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


ouch! That's what I say.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  03:37 PM
That sounds a little fantastic to me.
Posted by Ariel  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  04:37 PM
This is absolutely true...it's called a suspension.
I have friends that have been doing it for years.
The thing is that when your skin gets a hole in it, then the stretch from the suspension it produces a natural narcotic in your brain and you feel like you're floating. Everyon I've ever seen it done to or talked about it to have said that it really doesn't hurt after a while.
Here are some pics:
spc.bodymodification.com/.../ index6.htm
Posted by Gee  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  05:27 PM
More pics:

Posted by Gee...  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  05:30 PM
This really isn't new...it's been around since, well, the first I remember hearing of it was in California in the 70's.
Posted by Gee...  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  05:32 PM
Yeah, looks like it's true. Guess I've just led too sheltered a life. Here's another site about the practice:


Personally I can't even get an injection without feeling faint. All I can think is what if you were a bit overweight and the hooks just ripped out of your back.

I suppose it has the same appeal that flogging and hairshirts have for religious mystics.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  05:49 PM
I don't know about the Florida Keys stuff, but the lead singer of the metal band Society 1 has done at least one show while suspended from meat hooks. http://www.society1.net/ Ugh, I'm a metal fan, but that's even too sick for me.
Posted by Amy F.  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  06:03 PM
So what, is this some sort of weird self mutilation/body mod/extreme? I've done some weird stuff to get a high (cutting and piercing myself) but that looks pretty extreme . . . ick.
Posted by Ariel  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  09:11 PM
I have hemophilia (bleeding disorder) and I can say that that would definitely give me some permanent scars.
Posted by john  on  Mon Jul 19, 2004  at  10:39 PM
They've been showing this kind of thing on TV for ages. I think the problem is in the reporting... suggesting that it's a fad, and all kids are secretly doing this.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  01:19 AM
You might remember this sort of suspension was spotlighted as a pastime of the character played by Vincent D'Onofrio in the movie, "The Cell" with Jennifer Lopez.. if this is currently enjoying some popularity, I'll be this movie had something to do with it.
Posted by David  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  01:40 AM
The Lakota Indians practiced a sort of ritual suspension during their Sun Dance Rituals... you can see an example of this in the movie, "A Man Called Horse", with Richard Harris.

See here:
for a photo.
Posted by Dave  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  01:45 AM
There are certain people in India (and elsewhere) that engage in this practice, sometimes having parades with persons horizontal to the ground suspended by hooks in their backs and the backs of their legs (I've seen a documentary, but that was years ago, so I couldn't cite you chapter and verse). I forget whether or not this is related to their observance of Hinduism or not. Quite unnerving to see, but those doing it seem to be in no pain.
Posted by Chris  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  12:22 PM
EW! That is SO disgusting. I didn't even look at the pictures and I'm having horrific thoughts about people IMPALING THEMSELVES WITH MEAT HOOKS. What's wrong with people?!
Posted by Rita  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  12:30 PM
I agree with AqueousBoy. It's the reporter's problem
Posted by john  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  02:32 PM
Been there done that.
There is no "impaling" going on. The hooks are not stuck through any mucle or interior tissue, it's simply through the skin. Each hook/skin section can hold up to 80 lbs easially.
If you check out http://www.bmezine.com/ritual/susp-faq.txt
It tells you all about the process and such.
I've done a 6 hook (8 gague hook) suside suspension. (that is the upright format.)
The pictures fomr the key west incident can be found here:
enjoy 😊
Posted by anne  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  04:41 PM
let's get this on the pop list
Posted by john  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  11:25 PM
congratulations: we are on the pop list!
Posted by john  on  Tue Jul 20, 2004  at  11:30 PM
I actually know two of the people involved with this incident reported in the news. (Anne's bmezine link is them.) A really nice couple, who just happen to be into odd body modification stuff. I've seen enough pictures over the years that it's lost all shock value. (You'd never talk me into doing it, though.)

The press is reporting this as something kids are doing when, as you can see from the pictures, they are much older. Also, the husband has been a professional piercer for years and certainly knows what he is doing.
Posted by D.C.  on  Wed Jul 21, 2004  at  05:01 AM
Its real

I know the people who are doing this one - they have been doing it for months and all of a sudden somone gets prissy and calls the cops.

The cops get annoyed as its not agasint the law and the press picks up on it.

+ there where no teenagers there on the day - most of the people where actually in their 20, 30's and one quite a bit older than that...thats lousy press for you dont bother to check the facts.
Posted by Bob  on  Wed Jul 21, 2004  at  05:02 AM
And why would the press check the facts? That's no way to sell papers!!!
Posted by Gee...  on  Wed Jul 21, 2004  at  02:20 PM
Posted by john  on  Wed Jul 21, 2004  at  10:15 PM
For the record, most suspensions are performed with de-barbed, autoclave-sterilized deep sea fishing hooks. The "Meat Hook" reference is pure media sensationalism. The hooks do hurt, but they are not intolerable. Refer to suspension.org for factual information on procedures, as well as a FAQ. This activity far predates the film The Cell.
Posted by Vargr  on  Wed Jul 21, 2004  at  11:46 PM
This is not a hoax. While I don't know the individuals involved in this particular suspension group, I do know the members of a Philly-based suspension group. It's real. People do it. And it changes lives for the better.
Posted by Aubrey Jones  on  Thu Jul 22, 2004  at  01:28 AM

There's your photo. This doesn't belong on a hoax website 😉
Posted by sparkle  on  Thu Jul 22, 2004  at  05:22 AM
oh its real i saw it on tv everything on tv is real you know
Posted by john  on  Thu Jul 22, 2004  at  09:20 AM
you know what i think? I think this all fake. It doesn't seem very possible to hang from meat hooks impaled in your flesh. I'm pretty sure meat hook dangling is just a hoax. All you guys are just promnoting your photoshopped images and fake stories. You guys are all behind the conspiracy.
Posted by john  on  Thu Jul 22, 2004  at  09:33 AM
This has been reported in one of the biggest news-papers in sweden. The article in the link is in Swedish but there are alos pictures! Insane!
Posted by Bjorn Eriksen  on  Mon Jul 26, 2004  at  04:45 AM
ive done it... it kills
Posted by jill  on  Mon Jul 26, 2004  at  05:47 PM
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  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  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  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  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  03:57 PM
It's disgustingly horrendous! :shut:
Posted by Shah  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  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  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  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  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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