There have been six reports since November 2021 of a TikTok challenge that is sweeping across social media at Southern Utah University—the “Orbeez Challenge.” Reports first believed they were shot by a BB gun but it was actually a Orbeez, a gelatin ball the size of a marble.
This made it hard for SUU Police to investigate due to the Orbeez breaking apart after impact. Out of the six investigations, SUU police have found five of the kids responsible for the shootings.
“Everyone that we have dealt with are kids right out of high school that saw it on TikTok and thought that it would be fun,” stated SUU Police Chief Rick Brown. “Pure adolescent judgment skills.”
Officer Brown does not want the community to be frantic because there have been no injuries and students reporting the incidents just wanted SUU Police to be aware.
Although in Cedar City it has mainly been high school-aged kids, the nation has seen every age group participating in the potentially dangerous challenge. Other states and cities have had to crack down on the challenge more due to incidents where the shooters have frozen Orbeez which can be more painful.
Cases where frozen Orbeez were used have led to charges of assault, battery misdemeanors, reckless conduct and more. It may seem harmless but could be very dangerous leaving injuries like welts and bruises on victims.
Further incidents of the challenge can be reported on the SUU Police Department website or by calling (435) 586-1911. There is also more information on how to report incidents or more general information on the campus safety policies on SUU’s website.
Article by: Chevy Blackburn
Photo courtesy of Kolby Milton via Unsplash