The World’s Weirdest Animal Sports

Humans and animals have always maintained strange relationships. Sometimes we need to use them for food, others for companionship, and then there are some animals that are naturally competitive and make for great entertainment. Not all species are up to the task, and some, such as horses and greyhounds, have always made for good racing and similar activities.

And while we’re used to Greyhounds and horses, many might not have heard of the following animals and the unusual sports that they participate in.

Tossing Foxes

This animal was at its most popular during the 17th and 18th centuries and was largely found across Europe. It would consist of a pair of players, and each would pull the ends of a sling that would then shoot live foxes – and occasionally other kinds of animals – as far as possible. The pair that got their fox the highest were the ones that won the event.

Sled Dog Racing

Most people have heard of sled dog racing, but not quite as many really appreciate how gruelling the races can be for the dogs themselves. They can cover distances of almost 2000 kilometres in just a matter of days, and it’s a sport that while still very much around today, was at its peak during the 1930s. Events usually consisted of a one or two races that took place over a particularly long track.

Camel Wrestling

Camel wrestling is by no means a new invention, with historians believing that tribes living in Turkey were practising it well over 2000 years ago. Today, the biggest event in international camel wrestling is the Camel Wrestling Championship, which takes place every year in Turkey.

It’s part of the Camel Wrestling Festival, one of the most popular festivals in the country, and sees thousands of passionate fans come out to watch as two male camels for a female. The camel that can stand its ground for the longest duration of time is declared the winner. It’s a beloved sport within Turkey and surrounding regions.

Insect Racing

Another sport that’s never usually broadcast to the public is insect racing. There is a wide variety of different insects that can be used, but the most common by far are cockroaches, and there’s a particular fondness for them in Australia. At the end of January every year, a racing event for cockroaches is held At Story Bridge Hotel, in the province of Queensland, Australia. A group of cockroaches are dropped on a race ring, and the first that can get to the edge is the winner of the event. Those that are not a fan of creepy crawlies might want to stay at home and play slots online at instead.

Pulling Eels

Another pastime that has lost most of its popularity, eel pulling was most commonly found within the Netherlands during the 19th century. One of the ways in which eel pulling was performed was with two people playing “tug-of-war” with the eel after it had been made slippery with soapy water.