If you regularly browse Instagram or YouTube, chances are you’ve found yourself watching people whisper closely into a camera while eating food, smacking their lips, or tapping on a keyboard. Welcome to the world of ASMR.
‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ is when noises trigger static-like or tingling sensations on the skin – basically the scientific name for pins and needles.
Weirdly, pickles seem to be the most food of choice for ASMR videos, with loud crunchy sounds and slurping to match. You’ll also find people cutting-soap, popping slime and slicing chalk. Perplexed? Watch the below.
The popularity of these videos isn’t slowing down, according to Instagram’s year in review 2018 – ASMR was the top niche community trend of the year, with more than five million #ASMR tagged videos on the social platform.
While there’s no robust scientific evidence around the spine-tingling phenomenon, a study conducted by the University of Sheffield found those watching ASMR videos saw a decrease in heart rate and increase in positive emotions.
You could call it the new modern self-care ritual, but don’t just take our word for it – below are a selection of hair-raising ASMR videos on Instagram to browse through with a cuppa.