Kudu Dung Spitting is an African sport popular enough to have its own official competition, in which contestants have to put a kudu dung pellet in their mouth and spit it as far as possible.
Some people use dung to make coffee taste better, but in some parts of Africa it’s used to fuel a weird pastime called Bokdrol Spoek. Roughly translated as “spitting buck droppings this quirky tradition has people putting dung pellets in their mouth and spitting them as far as they can. The origins of kudu dung spitting can be traced back to tribal hunters who had difficulties catching the fast antelope. Most times the only sign of the animal was a trail of dung, which meant it had been there but it was long gone. Apart from swearing at the elusive kudus, hunters would engage in a contest of pellet spitting, to pass the time. In countries like South Africa, the disgusting custom is so popular that there’s even a championship held every year to find out who can spit a piece of antelope poop the farthest.
Photo: Simon Reeve
According to a National Geographic reporter, Bokdrol Spoek isn’t as gross as it sounds. Apparently, before they put a dung pellet in their mouth, competitors traditionally drop it in a shot of alcohol, which helps sterilize some of the bacteria, but there are a bunch of videos on YouTube showing people picking the dung off the ground, putting it in their mouths and spitting them. The secret to a less-disgusting dung spitting experience is finding a nice, hard pellet and not letting it melt in your mouth for too long before spitting it. People with first-hand experience in the African sport say even the most experienced participants are unwilling to put fresh kudu dung in their mouths, as it leaves a bad taste and attracts the ridicule of other competitors.
The rules of the kudu dung spitting championship are very simple. Whoever spits the poop pellet the farthest, wins. Unlike in most distance sports, the distance is measured according to where the dung comes to rest, not to where it first hit the ground. Contestants can use both kudu and impala dung pellets, and can spit them from a stationary position or from a run up. The world record in kudu dung spitting is a distance of 15.56 metres, and was set in 2006 by Shaun van Rensburg.