Looking for a new hobby in 2021? Check out these crazy competitions!
Lockdown’s had a profound effect on the UK’s concentration of banana bread loafs and sourdough starter sets. However when it comes time again to set out into the world, bleary eyed and blinking in the sunlight, many of us might feel the need to find a new communal or outdoor-based hobby.
Well - as the amount of TV we’ve streamed lately will contest - we’re not exactly the experts when it comes to this, but we do have few examples for your consideration...
1) The spiciest leaves: Competitive nettle eating
100% vegan, 100% organic and locally sourced (we imagine) the World Nettle Eating Championship takes place every year at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood, Dorset. Yum.
Contestants are presented with 2 foot long sections of the stinging plants and have to eat all the leaves off as many stalks as they can. At the end of the round, the stalks are measured and the nettle-eater with the longest total length of bare stalks wins! Often beer or cider is used by contestants to complement their feast of nettles and to help them go down. We think, for now at least, we’ll stick to crisps or nuts for our bar snack of choice, thank you very much.
2) Speak “worm” at the World Worm-Charming Championships
Worm charming, aka “worm grunting” or “worm fiddling” is the (possibly?) ancient art of attracting earthworms from underground to the surface. Creating a right ol' racket and making as many vibrations as possible seems to be the way to go.
Competitive worm charming events take place all over the world, with competitions surfacing in Devon, Ontario and Florida. The big event of the worm charming calendar however seems to be the one that takes place at Willaston County Primary School in Cheshire, where a field full of teams see who can charm the most worms in a set time. Dressing as a giant worm appears to be optional, but who knows, maybe it's the key to putting your squirmy quarry at ease?
3) Snorkel faster than everyone else through a bog
We’ve had two competitions from England, and now we’re in Wales: we guess in rural Britain you had to make our own fun before Netflix was finally invented.
The 33rd annual World Bog Snorkelling Championships took place on August 25th 2019 in Llanwrtyd Wells (the UK’s smallest town as it happens) and sees competitors completing two lengths of the 60 yard course relying on flipper power alone (keep those arms still!). The course is made by cutting a trench into a peat bog and although most swimmers do wear a wetsuit, it's not required. It’s the perfect event for anyone who finds regular old camping & festivals too clean, or feels that a trip to the seaside would be improved by the rich smells decomposing plant life.
4) Flex those engineering muscles at the "Punkin Chunkin" World Championship
Fancy a competition that’s a bit more mental than physical? Then get out the graph paper, start flexing your maths and engineering skills and maybe you’ll design the newest machine that can fling a squash the furthest.
That’s the goal of the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championship, which takes place (usually) in Delaware, USA. Yes, we know it’s spelt “pumpkin” but we’re not going to argue with a field full of people armed with high-powered air cannons and trebuchets.
---Activities, History, List, Travel, Weird & Wonderful, World