The realm of the fad is essentially unknowable. History is littered with random enthusiasms that sweep the culture, flare for a few months or years, then recede into the Ocean of Weird and Terrible Ideas.
Particularly curious, and sometimes gruesome, are those youth culture fads that tempt the young and the bored. For instance, we point to the recent and altogether mystifying trend of eyeball licking.
The Information Age certainly isn't helping things. Now that everyone is armed with a phone camera and Internet access, the temptation to do something weird -- and broadcast it worldwide -- is apparently irresistible. Here are 10 bizarre fads, from historic to recent, that suggest the perennial dangers of boredom.
Idleness Fuels Victorian Era Fads
The idle rich of the Victorian Era were the first to truly embrace the notion of pop culture faddishness. For instance, in the late 19th century, spiritualism was hugely fashionable among the upper classes in Britain and the United States. Séances and mediums were all the rage as thrill-seeking society types trifled with the dark side. The Victorians were into a lot of weirdo fads and pseudoscience, actually, including electropathy -- essentially treating disease with massive jolts of electricity.