Insane eating challenges almost nobody has won

If a restaurant wants to create publicity and get people to eat more food, all they need to do is create an eating challenge. So long as it's huge and they don't charge for the meal if the challenger is successful, then they will be inundated with people for whom the phrase "their eyes are bigger than their stomach" was created—and with them comes money. Although there are tens of thousands of eating challenges around the world, most of them are closer to marketing gimmicks than actual gastrointestinal battles. A few more might be worth mentioning in serious eating-challenge conversation. But as you will see, only a very few challenges are so extreme that no one—or almost no one—has conquered them.

The Squeeze Inn's burger patty record challenge

The appropriately named Squeeze Inn burger (creation of the Squeeze Inn of Sacramento, California) forms the basis of this challenge and while, in its basic form, it's not particularly large, it's definitely not normal. That's because it contains almost as much cheese as it does meat. When the burger arrives at your table, the patty is completely obscured by a skirt of fried cheese that has spread out of the burger during cooking, which honestly sounds amazing—until you hear about the challenge. Because the Squeeze Inn burger challenge consists of a regular Squeeze Inn burger, but with added burger patties and cheese. However, the number of patties that must be eaten to conquer the challenge goes up every time the previous benchmark is passed, thus creating a new challenge. As of March 5, 2016, the record is 17 burger patties with 17 skirts of cheese, according to FoodChallenges.com, which will require the complete ingestion of a burger featuring at least 18 patties with 18 cheeses if you want to be covered in greasy glory. If each patty weighs a third of a pound, and each additional layer of cheese weighs a quarter-pound, then to beat the current record you will need to find room for six pounds of beef and four-and-a-half pounds of cheese, not to mention the bun and sauces. Of the two main ingredients, it's the four-and-a-half pounds of oily sweating cheese that will probably be a competitor's main sticking point. Whether they succeed or fail, it will no doubt be congealed in their memory for a very long time.

The kidz breakfast challenge

The name of the Kidz Breakfast Challenge, from Jesters Diner in Great Yarmouth, UK, is less a description and more a metaphor. Because unsurprisingly, it is not a child's meal, but rather weighs as much as a large infant, at just over nine pounds. The meal consists of twelve sausages, twelve slices of bacon, six fried eggs, an eight egg omelette, four slices of toast, four slices of bread and butter, four pieces of fried bread, four slices of black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, and fried potatoes. All together, it adds up to 6000 calories, also known as a first-class ticket to heart disease. According to the owner of the diner, who was interviewed by the Daily Mail, they sell two to three kidz breakfasts a week—but only one person has ever managed to consume it within the one-hour time limit. Robert Pinto—a remarkably skinny man, considering he makes a habit of defeating food challenges—managed to gobble down the breakfast equivalent of a newborn baby in just 26 minutes. Asking people to attempt to consume 6000 calories in under an hour has not surprisingly drawn the ire of health campaigners, who have warned that challengers could be risking their life, and demanded it stop being served, but the owner refused. Besides, most people probably can't keep it down long enough for it to find the heart.

"That burger" challenge

The "That Burger," offered by McGah's Pub and Piano (formerly That Bar) of Danville, California, is around twelve inches across and tips the scales at around five pounds. Containing two beef patties (one ordinary. and one that contains a grilled cheese sandwich), four types of cheese, a bacon lattice, shoestring fries, and barbecue sauce, this burger definitely stands out from the crowd. When you pair all that with a quarter-pound of fries, a quarter-pound of onion rings, and a one-hour time limit, you have the That Burger Challenge. Many have tried, and it seems none have succeeded—most who order it choose to share it with friends. And who can blame them? A good meal for five people is an Everest for one, and who would want to ruin a good burger by forever associating it with extreme intestinal discomfort, and potential vomiting?

The breaking badass challenge

The Breaking BadAss Challenge, offered by Longhorns Barbeque Smokehouse in Newcastle, UK, is much like the other stomach-busters on this list in that it contains a lot of food, but this one comes with a smokehouse flavor. According to Caters News Agency, the menu includes a rack of pork ribs, beef brisket and ribs, smoked hog, sausage, chicken wings, and two cups of three-bean chili, served with a brioche bun, coleslaw, and fries. And while the whole seven-pound meal has been consumed in one sitting, it has yet to be done inside the one-hour time limit. A couple of competitive eaters have come closest, which probably tells you all you need to know. So unless you're actually planning to take the competitive eating world by storm—or you just like to waste food—don't try and keep it all for yourself, because you probably won't be able to.

The inferno bowl challenge

The Inferno Bowl Challenge is the creation of Nitally's ThaiMex Cuisine in St. Petersberg, Florida. The owners of the restaurant, Nit and Ally, are from Thailand and Mexico respectively, thus the name, and developed the Inferno bowl as a way to see which side of the family could handle more heat. The inferno bowl is a 48-ounce bowl of soup made with a variety of hot peppers, but the prime ingredient is bhut jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper. At one point, the ghost pepper was considered the hottest pepper in the world and, despite being overtaken by the infiniti pepper in 2011, it is still a force to be reckoned with—the Indian army even uses it to subdue terrorists.

These facts make it something of a mystery, then, why anyone would voluntarily attempt to gulp down 48 ounces of ghost pepper-laden soup inside 30 minutes. Although hundreds have given it a go since the challenge was first offered in 2009, a grand total of one has succeeded, which is no real surprise, since they are asking their stomachs to tolerate large quantities of a substance that makes terrorists curl up in a ball and beg for ice cream. If you need any more proof of the insanity of this challenge, just head over to the restaurant's Facebook page. There, you will see photographic evidence that, although challengers will probably only eat the Inferno Bowl once, they will most likely be tasting—and seeing—it twice.