'Batmaning' video made by Purdue students goes viral
WEST LAFAYETTE - Some Purdue students are giving new meaning to "hanging out on campus."
They call themselves Batman Boilers, and their slick, well-edited stunt video is turning YouTube upside down.
But critics say their feet-first freaky fun is too dangerous. They'd basically like it stamped with the label "don't try this at home."
"It's called batmaning," says Ben Lins, a gymnast who helped choreograph the stunt. "We were bored, just sitting around one day on the futon and said lets do something new."
They'd heard about stunts like planking, and one where the prankster hangs upside down.
The four freshmen added their own twist: hanging by the feet instead of the back of the knees. Their video shows them pulling off the batmaning at spots across campus.
They said they were careful picking the spots to pull off the batmaning, making sure they could get a safe foot-grip around items like walls, commemorative monuments, even a statue of Amelia Earhart.
But medical experts say a fall can mean very serious head and neck injuries. Even the Batman Boilers say they've had their falls. Chandler Welsh said he banged himself up trying to hang from a restroom stall.
Purdue's Assistant Dean of Students Pablo Malavenda says it doesn't look as though they've broken any campus laws or rules. But he said the teens, who've had over a quarter-million hits on YouTube alone, could be inspiring copycats. He fears those copycats won't be prepared physically and could be badly injured.
Malavenda says "the head injury risk, some of those pictures may have only been a couple feet off the ground. But there were others at least six feet off the ground." He expects to have a "conversation" with the students about the risks involved doing such things on campus.