Status: Real (weird news)
If standing on a wooden platform as people hurl giant dead eels at you is your idea of a good time, then sorry, it's too late. The giant dead eel tossing contest held in the English village of Lyme Regis for the past 30 years has been cancelled. A lone animal-rights activist spoiled everyone's fun by complaining that the contest was disrespectful to the dead eel. It sounds to me like the guy may have been joking. (He sent his complaint via an anonymous email.) But still, the town decided not to use dead eels this year. Instead they used boat dock fenders as surrogate eels. But everyone agreed that it wasn't quite the same. Yahoo News reports
The practice, known as conger cuddling, is the annual highlight in the small coastal town about 155 miles southwest of London. The object of the game is to knock the opposing team off the platform by swinging a 25-pound eel at them. Crowds have flocked to Lyme Regis since 1974 to watch rival teams of nine men swing the giant conger eel — suspended in the harbor by a rope — and local residents said they are dismayed at the demise of their historic event.
Big Gary, who submitted this story, notes that a) nobody respects traditions anymore, and b) "a conger is a type of eel. The main distinguishing feature of congers is that they have pectoral fins, which are lacking or underdeveloped in most other eels (e.g. morays)."