One of the most important parts of the holiday season for many children is getting a chance to chat with Santa Claus and tell him what they want for Christmas. It’s a time when it seems like anything is possible, which can be especially uplifting for children that are going through hard times.
Unfortunately, for kids who are going through medical difficulties, it’s hard to travel to the mall or other places to meet with Santa. Thanks to modern technology, however, hospitalized children don’t have to hop on a plane to visit with Santa Claus at the North Pole.
Nemours Children’s Health System has decided to use their CareConnect telemedicine service to connect hospitalized children with Santa himself. The telemedicine service allows for face to face conversations between the kids and Santa, who will be chatting with the kids live from the “North Pole.”
The service will be available to cheer up and brighten the holidays of kids at Nemours’ hospitals in both Orlando, Florida, and Delaware. Meanwhile, Santa’s elves will actually travel to the hospitals to help manage the video chats and make sure everything toes smoothly.
“Being hospitalized at this time of year can leave kids feeling left out of the holiday season,” said Carey Officer, operational vice president of Nemours CareConnect and Center for Health Delivery Innovation. “Santa’s virtual visits from the North Pole offer these kids a fun and special experience.”
The kids have already said that they love the chance to video chat with Santa, making the program a big success.
“I wasn’t expecting this visit at all,” said Rebecca Merrifield, who is the parent of a patient at Nemours Children’s Hospital. “It’s nice to get a little surprise for the children. When we come to the hospital, he can be a little down, but to get lifted up a little bit from a simple virtual call from Santa, is just awesome.”
35+ Weird Competitions from Around the World
These competitions combine human beings’ primal desire to compete with all the odd and peculiar things that are in existence. From diving to wife carrying, we have listed some of the most peculiar competitions from around the world.
The Jungle Marathon
The Jungle Marathon takes place in the Amazon forest and is a seven-day trek through some of the most dangerous terrains. It’s split into three categories — a marathon, a four-stage 79-mile race, and a six-stage 158-mile race. The course includes swamps, river crossings, trails, and beaches in high humidity and scorching temperatures.
World Beard and Mustache Championships
The World Beard and Mustache Championship is an annual affair hosted by the Snorrenclub Antwerpen. It’s celebrated as a sport for international bearding. The competition is hosted in different locations every year. The competition is judged in 17 categories.
The three distinct groups are mustaches, full beards, and partial beards. They are presented by the Remington Beard Boss stateside. In 2019, it was hosted by Beard Team USA at Chicago Southland.
World Championship Diving
Diving is a dangerous competition. It’s hosted by the International Døds Federation. So, what happens here is the participants fling themselves off a high dive while pulling one or several stunts and holding a pose until they land in the pool.
They basically attempt curling up their bodies before jumping into the water. The competition is divided into two categories — Classical and Freestyle. It ends with someone getting crowned as the greatest death diver in the world.
North American Wife Carrying Championship
These types of wife-carrying competitions are found all over the globe. The origin of the competition has a questionable history. The stateside competitions follow Finland’s official rules. Partners can also take part in the competition.
People compete to win the wife’s weight in a drink and the cash weighs five times her weight. The competition is held as a part of Fall Festival Weekend and they have arrangements for people to watch.
The Tar Barrel competition goes back centuries. It dates back to 1605 when a group attempted to blow up the British monarch, James I. The participants throw barrels on their backs and run through the entire village streets.
The barrel has been dipped in tar and then lit on fire. Yes, they run with flaming barrels on their backs. This is basically known as the Tar Barrels of Ottery St. Mary and it’s mostly the locals that take part in it.
Cell Phone Throwing
We have seen shot puts, javelin throwing games, and now we’re looking at the cell phone throwing competition. This competition is held in Finland. The champ is decided in Savonlinna, which is based in Finland.
The champ is decided based on the throwing technique and distance. The phones are usually non-functional phones that are then recycled. The champion of the competition gets, yes you guessed it right — a phone!
The Olympia originated from the Nail Olympics. This contest started around 2001. The main attraction of this contest is its non-product-run. The judges who are all different industry experts don’t have any clue about the nails.
The competition today is divided into 14 different categories. You enter from any location and work your way into the Nailympia Global Cup. The champion wins a trophy and cash along with getting featured in Scratch magazine.
Great Knaresborough Bed Race
The Great Knaresborough Bed Race is a race with a bed. Let us break it down for you — the contestants are placed in different teams. The objective is to race towards the finish line while pushing the decorated bed. The race has 90 teams made up of six runners each.
They push the bed (homemade) through various obstacles. There are parades, marching bands, and cheering squads who follow the teams cheering on. The events can raise up to $124,000 or more from different organizations.
Gurning World Championships
In these competitions, contestants compete by pitting their faces through horse collars, which results in a facial expression such as, well… this. They are then immortalized in galleries and social media. The word ‘’Gurn’’ means facial expression.
It basically features the lower jaw. These competitions are scary and inhumane. They also feature other competitions including a pipe one, greasy pole, and wheelbarrow racing. The annual Gurning Championship is held at Egremont Crab Fair, which was established in 1267.
The Dakar Rally is a rally organized every year. It’s extremely dangerous. The rally runs over some of the most extreme and dangerous terrains. At least 50 people have lost their lives doing this. The main attraction is that it allows both amateur and professional drivers.
It has been the biggest rally-raid for the last 40 years. This race was born courtesy of Thierry Sabine. He wanted to show the world the brilliant landscape and invented the Mad Max-style road race.
World Bog Snorkeling Championship
This is basically a costume swimming competition. The swimmers compete in flamingo, shark, and grape costumes while taking a snorkel. They have to take 197 feet of the bog with them. The competitions that are held in other parts opt for a bog triathlon.
The bog triathlon is the bog adding the five-mile run and 12-mile bike ride (mountain). The last World Bog Snorkeling Championship was held in August 2019.
The Hemp Olympics is an annual affair in Australia. It’s hosted by Mardi Gras. One of the main attractions of the Mardi Gras is its affordable entering cost. It requires two bucks to enter any event.
There are plenty of competitions to compete in here including a look-a-like competition, plus a whole lot more. You’ll get to enjoy not only making your costume for the Olympic games, but also the rally of the Cannabis Law Reform. The last event was held in May 2019.
World Pea-Shooting Championships
The concept of pea shooting was born when a schoolmaster named Mr. Tyson caught his students pea-shooting each other in 1971. The competition became so popular that it was continued even after he passed away in 2003.
The year 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the pea shooting championship. The championship has hundreds of spectators. There’s a target where breath-powered pipes shoot the pea rockets. One can sign up for the competition through the village’s website.
Swamp Soccer World Championships
This is a competition that has combined swamp athletics and football. For decades, skiers in Finland have been training in the swamps to increase endurance skills. With that, the idea of Swamp Soccer World Championships came into effect.
It was started in 1998. Today, the event has thousands of participants from around the world. They’re divided into 200 teams. There’s lodging for the participants in the Ukkohalla ski and sports resort.
International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship
Every year, hundreds of people gather for the International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship in July. It’s a challenging sport, as the contestants need to fire fruit pits from their mouths.
The championship actually happens to mark the start of tart cherry harvest. In 2019, during the last International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship, Boomerang Bartz got the second win. It was held at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm based near Eau Claire, Michigan.
17th Street High Heel Race
The 17th Street High Heel Race is a costume race held in Washington D.C. The person who makes it first to 17th Street NW is the winner.
The official motto for the competition is “Crossing the Line Since 1986.” The competition was inspired by a sprint that took place between a steakhouse and a bar. Usually, the competition is held at 9:00 at night.
Chessboxing Amateur World Championship
The Chessboxing Amateur World Championship is a mix of physical and mental strength. It mixes both chess and boxing into a single game. Contestants are divided into 11 three-minute rounds of boxing and chess. They fight their way using both their physical and mental strengths.
This is relatively a new sport. The third Chessboxing Amateur World Championship was held in December of 2019 in Turkey. Since its start, the competition has grown in popularity. It now holds more than 150 fighters from all over the world, ranging from 11 member countries — like Russia, Germany, India, Iran, USA, France, Finland, and Italy.
Totnes Orange Races
The Totnes Orange Race challenges the participants by kicking or throwing the fruit with a 1500-foot course that leads from the Market Square. The race takes place in Devon, England. The origin story of this race dates back to the 1580s.
A person named Sir Francis Drake knocked over an orange cart that was being pushed by a delivery person. The oranges scattered in every possible direction, inspiring this race.
Cotswold Olimpick Games
The Cotswold Olimpick Games have been in existence for four centuries now. In fact, they celebrated their 407th anniversary in 2019. This event has been held in Dover’s Hill arena from its beginning.
The events feature King of the Hill, Tug O’ War, Running Races, Championship of the Hill, and Shin Kicking World Championships. The events haven’t changed much from the start.
Underwater Hockey World Championships
The British Navy invented underwater hockey. This was invented to keep divers in tip-top shape. It has turned into a sport in about 20 countries. There are tournaments held all around the year, so if you’re interested in trying your hand at underwater hockey, keep that in mind!
Each team is made up of six players. The players wear snorkels, diving masks, gloves, and small sticks. Similar to field and ice hockey, the aim of the game is to get as many points as possible by flicking the puck into the goal of the opposing team.
The term ClauWau means World Santa Championship. It’s a festival full of Santa-themed contests and activities. It includes climbing various structures, après-skiing, sled-racing, and other snow sports. The festivities coincide with the opening weekend at Samnaun — a Swiss winter resort.
People attending the festivities also get tickets to the nearby mountain railway, dining in the area, and deluxe shopping. And all of these perks will surely add more fun to the trip. For those who are interested, this year’s ClauWau is set for November 2021.
Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race
The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race is the longest in the world; it lasts 52 days. The main purpose of this race is to utilize one’s spiritual contemplation for shedding one’s sense of desires and self. In 1996, Sri Chinmoy created this event as a 2,700-mile race but later declared that in future years, the race would be extended to 3,100 miles.
The multi-day race takes place in Queens, New York from June to August. The runners need to run an average of 59.6 miles each day from six in the morning until midnight. Not everyone can partake in this race. Instead, contestants are selected and only a handful get the opportunity to run. It’s usually about 10 to 15 people.
World Toe-Wrestling Championships
The World Toe-Wrestling Championship is an English tradition that’s been held for years now — since 1976. Though toe-wrestling is not considered an Olympic sport, it hasn’t stopped the toe wrestling enthusiasts. What happens here is that the wrestlers square off barefoot.
The big toes remain locked and, similar to the concept of arm wrestling, the objective is to push the opponent’s foot to the side. Of course, your hands need to stay flat on the ground during the wrestling match. It’s definitely an interesting game to watch.
Battle of the Oranges
The battle of oranges is the largest food fight in the world. It’s a three-day affair that sees nine tribes fighting each other with fruits. The fight leads up to Fat Tuesday where people pelt each other with about 500,000 pounds of fruits.
The fight takes place in Ivrea, Italy. Dating back to 1808, the battle commemorates the defiance against the city tyrant who tried to assault a young woman. The tyrant’s plan backfired when the woman instead decapitated him, after which the townspeople stormed and burned the palace.
International Beauty Industry Awards
This is a beauty artistry competition. The International Beauty Industry Awards is an inclusive and accessible competition whose sole purpose is to recognize beauty artisans. They put all their focus on the artist and their craft without looking at any products, followers (social media), or sponsors.
The competition is open to everyone. All you have to do is submit an application online along with photographs of yourself. Every year, the competition board members receive hundreds of applications from around the world.
Rolling in the Grits Contest
The importance of grits in Southern culture and cuisine is indescribable. Held every year in St. George, South Carolina, the grits contest is a week-long affair. The contestants are weighed before they get into the pool of grits.
Contestants get 10 seconds to collect grits, filling even their clothes, which is why many people wear baggy outfits for this competition. After the 10 seconds are up, the contestants are then weighed again to see how much was collected. And while it’s not the most hygienic competition, we can only imagine how much fun it must be.
Naki Sumo – Baby Crying Competition
Alright, this next competition is a little stranger. The Naki Sumo Baby Crying Festival, held in Tokyo, is an annual Japanese festival in which babies are held in the arms of sumo wrestlers in an open-air sumo ring.
Basically, the competition involves two babies competing in a short match, and the first child to cry is the winner. It turns out that, according to Japanese folklore, a crying baby has the power to ward off evil spirits.
World Worm-Charming Championships
The World Worm-Charming Championship takes place every year with participants gathering from all over the globe. It’s hosted in Williamston by the Williamston Country Primary School. The competition started when the local school was sanctioned off, although the reason for that is unknown.
What we do know is that students used to stomp on the ground to get to the worms, and that’s how the competition began. Today, the competition is taken very seriously and people even practice coaxing the worms.
The Tunarama Festival
The Tunarama Festival is held in Port Lincoln, Australia every January. The competition basically sees how far the contestants can chuck a frozen tuna. The event is surrounded by a celebration with art displays, with stalls that have been set up by the locals.
People used to throw real tuna but its declining number has forced them to move to artificial ones. The event features the freshest seafood collection — a perfect place to take seafood lovers.
World Championship Punkin Chunkin
The Punkin Chunkin is a competition where one has to chuck a pumpkin from a distance. It’s held every year in Autumn – the time in which the pumpkins are harvested. Contestants are permitted to use many different tools to chuck the pumpkin including trebuchets, slingshots, catapults, centrifugal chuckers, and other machines.
The event actually has a huge following, as it’s an international challenge made up of 100 teams. The competition is arranged for both children and adults. From the sounds of it, this championship can act as a real stress buster.
Monkey Buffet Festival
This is a literal Buffet festival for monkeys except you give them the food rather than having them walk around and choose, although that would be pretty hilarious. The festivals gather thousands of tourists with about hundreds of pounds of food.
The local chef actually spends hours preparing the food; from fruit salads to Thai desserts, and even white rice. The first monkey buffet festival was held in 1989.
Those who think that cockroaches are useless and just make your home filthy, take a look at this competition. It’s a literal race for cockroaches that first started in 1982 on Australia Day in — you guessed it — the land down under. Still, the competition did quickly spread to other parts of the world.
Hundreds of gallons of cockroaches are released for the race. The competition registration requires an entry fee. The human winners of the race receive titles and names.
Rock Paper Scissors League
From settling silly disputes to making major decisions, we’ve all relied on Rock-Paper-Scissors at one point or another. Did any of you ever consider it a sport, though? Apparently, it is! In fact, there’s a league dedicated to it and the champion of the tournament gets a prize!
It’s the US $50,000 in cash. People participating actually use math and psychology. They claim there is a strategy related to this. A referee monitors the game, and there are strict rules to follow.
World Body Painting
This is a competition that celebrates art and beauty by calling on painters and designers from all around the world. They show their talent through body painting. The whole concept of art, design, and creativity is incorporated into a piece that’s painted on the contestant’s body.
The competition, which is actually quite popular, is held in Poertschach Am Woerthersee in Austria. If you’re someone who loves art and the concept of body painting, then you should give this tournament a try.
Baby Jumping Competition
We’re not going to lie — this competition is truly a bit concerning. Why would anyone allow their baby to be a part of this? Anyway, the competition features a bunch of babies that are laid down in rows.
A person dressed like El Colacho of Spain is then supposed to jump over the babies, and successfully at that. The horrific event dates back to 1620 and is celebrated as a part of a Catholic feast in the village of Burgos.
The Bubble Baba Challenge
The Bubble Baba Challenge is undoubtedly another weird competition. The participants here paddle through the Russian River. Okay now, the bizarre part — they use blow-up dolls as boats. The competition started in 2003.
It’s relatively new but has definitely attracted attention in its short time. By 2011, the competition saw around 1,000 competitors. The idea of this competition originally came about as a joke amongst a group of guys who were partying together. Typical…
Bee Wearing Competitions
As you can see here, this is one of the most dangerous competitions — although the participants wear glasses, shorts, and nose plugs for safety. The objective is to attract bees to their bodies. The person who has the heaviest swarm is the winner.
A big part of Chinese culture, this tournament takes place in Shaoyang, China. The people participate to show their bravery. That’s great and all, but we don’t think we’ll ever be this brave…
World Stone Skimming Championship
The World Stone Skimming Championship is held in Scotland every year. The championship, which takes place in the fall, started as a joke at a local bar but it became an actual competition later.
The competition features hundreds of skimmers from different countries and thousands of spectators. Believe it or not, but this championship is quite serious and popular. In fact, if they’re good enough, one of the participants can even land themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Air Guitar Competitions
The Air Guitar Competition is a form of dance competition in which participants play an imaginary guitar in a heavy metal style. Contestants need to act out strumming and picking motions, all whilst lip-syncing and dancing.
The first Air Guitar Competition took place in 1996, and it happened as a part of the Oulu Music Video Festival in Finland. The U.S. Air Guitar Championship takes place every year where the winner competes for the world title in Finland.
The Extreme Ironing Competitions began in England back in 1997, and it’s an extreme and dangerous sport, to say the least. The inventor, Phil Shaw, would rather go rock climbing after a hard day of work rather than doing his usual ironing.
He decided to combine the two sports and went on an international tour to promote this. Today, extreme ironing is a popular sport with people from various countries gathering together. This sport received its fame through a British documentary named Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory.
Cow Chip Tossing Championship
The Cow Chip Tossing Championship is one of the most bizarre tournaments held, though it’s supposedly very fun as well. The championship takes place in Texas in which hundreds of people gather to watch. The participants throw a piece of dried buffalo dung as far as they can.
The participant who tosses it the farthest is the crowned champion. The competition is divided into three categories — for men, women, and children. The World Championship Cow-Chip-Contest is held in April if you’re interested in watching or even competing.
Cheese Rolling Championship
Calling all cheese lovers! The Cheese Rolling Champion takes place on the Spring Bank holiday in Gloucestershire, England, and sees thousands of people. The competition starts when a nine-pound wheel of cheese (double Gloucester) is released at a speed of 70 miles per hour.
Contestants are then supposed to chase the wheel of cheese. Anyone can participate in this competition, and there’s no entry fee! So, if you’re a cheese connoisseur and you’re looking for something fun to do, this championship might just be the thing for you.
World Pancake Racing Championships
We all love pancakes. However, as fun and easy as they are to eat, are they that fun and easy to flip? The World Pancake Racing Championship has combined running and flipping in the same category. Every team has to run with a frying pan and the objective is to successfully flip the pancake four times.
Naturally, the pancake must land on the pan each time. Contestants pass the pan to each other throughout the race and the team that crosses the finish line first is declared the winner.
The World Egg Throwing Championship
Yes, an egg-throwing competition does indeed exist. The World Egg Throwing Championship takes place annually on Swaton Vintage Day and has been an annual tournament since 2006. There are various categories that feature egg-throwing-related games.
There’s a static relay in which a team of 11 people run and pass eggs down the line. There’s another event called Russian egg roulette, which is played at the national level.
The World Sauna Championship
The World Sauna Championship takes place every summer in Finland. It’s an endurance test in which contestants need to sit in a 230° Fahrenheit sauna to which water is added every 30 seconds. There are five rounds classified for men and women, and the longest-lasting contestant wins.
The contestants’ postures need to be rigid for the entirety of the competition; their hands and forearms cannot touch the surface. A doctor’s note is required for participants to be able to participate in the championship.