The Group Hug Challenge, which begins today and involves swaddling kids and adults in a blanket, seats and blankets, is just one of the ridiculous experiments conceived of by Koichi Tamura, a physics professor at Shizuoka University. Tamura (he pronounced that), whose latest work is titled “The Triple-WTF Shart of The Year” is a proponent of wacky physics experiments that are meant to be of little practical importance but convey deeper meanings about the relation between objects in the universe.
“From time to time I get an idea about how objects are separated into different entities and responsibilities for the outcome,” Tamura told a recent piece in the South China Morning Post. “With the idea, I made it into an experiment and it’s scientifically quite complex. The Triple-WTF is the most complex involving multiple form factors that I have created so far.”
Tamura’s latest crazy experiment has two modules. The first, the triple-wtf, tasks participants with relaying thoughts in a series of scripted messages — in the author’s voice — that are spoken in rhythmic directions (think: “Poh”) and conveyed within both a number (50) and a space (roughly the height of the average person) so that they can convey meaning to others. The second, the hug challenge, employs the strange contents of a series of physical objects (like a wall and sofa) to increase psychological stress by having participants “swaddle” themselves and strangers as they belly hug each other. Tamura tried the latter experiment in February but shut it down when it became a suicide attempt for one of the participants. Here are all the steps for the triple-wtf and hugs.
According to the South China Morning Post piece, the experiments take a while to get into gear, but once they do, they will take up three hours. Watch and prepare to laugh until you can cry.