YouTube vlogging has seen a tremendous surge in popularity over the years. From 'beauty hacks' to 'true crime', vloggers' themes are constantly revamping to fit fans' wants and needs. One of the trends to keep an eye out for is 'professional eating,' or what some might just call binge eating.
So popular in South Korea, Koreans have actually adapted a name to this eating phenomenon. A 'Mukbang," literally meaning "eating broadcast," involves one interacting with the camera, or viewers, while eating abnormal amounts of food. (Easy, right?)
Goodies range from heaps of boiled ramen to stacks of KFC, with one American 'Mukbanger' Erik Lamkin topping off a 12 pound burger.
One of these 'Mukbangers' has received quite a lot of hype these days - and not for reasons you'd expect. YouTube vlogger Kate Yup, who's been on the video sharing site since March 2018, shares clips of herself scarfing down abnormal amounts of food - typically raw fish, which poses a large risk for mercury poisoning, by the way.
But wait, here's where it gets real' weird. In each of her videos she is shot from the neck up, blindfolded, and doesn't so much as utter a single word.
As if that wasn't eerie enough, fans pointed out numerous bruises and a busted lip in one of her uploads. They've also acknowledged her strange behavior - how oddly she 'attacks' the unappetizing dishes - such as 11 honeycombs and 4 raw aloe leafs, as if she hasn't eaten in eons. Mind you, all without a single sip of water to wash it down.
In numerous scenes she also appears to be gagging, almost forcing herself to finish her dishes. Yup also sports a large wrist band in each upload, after fans noticed a tattoo in one of her earlier videos. Is this mysterious blogger hiding from someone? Or are people hiding her...
That's what viewers have been speculating for a while now. Have a look at the comment thread in her latest uploads and you'll find anxious fans, insistent that Yup's been abducted, abused and forced to take part in these dreadful tasks - including downing 10 packs of painfully-hot ramen noodles, once again sans water.
One spectator added 'the editing is sooooo weird, the way she uses her sleeves/band to wipe her mouth is weird too. Like it’s a habit...not having paper towels or napkins. No voice no identification of any sort. CREEPY.'
With speculation reaching Reddit, social media is blowing up with various conspiracy theories. In one theory, fans are convinced Yup is sending 'S.O.S signals' via Morse code in one video, in which she bizarrely taps a bowl in front of her. Fans also noted her generic profile picture. One comment-er stated 'I feel like her YouTube profile picture isn’t even her.. Burger and fries? While her channel is only about eating seafood. There’s definitely something wrong.'
Yup has since responded to the disturbing allegations with a new upload from August titled 'I AM ALIVE.' Creepy, right? But wait, it gets even eerier. In her July upload she pinned her response to the rumors, writing in 3rd person about herself. This only heightened users' concerns, as they insist Yup's 'abductor' commented themselves.
Kate, whoever you are, wherever you are, we hope you're okay. Stay tuned for further updates guys.