The 6 Most Aggressively Stupid Acts of Human Endurance
The English language should have a word for that feeling when you simultaneously admire a person and are also completely baffled by them. That's how we feel about all of the people below. Each one did things that required extreme amounts of dedication and perseverance -- qualities that would probably let these people rule the world, if only they devoted them to something that wasn't utterly insane.
Kirby Roy Practices Getting Kicked in the Nuts (a Lot)
There are two facts that will forever remain a constant in our universe. The first is that if you're a male, at some point in your life you WILL get kicked in the balls. And second, you would sell your own grandmother to a traveling circus to avoid being kicked there again.
"Sorry, Gamgam, but it's for the greater good ..."
We therefore must assume that martial arts instructor Kirby Roy loves his grandma a little too much, because in a world record that no sane person would want to challenge, he has withstood a 22 mph kick to the nuts from MMA fighter Justice Smith, a force so strong that it can literally fracture the pelvis (and we assume turn testicles into liquid). Warning -- no one should watch the following video:
Wait, it gets worse! See, nobody wakes up one morning and suddenly decides to partake in such an extreme act of masochism, and Kirby Roy didn't, either. No, this man has spent the better part of his life training his bags of joy to withstand such punishment. And you can only do that via repetition.
Under the tutelage of juko-ryu kijutsu practitioner Dr. Rod Sacharnoski, Roy has spent several decades learning various techniques in order to withstand strikes to the throat, temple, legs, and, most importantly, testicles, without showing signs of pain. The process, as you can imagine, is simultaneously simple and unfathomable. One must start by "lightly tapping their testicles with a paddle" before slowly, over the course of a year, increasing the force until they can withstand a full whack without weeping uncontrollably. It's only when this is achieved that students like Roy can begin to receive actual strikes from their fellow peers, and take part in crazy record attempts with it.
"This is just a ploy to get us all to touch your balls, isn't it?"
Here's the thing ... we understand wanting to condition yourself a little bit to not be such a wuss. But receiving a kick to the balls is something that all men universally understand to be 100 percent exempt from all external demonstrations of toughness and bravery. It's OK if you break down sobbing and curl up into the fetal position, and no one on planet Earth would think any less of you. And even if they did, is it something that comes up so often that you need to devote decades of your life to developing leathery, impact-proof nuts? If so, you may have other problems in your life that should be addressed first.
Kenichi Ito Spends His Life Perfecting Running on All Fours
As you can see, what fascinates us about these feats are the weird superhero-type origin stories that lay behind them. Which brings us to Kenichi Ito, the man who, through years of practice, mastered the art of running really fast on all fours.
How is he not constantly running into things?
If this doesn't look grueling to you, go ahead and get up and walk around on all fours for a moment. No cheating by getting on your knees, either -- all fours, with feet and palms planted on the ground. Now imagine doing that for an hour. Now eight. Now about a thousand. Now just walk like that everywhere, all the time. See how long you can do it before your spine rejects your body and leaps out of your back, running away, shrieking.
It all started when, as a child, Ito picked up the unfortunate nickname "monkey." Hey, it happens. What typically doesn't happen is for the person to so totally embrace it the way this guy does. A true fan of all things simian, young Mr. Ito decided to spend a freaking decade of his life practicing to walk like a monkey, down on all fours, with his butt unceremoniously pointed heavenward. Or as he explains it:
"I really liked [monkeys], and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits. When I saw a monkey that could run fast, I knew I'd found it -- and from that point on I practiced running like a monkey every day."
"I originally wanted to adopt the poop flinging, but lacked the arm and accuracy."
Call him crazy, but you have to admire his dedication -- this guy got so adept at this style of locomotion that he's even started setting Guinness World Records for racing on all fours, clocking a 100-meter dash in less than 18 seconds -- probably faster than what most of us could do on two legs.
Although we'll gladly give up that ability for having to have that haircut.
Not everyone around him was so understanding, unfortunately. The locals harassed Ito so much that he had to scamper up to the mountains for a month-long "training camp" just so he could practice his art in peace without the taunts of bystanders insisting that he was making a mockery of evolution. His plans were somewhat derailed, however, when a huntsman mistook him for a wild boar and tried to shoot him. We're not making a joke. That actually happened.
Amar Bharti Holds His Arm in the Air ... for 40 Years
When most people are a bit down on their luck, they like to go home after a hard day's work, crack open a few beers, and spend the next several hours lost in a soothing Honey Boo Boo marathon. An Indian man went through a similar experience, and proved that he was not most people.
Except for the Mardi Gras beads. He got those the same way most topless people do.
Amar Bharti decided to devote himself fully to the Hindu god Shiva. He started with doing what any reasonable god would approve of; namely, leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves and becoming a homeless nomad. But when that move didn't bring the expected results (whatever those would be), he decided to raise his right hand in the air and keep it up. Um, "for peace." That was in 1973, which is nigh on 40 years spent asking for permission to use the bathroom.
Unfortunately, this gesture did not bring about world peace, and Amar Bharti's arm now doesn't work whatsoever. His atrophied limb is locked into place, uncut fingernails twisting around his gnarled hand. And while this act of sacrifice was incredibly painful to begin with, he now says he has lost all feeling. "It hurt for the first year and a half," he said, "but it's fine now, thanks."
Amar Bharti also belongs to the Naga sect of sadhus, which is a group of Shiva worshipers who have been known to engage in even more bizarre and extreme acts of devotion. One well-known trick is to pick up a huge rock with nothing other than the penis, usually severing nerve endings in the process. We decided to put this guy in the article instead, because we can actually show pictures of this.
Gregory Paul McLaren Covers His Body in Tattoos ... Twice
Some tattoos are more painful than others. A little butterfly tattoo on your butt doesn't hurt nearly as much as getting a giant tattoo of a butt right on your neck. But when you hear about somebody getting tattoos over their entire body, including their genitals, you automatically know that many hours of extreme pain were involved.
That brings us to street performer Gregory Paul McLaren, who decided at one point to change his name to Lucky Diamond Rich and surrender his whole body to the tattooing gods. And we mean his whole body. Including parts you're not thinking of yet.
Half John C. Reilly, half Lord of the Rings orc.
The folks at Guinness recognize Lucky as the single most tattooed man in the world. How tattooed is he? Well, according to the good people who measure this sort of thing, he has 200 percent of his body covered. That means he has had his whole body totally covered by tattoos, and then had all of those tattoos covered by other tattoos.
So Lucky Diamond Rich went through the agony of getting ink injected into every pore of his body by needle (including the folds of his ears, eyelids, and, uh, other, more sensitive parts) not just once, but twice. And not only that, but without any more skin to scribble on, he has taken to the inside of his body as a way to keep up his obsession. You name it, he has had it done. The insides of his eyelids? Check. The insides of his mouth? Check. How about the inside of his foreskin? Yep!
We're guessing this photo was taken as it was happening.
If you're wondering if this man is totally insane, then fear not, for he just sees himself as a work of art. "I'm not a lunatic. Hey, I'm in the most published book in the world!" he says. Coming from a guy who likes to juggle machetes atop a 13-foot-tall unicycle, we're not sure if we can take his word for it, but there you go.
Those don't look like the circus tricks of a liar.
Tony Wright Stays Awake for 11 Days and Nights, Starts Hallucinating
Most of us have stayed up for a couple of days straight due to some extreme deadline or even more extreme party. If you're a doctor or a crab fisherman on Deadliest Catch, maybe you've stayed up longer, like three days. Those of you who've attempted such a feat know that when you push the limits, shit starts to get weird.
"Holy shit ... I think I can understand David Lynch movies."
Now imagine staying awake for a week and a half. Or let us just tell you that it's a great way to put your health at serious risk, bringing on hallucinations, paranoia, dizziness, and a host of other issues.
Which brings us to Tony Wright, who, in 2007, decided to go for the world record for most number of days without sleep. When we say world record, keep in mind that Guinness won't even honor it as one, deciding it was too dangerous.
The list of why this is a fantastic plan goes on and on.
Nevertheless, Wright beat the long-standing record held by Randy Gardner with 264 straight hours of consciousness. If you're wondering how on earth a man can keep his eyes open for that long without resorting to copious amounts of glue and enough drugs to fuel an '80s hair metal band, you're in good company. The only real distractions Wright had at his disposal were a pool table (which he played so much that his feet blistered), a diary to log his slow descent into madness, and a constant barrage of phone calls, emails, and radio interviews that he was obliged to take part in. An excerpt from Day 5 of his journal:
"You also become aware of a loud ringing in your ears. This is the sound of the non-stop sleeper from Penzance coming to take you away ... The flat screen starts turning into a multi-dimensional portal to another world and the text into a welcoming entourage of giggling dancing pixies and elves ..."
"Well of course if you say it like that it just sounds crazy."
Why he would be interested in doing this, especially when the serious detrimental effects of severe sleep loss are already well-documented, one can only guess (unless he was just really determined to show up in this article).
Brian Zembic Dedicates His Life to a Series of Dangerous and Pointless Stunts
A professional gambler by trade, and the sort of guy who will do almost anything for money, Brian Zembic gained a reputation for taking on crazy proposition bets, usually as a result of hanging around a group of people who had far too much money and weirdly overactive imaginations. So while everyone else on this list subjected himself to a weird stunt due to some powerful impulse or deeply personal crusade, Zembic's life is a continuing string of different stunts, all done for cash.
For instance, one bet included strapping $20,000 of his own money around his ankles while he spent a night in Central Park. Another involved sleeping in a cardboard box on the street outside his local backgammon club; another involved living in a bathroom for a week while his friends would take regular dumps just to piss him off.
"How can they have Taco Tuesday and Thursday?"
These, while challenging and definitely stupid in their own right, pale in significance when presented with the bet to end all bets. A friend offered Zembic $100,000 to do one very specific thing -- to go under the knife and receive implants to boost his somewhat flat chest to a very curvy and freakish looking 38C -- and keep them in for a whole year.
Zembic, having long ago decided that a "regular job" was not for him, actually took his friend up on the offer and went through with it. And we haven't even come to the best part yet: It's a decade later and he still hasn't taken them out, despite being offered more money to do so.
There aren't words ...
Swapping money for dignity has served Zembic well so far, but it hasn't always been straightforward, as carrying a pair of boobs brings with it some unwanted side effects. To appear somewhat normal, he has to tape them down and wear spandex tops under his clothes, and he can't go jogging without having them tightly secured in a sports bra. Worst of all has to be in dealing with airport security, who quite rightly become suspicious of the guy who is clearly "packing" something extra.
"They didn't even buy me dinner first."
Today Zembic is mulling a new bet: $50,000 to go under the knife again to go up a cup size, or $10,000 to take them out completely ... and he's having a hard time deciding. We would make some joke about how insane that is, but we realize how many of the males out there are already thinking they'd happily take the implants for 50 grand. Hey, make some calls. There's apparently a market for it.
Related Reading: You know what else takes endurance? Surviving a week stuck in a river of human shit. Or running 180 miles through the Sahara desert while being chased by Nazis. And we're just getting started with stories of insane human durability. Ever heard of Wim Hof- the man who hiked up Mt. Everest in shorts and sandals? He's immune to the cold. Which sounds impressive to everyone but Ma Xiangang, the man who cannot be electrocuted.
For more blazing acts of stupidity, check out 6 People Who Died In Order To Prove A (Retarded) Point and 6 Spectacularly Bad Ideas From History's Greatest Geniuses.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out How a 90-Year-Old Man Made the Most Metal Album Ever.