WTF Fun Fact 13401 – European Sex Championship

In recent days, rumors and reports have circulated about an upcoming European Sex Championship to be held in Sweden. While it is important to note that the event lacks official recognition as a sport, it does appear to be going forward on June 8, 2023.

What’s the European Sex Championship?

Reports indicate that participants from 16 different countries will engage in various sexual activities over the course of 6 weeks.

According to NBC,

“Starting from June 8, the European Sex Championship will go on for six weeks where participants will engage in sexual activities from 45 minutes to 1 hour each day in solo matches. The sex session may last up to 6 hours per day.”

People from 20 different countries will participate, and the winners will be decided using both audience ratings and a panel of three judges.

The participants will be judged across 16 disciplines:

  • Seduction
  • Prelude
  • Massage of various parts of the body
  • Massage of erotic zones on the opponent’s body
  • Oral sex
  • Penetration
  • Endurance
  • Appearance
  • Pose Performance
  • Artistic performance and exchange of postures
  • Endurance and The Number of Orgasms
  • Creativity in Change of Position.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate during competition.
  • The most beautiful and difficult position
  • Artistic communication
  • Most active couple

An unofficial event

The National Sports Confederation of Sweden revealed that the application submitted by the Swedish Sex Federation was deemed incomplete and therefore rejected as an official event. Consequently, the championship cannot be officially recognized as a sport.

Despite the absence of official recognition, the organizers of the event remain committed to proceeding with the competition.

The concept of a competitive sex championship certainly challenges societal norms and pushes the boundaries of traditional sporting events.

Is this for real?

According to multiple reports (and reported via IFL Science, cited below), the event is being organized by strip club owner Dragan Bratic. It does appear to being going forward, even though the confederation continues to distance itself from the event. They told News Checker that it is “false information with the aim of smearing Swedish sports and Sweden.”

However, the Swedish Sex Federation responded by saying,

“This year they accept e-sport as a sport. Is sitting in front of computer and playing video games more sport than healthy physical activity that prolongs life? We will let you to make your own conclusion.

European Championship in Sex exists, and it is starting on June 8th in Sweden. Is it a sport or not… it is not that important. Euro-vision is also a competition, but it is not a sport.”

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Source: “European Sex Championship: Is Sweden Really Going To Turn Sex Into A Competitive Sport?” — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact 13399 – Rumors of an Alien Blood Type

A speculative (to say the least!) theory is making waves on TikTok about an alien blood type here on Earth. It’s claiming that individuals with the Rhesus-negative blood type might have extraterrestrial origins. It’s no doubt playing off the recent lack of transparency from the U.S. and other governments about their unidentified aerial phenomenon research.

But in case you think you might be part alien, we’re here to disappoint you.

Quacks, non-experts, and careless speculators

This theory of an alien blood type lacks any legitimate evidence. In fact, it’s not even a new claim.

This “alien blood type” was presented as a “thought-provoking” concept back in 2009 on The History Channel’s show Ancient Aliens. It’s a show that often recklessly combines some scientific research with fringe theories and non-expert viewpoints, typically to get a rise out of people with wild speculations.

So what’s with the alien blood type?

The claim making rounds in the depths of social media states that people with the rhesus-negative blood type could be descendants of extraterrestrials.

It all started with a TikTok video (which is usually how you know it requires more data). It also showed a group of people they refer to as “experts” presenting theories on how these aliens might have influenced our genetic makeup. These commentators suggested that aliens may have been interbreeding with humans or deliberate genetic engineering hybrids at some point in the past. Why? How? Well, since there’s no evidence, there’s no real answer to that.

There’s a LOT of plain old speculation in the clip (including that aliens would even have the same molecular makeup as humans and be able to cross-breed).

Anyway, as a result, the show’s guests suggested – again, without any evidence – that a small portion of the population could be descended from aliens.

Those they chose to be marked as aliens?: People with the relatively rare blood type known as Rhesus (Rh) negative.

What is Rhesus-negative blood?

Only around 15% of the global population has Rhesus-negative blood. As a result, it has intrigued scientists and medical professionals since its discovery in the late 1930s. But there are other rare blood types.

You’ve no doubt heard of the blood types A, B, and O (positive and negative). But there are actually many more blood grouping systems than ABO – over 40 more. This includes Rhesus (Rh), Langereis (Lan), Kell (KEL), Duffy (FY), etc.

So, blood types are really interesting and confusing – and they go far beyond what we learned in 8th-grade biology. That doesn’t mean there’s any reason to believe people with rare blood types are descended from aliens.

Why make the jump from rare blood to alien blood?

The mystery surrounding Rhesis-negative’s origin has allowed some people to do what they do with other things that confuse them – run rampant with random theories. It’s actually pretty common for us to fill in the gaps with our own ideas. But in this case, a few people decided to attribute the blood type’s existence to alien influence. The History Channel gave them a platform on which to do it and made them seem legitimate. And the internet did the rest.

This claim falls under the category of the “Aliens of the Gaps” argument, a variation of the “God of the Gaps” argument often used by creationists. It suggests that when there is no agreed-upon explanation for a phenomenon, it can be attributed to extraterrestrial activity. And if you think that sounds like a reasonable conclusion…well, you do you.

So why, despite the lack of evidence for alien-human hybrids, does the claim persist? Well, it’s presented using a clever rhetorical technique. By combining the views of actual scientists and experts with non-experts in a way that blurs the lines between them, it creates the illusion of a balanced discussion where all perspectives are equally valid.

You might now recognize how common this rhetorical strategy is these days – even when it doesn’t involve aliens.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Having Rhesus-Negative Blood Does Not Mean You’re Descended From Aliens” — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact 13396 – Bill Haast

Bill Haast, a renowned snake handler and scientist, led an extraordinary life dedicated to studying and working with poisonous snakes. He became famous for his fearless approach and was bitten by venomous snakes over 170 times. Despite the risks, Haast’s passion for snakes and their venom led to significant contributions in the field of snakebite treatment and research.

Who is Bill Haast?

Born on December 30, 1910, in Paterson, New Jersey, Haast developed an early fascination with snakes. His first significant snakebite occurred at age 12. A timber rattlesnake bit him while at a Boy Scout camp. This experience ignited his curiosity and passion for these reptiles. Haast’s snake-handling journey began when he joined a roadside snake show in the late 1920s. He later went on to work as a flight engineer with Pan American World Airways, which allowed him to travel the world and collect various snake species.

In 1947, Haast fulfilled his dream of opening the Miami Serpentarium. This serpentarium quickly gained popularity, attracting thousands of tourists each year. Inside, Haast would demonstrate his expertise by milking venom from snakes. This venom was used for research purposes but also for the production of antivenom to treat snakebite victims.


Haast’s unique approach to handling snakes involved injecting himself daily with small amounts of venom from various snake species. This self-immunization process aimed to build up his immunity and protect him from the potentially lethal effects of snakebites. While he suspected that these injections contributed to his remarkably good health, Haast refrained from making definitive claims until he reached the age of 100.

Throughout his career, Haast made significant contributions to the field of snakebite treatment. Alongside a Miami doctor, he treated over 6,000 individuals with a snake-venom serum that showed promise in addressing conditions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis. The effectiveness of the serum gained attention after a 1979 report on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” However, the Food and Drug Administration later banned the product due to manufacturing deficiencies identified in Haast’s process. Nevertheless, researchers continue to explore the potential of venom-derived drugs for treating various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Haast’s dedication to helping others extended beyond his work at the serpentarium. He traveled around the world to donate his antibody-rich blood to snakebite victims, even receiving honorary citizenship in Venezuela for his efforts. In a remarkable turn of events, the White House once facilitated the delivery of a rare serum from Iran to treat Haast himself after he was bitten by a Pakistani pit viper.

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WTF Fun Fact 13392 – The Scott Kelly Gorilla Suit Prank

We know, we know. You’ve seen the viral posts about Mark Kelly smuggling a gorilla suit onto the International Space Station (ISS). But it turns out the hilarious moment is actually the Scott Kelly gorilla suit prank. Scott is Mark’s twin brother, and they are both astronauts.

Now, if you haven’t heard about this prank, you’re probably very confused right now.

The Scott Kelly gorilla suit prank

In 2016, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly secretly brought a gorilla suit with him on the mission, keeping it hidden from his fellow crew members. It wasn’t until one day that he decided to surprise his unsuspecting colleague.

Scott Kelly, known for his adventurous spirit and sense of humor, had a playful idea in mind. He understood the importance of camaraderie and lighthearted moments to boost morale in the isolated and demanding environment of space.

After smuggling the gorilla suit onboard, Kelly patiently waited for the perfect moment to execute his prank. He knew that the confined quarters of the ISS would amplify the surprise and make the prank memorable.

Finally, the day arrived when Kelly decided to put his plan into action. He donned the gorilla suit and approached his unsuspecting crew member, who was engrossed in his tasks.

Gorillas in space

Kelly lunged towards his crewmate, letting out a playful roar. The crew member, startled by the sudden appearance of a gorilla in space, jumped in surprise, and his shock quickly turned into laughter.

The crew burst into laughter, with Kelly’s prank providing a much-needed moment of levity. The sight of an astronaut in a gorilla suit floating weightlessly through the spacecraft was undoubtedly unforgettable.

The story of Scott Kelly’s gorilla suit prank spread, capturing the amusement of people on Earth. It showcased the lighter side of life aboard the ISS and reminded us that even in the vastness of space, humor and human connections are vital for well-being.

Of course, the presence of the gorilla suit on the ISS was unauthorized. NASA does not allow astronauts to bring personal items on missions. However, in this case, the harmless nature of the prank and the positive impact it had on the crew’s morale overshadowed any reprimand that Kelly may have received.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Fact Check: Did an Astronaut Smuggle a Gorilla Suit Onto the International Space Station?” — Newsweek

WTF Fun Fact 13391 – Giant Penguin Hoax

In 1948, the quiet shores of Clearwater Beach, Florida, were the site of a giant penguin hoax that would continue for a decade and not be explained for another 40 years.

Florida’s giant penguin hoax

Mysterious tracks resembling giant three-toed footprints emerged from the sea, leaving people astounded and intrigued. These footprints, approximately 35 centimeters long and 28 centimeters wide, stretched along the beach for miles, suggesting the presence of a colossal creature.

Word of the strange tracks quickly spread, and eyewitness accounts of unusual creatures started to surface. For example, students at the Dunedin Flying School claimed to have spotted a creature resembling a furry log with a boar’s head swimming in the water. A couple walking along the beach recounted a sighting of a towering creature waddling near the water before vanishing into the sea. The news of these encounters only deepened the mystery.

Monster hunting

The local police were compelled to investigate the footprints. British biologist Ivan Terence Sanderson, known for his ventures into pseudoscience, also took an interest in the case. Sanderson conducted his own investigations. He meticulously studied the tracks that continued to appear over the next decade. Sanderson proposed that a massive, 15-foot-tall penguin might be responsible for the enigmatic footprints.

The case for a giant penguin

Sanderson noted that the tracks consistently followed gentle slopes, even if it meant meandering along the way. Moreover, they skillfully avoided any obstacles, no matter how small, such as bushes or debris. These traits, according to Sanderson, were characteristic of typical animal behavior. He found it implausible that the tracks could be the result of a hoax, given the level of detail and precision involved in their creation.

The idea of an undiscovered giant penguin roaming the beach without anyone noticing seemed more plausible to him.

Uncovering the truth

Fast forward to 1988. That’s when the truth behind the peculiar footprints was finally revealed. A local man named Tony Signorini stepped forward and confessed to the prank.

Signorini and his friend, Al Williams, were inspired by a National Geographic photo of dinosaur footprints. Motivated by a mischievous spirit, they decided to embark on a decade-long hoax. They constructed enormous three-toed metal feet, which they attached to tennis shoes. Their plan involved taking a small rowboat out to sea, with one of them wearing the 14-kilogram (30-pound) shoes and walking up the beach. Later, they would rendezvous with the boat further along the coast.

To create the illusion of a large stride, Signorini would stand on one leg and swing the other, building momentum for a jump. The pair often had their friend report the footprints the following day to ensure their efforts wouldn’t go unnoticed. They meticulously orchestrated a prank that fooled the public and even experts for an astonishing four decades.

After Signorini’s passing in 2013, his family made sure that his obituary commemorated his role as “The Clearwater Monster.”

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Giant Penguin Hoax That Fooled Florida For 10 Whole Years” — IFL Science

WTF Fun Fact 13384 – Centralia Mine Fire

In Pennsylvania, a fire has been burning underground since May 1962. This coal-seam fire, known as the Centralia mine fire, has defied all attempts to extinguish it and continues to smolder to this day.

The origins of the Centralia mine fire

The exact cause and start date of the Centralia mine fire remains a matter of debate. Some suggest that it was ignited deliberately on May 27, 1962. That’s when the town council set a fire to clean up the landfill in an abandoned strip mine. However, others argue that the fire had already been burning before that fateful day. They think it may have originated from the Bast Colliery coal fire of 1932.

Regardless of its precise origin, the fire quickly spread into the labyrinth of abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. This helped perpetuate its unstoppable grip on the town.

The extent of the destruction

The Centralia mine fire is estimated to have the potential to burn for more than 250 years. It stretches over an area of 3,700 acres and reaches depths of up to 300 feet. This is a result of the abundance of coal and network of underground tunnels providing a fuel source.

Efforts to extinguish the fire have been futile, with multiple excavation projects failing to snuff out the flames.

The impact of the Centralia mine fire on the town and its residents has been catastrophic. Over time, the hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and low oxygen levels caused health concerns, leading to the evacuation and relocation of most residents.

By 2017, the population dwindled to just five residents. That’s a stark contrast to the 1,500 inhabitants at the time the fire began. Abandoned buildings, crumbling infrastructure, and eerie streets shrouded in smoke have transformed Centralia into an unlikely tourist attraction.

The ongoing legacy of the fire

As the fire persisted, legal battles and controversies emerged. In 1992, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey invoked eminent domain, condemning all the buildings in Centralia. The government offered the residents buyouts, and most accepted, leaving only a handful determined to remain in their homes.

Despite appeals, the remaining residents were eventually ordered to leave. However, the town reached an agreement in 2013 to allow some holdouts live out their lives before the properties would be taken through eminent domain.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “This Mine Fire Has Been Burning For Over 50 Years” — History Channel

WTF Fun Fact 13383 – The Longest Sneezing Fit

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “The longest sneezing fit ever recorded is that of Donna Griffiths (UK, b. 1969) who started sneezing on 13 January 1981 and surpassed the previous duration record of 194 days on 26 July 1981. She sneezed an estimated million times in the first 365 days and achieved her first sneeze-free day on 16 September 1983 – the 977th day.”

The longest sneezing fit in the world

Donna Griffiths holds the record for the longest sneezing fit ever recorded. Her ordeal began on January 13, 1981, and continued until September 16, 1983.

The uncontrollable sneezing started when Donna was just 12 years old. Initially, it began with an isolated sneeze, but soon escalated into an unending series of sneezes that persisted day and night. Doctors diagnosed her with “hay fever,” or allergic rhinitis. They hypothesized that it was triggered by an allergic reaction to environmental factors such as dust, pollen, or pet dander.

Throughout her marathon sneezing fit, Donna’s life was severely impacted. She found it challenging to carry out even the simplest daily tasks. The constant sneezing disrupted her sleep, hindered her ability to eat, and made it nearly impossible to concentrate. The physical strain on her body was immense, resulting in extreme exhaustion and weight loss.

The quest for a cure

Seeking relief, Donna consulted numerous medical professionals who struggled to find a solution. Doctors attempted to use antihistamines, steroids, and other allergy medications. But unfortunately, none provided any lasting respite. Specialists were baffled by the persistence of her condition and the lack of response to conventional treatments.

As news of Donna’s extraordinary sneezing fit spread, her case drew attention from the media and medical community alike. Reporters followed her story closely, documenting her struggles and attempts to find a cure. Her condition became a medical curiosity, and experts across the globe weighed in on potential causes and treatments for her unique case.

The end of the ordeal

Eventually, after enduring nearly three years of relentless sneezing, Donna’s condition began to subside. The sneezing fits gradually became less frequent and less intense until they eventually ceased altogether. The relief she experienced was indescribable, bringing an end to her remarkable and exhausting ordeal.

Donna’s case remains one of the most extraordinary medical mysteries in history. The exact reason behind her prolonged sneezing fit is still not fully understood, and her recovery has left doctors and researchers intrigued but perplexed. While her condition was undoubtedly a harrowing experience, Donna’s story serves as a testament to human resilience and the capacity to endure unimaginable challenges.

Today, Donna Griffiths lives a relatively normal life, free from the constant sneezing that once plagued her existence. Her remarkable journey continues to fascinate and inspire, reminding us of the remarkable complexities of the human body and the enduring spirit of those who face extraordinary circumstances.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Sneezing myths and facts” — BBC News

WTF Fun Fact 13381 – Ruby Slippers Theft

For those unaware, the ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” were actually stolen in 2005. These iconic shoes, synonymous with the film’s magic and Dorothy’s journey, were on display at the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota when they were taken. The ruby slippers theft garnered significant attention and led to a lengthy search for their whereabouts.

The conclusion of the ruby slippers theft saga

In 2023, a grand jury in North Dakota indicted a man on charges of stealing a pair of iconic ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”

The theft occurred in 2005, but the slippers were recovered in a 2018 FBI sting operation. However, no arrests were made at the time. Terry Martin, a 76-year-old resident living near the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota, was indicted. He was charged with one count of theft of a major artwork.

The indictment did not provide further details about Martin. When approached by the press, Martin declined to comment, only stating, “I gotta go on trial. I don’t want to talk to you.”

Janie Heitz, the executive director of the museum, expressed surprise. The subject lived nearby, and yet none of the staff had ever seen him.

Multiple pairs

During the production of “The Wizard of Oz,” Garland wore several pairs of ruby slippers. However, only four authentic pairs are known to exist today. At the time of the theft, the slippers were insured for $1 million, but their current market value is estimated to be around $3.5 million, according to federal prosecutors.

The stolen slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the late actor’s hometown, when they were taken. Prosecutors reported that someone climbed through a window and broke the display case to steal the slippers.

The recovery of the stolen slippers followed years of searching and enticing rewards. Early in the case, law enforcement offered a $250,000 reward, and in 2015, an anonymous donor from Arizona pledged $1 million.

In 2017, a man contacted the shoes’ insurer, claiming he could help retrieve them. After an almost year-long investigation, the FBI seized the slippers in Minneapolis in July 2018. At that time, the bureau stated that no arrests had been made or charges filed in connection with the case.

Getting caught

A summons has been issued for Terry Martin, and an initial court appearance is scheduled for June 1 via video. The U.S. Justice Department in North Dakota provided limited information beyond the details included in the indictment.

The ruby red slippers are famously linked to the iconic line in “The Wizard of Oz,” where Garland’s character, Dorothy, clicks her heels together while repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.” The slippers are made from various materials, including wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin, plastic, and glass. The ruby color predominantly comes from sequins, while the bows feature red glass beads.

The other three pairs of slippers worn by Garland in the film are held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian, and a private collector.

Once the legal case concludes, the museum staff hopes that the slippers will return to Garland’s hometown, providing a fitting tribute to the legendary actress.

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Source: “Man indicted in theft of ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland” — AP News

WTF Fun Fact 13380 – Extreme Ironing

We didn’t realize anyone enjoyed ironing enough to actually keep up with it much less make it a sport, but extreme ironing is a real thing.

What is extreme ironing?

Extreme ironing, also known as EI, is a unique and unconventional sport that combines the ordinary task of ironing clothes with the thrill of extreme activities. It involves individuals taking their ironing boards and irons to remote and unusual locations, adding an element of excitement to an otherwise mundane household chore.

The Extreme Ironing Bureau defines EI as “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

The history of the “sport”

Originating in Leicester, England in 1997, extreme ironing was conceived by Phil Shaw, also known as “Steam,” as a way to infuse fun into his daily routine. The concept quickly gained popularity and evolved into a global phenomenon.

Participants, or “ironists,” perform this task in various settings, such as mountainsides, forests, canoes, while skiing or snowboarding, atop statues or buildings, underwater, and even in the midst of bustling streets. These performances can be done individually or in groups.

A spectator sport

While the sport may appear tongue-in-cheek to some, EI has gained attention from media outlets worldwide due to its intriguing combination of mundane and extreme elements. The sport challenges participants not only to showcase their ironing skills but also to possess the physical stamina and mental resilience necessary to navigate and conquer unexpected environments.

Safety is a crucial aspect of EI, as participants must take precautions while engaging in their ironing adventures. The sport requires careful navigation and coordination, especially in more hazardous locations. Ironists prioritize their safety while ensuring they can successfully complete the task in extreme conditions.

Ironing goes mainstream(ish)

The sport has gained significant attention through documentaries and media coverage. A documentary titled “Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory,” produced by Britain’s Channel 4, followed the British team’s journey and their participation in the first Extreme Ironing World Championships in Germany. This exposure propelled EI into the international spotlight, attracting more enthusiasts to join the sport.

Notable achievements in the sport include ironing the Union Jack flag just above Everest Base Camp, setting a world altitude record for the sport. Ironists have also ironed across gorges, participated in bungee ironing (combining bungee jumping with ironing), and even ironed underwater, breaking records for the number of people ironing simultaneously.

The influence of EI has extended beyond the sport itself, inspiring other unusual activities like extreme cello playing.

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Source: “Extreme Ironing: History, Types, Objective, & Equipment” — Sportsmatik