I was reading this week’s edition of Science and there was a blurb about cricket research. Apparently, the strongest crickets are those with the biggest heads, as cricket fighters have known for years. Wait, what? Cricket fighters? Yes, apparently there is actually a sport of cricket fighting! And as this Discovery channel video shows, it is apparently kind of a big deal.
Cricket fighting originated in the Song dynasty (960 – 1279 AD). The fights, which generally last five minutes but occasionally go up to forty five minutes, are deathly boring. Try searching on youtube for some videos. These poor crickets are caught after the winter snows, because obviously the only crickets worthy of fighting are those hardy to survive the winter. They are then brought into the city where clubs of all levels – from amateurs to professionals – conduct cricket matches. Unfortunately, there are problems with cricket doping. Luckily, no real harm comes to the cricket although the loser gets a bit depressed and won’t fight for another twenty four hours.
Insect fights happen elsewhere in the world. The coolest is probably the rhinoceros beetle fight because, really, those things look badass. Personally, I would love to see rival ant armies trained and martialed into sprawling insect wars.