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Batmanning is a YouTube video series and a photo fad that involves hanging vertically from objects by their feet, mimicking a bat’s roosting position.
The earliest instance of Batmanning on YouTube dates back to July 20th, 2008, when YouTuber keralady uploaded a video showing a group of young adults hanging upside down from the handrail on a moving subway car. Over the span of three years, the video remained relatively unknown with a little over 31,000 views.
On August 29th, 2011, a group of college students uploaded a video titled “Original Batmanning video” onto their YouTube channel. It was created by the Lins Brothers, a group of friends at Purdue University who have been making YouTube videos since January 2008.
Declaring themselves the Batman Boilers, the Lins Brothers created an official homepage, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account to promote their video. They also sent tweets to celebrities like Daniel Tosh and Stephen Colbert and comedy websites like College Humor in attempt to draw their attention to the video.
Two sites mentioned the “batmanning” fad before the Lins Brother’s video was even uploaded: The Sun News’ Weekly Surge on August 18th, 2011 and Joonbug’s Cool Sh!t on August 22nd, 2011.
Batmanning did not get mainstream media coverage until after the Lins Brothers’ video. On September 6th, 2011, ABC News published an article about the video. The next day, it appeared on the UK Daily Mail Online and E! Online. On September 8th, 2011, it reached the Los Angeles Times, Gawker, and actor/director Kevin Smith even tweeted a link to the video.