Extreme Sport: Meat-Hook Dangling

Kids nowadays! What will they think of next? Reuters is reporting that a popular new pasttime amongst youngsters in the Florida Keys is to dangle themselves from meat hooks attached to bamboo tripods set up at the beach, and then just hang out that way for a while. Apparently the Coast Guard found "a young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders." I don't know. I thought I had come across some pretty strange things in my time, but meat-hook dangling definitely took me by surprise. But then, when I was over the initial shock, I immediately thought of the sport of Monkey Fishing, which Slate.com wrote about back in 1996. Monkey Fishing (which also, according to Slate, was popular down in the Florida Keys) involves rowing up to the island of Lois Key which contains a population of wild monkeys, attaching a piece of fruit to a fishing line, throwing the fruit to the monkeys, waiting until the monkeys impale themselves on the hook when they try to eat the fruit, and then yanking the poor animals into the water. Monkey Fishing, of course, turned out to be a hoax which Slate was taken in by. So could meat-hook dangling be the new monkey fishing? Reuters says that the Coast Guard vouches for the reality of meat-hook dangling, but I'd like to see some pictures and get a little more proof before I totally accept this story.

Body Manipulation Sports

Posted on Mon Jul 19, 2004


I'm sorry guys but this is just awful. This sort of self mutilation shows extreeme phycological problems. They all need to seek help. Before it's too late.
Posted by Beth  on  Tue Jul 27, 2004  at  11:41 AM
I just about puked up all 3 meals after looking at the pictures, and then clicking all the links that y'all put up. It's strange, because even though it grosses me out to within an inch of my life, I have to look at the pictures. Ugh, it gives me chills. What happened to Skydiving or bungee jumping? I was afraid to get my ears pierced, there's no way I could ever shove metal hooks through my skin like that. Blegh.
Posted by Katie  in  St Louis  on  Wed Jul 28, 2004  at  12:14 AM
For what it's worth, I know a group of people in Austin, TX who do this regularly, strictly as a spiritual practice. They tell me that it has something to do with a historical American Indian practice called a "Sun Dance." I went to one ritual/performance after being repeatedly invited and reassured, and it really is an extremely intense experience, and quite real as well. Not my particular cup of tea, but it happens for sure and the people who are committed to the experience seem to have positive and uplifting reactions to it...and no permanent damage.
Posted by kel  on  Sun Aug 01, 2004  at  04:26 AM
i'm back from vacation! meat hook dangling is fake!
Posted by john  in  NH  on  Thu Aug 05, 2004  at  12:06 AM
MEAT hook dangling is fake...
becasue we actually use fish hooks with the barbs ground off..

That's me.
Posted by anne  on  Fri Aug 06, 2004  at  05:20 PM
Oh man. I didn't need to see that. I can't even watch when they draw blood from my arm at the doctor.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Aug 06, 2004  at  05:25 PM
that picture is fake. so are all the rest of them. it's all a hoax
Posted by john  in  NH  on  Sat Aug 14, 2004  at  05:12 PM
it's actually very very real. it's a ritualistic thing call suspention. and as anne said, they aren't meat hooks, they are fish hooks. check this site for all the proof you need.
Posted by kate  in  dc  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  03:57 PM
It's disgustingly horrendous! shut eye
Posted by Shah  in  Singapore  on  Wed Aug 25, 2004  at  10:44 PM
This is very real... I watched a couple get married like that on Ripleys Believe it or not.. also had a friend do it for her 28th bday. I wouldnt do it.. but people really do.
Posted by Stephanie  in  Gilbert,Az  on  Sat Sep 18, 2004  at  10:41 PM
I'd like to do that
Posted by Ariel  on  Fri Oct 15, 2004  at  05:43 PM
There's a wrestler known as Zandig who works the independant circuit who did this. He's also the promoter of CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling, basically ECW version 2. More hardcore, though.) Yeah, he's nuts.
Posted by Dudester  on  Thu Apr 14, 2005  at  04:38 PM
Didn't see this before... Sun Dance is alive and well, at least in B.C. I believe it is probably illegal, but I do know the Native Americans where I grew up do sometimes still do this. About 10 years ago (or so) an aquaintance of mine did it. I was invited to go to it (big honor) but wasn't able to go. He did come out a changed person, much more spiritual....This I don't have a problem with because it is an adult choice, not infringing on anyone.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Thu Apr 14, 2005  at  05:08 PM
I don't understand the comparison to skydiving. It's much safer than that. Worst case scenario and a hook breaks (which is extremely rare) you fall about 10 feet, as opposed to when your parachute doesn't open and you plummet thousands. On a side note, it's real and it's beautiful to watch. I've been to suspension events, and I'm doing my first one in a few weeks.
Posted by Sarah  on  Sun Sep 25, 2005  at  10:20 AM
This was also a ritualistic practice with some American Indians but I do not recall the tribes. I believe it was showcased in an old movie named A Man Called Horse? It was painful to watch as he was lifted by 2 hooks imbedded in his chest.
Posted by Mean Capn Bob  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  02:55 PM
cool...i would love to do that suspension, i always wanted to fly
Posted by Eva  in  New york  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  07:29 PM
it is real ive seen many pictures of it on bme, go look if u think its fake, im very interested in trying it but im having trouble locating people in brighton who are practising it, if anyone can help me please give me an e-mail
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Posted by Dan  in  brighton  on  Mon Feb 27, 2006  at  06:25 AM
http://www.suspension.org can help you find a local suspension group.
Posted by ammre  on  Fri Mar 03, 2006  at  01:50 AM
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