• A couple kiss during an underwater kissing contest in Wuhan, China. (VCG, Getty Images)Source: VCG, Getty Images
Good at charming worms, pulling faces, or just doing nothing at all? We've got the competition for you.
Alyssa Braithwaite

22 Jun 2016 - 11:39 AM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2016 - 11:39 AM

You might not have the strength, skill or speed to be an Olympian, but that doesn't mean you can't be a world champion at something. Here are some competitive sports from around the world that you may not have considered. 


1. The Space Out Competition

South Korea's "space out" competition sees about 60 contestants spending 90 minutes sitting in a public park in Seoul without talking, sleeping, eating or using any electronic devices. The winner is the person who has the most stable heart rate. 

Aimed at promoting a life free from stress and information overload, using the slogan "Relax Your Brain", the event started as an art installation and is now in its third year.

1,500 people applied online to take part in the competition this year, which was held in May and won by a well-known local rapper Shin Hyo-Seob, aka Crush.

“I was so exhausted physically and mentally while preparing an album, so I just wanted to relax for a while,” the 28 year old said. “This event is highly recommended for those who have migraines or complicated thoughts."

2. Muggle Quidditch

From the pages of Harry Potter to sports fields around the world, Muggle quidditch is real, played everywhere from Norway to Vietnam, and governed by the International Quidditch Association

In keeping with the way the game appears in the books of J. K. Rowling, teams are seven-a-side, fielding positions such as seeker, chaser, beater and keeper. 

Players must keep a broomstick between their legs at all times, and the golden snitch is actually a ball inside a sock attached to the back of a player who runs around as fast as he can trying not to get caught.

The USA are the current world champions, when Australia were runners up. 

3. Chessboxing

As if boxing and chess weren't challenging enough individually, chessboxing combines the two for the ultimate match of brains and brawn.

A chessboxing match is fought in eleven alternate rounds of chess and boxing.

Fighters may win by knockout in the ring, by checkmate in chess, by the judge’s decision, or if the opponent exceeds the nine minutes allotted to the chess game.

Chessboxing was brought to life by Dutch-born Iepe Rubingh, who was inspired by Froid Équateur, a graphic novel written by cartoonist Enki Bilal in 1992. 

The first chessboxing competition took place in Berlin in 2003. 


4. World Worm Charming Championship

How many worms do you think you could charm out of the ground in half an hour using only music and vibrations? A dozen if you're lucky?

Well, the first world record was set in 1980 by Mr Tom Shufflebotham, a farmer's son, who raised 511 worms from a three yards square plot. 

But this was broken by Miss S and Mr M Smith charmed 567 worms from their plot in 2009.

The sport was devised by John Bailey, the deputy headmaster of Willaston County Primary School in Nantwich, Cheshire in England in 1980, and the village of Willaston has been home to the World Worm Charming Championships ever since. 

5. LGBT Pride High Heels Race

A highlight of Pride Barcelona, the High Heels Race requires contestants to wear heels at least 7cm high (no wedges allowed) for a race through the Spanish streets for the chance to win €250.

That may help cover the medical costs if you sprain your ankle. 

6. World Gurning Championships

In a world full of beauty competitions, the World Gurning Championships is a welcome antidote - the winner of this competition is whoever can pull the ugliest face. 

The contest takes place annually at Egremont, Cumbria, in England as part of the town's Crab Fair.

The fair can trace its origins as far back as 1267, when crab apples were given to the townsfolk by the Lord of the Manor and rules include a ban on make-up, although a manipulation of false teeth is allowed for those who have them.

In 2015 Gordon Blacklock beat 16-time champion Tommy Mattinson (above), the King of the Gurn.

7. Wife Carrying World Championships

If you've got a wife and a strong pair of arms and a taste for beer, perhaps wife carrying is for you.

Wife carrying started in Finland, and while it is now popular around Europe, North and South America and Australia, Finland and Estonia hold all the world records. 

The rules for the World Championships, which are held annually in Sonkajarvi, Finland, dictate that the wife you carry must be your own or your neighbour's, she must weigh at least 49kg, and if you drop her you have to lift her back up yourself. 

The race track is 253.5 metres and has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, but waiting for you at the end if you're the victor is your wife's weight in beer!

8. Underwater Kissing Competition 

Held on International Kissing Day (July 5), the competition is held in Shanghai, China and in 2015 it attracted more than 1000 applicants. 

Contestants warm up by practicing their kissing technique above water, before donning a pair of goggles and plunging into a pool for the main event. 

Last year Xu Jun and Zhang Wenqing were crowned the champions with a kiss that lasted one minute and twenty seconds.

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