From air guitaring to extreme ironing, there are odd world championships all over the world. Winning isn't always top priority - most of them are all about the thrill.
Allegedly, the grandfather of air guitaring is Joe Cocker. He even did it during his famous Woodstock show in 1969. While the hippies gave him a skeptical look back in the day, the "lightest instrument in the world" is now world famous. There is is a world championship held in Oulu, Finland. Joe Cocker might have had quite a chance with his performance.
The High Heel Drag Queen Race originated in Washington, D.C., where drag queens have been "crossing the line" and competing on stilettos for the past 30 years. The race has since spread all over the world. Most contests have strict rules regarding the length and width of the heels. The winner's secret: long steps and don't roll your feet!
A cheese wheel is rolled down a steep hill at up to 70 mph and dozens of Brits run after it. Sound like fun? Though it's nearly impossible to actually catch the cheese round, whoever reaches the bottom of the hill first wins anyways. Broken bones and other injuries are not uncommon, yet hundreds of fans come to Gloucestershire to witness the spectacle.
Back in the day, hunters used to imitate the call of male deers in order to attract females. Today, it's more of a hobby - and a competition at Europe's largest hunting fair, "Jagd & Hund," in Dortmund. Contestants use plastic pipes, snail shells or ox horns to bellow. Competitors not only have to imitate the call of a young deer, but also the deeper, angrier one of older deer. The best call wins.
It's not about wrinkle-free laundry. Extreme ironing is much more about extraordinary places. The world championship has several teams completing a course at several locations: underwater, in a forest, on a climbing wall, or on top of a car. Whoever is the most creative and finishes their laundry the fastest is the winner. The "sport" has its roots in England.
Apparently, people in Finland have a lively imagination. Finland hosts the Wife Carrying World Championship, the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship, and, since 1996, the Air Guitar World Championships.
Cynics claim that the reason for so many extraordinary world championships may have something to do with the dark northern winters and the Finns' excessive consumption of alcohol. Or maybe it has more to do with the long, dark winters, which seem to boost their creativity. But it's probably just their joy of ludicrous spectacles.
Things you didn't think you could do with cheese
Whatever the reasons for the bizarre kinds of competitions, they aren't only popular in Finland, but all over the world.
Great Britain also ranks pretty high when it comes to crazy championships. The calm town of Gloucestershire, England, hosts an event that is all about cheese. A nine-pound cheese wheel plays the starring role. We can't tell you what the event is exactly about - but injuries are very common.
The cheese rolling "championship" is not officially recognized to this day. Every spring, lots and lots of people meet up in Gloucestershire for the annual Cheese Run - reason enough to add it to our "High Five" list of odd world championships.
Antje Binder / skihttp://dw.com/p/1Hhmt