「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer




"Momo challenge" allegedly encourages children and teenagers to contact an unknown number via WhatsApp, where they would be tasked with a series of self-harm or suicide committing challenges by an anonymous user. Images of the demonic bird-lady supposedly pop up to escalate to extreme violence and horror.


The story started trending when a twitter user named Wanda Maximoff shared a tweet warning parents about the creepy challenge that was targeting kids. Maximoff's plea has been retweeted more than 22,000 times, and the creepy photo spread like wildfire across the internet. Local news hopped on the story, amplifying it to millions of terrified parents. Even Kim Kardashian posted a warning about the Momo challenge to her 129 million Instagram followers.

這則都市傳說的流行始於推特用戶Wanda Maximoff,這個人分享的一則推文,警告父母們這個詭異挑戰已經鎖定他們的孩子。Maximoff誠懇的警告之後被轉發超過22,000次,而鳥身女子Momo的照片也像野火般,在網路上瘋狂流傳,甚至連美國名媛金.卡戴珊都在自己的Instagram上,警告她1億2900萬個追蹤粉絲。


Despite claims that the phenomenon had reached worldwide proportions in July 2018, the number of actual complaints was relatively small and no law enforcement agency has confirmed that anyone was harmed as a direct result of it.


The creepy image of bird-lady came from an innocuous sculpture created by Japanese Artist Keisuke Aiso for a special-effects company Link Factory. The real title of the artwork is Mother Bird, and it was on display at Tokyo’s Vanilla Gallery back in 2016. After some Instagram photos of the sculpture were posted to the subreddit Creepypasta, it went viral, and the urban legend "Momo challenge" was born.

詭異的Momo照片其實來自於一個無害的雕塑作品,是由日本的藝術家相蘇敬介為特效公司Link Factory特別設計的模型。這件雕像真正的名稱是日本妖怪「姑獲鳥」,並於2016年在東京的香草藝廊展出。然而,隨著幾張Instagram的姑獲鳥照片,被轉傳到Reddit子版Creepypasta,這張照片瞬間竄紅,「Momo挑戰」的都市傳說就此誕生。

Later in 2019, the artist Aiso destroyed the sculpture publicly. "The children can be reassured Momo is dead - she doesn’t exist and the curse is gone." Aiso said.



Behind the hysteria linked to the "Momo challenge" lies an issue far more revealing: This urban legend is likely more than a hoax fueled by social media.


Carmel Glassbrook, Manager of Professionals Online Safety Helpline, said their team has received calls on the topic of Momo from schools to local authorities and police. "The main problem was not the phenomenon itself, but that professionals and parents were sharing Facebook posts about Momo without checking its validity. It became a viral topic, founded more on scaremongering headlines than well-researched facts." she said.

網路安全專線的經理Carmel Glassbrook表示,中心團隊曾接獲不少Momo相關的報案電話,從學校到地方政府,甚至是警方。「最核心的問題不在於Momo挑戰本身,而是專家及父母在沒有查證真實性之前,就到處在臉書上轉發貼文。讓Momo成為嚇人聳動的熱搜話題,而非經科學證實的事實。」Glassbrook說道。


#參考資料:Rolling stone、Forbes、Vogue、The Atlantic、The Irish Times、The Sun


本文收錄於英語島English Island 2019年7月號