Watch these mesmerizing videos of Japanese synchronized walking competitions

All countries have quirky traditions that probably look a little odd from the outside

(what must the rest of the world think of hot dog eating contests?). But these Japanese synchronized walking competition are particularly captivating examples of a culturally-specific tradition.

Japan has been holding these events since 1966, although female students didn't perform until 2011. The event is known as "Shuudan Koudou," which means "Collective Action." While training, a team can walk as many as 1,200 kilometers (or roughly the distance between Paris and Rome). The choreography is intricate, precise, and strangely addictive to watch. The routines call to mind everything from military drills to marching band performances to cheerleading routines, but the choreography also has a certain efficiency that's recognizably Japanese.

[h/t Oddity Central]