Since the rise in internet usage, it’s not unusual for us to come across some story that is much more unusual than what we see and hear about everyday. It might be hard to believe those urban legends or rumors, but what happens when it’s an actual law that is enforced by a state? Practically every city or state in the U.S. has at least one weird law that exists for some unknown reason. So, we decided to make a list of some of the best, weird, bizarre, quirky, or otherwise nonsensical laws that actually exist according to state legislatures, local newspapers, or legal databases.
1. In Alabama, it’s illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times.
It’s True! In Alabama, if you’re caught sticking an ice cream cone in your back pocket, you could be thrown in jail! So, next time you plan to visit Alabama, make sure you remember this law. Don’t want to get in trouble for something we do so often! (source)
2. In California, it’s illegal to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
Bikes are one of the most efficient forms of transportation devised by man. While not everyone is a fan of riding bikes, there are many places in the world where it is actually illegal to ride a bike. Perhaps, the funniest example is Baldwin Park, California, where it is prohibited to ride a bike in a swimming pool. (source)
3. In Maine, you can’t tickle a woman under the chin with a feather duster.
In Maine’s largest city, you’d need to come up with some other way to get a woman’s attention than by dusting her chin. (source)
4. In Tennessee, hollow logs may not be sold.
Don’t be duped by those hollow logs in Tennessee! It’s illegal to sell logs with a hollowed-out center. (source)
5. It’s illegal to cheat on your spouse in Michigan.
Since 1931, cheating on your spouse has been considered a felony under the Michigan statute; which is punishable by a maximum of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If in case it does happen and the other party is single, then the unmarried party will also be considered guilty and liable for punishment. (source)
6. It’s illegal to carry away or collect seaweed at night in New Hampshire.
As of 1973, breaking most of the general provisions about fish and game in New Hampshire will land you a “violation”. While the law sounds silly to us, seaweed is actually a widely used commodity, mainly used as fertilizer and animal feed. So, anyone caught collecting seaweed at night is subjected to an unspecified punishment. (source)
7. In Alabama, it’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in a church.
According to a law in Alabama, certain acts are prohibited on Sundays. One such law, meant to maintain dignity and order during church, is that no one is allowed to wear a fake mustache, which could cause laughter and nuisance, during the church’s operating hours. (source)
8. In South Dakota, it’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
If you are planning to tour a cheese factory in South Dakota, make sure you have plenty of coffee beforehand, because you are forbidden by law to lie down and take a nap inside the factory. One might wonder why this law even needs to exist in the first place! (source)
9. In Utah, no one may walk down the street carrying a paper bag containing a violin.
People in Utah would rather have a bottle in the paper bag than a violin. (source)
10. It is illegal in Tennessee to share your Netflix password.
Sharing logins with friends or your partner is a common practice, as is sharing logins for any membership-only website. It’s not illegal to share your password with anyone, except in Tennessee. The state passed a law, making it illegal to do so, whether you’re sharing a Netflix login, social media logins, Hulu or whatever. If you’re caught sharing your passwords to subscription services in Tennessee, you could face big fines, a misdemeanor, and even jail time. (source)
11. Milk discrimination is illegal in Utah.
It doesn’t appear that Utahns are required to meet any sort of milk intake requirement, but milk discrimination requirements? Those, Utahns have to worry about. The criminal code reads that it is illegal for buyers of milk to unfairly discriminate against milk distributors for any reason, particularly for the grade or quality of the milk. So make sure to down your daily dose of dairy without being too choosy. (source)
12. In Indiana, it’s illegal to catch a fish with your bare hands.
Catching fish with one’s bare hands is a sport that is enjoyed by many but none of them are from Indiana. By law, it is forbidden to catch a fish with your bare hands. The law even goes on to say that anything else that endangers or stupefies fish is also prohibited. If anyone is desperate to catch fish with their bare hands, then they can apply for a special permit which is issued by the director. (source)
13. In Louisiana, it is unlawful for any person to intentionally place an order for any goods or services to be supplied or delivered to another person without them expecting it.
In Louisiana, you can’t order goods or services for someone who doesn’t know to expect said goods or services. For example, surprising someone by ordering a pizza for them. While it’s a nice thing to do for someone who is down on their luck, it is considered unlawful. It can carry a fine up to $500 or a possible six month jail sentence. (source)
14. In Maryland, it is illegal to use profanity while driving.
Whenever we are on the road, there is always someone who likes to tailgate or have road rage. No matter how aggressive they drive, you still cannot use any profanity to express your anger in Maryland. According to Sec. 13-53: “A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway”. Anyone who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. (source)
15. In Jefferson County, Missouri, you can hold a garage sale only between the hours of 7am and 8pm.
According to Chapter 14 of Jefferson City, you can only hold a garage sale between the hours of 7am and 8pm. Also, within the city limits, you can only hold a garage sale twice a year with each session lasting for less than three days. (source)
16. In New Jersey, you’re not allowed to pump your own gas.
In 1949, New Jersey held a town hall meeting and came to the decision that pumping your own gas was a safety hazard. It is the only state in the nation to entirely prohibit self-service of gas. Gov. Chris Christie once tried to blame women for this unusual law, claiming: “There’s not a public policy reason why we don’t pump our own gas. This is an incredible gender issue. We polled this over and over. The last poll we did on this question, 78 percent of New Jersey women said they were opposed to self-serve gas.” (source)
17. In Vermont, women must have written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.
While many of the laws that limit women’s rights were removed, there still exist some laws from a time before women were viewed as equals in society. In Vermont, women must have permission from their husbands to wear false teeth. When it comes to dentures, the law dictates that women must obtain written permission to wear false teeth; but it is questionable whether local dentists uphold this rule. Another silly law from Vermont states that it is illegal to whistle underwater. (source)