(VIDEO) ISS crew resurrects, wins, and then kills off the Mannequin Challenge

Since it first became a thing in October, countless individuals have attempted the Mannequin Challenge, with sports teams, musicians, comedians and even political figures getting into the act – but the most recent effort is the only one that can truly claim to be “out of this world.”

As The Verge and the Daily Mail explained earlier this week, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and his colleagues aboard the International Space Station posted footage showing them tackling the viral video challenge while in microgravity, orbiting high above the Earth’s surface.

Five of the six ISS crew members can be seen in the video, doing their best to remain frozen in action, floating in place or clinging to handholds and footholds while the camera pans past them. The astronaut said that the team decided to record the video during their regular off day Sunday, writing that the result was “kind of sci-fi spooky” in a Facebook post. While the original lacks the Rae Sremmurd song “Black Beatles” (the song that plays in nearly all Mannequin Challenge videos), one of Pesquet’s Twitter followers – an individual known as ‘Flaco’ – apparently took the liberty of adding it and uploading an updated version, according to The Verge. That version of the video can be seen here:

This isn’t the first science-related take on the Challenge

For those who don’t keep up with the latest online trends, the Mannequin Challenge is believed to have officially launched on October 12, when students at a school in Jacksonville, Florida put up a video of themselves mimicking a Matrix-style freeze-frame or “bullet time” film scene.

Soon afterwards, the Challenge exploded in popularity, with countless professional and college athletes, artists, A-list celebrities, public servants and even philanthropic groups getting into the act. Even researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and a team of Belgium scientists studying Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) have tried their hands at it.

In fact, the folks at Slate awarded the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team’s efforts as the “nerdiest” Mannequin Challenge entry, pointing out that they managed to “pack quite a few deliciously geeky visual references into their take.” Those “Easter Eggs” included “equations of fundamental importance to students of calculus… plenty of lab coats, protective goggles, dry-ice fog, and frozen rock-star swagger to make this a fun one even for the non-scientific among us.”


Image credit: Thomas Pesquet/Twitter