15 of the Most Ridiculous US State Laws to Have Existed

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Have you ever wondered about the quirky side of American legislation? From coast to coast, the United States is home to some of the most bizarre and puzzling laws you can imagine. These laws are often a combination of historical contexts, local customs, or the result of unexpected circumstances that somehow made their way into the legal code.

Imagine a place where it’s illegal to tie an alligator to a fire hydrant or sing while in a swimsuit. As we explore the 15 most ridiculous laws across the United States, get ready to be amused or scratch your head in bewilderment as we fall into these curious laws.

1. No Raw Onions

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In Northfield, Connecticut, an unusual local ordinance makes it illegal to eat raw onions while walking down the street. This law likely stems from a historical context or a specific incident that led the town to implement such a rule, though the exact origins still need to be determined.

In Nacogdoches, Texas, another peculiar law prohibits young women from consuming raw onions after 6 p.m. This “onion curfew” might have been established for reasons related to social norms or health concerns at the time, but its rationale remains a mystery.

2. No Frog Eating

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Frog-jumping is extremely popular in California, with the most famous competition held annually in Calaveras County. It was inspired by Mark Twain’s short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

According to California law, if a frog dies during the competition, its body “must be destroyed as soon as possible, and may not be eaten or otherwise used for any purpose.” This regulation ensures the humane treatment of the frogs and prevents any potential health risks associated with consuming the deceased amphibians.

3. No Singing While Wearing a Swimsuit

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Imagine it’s a sunny day, and you’re at Daytona Beach in your swimsuit. Your friends curated a fantastic playlist, and you start singing along, your toes in the sand as a warm breeze blows. Well, guess what? You’re breaking the law!

In Florida, it’s illegal to sing while wearing a swimsuit. Additionally, a law prohibits singing along to the radio while walking alone. So, it’s best to refrain from singing in public when in doubt in the Sunshine State.

4. No Donkeys Allowed

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This particular law was enacted in 1924 after an incident involving an Arizona merchant’s bathtub. When a dam broke, the bathtub was washed down into a valley, carrying the merchant’s dozing donkey into dangerous waters.

Hundreds of people participated in rescuing the sleepy, waterlogged donkey. The law was established to protect bathtub-snoozing donkeys from similar peril, preventing future incidents of this nature and saving everyone considerable time and effort.

5. Bathing While Eating Oranges

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I’d like to see a list of foods deemed acceptable for bathtub snacking, but apparently, eating an orange in the tub was outlawed in California due to the belief that citric acid could react with the natural oils in the bath and cause an explosion. While we now know better, this law technically still exists today, but who will enforce it?

6. No Ice Cream on Cherry Pie

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Someone passed a law prohibiting cherry pie and ice cream pairing due to strong opinions about the combination. This peculiar regulation originated in Kansas, where serving cherry pie à la mode was once illegal.

The exact reasoning behind this law is still being determined, and it remains uncertain if it is still officially on the books. However, authorities do not enforce it today, so you can indulge in your delicious dessert without worrying about facing any legal consequences.

7. Driving While Blindfolded

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After learning about this law, my eyes are wide open! The phrase “Keep your eyes on the road” wasn’t enough in the Yellowhammer State. Alabama has a specific law that prohibits driving while blindfolded. This law, aimed at promoting road safety, underscores the importance of keeping your eyes open while driving. 

8. Fake Limbs and Wheelchairs Are Unacceptable Forms of Payment

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Breaking this Delaware law can result in a hefty $10,000 fine. The law initially prohibited accepting workers’ tools as payment, but that provision has since been removed. Now, the regulation focuses solely on prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs.

If you want to give an arm and a leg for something, you should try your luck outside of The First State.

9. How to Properly Eat Fried Chicken

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While the law originated as a publicity stunt to establish Georgia as the “poultry capital of the world,” it is indeed a real law! In Gainesville, Georgia, eating fried chicken with anything other than your hands is technically illegal. Officers enforce this law in a lighthearted manner. 

The most recent “arrest” occurred in 2009 when 91-year-old Ginny Dietrek was cited. Her playful punishment required her to stay at the table until she had eaten all the chicken with her hands, “down to and including the licking of the fingers upon ingesting the last available morsel.”

10. Female Driver Coming Through

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Both Louisiana and Virginia once had laws that displayed a lack of confidence in female drivers. In Louisiana, a law required a woman’s husband to walk in front of her car waving a flag before she could drive it. Similarly, if a woman wanted to drive down Main Street in Virginia, her husband was supposed to walk in front of the car waving a red flag to alert others.

These laws aimed to signal that a woman was behind the wheel, seemingly to ensure safety, reflecting the attitudes of their times. While these laws are outdated and no longer enforced, they remind us how far we’ve come regarding gender equality in driving and other aspects of life.

11. No Knife Throwing

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In Natoma, Kansas, the practice of throwing knives at men in striped suits is prohibited. Whether this law applies to women or men in a solid-colored suit as well is unknown, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s not okay to throw knives at anyone.

I called the city of Natoma to confirm this was indeed a law on the books. I spoke with the City Hall Manager, who told me it was once a city law, but it’s no longer on the books and hasn’t been enforced for a very long time. 

12. Don’t Say “Oh, Boy!”

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In Jonesboro, Georgia, there’s a peculiar law against shouting, “Oh, boy.” The origin of this prohibition dates back to an incident recounted in the April 1987 edition of Boys Life. Allegedly, a man in town disliked being taunted by young boys who mimicked his habit of calling them with a snap of his fingers and the phrase “Oh, boy,” akin to calling a dog.

According to then-City Clerk Katherine Smith, this man frequently needed help with yard work, and two older boys began teasing him by shouting “Oh, boy” whenever they saw him. Fed up, the man petitioned the mayor and city council to outlaw the phrase, which they did.

13. Don’t Push the Moose

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I’m curious about this Alaskan law—pushing a moose out of a plane is illegal. While the scenario of someone attempting to push a moose out of a moving airplane is unlikely, the law stands nonetheless. It’s one of those laws that leaves you wondering what peculiar event prompted its creation.

The verdict on whether it’s permissible to shove a moose out of a stationary airplane remains unclear.

14. Tethering Alligators

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Yes, it’s illegal to tie alligators to fire hydrants in Detroit, Michigan. But why would anyone even think of doing that? Alligators naturally gravitate towards water, and since fire hydrants are abundant in cities, it might seem convenient—but they’re not intended as watering holes for wild animals.

Imagine the surprise of a firefighter reaching for the hose connection only to discover a mouthful of sharp teeth and a fully grown reptile contentedly lapping at the drips. That situation would definitely make anyone say, “Crickey!”

15. No Cornflakes Sold on Sundays

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Undoubtedly, the Columbus, Ohio law prohibiting the sale of cornflakes on Sundays is a product of the “blue law”; however, it remains unclear why only that specific cereal was named. Why not Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms? I guess we’ll never know. 

There are many bizarre ways to die, even by today’s standards; however, in late Medieval to Early Modern England (1485-1714), death came in all sorts of weird ways. It’s believed that in November 1532, the first Bill of Mortality was issued. This form of announcement became necessary due to the Black Plague ravaging not only England but the world.

13 Weird Ways and Definitions of Death in Early-Modern England

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However, people did not only succumb to death from the plague. They suffered from various illnesses, accidents, and unnatural deaths, each with its own specific name. Many of these will make us collectively scratch our heads.

The mortality bills would list all mannerisms of death and how many individuals lost their lives. From “Rising of the Lights” to “Flox and Small Pox,” here are 13 ways to perish in the earlier centuries of England.

13 Weird Ways And Definitions Of Death In Early-Modern England

True or False: 14 Old Wives Tales That Might Withstand the Test of Time

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What is it about ancient folklore that is so intriguing? We’ve all heard the old stories passed down from generation to generation. Some of them hold water, while many are just too silly to be considered true for a minute.

There’s no way that itchy palms can make you rich or that eating yams will result in having twins. That’s just nonsense.

However, there are some old wives’ tales that are shockingly true.

True Or False: 14 Old Wives Tales That Might Withstand The Test Of Time

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With a passion for travel, great food, and beautiful art, Julie put aside her 15-year career in the tech industry and dove head-first into a more creative sphere. Utilizing her degree in Communications, she is pursuing freelance writing. An avid traveler, Julie has experience writing and documenting the amazing spots she has visited and explored, the delicious food she has tasted, and the incredible art she has admired and purchased! When she’s not writing, she can be spotted around Austin, TX, at various art gallery openings, having a delicious meal with her husband and friends, and playing with her two dogs.

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