Bog Snorkelling Is The Strangest Sport You've Never Heard Of [PHOTOS]

If you’ve never heard of Bog Snorkelling, we don’t blame you. We hadn’t either. Nevertheless, this past weekend, the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling championship took place in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, and people came out in droves to swim through the muddy course or to cheer others on.

Competitors must swim the full length of a water-filled, 60-meter-long trench twice in the fastest time in order to win. The trenches, dug in a peat bog known as Peatlands Park, quickly fill with a nutrient rich, sloppy mess of mud.

When competing in a bog snorkel race, you are not allowed to use traditional swimming strokes. Instead, you can only use the power of your legs (with flippers on, of course).

Irish Bog Snorkelling Championships

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Both men and women compete in the timed trials, while fans watch and cheer.


Bog Snorkelling was conceived in a bar (where else?) in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales in 1976, by a man named Gordon Green. The first championships were held in the same town, nine years later.

Once finished, contestants are invited to take a dip in the “bog jacuzzi” to relax after the gruelling race.

A wetsuit isn’t required, but most people wear one anyway. It makes it easier to wash off all that mud and peat.

The world record holder for fastest time is Danika McGuire, who completed the race in one minute, 23 seconds. That’s around 2.95 miles per hour. She was 18 at the time, but people of all ages come to compete in the races.

The event just happens to occur on International Bog Day and all the proceeds went to charity.

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