The latest in a long series of wacky Internet phenomena, bed jumping has leapt from the obscure realm of Internet memes and into the mainstream, thanks to the InterContinental hotel chain.
To take part in the fun, people photograph themselves suspend in mid jump over a bed, more often than not one at a hotel. The art of the game is to capture a unique instance in time, the moment at which gravity seems suspended.
Web site HotelsByCity.com started the craze years ago with its Bed Jump blog, which has received hundreds of entries to date. And popular photo sharing Web site Flickr has over 17,000 pictures matching the term "bed jumping."
In May, the InterContinental Hotel chain joined in the fun with a memorable promotion, an effort to create the world's biggest bed jump. The hotel group corralled 20,000 people worldwide into bouncing on four of the world's biggest beds, strategically located in Shanghai, Paris, London and New York.
Tom Seddon, InterContinental's chief marketing officer, said he hoped the event would help people "rediscover the fun of bed-jumping and put a big smile on their faces."
Jumpers must go to great lengths to take a good photo, carefully positioning a camera and adjusting the timer to get the perfect shot. The Web site encourages travelers to send in photos of themselves jumping on hotel beds, and the more out-there the pictures are the better.
Some jumpers reach great heights, others look plain terrified. others are seen with a mixture of fear and joy on their faces
"There is something completely intoxicating about today’s hotel bed," notes the Bed Jump blog.
"Don’t deny yourself the indulgent luxury of taking a running start and launching up over that mattress and box-spring that will surely bounce you up into the stratosphere. Hotel Bed Jumping. It’s naughty, it’s fun, it’s free."
The uniqueness of these images is what makes them so interesting, and what they reveal about the personality of the people who submit them.
The editors of PCMag.com are well versed with Internet memes, connecting the bed juimping explosion to a series of other strange Internet trends. Executive editor Dan Costa thinks the sport is nothing new. "This is actually a variant of the far more high-brow 'Art Jumping' movement," he believes, noting that art jumping – the practice of photographing yourself in mid-jump in front of a famous work of art – has been around for years.
And editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff asks, "is it really any different than that guy who does the same dance in different and exotic places all over the world?" Where in the World is Matt is a different sort of meme, he clarifies, but adds "still, I think there are conceptual similarities."
Have you taken a good bed jump? Submit your image to our UReport photo pool, making sure to upload to the Technology channel and tag the photo "bed jump."
Then view our gallery of your fellow bed jumpers.
Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.