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Participant in the Bog Snorkelling World Championship, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Devlin
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Devlin

5 crazy contests you've probably never heard of

Antje Binder / ad
January 27, 2017

From cannonballing to grimacing - some contests are not so much about winning, but about the fun. Here are a handful of unusual competitive events that will test your sense of adventure.


Britain is a hub for crazy contests. Underwater rugby, office chair racing, nettle eating or shin kicking- all these sports have been invented by the Brits. And once every two years, the tiny Welsh village of Llanwrtyd Wells becomes a destination for unusual athletes.

The "World Alternative Games" are basically the Olympic Games of bizarre sports that seemslike it could be straight out of a Monty Python film: Worm digging-out, backward racing, or bog snorkelling.

Snorkel in a Welsh bog

Approximately 120 participants from all over the world come together every year in order to snorkel in the Waen Rhydd Bog at the outskirts of Llanwrtyd Wells. Here are the rules: A 55-meter- long ditch must be swum through twice as fast as possible - without raising your head out of the mud. That means snorkelling blindly, as visibility below the water is zero.

The only permitted way of moving forward is to paddle like a dog. Breaststroke and crawl stroke are forbidden. The hard core snorkeling go without wetsuits, though they are technically allowed, instead donning colorful bathing trunks.

Watch out for scorpions

What sounds like great fun is actually a huge challenge. Many participants run out of breath or suffer from claustrophobia. The bog is also full of wild creatures - from fish and insects to water scorpions. Fortunately, however, these are harmless to the swimmers.

Last year, the championship took place for the 30th time, drawing participants from all over the world. And yet, the top prize continues to be won by Brits. In 2016, the winner made it in one minute and 26 seconds - four seconds slower than the world record.

Although participants have come from many different countries, its reception is still limited abroad. And that also holds true for the other odd sports in our ranking. Click through the gallery above for more crazy contests.

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