Football, basketball, skiing, or chess? These are all very popular games and competitions. However, sports tournaments and competitions are not limited to those that are known all over the world. In this article, you will learn about the 20 most unusual and strange competitions, in which people try to achieve excellence.
World Worm-Charming Championship
Worm charming is the official sport in the UK. This is such a popular activity in Cheshire that it even hosts an annual international competition. The bottom line is that the athlete is given a piece of land approximately 3x3 yards in size, and within 30 minutes the charmer must lure out as many worms as possible.
In doing so, you can use a variety of strategies and tools besides the shovel. Typically, charmers knock and stomp on the ground in an attempt to simulate a vibration that would be like rain. The record belongs to the girl who collected 567 worms in 30 minutes.
The World Nettle Eating Competition
Another strange competition from the UK. The goal is to eat as many nettles as possible. Participants in the competition eat the leaves of this burning plant and the one who ate the most wins. The winner will win a cash prize of approximately £100. It is noteworthy that the 2014 champion was able to digest the leaves from the 24-meter stalks of nettles.
The history of this competition is also interesting. It appeared in 1986 when a dispute broke out in a pub between two farmers about which of them had the tallest nettles on the site. As a result, the next day the same people showed up at the same pub, but with nettles. Proud of his nettles, the winner declared that he would eat his nettles if there was one with more nettles. It didn’t take long, and that guy had to eat his nettles. The audience liked it and since then the competition is held every year.
Bubble Baba Challenge
Weird competitions are held not only in Great Britain but also in Russia. One of these was invented by Dmitry Bulavinov – this is rafting on inflatable sex dolls. According to Dmitry, the idea of going down the river in the arms of a rubber woman appeared in 2003 at a party as a joke when friends drank too much.
The competition was held annually until 2011 on the Vuoksi River, 55 miles from St. Petersburg. However, in 2012, the authorities decided to ban rafting on inflatable dolls. Since then, the competition has been held abroad, but the organizers do not lose hope of returning to the village of Losevo.
Wife Carrying Championships
This competition originated in Finland. It consists of the fact that the competitors overcome the 255-yards obstacle course with their wives on their shoulders. The winner receives beer in an amount equivalent to the wife’s weight. Every year, as many as 6 championships are held in the world – in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and South Korea. But the most famous one takes place in the Finnish village of Sonkajärvi.
According to history, the tradition of dragging wives appeared in medieval Finland, when women were few, and men simply stole them and carried them away on their shoulders. Therefore, this funny competition is not romantic. Men often lose their companions in the water or drop them to the ground – bruises or scratches are indispensable here.
Caber tossing is a national sport in the northern part of Scotland, one of the main disciplines during the so-called Highland Games. The goal is to throw the log so that it flips over in the air and falls opposite the thrower with the end that was at the top when he was holding the log. The log itself, according to classical rules, should be 19 feet 6 inches long and weigh 175 pounds. Nevertheless, this rule is not always strictly observed, therefore, deviations are possible both up and down.
As for the history of caber tossing, there are several versions. According to the first, loggers in this way threw logs onto rafts on the river. Another version says that the bridge builders moved the logs to the construction site in this way. And if the first is still possible to believe then the second is rather strange: it is much easier to carry or drag such heavy things on the ground than toss them.
It is a hybrid sport that combines elements of boxing and chess. It’s simple: you need to win a chess game or knock out your opponent. Chessboxing appeared as an element of training for special forces fighters, for whom it is equally important to be physically strong warriors and be able to think quickly and make the right tactical decisions. Now chessboxing is popular all over the world, there are many tournaments with different membership fees for participants.
The Eton Wall Game
This game has been played at Eton College, England for over 300 years. The Eton wall is somewhat reminiscent of football or rugby, but it is a completely different sport in which the main element is a brick wall. Even though the game seems easy, it is not that easy.
The players of both teams must move the ball with their bodies along the wall to a special area on the opponent’s territory, after that they get the right to try to score a goal. During the game, it is not allowed to touch the ball with the part of the hand below the elbow.
Coconut Tree Climbing Championship
Indonesia celebrates Independence Day on August 17. Traditionally, various folklore festivals and competitions are held on this day. Climbing a palm tree is the most difficult.
Just imagine a completely smooth, oil-soaked tree trunk. And you need to climb up on it for a prize. The competition involves teams of four. Some of them form something like a ladder of bodies, climbing over each other’s shoulders. Various prizes are hung on the palm tree: from towels, clothes, and various trifles, to mountain bikes and checks. The higher the competitors climb, the more expensive the prize.
The Jungle Marathon
The name speaks for itself – this is a jungle marathon. In this case, the start can begin with the fact that you need to swim across the river in which the crocodiles live. And then you have to run 40 kilometers (approx. 25 mi) through mud, hills, and thickets, in which nothing is visible at a distance of 20 feet. Heat, insects and high humidity add even more complexity. Interestingly, the longest stage of the jungle marathon is 108 km (approx. 67 mi).
Norseman is an extreme triathlon competition held once a year in Norway. The distance itself starts at sea level. Athletes start from the ferry, jumping from a height of 4 meters into the icy waters of the Hardangerfjord. Then they change to a bicycle and must cross the uninhabited plateau of Hardangervidda. The finish line is on Mount Gaustatoppen, 6070 feet above sea level, 137 miles from the starting point.
It is noteworthy that not everyone can immediately take part in the competition. In 2016, the organizers introduced a rule that candidates must take part in a lottery to get a chance to participate.
Freestyle Alligator Wrestling Competition
Alligator fighting originated as a survival method for the Seminole American Indians. They caught, not killed, alligators to then transport them to their villages for food. Over the years, this method of hunting has turned into a sport, which is not inferior in its danger to boxing or some martial arts. This is something like Indian bull riding.
At the same time, the events allow viewers to learn more about the life history of the Seminole and the methods of catching alligators. And, of course, in modern times, animals are not injured.
The point is to go down steep hills, often on public roads, on the longboard as fast as possible, while getting ahead of the other competitors. Professional longboarders consider speedboarding to be one of the highest levels of longboarding. It takes a long time to prepare for riding at high speeds, mastering various riding techniques, and longboard control.
You should not get carried away with speedboarding if you do not know how to fully control the speed and brake if necessary, as well as enter turns at high speed. Speed on the descent can reach 75 mph.
Extreme ironing is a sport and one of the weirdest contests, involving the danger and excitement of extreme sports with the pleasure of well-ironed clothes. All that is required of the athlete is to iron the clothes on an ironing board in a place not suitable for ironing, such as on a mountainside, underwater, or in the air.
Of course, you won’t be able to iron your clothes perfectly, but this is not so important. The idea is to have an unusual experience – to bring a little action and danger into a boring activity.
The Dakar Rally
The Dakar is not just an endurance race for cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Imagine that you have to drive more than eight hours off-road at an average speed of 70 mph. Now multiply this by 14 – the number of race days. Not an easy task.
You will have to sweat a lot from heat, stress, and fear. And at night on a bivouac, you will have to freeze in the desert. And it’s good if you don’t get lost, your transmission hasn’t broken, the water has run out, or some gasket in the suspension has burst. By the way, the routes of the race change from year to year, and this only adds even more complexity.
Wingsuit is a special wing, the design of which allows the incoming airflow to fill the wings between the pilot’s arms, legs, and body, thereby creating an aerodynamic profile. In such a suit, it is possible to carry out gliding flights, similar to those performed by a flying squirrel. Besides, a pilot wearing a wingsuit puts on the parachute equipment necessary for a safe landing.
Modern suits of this design were developed in the late 90s and have been gradually improved since then. To be able to fly in a wingsuit, you need to be in the excellent physical condition and be an experienced skydiver.
The Billabong XXL Pro
The Billabong XXL is a world-famous event that brings together surfers from all over the world in one competition in different categories. The hardest category is “Biggest Wave” – to win you have to surf the biggest wave. For this, surfers use special surfboards, constantly train, and travel around the world to those places where the largest waves come, hoping to ride one of them. To participate in this competition, you need to be not just a skilled surfer, but a professional.
The Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race
This is the longest certified run in the world. This race is held annually for 51 days in the summer in Queens, New York, USA. The race uses a 0,5488-mile track. Runners run 5649 laps to overcome 3100 miles. Participants enter the track at about 6 a.m. and go to rest at about midnight. On average, each runner must run 60,78 miles per day. The race is considered to be something of a climbing Everest among runners. Many runners develop and use the inner reserves of their body and spirit to overcome the distance through meditation.
Marathon Des Sables
Remember the Dakar race? This is something similar. This Sahara marathon was invented by a Frenchman, Patrick Bauer. In 1984, he crossed the desert alone. The Italian Mauro Prosperi knows firsthand how difficult this race is. In 1994, he got lost and was found in Algeria 11 days later. He ran out of food and water after a day. He deviated from the route by 180 miles and lost 40 pounds. At some point, Mauro decided to open his veins, but the blood clotted very quickly due to dehydration, and he survived. Several films have even been made about the history of this Italian.
The Atlantic Challenge Rowing Race
This race – the competition of rowing in the ocean, was founded by Scottish yachtsman Chay Blyth in 1997. The route stretches across the Atlantic Ocean – from the Canary Islands to the West Indies. The distance is about 2550 nautical miles. A real test of endurance, and one of the toughest ocean races. This is explained by the fact that in the open sea with a small boat in which there are 4 people, anything can happen. By the way, more people climbed Everest than participated in this race.
Freediving is a form of breath-holding diving. This feature is the main difference from diving. That is, a person does not use air cylinders and swims underwater as much as his own body allows.
Freediving competitions in various disciplines are held all over the world. The most difficult and dangerous one is called “Constant Weight Without Fins”. The freediver should dive to the maximum possible depth. At the same time, fins and other additional equipment are not used. The dive also involves a team of scuba divers who insure the athlete.
The dive record in the “Constant Weight Without Fins” discipline is 335 feet.
The world is full of both dangerous, exciting and crazy competitions. Anyone can participate in some of them, and some require special training. But all of them are united by the same feeling of excitement, fun, and danger, albeit in different proportions. Therefore, if you are looking for something truly unusual for yourself, you will find it.