This week in bizarre, labor-intensive lifehacks, we bring you: The DIY plastic wrap treehouse.
Currently going viral on Twitter, this DIY video shows a young woman wrapping miles of plastic sheeting around four trees to create a tent-like structure. In the same vein as gross-out cooking videos for food that no one would ever want to eat, the clip is context-free and extremely watchable—but also utterly nonsensical.
Watching the treehouse take shape, most viewers go through a similar series of questions. Why would anyone do this? Why not use a tent? And wouldn’t it be kind of sweaty to sleep in a 100% saran wrap dwelling? Unsurprisingly, this video has garnered some strongly negative opinions, beginning with the fact that the treehouse is basically just high-concept littering.
Inspiring comments like “Where’s the Blair Witch when we need her” and “yes remind all the nature that you’re the reason it’s dying right before you go to sleep surrounded by it,” this is the kind of content that spreads specifically because people find it annoying. It’s also not the first of its kind. There are multiple saran wrap DIY videos out there, mostly posted in the past two years.
Prior to 2020, saran wrap building videos were restricted to homemade greenhouses and this one guy building a temporary sauna. (Because yes, a house made of plastic wrap is extremely sweaty.) However the idea appears to have picked up speed on bushcraft YouTube—for instance a 2020 video from “Os Bushcraft and Survival” attracted 50 million views with a near-identical premise, showing a young woman building the same style of plastic treehouse. (Their comments section is similarly derisive, full of people complaining about wastefulness and impracticality.)
After that, you’ll find numerous other Youtubers copying the same idea, including the notoriously incoherent Troom Troom channel, which specializes in surreal and/or useless lifehacks. It’s already a highly successful formula for engagement-hungry channels, and the virality of this Twitter clip just proves the point.
People love to hate saran wrap treehouses, and as long as people keep clicking, creators will keep building them.