Learning the Most Bizarre Animal Sports in History
People love sports and entertainment. Anywhere you go, people will flock to places where there’s a sporting event or some form of entertainment. It could be spring training or harness racing, or perhaps it’s a mime performing on the street or a jazz festival in New Orleans. Wherever something worth watching is happening, you’ll find people there.
And where there are people, there are opportunities to make money and build networks.
Throughout history, people have used this knowledge to their advantage and came up with different events and gimmicks to draw in the crowds. And some of the most bizarre events involved animals in extraordinary games and sports.
Here are some of the weirdest animal sports ever created in history.
The Weirdest Animal Sports Ever Invented
9. Cock Shying
Cock shying, or cock throwing, was an ancient blood sport widely practiced in England up until the late 18th century. This sport involved a rooster tied to a pole as the participants threw cocksteles — weighted sticks — or any other heavy object at the fowl until it is dead.
8. Barking Off Squirrels
In the late 18th and early 19th century, frontiersman Daniel Boone popularized a certain type of squirrel hunting called “barking off squirrels.” The twist to this hunting game is that hunters would hunt squirrels and kill them without shooting directly at them. They would typically shoot the bark just below any squirrel they find. The bark would then shatter with enough force to actually kill the rodents.
7. Haggis Hurling
Talk about strange. This one is probably one of the strangest past times ever invented by anyone anywhere. The players would throw a haggis as far as they can. Now that might sound pretty normal until you find out what a haggis is. It is a pudding containing flavors made up of a sheep’s liver, heart, lungs, suet, spices, onions, oatmeal, and salt. It is then cooked for three hours inside the animal’s belly, and once cooked, it is now ready to be played with. Ugh.
6. Goose Pulling
In one of the most bizarre animal sports, the ancient sport of goose pulling was done from the 17th to 19th century. In this game, men on horseback would race and attempt to pull off the neck of a goose hung upside down on a pole until they completely dismember the creature and take its head off. Modern practitioners of this sport have since changed the game slightly by using an already dead goose.
5. Cockroach Races
Australia has one of the oddest races in the world. Every year on January 26, a racing contest for cockroaches is held in Kangaroo Point, Queensland. A bucketful of roaches is poured in the middle of a racing ring. The first cockroach to reach the edge of the ring wins. Imagine how fast that race is.
4. Camel Wrestling
More than 2,400 years ago, the Turks invented and practiced the sport of camel wrestling. They let two bull camels fight each other to have a chance with a female camel. The camel that does not get scared nor run away wins the fight. The Camel Wrestling Championship is still celebrated today in Selcuk, Turkey, every January.
3. Sled Dog Racing
Although this isn’t really that strange a sport since we’re all aware of it, it’s still on our list mainly because of the distance the dogs need to travel (almost a thousand miles) under some of the most extreme weather conditions.
2. Fox Tossing
The race to the top spot was a very close one between this and the winner, but as far as weird animal sports go, this has got to be one of the absolute weird and bizarre events ever made. This game involves pairs where each one would pull on two ends of a sling lying on the ground with a fox on it and see how high they could toss the fox up in the air.
1. Eel Pulling
Perhaps the one animal “sport” — if that’s what you would call it — that ranks high on our weird-o-meter is eel pulling. Remember goose pulling from earlier? It’s very similar to that; only there are two variants.
The first one uses eels as substitute rope for a game of tug-o-war, but this time, the eels are washed with soap, so they are extra slippery. The other version has the eels hanging down a canal while players jumped and pulled them off as they pass the canal in a boat.
Whatever floats their boat, I guess.
Talk about bizarre. Eel pulling? Cock shying? Fox tossing?! We bet you’ve never heard about most of these before. The ones who came up with these animal sports must either be desperate or really bored. Today, it’s a good thing that we have more humane sports that involve animals compared to ones that endanger them and cause them harm.