We all know someone who likes to brag about how much they can eat. At some point, dinner with these people inevitably turns to the time where they ate back-to-back Domino’s, or spent £20 in an ill-prepared McDonald’s. These people are often unbearably pleased with themselves and think the world needs to hear about their ability to scoff. Fortunately, these people know nothing about what it really means to eat.
For years now, professional eaters from around the world have dedicated themselves to the art of setting unusual food records in all sorts of odd categories. While all are impressive, some sound so outlandish as to seem all but impossible. As the perfect rebuttal for anyone who claims to be able to eat a lot, here are eight insane eating competition world records.
French fries, covered in gravy and served with cheese curds, are a classic Canadian comfort food. When eaten in competition, however, the dish turns from delightful to disgusting. The current competitive world record, set by the legendary Joey Chestnut, stands at 25 pounds eaten in 10 minutes.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s something slightly unnerving about letting an ice-cold oyster slip down your throat. It’s part of what makes them so appealing. Now imagine doing that 563 more times. In under eight minutes. This gag-inducing achievement was completed by the indomitable Sonya Thomas in 2012.
Another Sonya Thomas shellfish special, this particular record has stood since 2005. This is hardly surprising, given that on that fateful occasion, Thomas was able to wolf down 44 lobsters in 12 minutes. She must have had a bonus claws in her contract.
Hard-boiled eggs are an acquired taste at the best of times, but for the unconverted, picturing a man eating 141 of them in under eight minutes isn’t likely to help make the case. Set by Joey Chestnut in 2013, this particular record is disturbing on a number of levels.
As you might expect, there is a veritable pantheon of pizza world records from all corners of the globe, all worthy of recognition in their own special way. For our money, the most impressive is Geoffrey Esper’s 2018 record, where he managed to eat 19.25 personal pies in 10 minutes.
Another category that has more records than you’ve had hot meals, chicken wings are a competitive eater’s wet dream. Though there are again loads of disciplines to choose from, our favourite comes courtesy of Joey Chestnut, who managed to 182 wings in 30 minutes.
Even though it looks like something you’d extract from a kitchen plughole and smells like dog food, SPAM has a dedicated fan base around the world. However, even if you love SPAM with every inch of your being, you’ll struggle to get anywhere near the all-time record, which consists of six pounds eaten straight from the can, set in 2004 by Richard “The Locust” Le Fevre.
8. Hot Dogs
The daddy of all eating contests is, and probably always will be, the iconic Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, New York. The competition has seen many great triumphs over the years, but none more impressive than Joey Chestnut’s performance last year, where he inhaled 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
There aren’t many competitions that are in equal parts impressive and disgusting. Whether or not these eating achievements make your stomach churn, there can be little doubt that the record breakers deserve some respect. At the very least, they give you a good comeback the next time your friend starts mouthing off about their Domino’s story.