If you thought some modern sports were a bit odd then wait until you read about some of history's most bizarre ancient sports. Waaay before we had things like soccer or Playstation to entertain ourselves with, playing dangerous sports was the way to go.
This game was popular in Afghanistan and involves a bunch of mounted players, some as many as a thousand, in a violent battle to attempt to pitch the body of a headless goat across a goal line. Sooo ... we're sure this sport wouldn't be popular with PETA. The game was deemed immoral at one point but has since made a comeback.
This English sport may not be lethal but it is certainly hardcore. Yeah, it might not seem like a big deal having two people holding their opponent's neck and trying to kick each others' shin. But when the game was first invented, participants wore steel-toed boots. Ouch! The training was even worse as it required players to hit their own shin using different sized hammers.
This Egyptian game involved two groups of men rowing their boats into the Nile. Once there, they'd use pointed gaffes and oars to beat each other to a bloody pulp. Since they were near the water, the blood would often attract some dangerous audience members such as crocodiles. Talk about a BADASS game!
Nguni Stick Fighting
The Nguni would use one stick for defense and the other for offense. Essentially, the rule of the game was to beat the crap out of the other opponent. Winners and losers would often walk out with scars and bruises which they wore with honor. But there were rarely any fatalities while playing this game.
This ancient sport was practiced by Zaraniq tribal men in Yemen and it involved someone trying to jump over as many camels as humanly possible. It was a challenge that required you to leap like Superman. The sport was so popular back in the day that the tribe has reintroduced it in modern times.
This ancient Mexican sport was similar to field hockey but with a twist. The puck itself was literally flaming. Imagine playing hockey and seeing one of those disks flying towards you at the speed of light and on fire! That's enough to make anyone's heart race.
Death matches were not uncommon during the Roman Empire's reign. But in this particular challenge, humans were pitted against animals. The lions or bears were often starved and the human was rarely given given weapons. Therefore, it was less of a sport and more of an execution. In some cases, the matches included a form of dramatic storytelling to entertain the audience.