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Live watermelon explosion blows up Internet

Buzzfeed tortures a watermelon live on Facebook for 45 minutes and pretty much the whole Internet tunes in to watch the mayhem.

What does it take to unify more than 5.5 million people online? One watermelon and a whole lot of rubber bands. The Buzzfeed Video Facebook page went live on Friday with a streaming feed showing two jumpsuit-wearing staffers wrapping one rubber band at a time around the middle of a watermelon until the beleaguered fruit finally succumbed to the pressure.

You can relive the entire 45-minute epic process, one rubber band at a time, or you can fast-forward to the end where the drama really ramps up. The watermelon is clearly straining as the melon tormenters close in on 700 rubber bands. Excitement over the seedy goings-on crossed over to social-media sites, causing the hashtag #watermelon to trend on Twitter. Spoiler alert: The climax is a beautiful, edible mess.

Facebook is really pushing its Facebook Live video-streaming feature. Buzzfeed describes itself as a member of a "rush of publishers" that have "barreled in to experiment and build audiences." Buzzfeed later confirmed it's a paid media partner. The viral success of the Gallagher-level watermelon explosion will likely encourage more Facebook Live stunts in the future. Maybe someone will take on the challenge of rubber-banding one of those hatchback-size pumpkins. I'd watch.