Okay kids, today’s activity is to go down to your local Pizza Hut, have the oven set for 261° and insert your body into it. The tips of your ears start to ignite. The backs of your arms scream. Your throat burns as if somebody had stuck a tiki torch down it. Your lips feel bitten by large, unseen raccoons. And you haven’t hit 30 seconds. Now do it for 10 minutes or more, and that’s what it’s like to compete in quite possibly the world’s dumbest sport: the Sauna World Championships.
Then there was Ellis, who entered the quarterfinals with dozens of blisters on his body. “Man, I knew I was in trouble right away,” he later said. “When I felt this big, half-dollar-size blister behind my back, I said, ‘Okay, that’s enough. I gotta get out.’” He was the first out, at 4:15, and he was melting like the wicked witch. His forehead, his lips and his ears were giant lumps of pus. His triceps were riddled with pebble-size blisters, dozens of them. So much skin was hanging off him he looked like the world’s most successful gastric-bypass patient. His forehead was a science-fiction movie. His nose was cooked like a forgotten kielbasa. And this was just what we could see.
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