#4 of The 8 Most Baffling "Sports" From Around The World
What is it?
Imagine, if you can, standing in a barn in a small village on the moors of North Yorkshire, in England. In the barn, there are a lot of dour looking Gentlemen standing around you, glowering, drinking ale and smoking pipes. Oh yeah, you're shirtless, and your trousers are securely tied around your ankles. There's a fellow in front of you holding two ferrets. These two small, carnivorous, weasel-like beasts with sharp claws and teeth are squirming, and they look both pissed off and really, really hungry.
Then, the fellow with the ferrets gives you the nod. You pull your trousers out, and he throws the ferrets in, pulling your belt tight afterwards.
That's basically the idea of this. It's referred to as "keepin' 'em down" and Ferret Leggers have to keep the two thrashing, angry ferrets down their trousers for as long as possible. When the Ferret Legger can't take any more, they whip their trousers down, freeing the Ferrets, and spend the next few weeks trying to piece together their shredded pride. And genitals.
Organized events seem to have petered out before the era of YouTube videos, but fortunately you can still find some enthusiasts participating in the privacy of their own homes.
The current world record is held by a Yorkshireman called Reg Mellor, who kept two ferrets down his trousers for five hours and twenty six minutes back in 1981. No one dared ask him why.
We have no idea, nor do we really want to find out. All we know is that it was popular in the early 1900s, and rallied again in the 1970s. Currently Yorkshire and Scotland are both arguing as to who invented the sport first, hopefully each accusing the other.
The sport appears to be illegal in Great Britain, which is the only place where it is played. We suppose the authorities must turn a blind eye because, really, what can they do to punish a guy who's already had a ferret attack his testicles?