WEIRD NEWS

World Snuff Championship: Not Everyone Is Up To Snuff (VIDEO)

07/11/2012 10:00 am ET

People who aggressively stuff powder up their noses are called a lot of things, but rarely "world champions," unless of course you're talking about competitors at the World Snuff Championships.

For 18 years, the most athletic nostrils on the planet have competed in the art of packing pulverized tobacco up their schnozzolas.

The goal of the snooty contest is to see which contestant can stuff up to 5 grams of snuff into his or her nostrils within a minute. The person who stuffs the most and has the cleanest work station wins the competition, according to Hungeree.com.

Nearly 300 men and women gathered in Peutenhausen -- Germany's powdered tobacco heartland -- to take part in the competition.

Christian Knauer, Jr., who won the 2011 crown, told Reuters the Snuff-Off is like any other athletic event.

"It's like being a football player," Knauer said. "You have to get into it. The nasal mucosa suffers a bit, but that goes away after a few minutes, then it's okay again."

As more people become aware of the dangers of tobacco, being a snuff champion isn't something that a person necessarily brags about, according to Team America contestant Wayne Smith.

"We keep it a secret," he laughed to Reuters. "No, I tell them we're representing the United States of America in an international competition -- a world championship."

Still, the substance, has had a major impact on culture since it first came to Europe from the Caribbean in the late 16th century, according to EnglishBlog.com, which credits snuff with inspiring such slang terms as "sniff something out," which means to discover it after some searching; "nothing to sneeze at," which is something worth having; and "up to snuff," which is when something meets the required standard.

Of course, if someone snuffs it, that means they're dead.

GALLERY: 2012 WORLD SNUFF CHAMPIONSHIP

2012 World Snuff Championships
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