A new trend is sweeping social media - and it has the potential to be deadly.

Called the “Tide Pod Challenge,” the new viral trend sees teens filming themselves while they attempt to eat Tide laundry detergent pods, before challenging others to do the same - and the videos are horrifying and dangerous.

According to reports, the challenge was originally featured as a joke in The Onion, a satirical news organisation.

But the challenge soon became real after circulating on social media - with multiple videos uploaded to YouTube of people participating in the challenge. The most recent, uploaded today, has already been viewed close to 12,000 times.

One video, uploaded by the YouTube account GayGod, has been viewed 153,000 times.

Opening the video by discussing the challenge, he says, “I didn’t think you could eat them but they look so tasty,” before popping the detergent pod into his mouth.

Biting down, the pod oozes detergent, and the YouTuber immediately attempts to spit it out.

The video, just one of hundreds, is both foolish and disgusting - in addition to dangerous - and doctors are urging people to refrain from attempting the challenge.

Tide laundry detergent pods contain ethanol, polymers, and hydrogen peroxide - all of which are extremely toxic if consumed, according to CBS News.

Dr Alfred Aleguas Jr. of the Florida Poison Information Center said consuming any amount of detergent from the pods can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. In extreme cases, consumption can be “life-threatening.”

Doctors urge people to not eat Tide pods after challenge goes viral

Regarding the challenge, Procter and Gamble issued the statement: “Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day.

“They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.

“They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke.”

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