Health

Police Warn Parents About Deadly 'Blue Whale Challenge'

| by Michael Allen

Police are warning parents in England about a deadly social media "game" that has reportedly been linked to teen deaths in Russia, and a near death in Spain.

The game, dubbed the "Blue Whale Challenge," gets its name from blue whales that sometimes beach themselves and die. In the game, young people follow tasks issued by an anonymous internet "master," notes BBC Newsbeat.

The game includes one task each for 50-days. The tasks start off as seemingly innocent requests, such as watching a scary movie, but grow more serious and culminate in a person committing suicide.

There is no hard evidence that the Blue Whale Challenge is real, but the news site did interview police departments that are aware of the game.

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The Hertfordshire Constabulary police in England told parents "to be vigilant and monitor children's internet usage."

Deputy Head David Wright told the news site: "There's no evidence to say anything untoward is going on with the blue whale challenge in our school, but we feel it's best to keep parents and carers informed. We [want to] make sure they can help us. We've all got a duty of care for our young people."

A 15-year-old girl in Barcelona, Spain, nearly died from the game recently, but was saved because a relative found out and notified police, the Daily Mail reports.

The teen ended up in hospital psychiatric unit on April 26.

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She was reportedly in contact with a mystery internet user at the beginning of April who asked her if she wanted to kill herself, and then issued some instructions.

According to the Spanish radio station SER, the teen obediently followed the challenges she was given, including injuring herself with a knife; the girl also submitted photographs as proof of her blind obedience to her mysterious internet contact.

The teen was also told to delete their online communications.

The girl's suicide instruction was to throw herself in front of a train, but she told a relative about the game before taking her own life. The relative notified health officials and police.

Police are investigating at least 130 suicides in Russia that may be linked to the "game."

Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, fell from the roof of an apartment in Ust-Ilimsk, Russia.

Yulia reportedly posted a blue whale picture and the word "End" on a social media page, while Veronika scrawled: "Sense is lost…End."

Young people who play the game are known to carve a blue whale on their leg or wrist.

Sources: BBC Newsbeat, Daily Mail / Photo Credit: Max Pixel

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