When there’s a prize involved, you never know the lengths that people will go to to win. Contests are popular all over the world, and here are some of the strangest contests that have actually taken place.
Touching a Truck for 77 Hours
It sounds easy enough. You have to touch something for as long as you can. In this contest, they had to touch a truck. It sounds easy but not until you realize that you’ll be standing there with your hands on the hood for minutes, hours, and days.
The event was called Hands on a Hardbody, and it began in 1992. A Hardbody is a type of Nissan truck. The participants of the contest were allowed to take a 5-minute break every hour and a 15-minute break every six hours. That competition lasted 87 hours.
By 1995, it became an annual event, and it was featured in a documentary of the same name. That documentary was very popular and even became the inspiration for a Broadway musical.
In 2005, a contestant named Richard Vega dropped out of the competition after 48 hours, and he then committed suicide. His wife sued the Nissan dealership, saying they caused the contestants to temporarily go insane. The matter was settled out of court, and the contest was stopped.
The Guinness world record for the longest kissing contest was set on Valentine’s Day 2013. Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat from Bangkok, Thailand won the record with a time of 58 hours 35 minutes 58 seconds. They did not sit or sleep and even had an escort for bathroom trips who had to ensure that their lips were always touching during their breaks.
World Sauna Championships
From 1999 to 2010, the World Sauna Championships took place in Finland. The starting temperature for men was 230°F. This is higher than the normal temperature in saunas, and most participants don’t last even five minutes. The competitors had to sit erect in their swimwear and remain conscious.
The world record for the competition was set by Timo Kaukonen who stayed for 16 minutes and 15 seconds.
Exposing your body to those extreme conditions is dangerous, and in 2010, the last time they had the competition, one of the finalists died from the heat.
Eating Stinging Nettles
The stinging netter, aka Urtica dioica, is aptly named so because its needle-like hairs will hurt you if you touch it. Now imagine, trying to get those stingers past your lips.
In 1997, a competition was held to see which person could eat the most nettles in one hour. They were allowed to drink a sip of water or beer. So far, the world record is 76 feet. Do you think you are up to the challenge?
The Shin-Kicking Championships
The rules for this challenge are very simple. You just kick your opponent until he collapses. The contestants square off, holding onto each other’s collar, and they start kicking.
This strange event has been going on since the seventeenth century. The modern version started in 1951 when the Cotswold Olympic Games were revived. This has now become a popular pastime that draws a huge crowd.
Standing on One Leg
If they’re giving out a free car, you know a lot of people will line up to join the contest. Wu Deqi won a brand-new BMW by standing on one leg for 7 hours and 26 minutes.
By the way, it wasn’t the longest. The world record for standing on one leg is 76 hours and 40 minutes, done by Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka.
Standing in Ice
Chen Kecai and Jin Songhao broke the Guinness world record for standing covered in ice. The competition took place in the Hunan Province of China. Chen lasted for 118 minutes and Jin 120 minutes. They both only wore swimming trunks. The previous record was 115 minutes. To pass the time, Jin made calligraphy drawings.
The 5,152-Hour Dance Marathon
In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, dance marathons were a popular pastime in the United States because the people really needed money and they had a lot of spare time. The longest contest on record in the that period was won by Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux who slow-danced from August 29, 1930 to April 1, 1931. That’s a whopping 5,152 hours. They received $2,000 dollars in prize money.
Living 23 Days in a Trash-Filled Ford Ranger
Four people climbed into a Ford Ranger filled with trash in the dirtiest endurance contest to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The contestants had to stay in the car without showering, air conditioning, or being able to move much in the vehicle. They were allowed a 15-minute bathroom break every 3 hours. After 23 days, Sritharan Amordalingam was the only person left in the hot and smelly car.
Why would anyone purposely place a ferret down their pants? Maybe they want to join the ferret-legging contest. This psuedo-sport was started in the 1970s by coal miners in England. The goal is to keep the ferret, with its fangs and claws, in your pants for as long as you can. The longest recorded time is 5 hours and 30 minutes.