Elephants Take the Cake at Eating Competition

Mack DreyfussContributor IJuly 4, 2009

CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - MARCH 29: Thai mahouts (elephant drivers) line up their elephants during the King's Cup Elephant Polo at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa March 29, 2009 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.  The polo event aims to raise a record 1.5 million Thai baht to fund a project that provides for the welfare of elephants and their mahouts. It is estimated that Thailand's elephant population has dwindled to just over 4,000, with 2,500 domesticated and only 1,500 in the wild.  (Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

America stands on a new frontier.

July 3, 2009, marks the date of the first known cross-species eating competition. The showdown occurred at the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Coney Island Boom-A-Ring in Coney Island, New York. Three Asian elephants conquered three humans from the Major League Eaters organization by eating 505 hot dog buns in six minutes. The humans only ate 143.

Minnie, Bunny, and Susie weighed in at over nine tons while the humans only brought approximately 600 pounds to the table. Human competitors were listed as Juliet Lee, Gravy Brown, and Eric “Badlands” Booker.

On the heels of this historic event comes Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, scheduled for July 4 at 12pm Eastern. It will be televised by ESPN. A single species event, approximately 20 human competitive eaters will attempt to ingest as many hot dogs as possible in ten minutes.

The reigning champ, Joey Chestnut, beat six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi last year in a five dog overtime eat-off. They both ate 59 hot dogs and buns during regulation.

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is held annually at the original Nathan’s Famous location in Coney Island.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) is “against at-home training of any kind. The IFOCE strongly discourages younger individuals from eating for speed or quantity under any circumstances. The IFOCE urges all interested parties to become involved in sanctioned events—do not try speed eating home.”