The Man versus Horse Marathon in Wales

June 3, 2013 in Amazing, Europe and Middle East

The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual race where runners compete against riders on horseback.

Back in 1980 when local landlord Gordon Green overheard a discussion between two men in his pub, the idea of the race was formed. One of the men suggested, that over a significant distance across country, man was equal to any horse. Gordon Green decided to test the challenge with a race in full public view.

Man versus horse race in Wales

The distance of the race is 22 miles (about 35 km) in a terrain more rough than that of a traditional marathon. It would take 25 years until the race was finally won by a man on foot. In the 25th race in 2004, Huw Lobb won the race in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 19 seconds, winning a prize of USD 31,000. The size of the prize fund had grown each year by £1,000 until that year were a man would finally beat the horses. In the 2004 the race had 500 runners and 40 horses competing, the highest number ever.

To help the runners beat the horses, the horses are delayed for 15 minutes. The race attracts 50 horses every year, claiming to be “the world largest horse race”. (Via: wikipedia.org. Photo: Jothelabrarian.)

Culture on the web: cousincouples.com in support of cousin couples

April 24, 2013 in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, North America, Serious stuff, South America

 

Our series of weird, alternative or just different websites, we’ve turned our attention to cousincouples.com. As the title indicates, this is a website for cousin couples to meet and interact with other couples of the same kind. As they explain on their front page, it is a site for those romantically involved with their cousin. It is a site dedicated to providing support and facts about cousin marriages as well as fostering friendships around the world. It may be used for getting advice or exchanging information.

Read the rest of this entry →

Chess Boxing – a hybrid sport combining chess and boxing

April 22, 2013 in Asia-Pacific, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, North America

 

Ever heard of Chess Boxing? As the name indicates, it’s a hybrid sport combining chess with boxing in alternating rounds. It originates from the French artist and filmmaker Enki Bilal who pictured it in his comic book Froid Equator in 1992. The idea of Chess Boxing was picked up by the Dutch artist Lepe Rubingh in 2003, where he organized the first real event.

Chess boxing hybrid sport in Berlin

Read the rest of this entry →

Meet Tom Leppard – the leopard man

April 17, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

Tom Leppard was once in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the world’s most tattooed man. He is not anymore, but his tattoos still make him stand out from the crowd. Tom is tattooed to look like a leopard.

Tom Leppard the leopard man

Read the rest of this entry →

The cruel and bizarre dog spinning ritual in Bulgaria

April 4, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

On the first day of Lent, a very special and cruel ritual is practised in Bulgaria. In the village of Brodilovo in southeastern Bulgaria, a dog is suspended on a rope above a river. Then the dog in the rope is turned numerous times in one direction in order to wind the rope. Shortly after, the dog is released making it spin rapidly in the opposite direction while unwinding the rope. For hundreds of years this bizarre ritual has been carried because it was believed to prevent rabies.

dog spinning Bulgaria Brodilovo

Read the rest of this entry →

Up Helly Aa – the Viking fire festival in Shetland, Scotland

March 25, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

Europe’s largest fire festival takes place on Scotland’s Shetland Islands every January. It is held to mark the end of the Yule season (Christmas was once called Yule in Scotland). Thousands of men dress up as Vikings, marching in squads through towns while carrying torches. The procession culminates in the burning of a replica Viking longship. The celebrations are held at more than 10 different locations all over the Shetland Islands.

Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival Shetland Islands 2

Credits: Mike Pennington. Link to picture. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

Read the rest of this entry →

Artist Marco Evaristti paints frozen waterfall in Norway red

March 12, 2013 in Amazing, Europe and Middle East

 

Danish provo-artist Marco Evaristti has started a fury in the Norwegian town Hovden. The major of Hovden has threatened to report Marco to the police for destroying the nature. The reason? Marco Evaristti has painted a frozen waterfall with 10 litres of fruit paint mixed with 1000 litres of water. The result is a white snow-landscape with very visible red marks.

Marco Evaristti paints waterfall red 1

Read the rest of this entry →

The Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland

March 11, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, Funny

 

Every year in the small city of Sonkajärvi in Finland, a special competition has taken place since 1992. It is the World Championships in Wife Carrying. Men compete by racing through a special track with obstacles, all while carrying a female on their back.

Wife carrying competition

Read the rest of this entry →

El Colacho – the baby jumping festival in Spain

March 10, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

El Colacho, also known as baby jumping, is a traditional Spanish holiday originating back to 1620. It takes place once a year to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in the small town of Castrillo de Murcia. A part of the festivities revolves around the El Colacho, baby jumping. Babies born during the last twelve months are laid on matresses on the ground followed by men dressed as devils jump over them.

El Colacho baby jumping Spain 1

Read the rest of this entry →

Buzkashi – the polo sport played with a headless goat

March 9, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

The national sport in Afghanistan is called Buzkashi. Buzkashi is often compared to polo, in which to teams compete on horseback trying to score goals using their clubs. Buzkashi is very similar as it is a game played on horseback, propelling an object toward a goal. In Buzkashi, the object is not a ball, but instead a headless goat or calf.

Buzkashi polo in Afghanistan 1

Read the rest of this entry →

The crazy Cooper’s Hill downhill cheese rolling in Gloucester, England

March 9, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, Funny

 

The rules of the race are quite simple. From the top of a hill a round Gloucester cheese is rolled and participants race down the hill to try to catch it. Winner of the race, and the cheese, is the first person to cross the finish line at the bottom of the hill.  Although the goal is to actually catch the cheese on its descend, it’s not really possible as the cheese gets a 1 second head start and can reach speeds up to 70 mph (112 km/h).

Gloucester cheese rolling downhill race 1

Read the rest of this entry →

Freetown Christiania – the controversial society of Copenhagen, Denmark

March 5, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

Freetown Christiania, or just Christiania as it is called in Denmark, is a special society and neighborhood within the Danish capital of Copenhagen with around 850 inhabitants. Christiania was founded in a squatted military area back in 1971 by a group of people from the surrounding neighborhood. The barracks were no longer used by the military and only protected by a few guards. Residents from the neighborhood decided to break down the fences and take the grounds as playground for their children. Soon after, Christiania was declared open by some of the squatters and quickly a culture comprising of hippies, squatters, collectivism and anarchism grew in the freetown.

Freetown Christiania Copenhagen Denmark 1

 

Read the rest of this entry →

Russian Vladimir Filippovich builds himself a castle

March 3, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, Pictures

 

Meet Vladimir Filippovich, king of his own selfmade castle. The Russian must be rather good at craftsmanship as he transformed the inside of his house into a palace of his own. As the king of the castle, his kingdom entails exactly 13 inhabitants to which he rule. To be exact, the kingdom consists on Vladimir himself, 11 dogs and 2 cats, probably making the castle rather noisy (via: photopolygon.com).

Russian builds his own castle 1

Read the rest of this entry →

Headism – artist Philip Levine uses his bald head as art display

March 2, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East, Pictures

 

When English artist Philip Levine started to go bald a few years ago, he decided to take advantage of the situation in stead of seeing only the negative. Philip shaved his head and made his bald head an area to display art. In collaboration with artist Kate Sinclair he decorates and paints his head into many colours and patterns using a variety of materials. That’s how the Headism movement started. See more at: www.headism.co.uk. Pictures by Daniel Regan: www.danielregan.com.

Philip Levine headism bald head art 1

Read the rest of this entry →

The Dachshund United Nations art installation in Sydney

March 2, 2013 in Amazing, Europe and Middle East, Funny, North America, Serious stuff

 

Australian artist Bennett Miller has re-created the U.N. using live Dachshunds. The Dachshund UN is a miniature version of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The difference is that humans are replaced by dogs and the assembly has no power in the UN.

Dachshund UN art installation Bennett Miller 1

Read the rest of this entry →