Book Your Flight: Canada’s International Hair Freezing Competition Is Here

Takhini Hot Pools
Takhini Hot Pools

If you're looking to instantly transform your hairstyle, head to Takhini Hot Pools in Canada's Yukon Territory. The natural hot springs there make it possible to bathe outdoors in extreme freezing weather, resulting in some impressive 'dos when people get their hair wet and let it harden. As Smithsonian reports, the practice has become so popular that there's now an annual competition to see who can freeze their hair into the most impressive shapes.

The International Hair Freezing Contest started in February 2011 as a spin-off of the local Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. After competing in winter sporting events all day, athletes from the rendezvous would head to Takhini to take a mineral bath in one of the pools fed by the area's natural hot spring. The manager at the time turned the relaxation session into another competition when he asked bathers to sculpt their wet hair into frozen works of art. Whoever ended up with the best selfie won the contest.

What began as a fun activity among a small group of people has grown into a major event. Each winter, people from around the world visit the hot pools hoping to take part. The Hair Freezing Contest is unique in that it doesn't take place over a set stretch of dates. Rather, guests compete whenever it's cold enough outside to achieve the desired hair-styling effects, e.g. when -4°F or colder. Throughout winter, competitors can sign a form proving they were really there, and if it's cold enough to shape their hair in the pools, they can snap a selfie and submit their work to Takhini. Winners are announced in March, with Best Male Photo, Best Female Photo, Most Creative Photo, and Best Group Photo each receiving $750 and complimentary 30-soak memberships.

For those worried about their hair falling out, the business promises that hair freezing isn't harmful, and dipping your head into the pool quickly thaws it back to normal.

Check out some of the star competitors from years past below.

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

Person in hot tub with frozen hair.
Takhini Hot Pools

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

People with frozen hair in hot tub.
Takhini Hot Pools

[h/t Smithsonian]

Stranger Things Fans Can Now Buy a 6-Foot-Tall Demogorgon Sprinkler

BigMouth Inc., Amazon
BigMouth Inc., Amazon

Some fans watch a show and then talk about it. Others create art inspired by it. Others develop far-out theories. But sometimes, fans go even further than that—like when pool accessory company BigMouth Inc. revealed its massive Stranger Things-inspired, inflatable Demogorgon sprinkler, which is now available for any fan to purchase.

The sprinkler, the perfect gift for those wishing to combine their love of sci-fi monstrosities and thorough lawn irrigation, stands 6 feet tall and can be connected to any standard hose, allowing it to spurt water from its horrifying open face, according to House Beautiful. And for fans thinking it can only be found in the far corners of the internet, fear not: the sprinkler is available now at Target and on Amazon.

If you want a less flashy way to show off your Stranger Things fandom this summer, BigMouth Inc. also sells a plethora of other novelty items based on the show, like an Upside Down-themed pool tube, Scoops Ahoy floating cupholders, and a float based on one of Eleven’s trademark waffles. (See all the options on Amazon here.)

This marks the latest in a series of collaborations for the hugely successful Netflix series. Prior to its release, Stranger Things teamed with both H&M and Nike to release clothing and shoes inspired by the series. It also collaborated with Coca-Cola to produce a limited edition collection of New Coke cans inspired by a moment in the third season.

We’re glad there’s a plethora of Stranger Things merchandise available, even the terrifying Demogorgon sprinkler—it sounds just ridiculous enough to buy right away. It's available at Target or Amazon for $100.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

The World’s Steepest Street Is in Harlech, Wales

Tonktiti/iStock via Getty Images
Tonktiti/iStock via Getty Images

It wasn’t by chance that Ffordd Pen Llech just clinched the Guinness World Record for the world’s steepest street: The townspeople of Harlech, Wales, worked hard to steal the recognition from Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.

At its steepest point, the gradient of the street in Wales is 37.5 percent, beating out Baldwin Street’s 35 percent. “I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders,” Gwyn Headley, who spearheaded the campaign, told The Guardian, “But steeper is steeper.”

Guinness World Records has a surprising 10 criteria for the honor, including a blueprint of the street in question. This was the toughest for Harlech residents, because the thousand-year-old road was there long before roads were planned out with blueprints. So surveyor Myrddyn Phillips created one from scratch, using a satellite dish and chalk to calculate every possible measurement. Another criterion is that the road must actually be used by both people and vehicles. This one was easy, considering it leads to Harlech Castle, a UNESCO Heritage Site that was built over 700 years ago.

Having just lost to England in the Cricket World Cup, New Zealand is having a rough month—which Headley does feel bad about. “At least they have the Rugby World Cup … for the moment,” she said.

Because of its opportunities for bikers, motorcyclists, and other thrill seekers, Baldwin Street has become something of a tourist destination, which Dunedin residents have capitalized on by establishing nearby food, drink, and souvenir shops. Since the street is just as steep as it was before losing the world record, it’ll likely still function as a tourist attraction. But the townspeople are understandably disappointed, and one even suggested resurfacing it to increase the gradient.

In the meantime, Harlech is planning a party. “We know the anticipation has been building for quite some time now and I’m pleased to see the outcome has brought such joy to the residents,” Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday told The Guardian. “I hope Harlech enjoys the celebrations and that the new title brings lots of people to the beautiful town.”

[h/t The Guardian]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER