The 'Dark Web Challenge' Has YouTubers Ordering 'Mystery Boxes' From The Darkest Part Of The Internet

Photo: YouTube
What Is The Dark Web Challenge? Details YouTube Dark Web Challenge Mystery Box Videos

A new challenge spreading on YouTube features people buying so called “mystery boxes” from the dark web and opening them for viewers to see. This “Dark Web Challenge,” also known as the “Deep Web Challenge,” has led to some very strange discoveries.

So what's in these dark web mystery boxes? 

In advance of making their videos, YouTubers purchase their “mystery boxes” off of the dark web, defined by security news website CSO Online as “a part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines.” Dark web websites can only be accessed by using certain web browsers such as “Tor,” and use the suffix “.onion” instead of “.com” or “.net” like normal websites do. 

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Buying “mystery boxes” off of websites like these is “hazardous,” says Dr. Jonathan Pace of Stanford University.

“Black market activity is hazardous, and the introduction of digital anonymity into the equation makes the circumstance all the more risky,” Pace told Shortlist.

“Mystery boxes symbolize the regulatory problems of the dark web: it’s supremely difficult for state institutions to identify dark web users, to take down dark web markets, and to regulate the movement of contraband, both online and offline."

In his interview with Shortlist, Pace also offered his take on what the “mystery boxes” could contain.

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"Mystery boxes could be filled with toxic drugs, poorly made weapons, or bad pieces of fake identification. If mystery boxes are filled with leftover inventory, there is a good chance that customers are receiving bottom-of-the-barrel contraband that failed to sell on its own.”

As for what the boxes actually do contain? Several YouTubers have sought to answer this question in their videos.

On July 3, YouTuber Jude Somers posted a video of himself opening his “mystery box” from the dark web.

“I can already smell some weird weird odor,” Somers observed as he first opened the box, which contained many items wrapped in plastic and bubble wrap. He then removed the wrapped items from the box one by one.

Somers’ box included various items, starting with a pack of wet ones with a message written on them that said, “you might need this."

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It also contained boxing gloves, a Motorola phone with its screen cracked, a small unmarked vial with liquid inside, a teddy bear with an “off-putting stale odor,” something wrapped in tin foil ”that looks like a “white tablet,” a working iPad and a small black screwdriver with “red stuff” on it Somers assumed was blood. 

The box was from someone "completely anonymous," that he purchased for £250  or about $320.  

ImJayStation details a much different experience with his “mystery box” in his video, titled “(I’M BEING STALKED) OPENING $1000 DARK WEB MYSTERY BOX *GONE WRONG*”

“After buying another mystery box off the dark web ImJaystation started opening another dark web mystery box! This deep dark web mystery box was $1000 dollars and had gone wrong,” said the description of the video.

The box had some creepy things inside of it like creepy pictures of him being stalked. Do not buy a dark web mystery box."

Meanwhile, YouTuber Kill’em said in his video's that he'll "never enter the deep web again in my life."

It seems that, when it comes to mystery boxes, results may vary.

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