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People Are Reporting This Bizarre Side Effect After Watching "Squid Game"

The popular show is causing some strange behavior for some of its most avid fans.

There's no denying that Netflix hit show Squid Game has become a cultural phenomenon. Netflix confirmed that, as of Oct. 12, the show had been watched by 111 million viewers, with its viewership continuing to grow by the day, making it the streaming service's most-watched series of all time. And while fans are eagerly discussing the show online and planning their Squid Game-inspired Halloween costumes, those aren't the only ways the show has affected its viewers—in fact, for some fans, watching the show has led to a perplexing side effect.

The dystopian hit, in which people in serious debt compete against one another for money—or a terrifying alternative—has had such a profound impact on many of its watchers that it seems to have permeated their subconsciouses. According to research conducted by EachNight.com, Google searches for the term "squid dream" have shot up 1800% around the globe since Oct. 3.

What's more, EachNight's researchers found that online searches for the phrase "squid nightmare" had increased by a staggering 4600% since Oct. 10. Meaning: The show is causing fans to have Squid Game-related dreams of the dark and scary variety.

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A rep for EachNight attempted to explain this phenomenon, saying: "Squid Game has absolutely saturated our culture since its release on Netflix, inspiring new trends and leading to endless discussions on social media. It's entirely natural that something which has had such a strong impact on our lives would also start affecting our sleep. While Squid Game has much important social commentary, many people have referred to it as the most disturbing show they have watched, and this data does suggest that its darker undertones are becoming a feature of people's dreams and nightmares."

So, while you may still want to catch up with the Netflix hit to keep abreast of the zeitgeist, you might want to consider giving yourself a bit of a break between your last episode and bedtime—or risk having some very dark dreams.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more