While recognizing why this is shock-worthy, it seems to me, when you step back, you are looking at an overall cultural trend of people being encouraged in media to chase down extreme and exotic bodily sensations and thrills.
Alas, I think a lot of food media is a big pusher in that direction. It’s like a “thing” to put it on the “to-do” list to consume every far-flung imported food product you can find on the shelf of your local trendy market, the more extreme the better.
I noticed on Hungry Onion there was another thread about a British pie-and-mash shop recently opened in Philadelphia that is enjoying a huge success serving up eels and eel sauces even as the appetite for this is on the wane in the UK, surprising some people. I didn’t say it in the thread but I thought “what’s the surprise?” Seems to me a big part of the foodie stampede anywhere in America, led by Anthony Bourdain, is to not pass through life without eating every kind of low-rent street food on the planet (no matter the cost to the planet), the weirder-sounding the better. And by all means tweet it, Instagram it, selfie-it.
So shocked, sure, but not surprised that teens have come up with this sensation to chase. Maybe they could find a way to combine it with the ice-bucket challenge and have it go viral on YouTube so it has some dimension of being a greater social good.