A harrowing competition is underway in England, with billions of dollars and hundreds of lives at stake. OK, that's not true. But competitors from around the world gathered on Thursday for the annual competition to crown the world's biggest liar.
Each contestant is given up to five minutes to weave the best fib in the contest, which was founded in honor of 19th-century Bridge Inn landlord Will Ritson, who was reportedly legendary for his lies.
Competitors gather at the Bridge Inn every year for the competition, a small pub in northwestern England.
Anyone can take part in the competition. Well, almost anyway; the Associated Press notes that lawyers and politicians are banned, citing "an unfair advantage" in the proceedings.
A study published this past July in the journal Evolution & Human Behavior found that nearly all lies are detectable through visible facial muscle reactions in the person telling a lie. "Thus, while interpersonal deception often is highly successful, signs of covert emotional states are communicated clearly to the informed observer," the study concluded.
A bishop of Carlisle reportedly holds what may be the greatest lie of all time in the competition, simply stating, "I have never told a lie in my life."
In 2003, Abrie Krueger of South Africa became the first non-Brit to win the competition. Ironically, Krueger was accused by some of cheating.
In 2006, comedian Sue Perkins became the first female to win the competition, telling a tale about people riding camels to work as a result of climate change.
Last year's winning entry came from Glen Boyland, who told a lie about competing in a snail-racing competition with Prince Charles.