moving heaven and earth

Most of us know that tug of war has been part of human sports culture since ancient times. The rules dictate that two single (or team) opponents pull against each other with a rope, aiming to overthrow the weaker rival across a line separating the two. Obviously, both mental and physical strength are needed.  The extreme version of this activity must be a “dental “tug of war, the main difference being that the athlete employs his teeth instead of his hands to do the tugging!

 A Frenchman by the name of Andre Le Gall was a victorious “teeth tugger”, and accordingly dubbed the “man with steel jaws”.  His style was even more punishing, as the challengers were much larger, heavier and stronger than him –inhuman, one might say.   In 1949, he reportedly stopped a 140 horsepower light plane from flying by tugging against it with a rope attachment; earlier that day he hauled a 600 ton sailing ship the length of St Malo dock.

I suppose it would’ve been easier to simply cancel his travel tickets….

Source: The Northern Miner, 24 September, 1949


Dear Fellow Dental Explorer

What kind of physical preparation do you think “dental” tug of war requires? For instance, hanging by your teeth from the hills hoist for hours on end?


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