The World’s Weirdest Sports

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We Brits have come up with some of the world’s most celebrated sports – rugby, golf and cricket all originate in the UK, but it seems that we and the rest of the world have reached optimum creativity when it comes to competitive sporting events as things are becoming just plain weird now. We use the word ‘sports’ lightly, but here are some of the world’s weirdest…

Extreme Ironing


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If you are just too good at getting all the creases out of your shirts, why not set yourself a bit of a challenge and partake in some extreme ironing. You may be thinking – ‘how can ironing ever be extreme?’ Well, friends, combine a scalding hot household appliance with treacherous conditions, and you’ve got yourself an extreme sport.

Some notable instances of extreme ironing include: ironing atop a mountain, ironing while suspended from the back of a yellow cab in NYC, ironing while abseiling, and finally ironing while skydiving. We suspect the main aim of most of these extreme ironing attempts was not to press a shirt, but rather to impress a crowd. And if we’re being honest we’re not totally sure how you win, or even if it is about winning at all, we’re guessing it’s the taking part that counts.

Wife Carrying


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You’ve probably heard of this one before, and it’s quite self explanatory. Originating in Finland, this weird yet wonderful sport involves a man carrying a woman through a series of obstacles, and the fastest time wins. The woman is usually carried in one of three ways: by piggyback, a fireman’s lift, or most commonly, Estonian style, which involves the ‘wife’ being upside down on the man’s back with her legs over his shoulders and her arms wrapped around his waist. Still with us?

Unlike extreme ironing, wife carrying has some very specific rules that need to be followed in order for attempts to count. The official length of the track is a very specific 253.5 metres and the track should have two dry obstacles and a water obstacle at one metre deep. The minimum weight of the wife is 49kg, if she weighs less than this, then weights will be added to make the competition fair. The most recent couple to win the world championships was Vytautas Kirkliauskas and Neringa Kirkliauskiene from Lithuania, who beat their competitors with a time of 66.7 seconds. Not too shabby!

Mud Pit Belly Flop


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We’re not sure this is actually a sport per se, but we were intrigued by the name so decided to investigate. Just one event in the Redneck Games held in East Dublin, Georgia, the mudpit belly flop does exactly what it says on the tin – rednecks belly flopping into a mudpit. Only in America, ey?

Rednecks jump to the highest height they can muster ensuring that their belly, however big or small, hits the mud pit first, making for an almighty dirty splash. The Redneck Games started in 1996 as an alternative to the summer Olympic Games. Other events include bobbing for pig trotters, toilet seat throwing, and the armpit serenade – whatever that is!

Dog Surfing


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You’ve heard of regular surfing, but what happens when you throw a pooch in the mix. Well, dog surfing! Unlike some of the other ‘sports’ dog surfing is an actual competition where human and canine pairs get scored on their waves and tricks, just like a regular surfing event.

Dog surfing has actually been recorded as early as the 1920s and originates from – you guessed it – California and Hawaii. Cowabunga dude!

Pumpkin Kayaking


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A seasonal affair, Pumpkin Kayaking is generally enjoyed during the autumn months, a time when anything goes when it comes to pumpkins. Just like hollowing out your Jack O’Lantern, enormous pumpkins (big enough to fit humans inside) are hollowed out then sailed on Lake Pesaquid.

This bizarre event has been voted the world’s weirdest and is an annual affair in Nova Scotia, let’s just hope no one goes overboard. Because that water sure would be chilly.

Cheese Rolling


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Back across the pond in Blighty, we have plenty of quirky activities to enjoy! Love cheese on your crackers? Why not amp up the fun and try rolling a round of cheddar down a hill? It’s not known for sure how cheese rolling actually originated, but it’s thought that the most notable of them all – the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling contest in Gloucestershire – dates back centuries, possibly even to Pagan times.

The concept is actually quite simple. A 3-4kg round of cheese is rolled down a 200 yard hill, and competitors chase after it. The cheese can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour and is given a one second head start before the contestants can start chasing it. The first person to cross the finish line wins the cheese! The hill is incredibly steep and there are a number of injuries each year, so it certainly isn’t one for the faint hearted.