10 Of The Strangest Competitions Ever Created



Most of the competitions that you will have competed in, attended, or even seen on television will have been of games that are common throughout the world. It might be contests that involve card games such as poker and bridge or even professional sports tournaments that see players and teams battle it out to see who is the best.

Not all competitions, though, feature established sports and games. They can actually be made up of strange activities that you would never have guessed people do competitively, just like the ones included on this list. Even more remarkable is the popularity of these apparently unusual competitions, which routinely see hundreds or even thousands of people take part.

World Worm Charming Championship

Originally founded in 1980, the World Worm Charming Championship has grown to become a large annual event, with hundreds of people taking part. The aim of the competition is to see who can entice the most worms to the surface in 30 minutes using just a pitchfork. Those taking part will then do their best to collect as many worms as possible, with the current record set at a staggering 511 worms.

World Gurning Championship

Gurning is the act of distorting your face to create a strange or funny facial expression and it was a popular pastime in many rural areas of England. In fact, many small villages would hold gurning competitions to see who could pull the best expression. It should come as no surprise then that there is a World Gurning Championship that takes place every year. The event sees competitors putting their heads through a horse collar and contorting their features in the most imaginable ways possible.

World Pea Shooting Championships

Pea shooting is something that most people only did when they were in school whey they tried to fight off boredom by firing small pieces of chewed up paper through a straw. In the English village of Witcham though, pea shooting is a serious business that involves those taking part trying to score as many points as possible by hitting targets. Entrants use extensive modifications to be as accurate as possible, including laser guides.

Baby Crying Contest

Most parents try to stop their babies from crying but in the annual baby crying contest at the 400-year-old Nakizumo festival those taking part have to do the exact opposite. The competition is open to student sumo wrestlers and they must attempt to make their child cry as quickly as possible, with the winning baby announced to be the healthiest. The contests can often see more than 100 babies and their fathers taking part and if they don’t cry within a short time a referee will enter the ring and make loud noises to try to frighten them.

Facial Hair Competition

With facial hair becoming ever more fashionable, it is little wonder that there is an official competition to see who can grow the best beard. The World Beard and Moustache Championships has thousands of people taking part, with competitors trying to style their facial hair to be as unique and attractive as possible. Those involved take the championships very seriously and have even managed to create replicas of the Golden Gate Bridge and other famous structures with their beards.

World Sauna Championships

The World Sauna Championships have been held in Finland every year since 1999. The event challenges those taking part to sit in a sauna in an upright position for as long as possible, while water is continuously added. Because of the danger posed by the 110 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, every competitor has to sign legal waivers that stop them from being able to sue the organizers in case of injury.

Nettle-Eating Championships

For the vast majority of people, nettles are something that should be avoided at all costs. They cause painful rashes and are generally unpleasant. Some people, though, actually seek out the harmful plant and attempt to eat as much as possible in an hour at the Nettle-Eating Championships. Based in Dorset, England, the competition sees people from around the world travelling to take part. Unfortunately, entrants are only allowed to use one thing to help ease the pain, they can drink as much beer as they like as they chomp down the nettles.

Air Guitar Championships

Although pretty much every person who has listened to a rock song will have performed air guitar at some point in their life, very few people take their performance seriously enough to actually compete against others. For those that do, the place to be is at the Air Guitar Championships in Finland. The officials rules say that entrants can use an acoustic or electric air guitar but no real instruments must be used at any time and backing bands can’t take part.

Rock Paper Scissors Championships

The World Rock Paper Scissors Society, an organization that was set up to promote Rock Paper Scissors and standardize the rules, has created a number of tournaments in recent times. The most famous is the International World Championship that has even been shown live on television through Fox Sports Net. Other event are held around the world, with the most popular being the UK Championship. The competitions essentially put all the contestants into a knockout tournament where they progress if they beat their opponent a set number of times.

Midget Throwing Contest

Midget Throwing, otherwise known as Dwarf Tossing, is a type of competition that has mainly only been practiced in Australia. The events see dwarves dressed in padded Velcro suits and thrown by those taking part, with competitors trying to achieve the greatest possible distance. The contests have remained controversial as some believe that they are offensive to dwarves, although others argue that it can be an essential source of income for those that take part.