Everyone has their thing, right? And it's really terrible to judge someone for doing a thing that you maybe don't get... in my case, I'm usually just slightly behind the times and struggle to keep up with the coolest trends. Hence the reason I had never heard of the "Baby Shark" dance challenge, or even the "Baby Shark" song for that matter. Perhaps it's time for me to give all of that true crime marathon-watching a rest and pay attention to the world around me.
The "Baby Shark" song phenomenon actually kicked off last year in September, according to The Independent. The song, which was produced by Korean kids sing-a-long YouTube channel Pinkfong, was actually first released in Indonesia in 2014. It didn't seem to get much traction at that point and was re-released in 2016. Then in 2017, the song hit the big time. To date, the video has been viewed more than 3.3 billion times on YouTube. You read that right — 3.3 billion times. Another video featuring two Korean children dancing to the song has been viewed 1.6 billion times as well. The Independent reported that the song has been listed as one of the top 40 most watched videos on YouTube in history.
Are you getting curious to see what the fuss is all about? Here you go.
If the super excited kids and friendly pink and blue sharks had you reconsidering watching the video, let me walk you through it. The song is super easy to follow; there's a baby shark, a mommy shark, a daddy shark, a grandma shark, a grandpa shark, "doo doo doo doo doo doo." They hunt, but they're pretty happy about it. Then someone starts running away, which gets confusing since the two kids were representing the sharks and they're the ones running.
Don't worry, they get away. But you will never, ever forget the song. I promise you this. Because everyone is singing it and everyone knows the dance.
What is it about this song that is plaguing parents of toddlers everywhere who insist on watching it literally billions of times over? As Jamie Oh of Pinkfong explained to Quartzy, "We took a fresh twist and re-created on a traditional singalong chant with our Pinkfong’s Baby Shark. In addition to the upbeat rhythms and fresh melody, Dvorak’s New World Symphony has been added to the beginning of the song to emphasize the tension before the shark family shows up."
It isn't just little ones who are voraciously consuming this tune either. Adult humans are taking to the internet in droves to share their own version of the "Baby Shark" dance challenge using the hashtag #BabySharkChallenge. It appears to have essentially morphed from the "In My Feelings" challenge inspired by Drake's hit song, according to The Sun, where people film themselves dancing outside of their car to Drake's "In My Feelings."
But now people are doing it to "Baby Shark."
Of course, there are some people who just make the challenge their own and do it however they please. No car included, and I don't blame them because the car door does feel a bit superfluous.
I like this one because they incorporated costumes.
So there you have it, folks. A pretty harmless, pretty goofy way to have a little fun in this wild world. I have no plans to participate any time soon but not because I think there's anything wrong with the "Baby Shark" dance challenge. Just because my participation would entail further listening of said song, and I'd like at least a fighting chance of some day forgetting it.