Ice Bucket Challenge
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viralScreenshot/Youtube

Move over planking, owling and whaling, a new trend of pouring ice water has gone viral this week, taking the internet by storm. The trend called as "Ice Bucket Challenge" is the social media phenomenon that has swept the world.

The viral sensation dares people to spread Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) awareness across the world.

What is the Ice Bucket Challenge?

The Ice Bucket Challenge also called ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a challenge, which involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water. Whoever takes the challenge must make the video of it and post it on social media with hashtag #IceBucketChallenge, after which they nominate others to do the same in an effort to raise awareness.

Nominated people will have to complete the challenge within 24 hours. People can either take the challenge or make donation to any ALS Charity, or do both.

How did it go viral?

US baseball player and ALS patient Pete Frates helped make the challenge go viral on social networking sites. The viral sensation has attracted thousands of followers, including hockey players Brad Marchand and Torey Krug.

The "Ice Bucket Challenge" started in the United States, but it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Several Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, politicians, business magnates, athletes and other people have completed the challenge and posted the video on social media.

The purpose

The purpose of this challenge is to spread awareness and raise funds for ALS foundations around the world.

"This is a creative way to spread ALS awareness via social media and in communities nationwide," Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association, said in a statement. "We thank Pete Frates and his family for getting so many people involved in spreading the word about ALS."

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, explains ALS Association. It is also called as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Funds Raised

As of Wednesday, ALS Association raised $31.5 million in donations from existing donors and 637,527 new donors. Last year, in the same period ALS Association raised $1.9 million, according to the press release.

Who took the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Globally: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Novak Djokovic, Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jr, Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Cruise, Chris McQuarrie, Charlie Sheen, Satya Nadella, Britney Spears and Jeff Bezos among others.

India: Sania Mirza, Bipasha Basu, Rohan Bopanna, Ritesh Deshmukh, Abhishek Bachchan, Ashish Choudhary, Sidharth Malhotra, Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Mandira Bedi, Daler Mehendi and others.