Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Amelia. Amelia Wonders, “What gets things in or out of a fad” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Amelia!

We were walking past the Wonderopolis barn the other day when we overheard an interesting conversation between two of the cows:

Cow 1: Buttercup! Did you see what that foolish bull did?

Cow 2: Oh yes, Milkshake! Why would Barry go and do such a thing?

Cow 1: Seriously! Why on Earth did he pierce his nose and put a big ring through it?

Cow 2: I know! What if he sneezes? Ewww! I hope it's just a fad.

We didn't stick around to hear the rest of their conversation. We wanted to get straight to the field to see what Barry the Bull had done. Had any of the other bulls followed suit and put big rings through their noses? Was it just a fad?

And speaking of fads…exactly what is a fad? You've probably heard the term before, but what exactly does it mean?

A fad is something—a product, a diet, a practice, an interest, for example— that many people get excited about very quickly. The zeal or enthusiasm for this particular something arises seemingly out of nowhere and is shared widely and intensely by a large number of people.

However, the excitement rarely has anything to do with the thing's inherent qualities and, thus, it tends to be short-lived and fade into obscurity about as quickly as it became popular. People sometimes refer to a fad by a synonym—"craze"— since it describes how people become crazy for something quickly and then it goes away in the blink of an eye.

Sometimes something comes along that seems like a fad. Over time, however, it takes root throughout society and becomes a lasting phenomenon with staying power. Instead of fads, these phenomena are called trends. The primary difference between a trend and a fad is that fads are short-lived while trends stick around for a much longer time.

So what are some examples of fads? Some of these easiest fads to identify involve products, especially toys. Do you remember when fidget spinners and cubes came out? Only a few months ago, most people hadn't even heard of fidget spinners. But now, it seems like everyone has to have one. Will they remain popular for a long time?

Many people have their doubts. Some people believe they're already a fad that has gone the way of similar toys, such as hula hoops, pet rocks, mood rings, Silly Bandz, Cabbage Patch Kids, Rubik's cubes, hacky sacks, yo-yos, Beanie Babies, and boomerangs.

Of course, fads aren't just limited to toys. There are just as many products aimed at adults that are fads. For example, most of the products you see advertised on late-night infomercials could be classified as fads to the extent they become popular for a short time. Have you ever heard of the Snuggie or the Salad Spinner?

Fads can take many other different forms. You'll find fads occurring in hairstyles, clothing, ways to exercise, foods to eat, diets to lose weight, and even the words we use.

When it comes to losing weight, fads are everywhere. There's always a latest and greatest exercise machine that promises to give you defined abdominal muscles in only minutes of exercise per day. Likewise, fad diets pop up with regularity, encouraging people to eat only grapefruit, for example, to shed those unwanted pounds.

While most fads are harmless, health care professionals usually caution people against following fad diets. Fad diets tend to promise quick results. However, they usually tend to be the types of diets that no one can follow long-term. As a result, when people quit a fad diet, the weight lost usually returns.

Moreover, some doctors warn that fad diets can be harmful to your health if they result in eating an unbalanced diet for an extended period of time. Before you try a new diet that sounds like it might be too good to be true, always check with a physician first to make sure you're not wasting your time or harming your health.

Wonder What's Next?

Be sure to join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow as we give you the lowdown on how to warm up!