In a country where endurance sauna contests are the norm, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the latest craze to sweep Finland combines social media and earth diggers.
The home of Nokia has stumbled upon a bizarre contest that involves four men who are living, eating and sleeping in earth diggers while constantly streaming live video and interacting with their online audience.
So far more than a million Finns have shunned the summer sunshine in favour of watching the drama unfold online.
Here's a video clip:
The goal is to be the ‘last man sitting’ and win the Takeuchi mini-excavator – which comes with a €32,000 price tag and top speed of 4km per hour – that they’ve been living in.
The rules of the competition are:
- competitors are allowed only 30 minutes a day out of the earth digger (during this time they have to shower and go to the loo)
- competitors must constantly stream live video from their digger and interact with their online audience
"It's quite strange - in a cool sort of way - to become famous just for sitting in an earth digger,” said 18-year-old contestant Arto Kojonen. “My family and friends are really supporting me. Plus being online constantly, I've made a lot of new friends so I don't feel lonely. I'm having lots of fun doing this – and it's a great way to meet women. When I win, I'm going to have Finland's best ever party with my friends.”
Fellow contestant Kimmo Frisk said: “The weirdest thing so far was this drunk guy who kept coming and saying ‘hello, good luck’. Every time he came back he was more drunk - and the last time he visited he brought sausages, yoghurt, a bottle of Coca-Cola and some meat. I guess he worried about my diet.”
“Another guy contacted me through the Internet and suggested I come to his house and have fun with 'a naked cow and a chicken'. No - I didn't take him up on his invitation" added Frisk.
The competition follows on from last summer’s Finnish earth-digging media sensation – when 26-year-old Jukka Mutanen hit the headlines with his 4km per hour dash across Finland behind the wheel of his beloved mini-excavator.
If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest earth moving developments over the Bank Holiday weekend and beyond, visit the Kaivuriskaba website.
About Robert Lovell
Business and finance journalist