Ram Groping for Fun and Profit

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Normally, it’s nice to be thought of. Sometimes, however, you’re thought of when someone reads about an Icelandic Ram Groping contest. Or at least, I am, which brings us to the aforementioned ram groping.

Though Iceland is a nation of just over 300,000 people, they’ve clearly got no shortage of strangeness. One manifestation of this comes in an annual event where contestants evaluate and rank rams for their breeding ability. Amateurs judge with their hands, using them to grope on the rams’ genitals. By gazing into the rams’ eyes and judging their bleats, the amateurs seek to match the ratings a team of consultants has come up with using the latest technology.1

This year, a seven-year-old won the contest. In 2011, a three-year-old won.2 In most countries, a small child caught groping livestock would be punished. In Iceland, he gets a trophy. Also among the prizes is sperm from the Insemination Center of West Iceland, which is reportedly appreciated by the sheep farmers. It’s less clear what the young tots are doing with it, however.

According to the Iceland Review, some contestants aren’t satisfied with the strangeness of simply winning. At least one winner took things to a whole new level:

“One year a contestant was able to rank the rams correctly and described them all in a poem. That was very interesting,”

Yes – that’s when it got interesting.

Ultimately, when the event is all over and the winner’s are crowned, everyone gathers at the Hólmavík community center. There, they dance the night away at a “Gropers’ Ball”. Yes, really.


  1. Whatever the hell that may be. ↩︎

  2. The boy’s mother apparently assisted him by writing down his answers. ↩︎

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