February 25th Holiday
INTERNATIONAL SWORD SWALLOWERS DAY
It is safe to assume that I will not be actively participating in today’s holiday. No sword swallowing for me, no thank you. I did find out a lot of neat facts about those brave men and women that for some reason decide to shove long sharp objects down their throats and into their stomachs. What makes one become a sword swallower? Well, I didn’t find an answer to that question, but I’m sure lack of regard for one’s own life has something to do with it. The current active sword swallowers gathered at various Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums to show off their skills for today’s holiday. Since the closest one of these museums to me is in Niagara Falls (about 5+ hours away), I had to skip the show. The performance art has been around for 4,000 years and they say there are only a few dozen practicing sword swallowers in the world today. I can’t imagine why this hasn’t caught on. These people not only do this for entertainment purposes, well mostly for entertainment purposes, but they also want to bring to light how helpful this profession has been for advancements in science and medicine. Because they have the ability to mentally shut off some of their bodies’ natural instincts (aka – gag reflex) people who have this skill have essentially been guinea pigs for many medical inventions in the past. The first rigid endoscopy and the first esophageal electrocardiogram were tested on sword swallowers. So, it goes to show that even the strangest of skills can be used for good. Here are a few pictures of this year’s event:
Ugh, my gag reflex is kicking in just looking at these pictures. How uncomfortable does that look? My curiosity got the best of me and I looked up how many people have died doing this crazy feat. There have been 29 documented deaths over the past 150 years from sword swallowing. Yikes! I don’t like those odds. Well, my hat goes off to all the professional sword swallowers out there. You all are much braver (and crazier) than me.
Total Cost to Celebrate: $0
Clip of the Day:
A clip of some of today’s action:
P.S. – Ick.