Planking or the so-called Lying Down game has a disputed origin. It involves an activity where one has to lie face down in an unusual location. The weirder the location the better it is. Both the hands must touch the sides of the body and the toes must point towards the ground. The most integral part of the game is to take a photograph of the person in that position, and upload it on the Internet. The players strive to find the most incongruous locations and outdo each other. The term "planking" literally means to act like a wooden "plank", hence the name. Therefore the body must be maintained rigidly for it to qualify as good planking. Planking also reiterates to holding the body flat, when it is supported in some regions, whereas some other parts are suspended.
Comedian Tom Green is the one who claims to have invented the game of planking as early 1994. Again Gary Clarkson and Christian Langdon claim to have invented the game in the year 2000. Which of these is correct has not yet been proved. Apart from these two other groups also claim to have invented the prank. One group claims to have invented it in Somerset in the year 2000 as the "lying down game" and another eight years later in South Australia by the name of "planking". Even in this case, no one knows the truth, except for probably the true founders. However both these groups have Facebook sites which boast of a lot of fans.
This game of lying down or planking has spread to a lot of places and is known by different names, in different places. It was known as "extreme lying down" in Australasia where it was introduced in 2008, as "facedowns" in USA and Ireland where it was introduced in 2010. Introduced in 2004 in France and in 2011 in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide as " à plat venture "or on one's belly and" planking "respectively.
The growth of planking is nothing but an example of 'meme'. It refers to an idea which initially goes viral online to become a worldwide trend in no time at all. The game is based upon "exhibitionism". The heart of the game is nothing but the fact that everyone wants their photograph to become the most popular on internet. Go ahead give it a shot and see if you enjoy the experience.