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Man Spends Almost Five Days Sitting on a Toilet Bowl, Sets World Record

48-year-old Jimmy De Frenne, from Belgium, recently set a new world record for the longest time spent sitting on a toilet, after spending five days on a toilet bowl in a bar.

After breaking the world record for the longest time spent ironing non-stop (82 hours) in 2016, Jimmy De Frenne recently set his sights on another bizarre world record attempt – the longest time spent sitting on a toilet bowl. There was no official record to break as Guinness World Records had no such category, but De Frenne had heard of a man who had allegedly spent 100 hours sitting on a “throne” and thought he could do better. He set himself a goal of 168 hours and spent almost five days last week sitting on a toilet bowl at Filip’s Place bar in Ostend, but had to quit after only 116 hours as his body just couldn’t handle it anymore.

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Italian Winemakers Set Vineyards Ablaze to Keep Them from Freezing

Breathtaking photos of vineyards in northern Italy lit up at night by hundreds of torches have been doing the rounds online for the past week. As temperatures unexpectedly dropped below zero last week, winemakers had to come up with a way to keep the vineyards from freezing, and fire was apparently their best choice.

Farmers usually do their best to keep fire away from their grape vines, but with temperatures expected to reach a freezing -9 degrees C, winemakers had no choice hundreds of torches spread out over several hectares to keep the vineyards from freezing. This technique has long been used by winemakers all over the world to create air movement, which prevents frost pockets from forming. Temperatures under -1 degrees Celsius can cause serious damage to emerging buds, so teams patrol the vineyards all night long, making sure that the fires are burning, to at least mitigate the damage.

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World’s Most Depressing Sports Competition Has Coffins for Prizes

Copa Ataúdes or Coffin Cup, a yearly futsal tournament hosted by the Peruvian city of Juliaca, has been dubbed the world’s most depressing sports competition for offering coffins as prizes to the three best teams.

The Juliaca Coffin Cup is not your usual futsal tournament. It’s a competition between teams representing the twelve largest funeral houses in the  Puno Region of southeastern Peru, so it kind of makes sense that the main prizes be something representative of the funeral business. Still, fighting your heart out on the pitch for an expensive casket you have to share with five other teammates doesn’t exactly sound worthwhile. That didn’t stop the winning team from parading their $1,300 luxury coffin on their shoulders and singing “Olé, olé, campeon!” at the end of the final match, though.

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Finland to Host World’s First Ever Heavy Metal Knitting Championship

Heavy metal and knitting doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven, but that hasn’t stopped some truly creative minds in Finland from combining them in the world’s very first Heavy Metal Knitting Championship.

Finnish Marketing Agency Tovari teamed up with Joensuu City Cultural Services and the Joensuu Conservatory in order to bring together two of the most popular things in the northern European country. Heavy metal is really big in Finland, with over 50 heavy metal bands per 100,000 Finnish citizens (more than anywhere else in the world), and knitting not less so, as hundreds of thousands of people out of a population of around 5.5 million are practising some kind of needlework crafts. After brainstorming for the best way to combine the two, the creative minds behind this initiative came up with the World Heavy Metal Knitting Championship.

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Singer Performs for 106 Consecutive Hours to Break Guinness Record, Gets Disqualified

The only thing worse than singing for over 100 hours straight is finding out that it was all in vain. That’s what happened to Dominican singer Carlos Silver who, after performing for 106 consecutive hours in an attempt to set a new world record, learned that his attempt was disqualified by Guinness.

Last week, Dominican artist Carlos Silver performed over 5,000 songs in an attempt to break the Guinness record set by Indian singer Sunil Waghmare, who in 2012 sang for 105 consecutive hours. This was Silver’s second shot at the record for world’s longest singing marathon by an individual, after his unsuccessful attempt in 2016, and this time it looked like he had done it. At the end of his epic 5-day performance, the timer showed that he had been singing for 106.7 hours, over one hour more that Waghmare’s record, but his elation soon turned to disappointment, as Guinness officials disqualified him for breaking the organization’s strict rules.

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Ingenious Sprinkler System Turns Entire Japanese Hamlet into a Water Fountain

Kayabuki no Sato, a small hamlet in Kyoto famous for its traditional thatched roof houses, features a concealed sprinkler system that turns the whole place into a water fountain.

Known as Miyama’s Thatched Village, Kayabuki no Sato has a higher percentage of thatched roof farmhouses than any other place in Japan. This makes it very popular with tourists, who love walking among the over 40 traditional thatched roof abodes and even spending the night in one of them, but also very vulnerable to fire. Local officials realized this in the year 2000, when a fire burned down the archive center, so apart from asking people to be vigilant at all times, they decided to install a special sprinkler system to cover the whole hamlet. They test it twice a year, usually in May and December, and people from all over Japan and beyond come to see the powerful sprinklers in action.

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Belgian Town Hosts Wacky Seagull Screeching Championship

Aspiring seagull imitators from all over Europe recently gathered in the Belgian town of Adinkerke to take part in the first European Gull Screeching Championship.

The wacky event took place in a local pub and required competitors to channel their inner gull, both vocally and physically. While the emphasis of the competition was on the sound produced by participants, with a maximum of 15 points being awarded for the best screeching sounds, participants could also score up to 5 points by putting on a proper performance. Some just flapped their arms in a gull-like manner, others wore seagull-style beaks on top of their heads, and a few actually wore gull costumes to impress the judges. It all sounds silly, but the Gull Screeching Championship actually has a serious goal.

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Russian City Hosts Painful Face-Slapping Championship

The Russian city of Krasknoyask recently hosted the country’s first ever amateur face-slapping championship, which had participants slap each other across the face until one of them got knocked out.

The controversial event was held during the Siberian Power Show, a popular sports show held in Krasnoyarsk on March 16 and 17. A similar competition took place last year, in Moscow, but it featured only professional athletes competing for the unofficial title of most heavy-handed face slapper. This time, organizers decided to give amateurs the chance to prove themselves, so anyone willing to engage in some manly face slapping was invited to sign up. Most of the participants were just random guys who had come to attend the power show and decided to try something new. It’s fair to say that some of them didn’t know the world of pain they would be experiencing at the hands of a mountain of a man…

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Runners Compete in World’s Coldest Race at -52 Degrees Celsius

Sixteen brave runners recently gathered in the Russian village of Oymyakon, also known as the world’s pole of cold,  to compete in the coldest official race in history.

Oymyakon is the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth, with temperatures constantly dropping to under -50 degrees Celsius in winter time. This place is so cold that a person’s unprotected face can suffer frostbite in a matter of seconds, and sometimes the mercury in thermometers freezes. Oymyakon can barely be called inhabitable, let alone suitable for a marathon, and yet at the beginning of this year, 16 runners gathered here to take part in a series of extreme races.

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Ban’ei – The World’s Slowest Horse Race

Horse races are usually all about speed, but in Ban’ei, a form of horse racing unique to the Japanese island of Hokkaidō, it’s strength and stamina that matter most.

Ban’ei race horses, also known as ‘banba’, are very different from the fast thoroughbreds we associate with horse racing. They can weigh up to 1,200 kilograms and are more than twice the size of the small dosanko horses native to Hokkaidō. These horses are crossbred descendants of workhorses imported from France and Belgium at the end of the 19th century to help farmers work their land, and are now considered a Japanese breed in their own right. Depending on their size, these strong animals can pull up to a ton of weight, and that’s exactly the kind of strength required to win the world’s slowest horse race.

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The Indian Village Where People Play with Live Scorpions

Most people wouldn’t dare touch a scorpion for all the money in the world, but in one small Indian village, people actually seek out the poisonous arachnids and put them on their faces, or eve in their mouths, as part of a worshiping ritual.

Every year, on Naga Panchami, when most of India worships the snake god, the people of Kandakoor, about 20 kilometers from Yadgir, in the state of Karnataka, worship their Scorpion Goddess, Kondammai. Men and women, children and the elderly, all queue to go up a nearby hill called Chellina Betta (Scorpion Hill) and reach an idol of Kondammai, to which they offer sarees, coconuts and oil, and pray for good health and prosperity. After this ritual is completed, everyone starts looking for scorpions to play with.

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Blind Man to Walk Across World’s Largest Salt Desert Guided Only by Audio GPS

Albar Tessier, a blind teacher from France, recently arrived in Bolivia to prepare for a grueling challenge – walking 140 kilometers across Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest sand desert, in just seven days.

Tessier, who teaches blind children in his home country, set this personal challenge for himself before losing his vision completely, and has reportedly been training for it for the past couple of years. He wants to show the world that people with disabilities are also capable of performing amazing feats, and to this end he will be travelling alone, guided only by audio GPS, and with an emergency team maintaining a safe distance.

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Deadliest Flight – Taiwan’s Grueling Sea Races Kill Over One Million Pigeons Each Year

Every year, more than a million pigeons die while competing in Taiwan’s controversial pigeon sea races, a series of grueling events in which young birds are shipped far out to sea, released in the middle of nowhere and forced to fly home. According to several reports from animal rights organizations, less than 1% of them make it back to land.

The small island of Taiwan hosts more pigeon racing events than any other country in the world. A reported 500,000 Taiwanese race pigeons every year, competing for billions of New Taiwan dollars in prize money. Pigeon racing is such a big business that the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology once introduced an optional course on it, which proved very popular with both young and old pigeon racers. However, important notions taught during this course, like injury prevention and the use of performance enhancing drugs fly out the window during Taiwan’s seasonal sea races.

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Japanese Channel Their Anger at Annual Tea Table Flipping Contest

The Japanese are no strangers to unusual competitions, so I guess it makes sense that they’ve found a way to turn a rage-induced reaction like flipping a table into an annual contest.

On June 16, a shopping mall in Japan’s Iwata Prefecture hosted the 12th annual World Chabudai-Gaeshi Tournament, an offbeat competition where participants try to flip a small tea table as far as possible. The premise is pretty simple: anyone can sign up for the competition, from young children to the elderly, and the goal is to flip the small wooden tea table as hard as possible to send the fake food on top of it flying as far as possible. In fact, the winner is judged not by how far they flip the table, but how far a plastic fish set on top of it travels.

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Artist Spends Three Days Buried Under Busy Road, with No Food

Mike Parr, a 73-year-old Australian performance artist, recently spent three days in a container buried under one of the busiest roads in Tasmania, with no food, as a “response to 20th-century totalitarian violence in all its forms”.

The unusual performance was apparently conceived a decade ago for an arts festival in Germany, but could not be pulled off due to health and safety concerns. However, the Hobart City Council, in Tasmania, approved it last month, as part of the Dark Mofo festival, as long as the organizers agreed to cover the roadwork bill. That included literally cutting a section of road and digging a large hole under it in order to lower a large metal container in it, and covering it up so that traffic could go on as usual for the three days Mike Parr spent buried inside.

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