The animal kingdom boasts some very impressive athletic abilities. They are incomparable to even the fastest, strongest, fiercest human. Even Usain Bolt could not outrun your average house cat, who can reach nearly 30 miles per hour with no grueling training. But, when you have man and beast competing together you get greatness—and some of the world’s weirdest sports.
Ferret legging is a test of endurance…or simply the ability to have your bits bitten and do it with a smile. Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, competitors must place two live ferrets down their pants, which are tied at the ankles and belted tightly at the waist. The competitor, going commando, then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the ferrets’ razor-sharp claws and teeth. The person who stands the longest wins.
Kaninhop was invented in Sweden in the early 1980s and involves adorable bob-tailed bunnies bouncing their way around obstacle courses consisting of several jumps of varying height and length.
Each year, the small English village of Willaston hosts the World Worm Charming Championships, where competitors convince as many worms as they can to rise to the Earth’s surface. Also known as fiddling or grunting, coaxing earthworms is no easy task. While the exact method differs from wormer to wormer, the basic idea is to create vibrations in the ground.
Parlor roller pigeons are a flightless breed of pigeon that can roll and somersault backward at great speeds across the ground, traveling hundreds of feet. Like a gymnast’s floor routine, these birds compete and are judged on factors like their form and appearance. Rolling 200 to 300 ft. is considered good, but the record is a lengthy 662 feet!
Makepung is a unique buffalo racing tradition that originated in Bali, Indonesia. Enjoyed by the Kaliakah Villagers, buffalo pairs are teamed together with their jockeys for a wild ride—saddling up wood plows to take on 125 meters of wet rice fields! Makepung translates to “romp” in English, but this fierce competition is far from that!
Now, go wake up your ferret (they sleep for about 20 hours a day!) and let’s get to business (a group of ferrets is called a business). You could be a champion ferret legger and not even know it! Know of any other Olympic-worthy critters? Let us know in the comments!