There is no such thing as a “traditional” mosh pit, but these heavy concert staples sometimes go to extremes.
Here are 11 mosh pits that have been remembered for their ridiculousness, tragedy or danger:
1. Joe “King” Carrasco appears crowdsurfing in 1981 music video
In his video for "Party Weekend,” Carrasco can be seen surfing on a sea of hands. Although he didn’t invent the mosh pit as we know it (it’s hard to say who did), he is believed to be the first musician to crowdsurf in a music video.
2. Green Day’s mud fight at Woodstock ‘94
At this famously messy show, audience members threw clumps of mud onstage, and they can be seen whizzing by singer Billie Joe Armstrong as he sings “When I Come Around.”
3. Warped Tour’s swimming pool mosh pit
Just this past summer, the Las Vegas stop for Warped Tour featured a swimming pool stage. In the center of the pool, audience members formed a circle pit (or a whirlpool?) while dancing to Knuckle Puck’s set.
4. Twenty One Pilots’ pit antics
Twenty One Pilots have been pushing the limits of mosh pit performances ever since they started. Their most famous move is getting drummer Josh Dun to play the drums while crowd surfing across the audience on a large platform.
5. Fan dies at Smashing Pumpkins set
Not all of mosh pit history is pretty. In 1996, a girl at a Smashing Pumpkins show in Dublin, Ireland, was killed after she suffered a heart attack from being pushed too hard in the pit. The band also took a stance against mosh pits following the casualty. This instance marked the first mosh pit-caused death.
6. DevilDriver attempts to create a world record for the biggest circle pit
At their 2007 Download performance, metal band DevilDriver reportedly got 25,000 fans to create a circle pit in front of the stage. However, their record was rejected by Guinness World Records because it is impossible to definitively measure the size of a mosh pit, since it’s not clear where the moshing begins or ends.
7. The 68-foot stage dive by Boy Hits Car singer
When Boy Hits Car frontman Cregg Rondell climbed up the lighting rig at one of his shows, he didn’t initially plan on jumping into the crowd. But when he got stuck on top of a speaker, he leapt into the audience from a height of 68 feet.
8. Heaven Shall Burn’s interactive wall of death video
With the help of a 360-degree camera and YouTube, fans can get an inside look at the intense wall of death mosh pit that happened at Heaven Shall Burn’s set at Resurrection Fest in 2016. The future is now.
9. Science of mosh pits discovered
In what might be the nerdiest discovery of mosh pit culture, Cornell scientists discovered that moshers behave like the molecules in a gas, moving and bumping into each other at high speeds. This research has helped with disaster planning, and also mosh pit preparation.
10. Man in wheelchair crowd surfs at Lollapalooza 2013
The same guy kept appearing at Lolla sets in this year, and members of the audience around him lifted his chair to push him towards the front of the crowd.
11. Fans mosh around a fire at a Bullet For My Valentine show
Is this something that you could call a fire pit? Not sure. But it created utter insanity (and huge amounts of danger) when fans started a bonfire at an indoor Russian show and started dancing around it.