On 18 May 2011, following New Zealand
driver Wade Cunningham's introduction, IndyCar
Series driver Alex Lloyd posted a Twitter picture
of himself planking on a child's table, whereupon
fellow racer Scott Dixon planked on the tires of
his race car, prompting Tony Kanaan and his pit
crew to compete with him. The weather prevented
on-track activity, and so for the entire
rain-soaked day, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
turned into a hotbed of drivers and team members
planking, prompting an almost unprecedented wave of
Twitter photographs and references from drivers and
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an early 20th-century fad. Balconing
an early 21st-century fad
plank·ing (plank'in) noun
1.the act of laying planks
2.planks in quantity
3.the planks of a structure
Source: Webster's New World
College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley
Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Planking is the action of lying face down with arms
to the sides of the body, stiff as a "plank" in
unusual public spaces and photographing it. Some
call it "active lying down."
The term "planking" was coined in Australia
March 27, 2011 and is becoming a fad.
Planking has its origins in the lying down game
(1997 or 2006) in Europe and Japan. It has also
been known as ("playing dead", South Korea,
"à plat ventre" ("On ones belly",
France 2004), and "extreme lying down" (2008,
It can be dangerous. On 15 May 2011, Acton
Beale, a 20-year-old man, plunged to his death
after reportedly "planking" on a seventh-floor
balcony in Brisbane, Australia. This is the first
known casualty of the planking fad.
Early start on 'Planking
Planking is the action of lying face down with
arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public
spaces and photographing it.
That's the definition. The intent, like many
fads through the years, is more nebulous.
Within minutes Scott Dixon using his race car as
a prop in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing garage at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his
head-and-toe variation, multiple IZOD IndyCar
Series drivers added their own planking photos to
social media outlets.
"I want to do a plank on the rear wing, but the
team won't let me," Dixon said. "Maybe I'll sneak
into the garage and put it on Twitter."
The Planking Australia group on Facebook, which
claims to have initiated the idea, has announced
May 25 as the inaugural Planking Day to encourage
new and group planking. Maybe it will become an
Indy tradition to be held on the first rained-out
day of practice each year.
Pictures are needed or it didn't happen. Here is
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