You may be surprised to learn these strange and bizarre laws are still on the books across America. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Before you can serve in the state legislature or do business as an attorney in the state of Kentucky, you must swear an oath that you have not participated in a duel using deadly weapons.
- In Rhode Island, intentionally biting off someone’s arm or leg can get you up to a 20-year sentence.
- You can’t collect seaweed between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning in New Hampshire.
- It’s a state law in Wisconsin that cheese must have a highly pleasing flavor and be free from undesirable odors. The same rules apply to butter.
- In Iowa, selling margarine but labeling it as butter is a crime.
- Amateur weather watchers be warned! Federal codes make it illegal to post weather forecasts and claim that they originated with the National Weather Service or any other branch of government. Penalties include fines and up to 90 days in jail.
Strange laws involving alcohol
Laws involving alcohol sales and consumption often result from an underlying intent to prevent intoxication:
- A packaged liquor store in Indiana can sell water, ginger ale, and other carbonated soft drinks, but only if they remain at room temperature. They can’t be stored or sold if they’ve been cooled or iced.
- If you’re between the ages of 18 and 20 in Arkansas and you’re caught with liquor, beer, or wine, a judge may fine you up to $500 and require you to write an essay on intoxication.
- In Oregon, if you’re serving alcohol then you must also offer at least five different food items at all times. Peanuts, chips, or popcorn won’t suffice. The food items need to be substantial, such as those typically served as a main course.
Strange laws involving animals
There are a lot of bizarre laws on the books involving animals. Here are just a few:
- In California, you can use as many live frogs as you want in a frog-jumping contest. However, it’s illegal to eat a frog that dies or is killed during the competition.
- If you want to feed garbage to a pig in Arizona, you’ll need to get a permit first and renew it annually. That is, unless it’s garbage from your household. Then, apparently, it’s OK.
- If a bull that’s older than 1 year is running around loose in Missouri and nobody claims them after 3 days, it’s legal to castrate them. However, if someone does claim them within the time limit, then they must pay the finder the sum of $1.00.
- Don’t hunt wild animals using a ferret in lieu of a hunting dog in West Virginia. It can get you up to 100 days in jail.
- Whatever you do while visiting Natchez, Louisiana, don’t give beer or other alcoholic beverages to your elephants unless you’re keeping them inside. Drunken elephants on the street are strictly prohibited by ordinance. Don’t wrestle bears or steal alligators there, either. It’s illegal.
Finally, here’s one last word of warning.
It’s OK to wrestle bears in Missouri, but you cannot — under any circumstances — drive with an uncaged bear in your car. Besides being a law, it’s probably pretty solid advice, too.