This week, the Internet is celebrating (if you want to call it that) how bizarre the state of Florida is with the hilarious Florida Man Challenge.
The trend, which has gone viral on social media, is similar to the Rihanna challenge from February in that it involves Googling your birthday (e.g. January 21, November 11).
However, instead of putting Rihanna’s name beside your birth date, you would put your birth date beside the word Florida Man. Whatever wild Florida story comes up would be the equivalent of your zodiac sign.
People have been sharing their results on Twitter and to call them hilarious would be an understatement.
Then, there were those really weird stories where you didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified.
Interestingly enough, the “Florida man” isn’t a new phenomenon.
Back in 2013, the Twitter page @_FloridaMan was started and it posted some of the most bizarre stories coming out of the Southern state. For example:
The stories weren’t limited to a “Florida man” either. Literally anything Florida related was up for grabs, such as…
The titles featured on the page make blockbuster movies seem like amateur screenwriting.
The videos and memes posted to the page also don’t disappoint…
Florida man even became sort of a folklore or a single individual who goes around doing bizarre and/or violent things.
The FX show Atlanta covered the Florida man’s profile in a season two episode.
Florida man’s popularity is no coincidence. According to the Miami New Times, part of the reason wild Florida stories are so accessible is because of a state law called the Government in the Sunshine Act.
Since 1909, Florida has continued a tradition that makes all government business available to the public. Thus, all records, including videos and photos, produced by a public agency can easily be pulled with the exception of certain confidential info.
With such easily available public records, journalists are able to quickly uncover the most bizarre stories as soon as someone gets arrested or booked.
It’s the reason mugshots appear online only days after someone’s arrest. After that, all a journalist has to do is call the police department and ask for an arrest report, and the police are required to give it to them.
Other states don’t have such transparent government agencies, so even though a wild arrest might have happened in Alabama or some other state, it might not make it to the news so easily.
Florida man, on the other hand, has a shocking story every day. Just Google your birth date and “Florida man” for proof.
You most likely won’t be disappointed.