Gravy

PICTURE: Robert Owen-Wahl/www.freeimages.com

• We’ve covered some unusual sports in StrangeSights over the years but never come across this one until now – the World Gravy Wrestling Championships. Held in the UK town of Rossendale in Lancashire last weekend, the 6th annual event once again saw people from across the UK wearing fancy dress as they engaged in two minute wrestling bouts while in a pool of the brown stuff, winning points both for their own moves and for the response of the audience. And it was all in the name of charity with proceeds raised on the day going to the work of a local hospice.

Still in the UK and this time we’re turning to goings on in the animal world – in particular the honoring of a penguin with the rank of brigadier. Bearing the rather dignified moniker Sir Nils Olav, the penguin is the mascot of His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard. Honoured with a knighthood in 2008, the bird – who lives in Edinburgh Zoo, was reportedly honoured with his new title when inspecting the guard who were in the Scottish capital to take part in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Sir Nils, so named in 1972 for Major Nils Egelien, who organised his adoption, and the then-King of Norway, King Olav, is routinely awarded promotions when guard members visit.

The unofficial motto of the US Postal Service may well state that “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” will stay its mail men and women in their work but there’s no mention of boats being grounded. The MV Sophie C, the service’s oldest mail boat, was reportedly grounded briefly earlier this month when it got temporarily stuck on some rocks near an island in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. Passengers and crew were offloaded before the boat was freed. The MV Sophie C, which commenced work in 1892, is the oldest floating post office in the US.

This week’s unusual church is the modern Protestant Harajuku Church in Tokyo, Japan. Designed by Japanese-French architects Ciel Rouge, the curvaceous concrete structure has been designed to make the most of light and sound. It is the latest of several incarnations the church has had since it was first built in 1911. To see some images head to ArchDaily.