Posted by By Limoge at 18 February, at 05 : 39 AM
The thing about us humans is that there’s nothing that we love more than a good old-fashioned competition. But plain old baseball is kind of boring and football is sort of passe. Well, leave it to the rest of the world to come up with some pretty outlandish “sports”. Following are ten of these so-called sports that give final proof that we humans will compete in just about anything!
Wife Carrying World Championships
Wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race while each carrying a female teammate. The objective is for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The sport was first introduced at Sonkajarvi, Finland and originated as a joke supposedly reminiscent of a past in which men courted women by running to their village, picking them up, and carrying them off.
There are several types of carry that may be practiced: piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist).
Chess boxing is a hybrid sport which combines boxing with chess in alternating rounds. The sport began when Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, inspired by fictional depictions by French comic book artist and filmmaker Enki Bilal, organized actual bouts.
Participants must be both skilled boxers and chess players, as a match may be won either way. The sport is governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO), whose motto is “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board.”
Underwater rugby is a sport that has its origin in the physical fitness training of German diving clubs and has little in common with rugby football except for the name. It is played underwater in a pool with a depth of 3.5m to 5m and goals (heavy metal buckets with a diameter of about 40 cm) at the bottom of the pool.
Two teams (blue and white), each with six players (plus six substitutes), try to score a goal by sending the slightly negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal.
Man Versus Horse
The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual race which takes place in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells every June. Over twenty two miles long with many obstacles to overcome, runners compete against riders on horseback. The ultimate aim is to run the course and beat the first horse. The event started in 1980, when local landlord Gordon Green overheard a discussion between two men in his pub, the Neuadd Arms.
One man suggested that over a significant distance across country, man was equal to any horse. Green decided that the challenge should be tested in full public view, and organized the first event.
Competitors must snorkel through dirty, smelly mud water for two lengths of a sixty yard trench that has been cut through a peat bog. The snorkeler with the lowest completion time wins. Competitors wear snorkels and flippers (wet suits are optional) and cannot use conventional swimming strokes.
The world record time of 1min 35sec is held by Phillip John. The sport of bog snorkelling was started in 1976 near Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, United Kingdom. It began as a result of an over the bar conversation in The Neuadd Arms between Gordon Green and a few regulars. And yes, this is the same place where the Man Versus Horse competition was started. (Those folks at The Neuadd Arms sure know how to have a good time!)
Also known as Cheese Rolling, this dangerous sporting event takes place every May 22 in Gloucester, England on Cooper’s Hill. This event is said to be several hundred years old.
A wheel of cheese weighing about eight pounds is rolled down a very steep hill, and dozens of contestants go scrambling after it so hard and fast that broken limbs and other injuries are common. Whoever nabs the cheese is the champion and wins fifteen or so minutes of fame (and the cheese.)
It’s just like polo, except they use a headless goat! Yes, the national sport of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, buzkashi, might just take the goat for the most bizarre sport of all. It is similar to polo in that players on two teams sit atop horses and try to move an object toward and into their goal.
However, those who play buzkashi do not use mallets, nor do they use a ball; instead, they use a dead calf or goat whose head has been cut off. The players grab the dead headless calf or goat, pass it off to other players, and try to score by getting it in their goal. Somehow, I don’t think any PETA members would attend this game.
World Gurning Championships
A ‘gurn’ or ‘chuck’ is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the action. And only in merry ol’ England would there be a competitive event of pulling faces.
In this age-old rural English contest, competitors must wear a horse collar or ‘braffin’ and contort their features in the most mind-boggling way possible – bottom lip over the nose, chin pulled up to ear and eyes fully bugged out.
Imagine people competitively chomping their way through hundreds of feet of stinging nettles. Add in generous splashes of sunshine, beer and the odd pile of vomit – which contestants must ‘re-consume’, or face disqualification – and you’ve got England’s answer to some of the weirder games at the Glastonbury festival.
Legend has it that the contest was born over twenty years ago after two pub-goers argued over whose nettles were the longest.
Extreme Ironing (or EI) is an extreme sport and a performance art in which people take an ironing board to a remote location and iron items of clothing. According to the official website, extreme ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”
Competitors have taken their laundry on speed bikes, atop mountains, on white water rafts, or done while break dancing. A new record was set in March 2008 when a Competitors have taken their laundry on speed bikes, atop mountains, on white water rafts, or done while break dancing. A new record was set in March 2008 when a team of seventy two divers simultaneously ironed underwater. How the heck did they do that?!
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