Bonkers Championship Sees People Using Musical Instruments to Charm Worms From The Soil
People around the world follow a whole lot of absurd traditions and play annual games that might not make sense to people from another part of the globe. One such contest is known as the annual Worm Charming Championships which takes place in Falmouth town of Cornwall, England each year. According to Metro, several people participated in the third worm charming contest on May 21, 2023, where they tried to replicate sounds and vibrations created by raindrops which usually draw the worms to the surface.
found my people in pictures from a wildly unsuccessful worm charming competition in cornwall pic.twitter.com/ZfuSQ9Zfo3— doruk (@d0ruk_b) March 13, 2023
Worm charming, also known as grunting or fiddling, is an ancient art form, and a long-running competitive sport. It involves scraping a wooden stick with a notch near the ground in order to attract worms to the surface where they are caught for bait. However, during this Cornwall contest which had the motto 'charm, don't harm,' conventional worm-charming approaches could be ignored, and unconventional methods could be embraced since all the worms gathered were to be released into the wild. As the Gweek Silver Band played holiday music, several people could be seen entering the arena in a video released by Cornwall Live.
Contestants receive a small patch of grass and have 30 minutes to use whatever instruments they want to lure worms to the surface (4/8) pic.twitter.com/Pix0QIQCKu— Frankie Adkins (@frankie_adkins3) May 22, 2023
For this peculiar annual championship, people brought their weapons of choice such as instruments, watering cans, graters, a musical saw, a lime green foam roller, papier-mache seagull feet, country dancers, croquet sets and one woman even created an entire mini cocktail bar along with her silver shaker and her tool, hoping they can draw out the worms from the soil.
A bunch of other contestants also tried some hilariously unique methods to win this sport. Some techniques used during this year's competition include praying to the worm gods, writing a love letter to the worms, playing the didgeridoo and blowing into vuvuzelas, per the outlet. Compared to last year, where only one lone worm reached the surface, participants this year were able to entice 260 worms out of the ground. The teams were given a two-meter square piece of grass each and had 30 minutes to lure worms out without using any mechanical instruments or digging.
Behold, the utterly bonkers Falmouth Worm Charming Championships which took place today, where competitors used a combination of brass instruments, garden tools, interpretive dance and the odd didgeridoo to charm 260 worms, and, inadvertently, one baby. https://t.co/5RnL6gvVkl pic.twitter.com/s7VQXWiU00— Greg Martin (@photogregmartin) May 21, 2023
This year's event was supported by the Arts Council and Feast, and attracted a lot of attention, thanks to its worm-themed artwork, tattoos, merchandising and brass band entertainment. Georgia Gendall, 31, is the brain behind this event. She was seen sporting a pink top with the words "WORM JUDGE" spray-painted on the back. Earlier in the week over tea at her studio, Gendall said that worms have long been a part of her art and she hopes that the finalists leave with a new regard for them, reports The Guardian.
In the 2023 championship battle to charm the worms out of the soil, the winning team managed to draw out 20 worms in half an hour and yet, they are far behind the current world record holder in worm charming. A then 10-year-old Sophie Smith charmed out 567 worms during Britain's World Worm Charming Championship in 2008 and she still holds the record, per Guinness World Records.