Pro tip: don’t try this at home.
In a video that has now gone viral on Facebook, Joseph McCloskey’s attempt at the “stinky fish challenge” with his family will make you laugh and possibly gag.
Sitting on a table with his wife and two young daughters, Aisley and Demery, the challenge involves eating a bite of the “world’s smelliest food” — surströmming — without having others around you leave the room. If his daughters fulfilled the challenge, the Colorado Springs-based dad promised them toys and diamonds for his wife.
“The challenge was my idea,” he tells Global News. “I saw a video of someone else doing the challenge and thought it was funny, so decided to do it with my family… I certainly didn’t expect the response we’ve received.”
And while it seems quite simple, it’s clear about five minutes into the video, the McCloskey family couldn’t handle the smell of this fish.
Eventually, after opening the can, McCloskey’s wife and daughters both throw up on the side of the frame.
“All three of them threw up a little, but I got it out of the house fast enough that everyone felt fine after,” he says.
The stinky fish
Surströmming is a Swedish Baltic herring that is fermented for months. According to another viral challenge by Buzzfeed in 2015, the fish tastes briny and extremely salty. Typically, the fish is eaten with flatbread, potatoes and onion.
“It’s really incomparable, like nothing I can describe. It didn’t have that traditional fishy smell,” McCloskey says.
And with so many questions around preparation, YouTube user nein danke says you should never eat this dish inside.
“People in Sweden normally eat it while outside and the only reason they eat it is to drink a whole lot of spirits after! Eat it on a bread with butter and loads of onions on it… Do not eat it pure.” The user also adds you should open the can in a bucket of water to avoid getting it on your clothes.
“My wife really wanted me to get it out of the house quickly,” McCloskey says. “I had to triple bag it, and it attracted so many flies in my garage that I had to take it down the street to a garbage can in a park nearby.”
Other users on YouTube note the fish is actually quite delicious — if you rinse it and peel it properly.
In another surströmming video that went viral in 2016, one woman tired to feed her dog the salty fish and let’s just say, the bulldog also couldn’t stand the smell, The Local reports.
McCloskey says he bought the can of fish on Amazon. The malodorous delicacy is currently being sold for $100 plus shipping.
The Internet can’t stop laughing
And with over 31 million views on Facebook, social media users quickly chimed in on McCloskey’s adorable family.
“Thanks for the laughs! Made a crappy day so much better. ‘It smells like a toot,'” Paige Carda wrote.
Many were impressed with Aisley, on the right, in particular.
“Mom bails, dad gags, the daughter, ‘Did I get my bike?!’ HahHaha. Kid, you win at life,” user Rachel Raulerson wrote.
Others were more concerned if his daughters ever ended up getting their prizes — turns out they did.
“[I] am going to buy the diamonds [for my wife] as promised. As soon as it was over, I felt so bad for making them sick that I took my daughters for a trip to the toy store. They definitely felt better after that.”