Forget summoning the power of Manon, y’all. This season’s hottest supernatural entity is Charlie. People (mainly teenagers) have been stacking two pencils perpendicular to one another on a haphazardly drawn yes/no quadrants and asking the abyss whether he’s there with them. If he is, the top pencil sways into the “yes” quadrant. If he isn’t, well, he just isn’t. Don’t fret, though: As Nietzsche said, if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.
Anyway, the hashtag #CharlieCharlieChallenge went viral this week. The point of the whole thing is to summon a demon that might set out to end your life. And what viral-hungry teen doesn’t love taunting the dark side? Once Charlie gets “contacted,” you can ask him any yes or no question. Some people believe this to be true.
Science says this is due to the limbic system—a.k.a. the thing that controls our emotional responses. Fusion reports that a maturing human brain naturally gravitates towards playing with the supernatural because it brings about “the mentality of danger without actually bringing harm to themselves.” So—spoiler alert—Charlie might not be real, but the learning and maturing of the brain totally is. Just be glad Charlie didn’t bite you like that other Charlie.