank [wooden] collar that held the slaves in place during transport, but the plank used in planking simply means as stiff as a board, like a wooden plank, just like the plank position in yoga. As in walk the plank. The term “planking” originated in Australia to describe the position of the hands and feet to mimic a board, but the game is called many different things depending on what country you live in. In the UK, the game is called the Laying or Lying Down Game, in Korea it’s called the Play Dead Game, in France it’s called On One’s Belly Game, and in the US it has also been referred to as Facedowns. All of this can be found via Google.
5) Are you racist if you plank? Depends on what you’re planking or how you plank? If you’re planking in a Ku Klux Klan mask, then yeah, you may be racist, or have a really dark twisted sense of humor.