Every year, a Worm Charming Championship brings together dozens of people to the small village of Willaston, Cheshire in the UK for an unusual and one-of-a-kind event involving worms.
People from all over the world come together on a Saturday late June at Willaston Primary Academy to charm worms out of the soil.
The competition is open to individuals, teams and even schools.
Participants are assigned to a 3×3 meter plot of land and tasked to charm as many worms as possible within 30 minutes.
Several rules are in place, including prohibiting people from digging, using drugs and giving water to the worms, which is considered a drug or stimulant.
Competitors unleash their creativity, using various forms of music, as well as hand tools or other non-harmful methods to attract the worms to the surface.
At the end of the event, two prizes are awarded: one for the heaviest worm caught and another for the most worms caught.
The highest score so far is 567 worms, recorded in 2009 by “The Willaston Wobblers”, a three-person team.
The event dates back to 1980 and has become a tradition as a fun and unique outdoor activity in which anyone can sign up as a competitor, regardless of age or skill level.
The event’s initial purpose was to provide entertainment, while also celebrating the traditional skill of worm charming.
It has not only become a tradition, but also a way to raise people’s awareness of environmental issues and the importance of protecting the earth’s ecosystems, including the soil and its inhabitants, such as worms, as it has been passed down through generations.
The competition also helps to raise money for charity and donate to various organizations.