DES MOINES — Gender reveal celebrations are becoming more elaborate and sometimes dangerous, with some involving explosions and wild animals.
The National Transportation Safety Board released a report Thursday that found a Sept. 7 plane crash in West Texas occurred during a couple’s gender reveal celebration.
According to the report, the pilot’s crop-duster stalled out after dumping about 350 gallons of pink water from the aircraft, which then crashed.
One passenger suffered minor injuries when the plane went down near the town of Turkey, about 260 miles northwest of Dallas. The pilot was not injured.
The trend of gender reveal parties began around 2008 when blogger Jenna Karvunidis wrote about the event she held for her unborn daughter. Couples adopted the tradition and created increasingly complex ways to convey “pink” or “blue” for friends, family and social media.
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“It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally — guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby,” Karvunidis wrote in a 2019 Facebook post.
A 2017 Arizona gender reveal party involved an explosion triggered by gunshot. The target, which was set up in the middle of a dry field, contained an explosive material that detonates when shot. As blue smoke rose, so did flames, which consumed the dry grass and started the Sawmill Fire.
Over the next week, the fire covered more than 40,000 acres and caused about 100 evacuations. As part of a plea agreement, the father of the baby agreed to a sentence of five years’ probation and to pay restitution totaling more than $8.1 million.
A 2018 gender reveal in Australia was triggered by a car’s tires skidding across pavement. Blue smoke rose from the tires for a few seconds before flames burst from the undercarriage and engulfed the car.
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In October, an Iowa woman died after being hit with shrapnel from a gender reveal explosion. The sheriff’s office said family members working on ways to make a fun announcement of a child’s gender for social media inadvertently created a pipe bomb.
Another trend in risky gender reveals involves large animals which break open pink or blue packages with their jaws.
A viral video from September shows a Texas couple at a zoo, tossing a watermelon into the gaping mouth of a hippo. It bites down and, as the melon breaks, blue-colored goo drips from the hippo’s mouth. A 2018 video shows an alligator doing the same.
Neither animal harmed onlookers.
Karvunidis herself has abandoned the concept of gender reveal parties, but websites like Pinterest are still filled with ideas for themed cakes, pinatas and, sometimes, explosions to reveal a baby’s sex.
Contributing: Associated Press. Follow Katie Akin on Twitter at @katie_akin.