KogarahBedRace
KogarahBedRace by J Bar (CC BY-SA)

20 Weirdest Contests You Can Enter

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KogarahBedRace
KogarahBedRace by J Bar (CC BY-SA)

To the Weirdest Go the Spoils

You don’t have to be a top athlete to compete for national titles, championships, and prizes. Thanks to these weird contests, everyday and unusual skills like throwing fish and toe wrestling might be enough to land you a title of the best of the best. If you’re looking for a fun way to challenge yourself and compete against others, then you might want to start honing your skills for one of these contests. 


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Willaston - Worm Charming
Willaston - Worm Charming by Graham Shaw (CC BY-SA)

World Worm Charming Championship

Have a way with animals? Then head to Willaston, England, to try your hand at the annual World Worm Charming Championships. Also known as grunting, the idea behind the competition is to coax as many worms up out of the ground by creating vibrations in the dirt with a rod. Participants each have their own section of land to work with, and the goal is to collect the most worms. The worms are released later that night.


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Manicure. Beauty and relax. Young woman getting her nails done in salon by manicure worker
Daniel Balakov/istockphoto

Nailympia

At Nailympia, the best of the best nail artists in the world come to compete and show off their skills. Nailympia began with the Nail Olympics USA in 2001. Since then, the competition has grown from six to 14 categories in which nail artists elevate everyday manicures into works of art. The contest offers something for all skill levels, and all of the judging is done blind, which lets creativity and skill truly shine. This year, Nailympia will be held in Germany. 


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Totnes Orange Race
Totnes Orange Race by Derek Harper (CC BY-SA)

Totnes Orange Race

Every August, the streets of Devon, England are filled with crowds watching competitors chase oranges down the road. The Totnes Orange Race originates with a legend that Sir Francis Drake knocked over a basket of oranges, and kids chased them because the fruit was exotic and expensive. Since the 1970s, the Totnes Elizabethan Society has been hosting the races. Competitors can throw and kick their oranges to get them started, and the first person across the finish line with an orange wins. 


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stone wall
stone wall by Liz West (CC BY)

International Miniature Dry Stone Walling Event

Hosted by the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland, the International Miniature Dry Stone Walling Event tests your skill in building walls of stone without the use of mortar. In 2021, the association took the competition virtual because of COVID-19. Participants from all over the world could email in their photos of their miniature stone walls. The competition offered divisions for both kids and adults. Information on the 2022 event should be posted soon. 


Related:30 Free Things to Do in Ireland

Gurning Contest
Gurning Contest by Chris Fithall (CC BY)

World Gurning Championships

If you’re known for being able to pull a truly ugly face, you might want to head to England each September. The annual World Gurning Championships take place at the Egremont Crab Fair. The fair, which was established in 1267, is one of the oldest fairs in the world, and the World Gurning Championships are a major highlight. The competition rules are pretty simple: Put your head through a horse collar and show the crowd your most disgusting or funny face. The best face wins.

John West Tuna Toss
John West Tuna Toss by Sunrise on Seven (CC BY-NC-ND)

Tuna Toss World Championship

If you find yourself in Australia for the annual Bendigo Bank Tunarama Festival each January, you might want to try your hand at the Tuna Toss World Championship. Competitors toss a rubber tuna to see who can send the fish flying the farthest. There are men’s and women’s divisions and entries are free. Cash rewards and a trophy are up for grabs, so competition can get heated. The tuna toss was inspired by the physical nature of how workers unloaded fishing boats. The tuna toss has been in existence since 1980.

Toe wrestling
Toe wrestling by Adrian Hon (CC BY-NC-ND)

World Toe Wrestling Championships

Have super strong toes? Then head to Ashbourne Heights in Fenny Bentley, England, for the World Toe Wrestling Championships. There are men’s and women’s divisions, but competition isn’t for the faint of heart: Wrestlers get bruises and have even sustained broken toes for their efforts. The Toe Wrestling Championship originated in 1976 and was first held in Staffordshire. It became popular and evolved to consist of a five-round competition. Today, wrestlers compete three rounds with their right foot, then a round with their left foot, and then a final round with their right foot.

Santa Clause is skiing in Adelboden
Santa Clause is skiing in Adelboden by Norbert Aepli (CC BY-SA)

ClauWau

To officially kick off the winter season, the Samnaun Ski Resort in Switzerland hosts ClauWau, or the Santa World Championships. The event, which began in 2000, awards the best team of Santas the title of World Champion. To compete, Santas must ride snowmobiles and pick up presents, run up a hill in skis, and even climb up chimneys. Being Santa isn’t easy, after all, and this competition finds the Santas who are truly cut out for the job.


Related: Surprising Holiday Traditions From Around the World

https://www.flickr.com/photos/janelle/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/janelle/ by janelle (CC BY-NC-ND)

International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship

Every July since 1974, the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, Michigan has hosted the International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship. The ideal is pretty simple — spit a cherry pit the farthest and you win. The winner receives prizes from sponsors and the honor of being the international champion. The competition is open to anyone and features different divisions, including kids’ and women’s divisions.

Frog jumping contest 4
Frog jumping contest 4 by Frank Schulenburg (CC BY-SA)

Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee

Every year on the third weekend in May, 30,000 to 50,000 frog jumping fans from around the world descend on Angels Camp, California for the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee. Inspired by Mark Twain’s short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” this competition pits frogs against each other to determine which can make the longest jump. The world record is currently held by Lee Guidici’s frog, Rosie the Ribiter, who jumped an impressive 21 feet, 5.75 inches in 1986. Any frog that out-jumps Rosie will receive $5,000 and a place in the Frog Hop of Fame.


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Moustache Champion
Moustache Champion by princess red (CC BY-NC)

World Beard and Moustache Championships

The World Beard and Moustache Championships put facial hair to the test. Offering 16 categories of judging in moustache, partial beard, and full beard groups, competitors must adhere to strict requirements and standards for each facial hair style. The exact date when the championships began is unknown, but from 1995 on, beard groups in Europe started to organize biannual international competitions. Since then, World Beard and Moustache Championships have been officially sanctioned in the United States, Belgium, Austria, and more. The 2023 championship will take place in Auckland, New Zealand.

Floating Beds Crossing The Nidd
Floating Beds Crossing The Nidd by Tom Blackwell (CC BY-NC)

Great Knaresborough Bed Race

England’s Great Knaresborough Bed Race is a true test of physical strength. Approximately 90 teams of six racers tackle a 2.4-mile course, all with their decorated, homemade bed in tow. The race course is grueling and includes a 30-yard swim through the River Nidd — with the bed along for the ride, of course. The race helps to raise funds for local charities and makes for fabulous entertainment for spectators.

Wisconsin Wife Carrying Championships
Wisconsin Wife Carrying Championships by Sandor Weisz (CC BY-NC)

North American Wife Carrying Championship

Strong husbands, this one’s for you! While teammates in the North American Wife Carrying Championship don’t have to be married, the carrier does need to tote a female competitor across a 278-yard-long course. The course often consists of uneven ground, plus dry obstacles and a water obstacle to make things more challenging. The course is run in heats, and the fastest two teams qualify for the final heat. In the end, the fastest team wins. This event was first run in Finland in 1992, and the North American Championship began in 1999. 

40th-world-pea-shooting-champion-Ian-Ashmeade
40th-world-pea-shooting-champion-Ian-Ashmeade by Yiipeeia (CC BY-SA)

World Pea Shooting Contest

On the second Saturday of July, talented pea shooters head to Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England, for the World Pea Shooting Contest. During the contest, competitors shoot peas by mouth at a 1-foot-diameter target. They need to hit the target from 12 feet away and gain points for accuracy. Competitors can modify their shooters with equipment like lasers for increased accuracy, but they have to use the peas provided by the competition. The winner brings home the John Tyson Shield. 

Phone Chucker
Phone Chucker by ccdoh1 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mobile Phone Throwing Championships

If you’ve ever wanted to hurl your cell phone across the room, the Mobile Phone Throwing Championships in Savonlinna, Finland could give you the opportunity to satisfy that urge. The championships have been held since 2000, with contestants throwing phones that have been donated or provided. The longest throws are recorded, and at the end of the event, the phones are recycled. Phone throwing has been deemed a national sport in Finland.

23rd Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race
23rd Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race by Nick Normal (CC BY-NC-ND)

Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race

There’s distance running, and there are marathons. And then there’s the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race. Competitors in this ultra-marathon must log in 3,100 miles in 52 days, which is equivalent to an average of 59.6 miles per day. Runners start running at 6 a.m., run through the day, and take breaks when they need to. The race takes place over a 0.5488-mile loop in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, that runners circle again, and again, and again. 

RUD 2880 resize
RUD 2880 resize by Rud-gr (CC BY-SA)

World Bog Snorkelling Championships

Possibly one of the U.K.’s strangest traditions, the sport of bog snorkelling is just what it sounds like. To win the World Bog Snorkelling Championships, contestants must snorkel two lengths of a bog, which comes out to 197 feet. The fastest snorkeler wins. Contestants are encouraged to wear “fancy dress” during the event. If snorkelling isn’t enough, you can enter the Bog Triathlon, which includes an 8-mile run, a 12-mile mountain bike ride, and a 60-yard bog snorkel. The event is held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. 

Punkin Chunkin
Punkin Chunkin by Victoria Pickering (CC BY-NC-ND)

World Championship Punkin Chunkin

Most recently held in Virginia, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition is attended by thousands of people each year. Competitors construct low- and high-tech machines to launch pumpkins across a field, seeing who can send their pumpkin flying the farthest. Hosted by the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association, the competition has been around for nearly 30 years, but has faced logistical issues in the past few years. The location of the 2022 championships hasn’t yet been determined.

Chuck Mung - US Air Guitar National Championship Finals
Chuck Mung - US Air Guitar National Championship Finals by Andrew Huff (CC BY-NC)

U.S. Air Guitar Championships

If you’ve ever dreamed of letting your inner rockstar out, the U.S. Air Guitar Championships is the place to do it. This competition gives you the chance to show off your best air guitar skills. The competition has strict rules, including the fact that your instrument must be invisible, you can have air roadies, and back up bands are prohibited. The 2021 championships were held online, and news about the 2022 championships is coming soon.

Oval Bowl of Corn Grits on Angle
dbvirago/istockphoto

Rolling in the Grits Contest

The Rolling in the Grits Contest has been a top attraction at the World Grits Festival in St. George, South Carolina. This contest challenges competitors to roll around in a pool of grits for 10 seconds. During that time, competitors must collect as much grits on their bodies as possible, often by shoveling the grits into their clothes. Competitors are weighed before and after, and the person with the most grits wins. This year's festival, however, will not feature the Rolling in the Grits contest. The main event will be a grits-eating contest.