The Baby Shark song has been a viral hit with children across the world this summer.
The catchy tune about a family of sharks has racked up more than 1.7bn views on YouTube.
But the song’s simple and repetitive lyrics can be a pain to get out of your head after hearing 'Baby Shark' – and it can almost feel like you are going insane hearing ‘do do do’ over and over inside your brain.
So we've scoured the internet to find a few tips for ways to get ‘Baby Shark’, or any other ear worm, out of your head.
What is the ‘Baby Shark song’?
While the origins of the viral hit are unknown – prior to appearing on YouTube it was staple of campfire sing-a-longs for years and according to a 2007 book on American band camps it was sung by preschool kids in the 1900s.
However a YouTube channel called Pinkfong! Kids’ Songs and Stories released a video version of the song in June 2016 and it has now been played more than 1.6 Billion times. The video adds dance moves to the song – with children encouraged to act out being a baby shark, as well as other sharks in the family.
How to get a song out of your head?
While getting an earworm like ‘Baby Shark’ out of your head is not an exact science, researchers at Havard University in America have explored different ways of doing it.
Here are x ways to banish that earworm:
One of the simplest options is to actually chew gum – which sounds too good to be true!
But researchers have found that the act of chewing gum actually interferes with hearing the song in your head.
This is because when you move your mouth to chew the gum this uses the same parts of the brain that are used for recalling short-term memory, such as the words to 'Baby Shark’.
Listen to the song
While listening to ‘Baby Shark' right now might sound like a nightmare and cause it to become lodged further in your brain – it actually could help.
And actually listening to the song can bring you a sense of closure and helps you escape from the repetitive loop of having the song stuck in your head.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
According to Harvard researchers you shouldn’t think ‘having this song stuck in my head is driving me crazy’ because it is a dysfunctional thought – and can cause you to think of the song more.
However if you use techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy – which is used to improve mental health – such as thinking ‘it is perfectly normal to have this song stuck in my head’ can help you get rid of the earworm.
Give a puzzle a try
A 2014 study found that doing a puzzle like Sudoku or a crossword can help take your mind off an earworm and get rid of it from your head.
That is provided it is not too easy or too hard - as that can cause your mind to wander back to that song stuck in your head.
Listen to a different song
One way to get ‘Baby Shark’ out of your head is believed to be listening to another song.
Although try to avoid anything super catchy or simple, because it could end up replacing the viral hit as the earworm stuck in your head.
In the most severe cases, when the earworm is totally overwhelming you – your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants to help.
What shouldn’t you do?
The worst thing you can do if you have a song – such as baby shark – stuck in your head is to actively try to and block it out.
A study by psychologist Daniel Wegner found that a determined effort to block out a song can result in it becoming more stuck in your head.
Known as ‘ironic process’ actively resisting an earmworm can actually cause your brain to instead keep playing it over and over.
Why do songs get stuck in your head?
This is a question we've been asking here at The News ever since first hearing the ‘Baby Shark' song.
Well, Havard University has actually done some research into earworms.
Researchers found that songs get stuck in your head ‘rely on brain networks that are involved in perception, emotion, memory, and spontaneous thought’ – with simpler and catchier songs more likely to get stuck in your head.
Some of the triggers for a song getting stuck in your head are:
- Hearing the song
- When you are feeling good
- When you are in a dreamy or nostalgic state
- When you are stressed about having too much to think about