Instagram influencers and stars are coming in all varieties these days. From vermin influencers to nude and even virtual (robot) influencers, the twists are unending. There was even an egg that went viral for no particular reason! And now, there’s @janerichsen — a man from Norway who just turned his fetish into gold. The ‘balloon destroyer’ is trending for his surprisingly satisfying balloon popping videos, among other items.
Jan saw his followers grow from 0 to 100 real quick!
It may seem basic, but apparently popping balloons is a real fetish. And this 41-year-old Norwegian man is on everyone’s lips for this same reason.
Jan Hakon Erichsen has amassed almost 450,000 followers since hitting the gram. On his page, there are over 600 videos of him bursting several groups of balloons with knives and other items.
But the interesting thing is, Jan doesn’t just drop the knives. The self-proclaimed visual artist explained that the balloon popping is actually his artistic way to explore topics like anger, frustration and fear.
“For people that are into performance art, they see this as art, and for others it’s just entertaining”
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He got famous off a Twitter thread
Even though he had been at it for about a year and half now, Jan got his big break from Twitter last weekend.
“I have a good following [on Instagram], and I’ve been posting a few on Twitter as well. Then I posted that compilation video on Twitter yesterday, and that kind of for some reason just went viral,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Lots of people praised his videos and before he knew it, the tweet had gained almost 100,000 retweets, 330,000 likes and over 14M views!
Most people: I guess balloons are ok
— Jan Hakon Erichsen (@janerichsen) August 11, 2019
i didn’t want it to end. then i didn’t think it was going to. then i wanted it to end. then i didn’t want it to. and then it ended.
— rosy bear ⓥ (@bearofroses) August 12, 2019
this is the most fucking chaotic video i have ever seen i am enamored with it
— jacob fisher (@jacobccfisher) August 11, 2019
Balloon Destroyer: Meet Insta-star whose ‘thing’ is popping balloons
Jan further told BuzzFeed News how he began his balloon destroyer journey.
“I had just finished a longer project that was just totally time consuming, and I just wanted to make something that was fun,” he told the publication.
“I just wanted to show my friends on Instagram,” Erichsen added.
At the time, he had only about a hundred (100) followers, but that didn’t stop him.
And to his advantage, there was already a niche of people who were into this kind of fetish: looners.
“When I started this, I didn’t know that was a thing at all,” he recalled. “There were a lot of these looners, I think they call themselves, who contacted me to bring me into their group. They tried to get me to join their groups, but I just didn’t answer their DMs.”
Weirdly enough, these looners find his videos ‘sexy’– and Jan doesn’t mind.
“Good for them if they have fun with it, it doesn’t bother me at all, but I was a bit surprised,” he said.
“I just hadn’t thought of that at all, that me popping balloons could be anything else but me popping balloons.”
Aside popping balloons, though, Jan has other interesting items he destroys on the gram for fun. For instance, this video where he rolls over a pile of uncooked pasta has been viewed more than 200,000 times.
However, if you thought this thing is more than it seems, you’re wrong.
“It’s just kind of a bit of absurd art — there’s not some kind of a big message,” the balloon destroyer explained.
“For me, it’s a freeing experience, to make these and not think about whether it should be something really important or have a huge message or anything like that. That can be kind of limiting, I think.”