When it comes to competitions there are a few which stand out from the rest due to their unusual and questionable events. Here we’ll be taking a look at the 5 most shocking examples which will leave you wondering at what it is exactly that motivates individuals to participate in such ludicrous events.
1. Egremont Gurning Competition
Considering 1st prize is handed to the individual considered to have the ugliest face, this is most certainly not a competition we would be boasting about should we manage to clinch victory. Taking place in the picturesque Lake District town of Egremont in northern England, with a prize fund of over £100, participants are required to don a horse collar and pull the most hideous face possible. Dating back to the 13th Century this event is steeped in tradition and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Most recently “Tommy Mathison” made it into the record books by clinching victory for the 11th time, proudly putting his gurning talents to good use!
2. Sauna World Championships
Each year Finland plays host to the Sauna World Championships, talk about being able to stand the heat has never been spoken in such a literal sense. The competition involves staying inside a sauna for as long as possible, resisting ferocious temperatures which reach up to 110C, with the winner being the last man remaining in the sauna. As testament to the extreme danger involved in competing in such a ludicrous event, August 2010 saw the first fatality, after which it is was announced that the competition had been suspended.
3. Dwarf Tossing
This is about as politically incorrect as it gets. With its origins in Australia, dwarf tossing has become something of a competitive bar sport in certain areas around the world, standing as a stark contrast to the more traditional events such as dominoes, darts and pool. The game sees dwarves in padded clothing and helmets being tossed by competitors onto mattresses with the winner being the one who has the longest throw. Although many question the morality of such as “sport” there are some who claim it allows an extra source of income for those opting to take part, we’ll leave you to make your own mind up on that one!
4. The Black Pudding Tossing World Championships
Back to the sunny shores of the United Kingdom for this one and to the sleepy town of Ramsbottom. Here, the aim of the game is to toss black puddings up in the air, aiming to land them on a pile of Yorkshire puddings which have been placed 20 feet high up on some scaffolding. To hit the target a delicate underarm throw is required, something few participants can manage with successful effect. The winner is the person who can knock down the most Yorkshire puddings with 3 throws of the black pudding. Talk about a fun day out!
5. The World Worm Charming Championship
Yet again we stay in the UK for this extremely odd but fascinating competition. Here competitors are given an allotted space of ground on which they are free to employ whatever tactics they choose to enable them to bring as many worms to the surface as possible. The winner is the one who has the most worms after 30 minutes of “charming”. One of the most common tactics used is to place a pitch fork in the ground and then hit it repeatedly with a stick, the theory being that the vibrations bring out the worms. More unconventional methods include playing loud rock music and even singing with your face to the ground. As crazy as the competition is it can bring out the worst in people with some resorting to dirty tactics to increase their worm count by chopping them in half! One competitor was even given a lifetime ban last year after being caught bringing in extra worms located in a hidden compartment in his trouser leg. The world record currently stands at 567 worms in 30 minutes, with 10 year old Sophie Smith holding the title, proving that this is one competition where age truly does not matter!
Ian is a guest poster who also often writes for a competitions website where they run more a more conventional line of competitions with nothing quite as extreme or questionable as the ones featured in this article!