As a species, we humans have been around for over 195,000 years, and in all of that time, we have come a long way in terms of science, technology, medicine and most importantly, civilization itself. At first, human beings lived in small nomadic groups that would hunt and scavenge, and get into conflicts with each other. However, as time went by, these groups stopped moving and began living in specific areas, while their populations just continued to grow. This new lifestyle led to the creation of villages, and then cities; and in order to keep the people within these cities safe, laws were established to ensure that people could not murder their fellow citizens or steal from them.
In 2017, humans now populate the entire globe and live within their own respective countries; the majority of which have their own set of unique laws which are provided to them by elected individuals. Of all the countries in the world, the United States is regarded by many as being the greatest and most powerful. A big reason for that is because its democratic system and constitution grants its citizens incredible freedoms which are envied by many. When you combine both the federal and state governments, there are thousands upon thousands of different laws in the U.S., most of which are incredibly important and necessary to prevent criminal activity and anarchy. Not all of these laws work to help the people, though. In fact, there are certain laws that are downright stupid, to the point that you question why they even continue to exist; and the purpose of this article is to identify 15 of those stupid laws which are very much still in effect.
15. Can’t Eat A Frog That Dies During A Jumping Contest
Based on what we see every four years in the Summer Olympics, athletes train a long time to be able to jump long distances. But as it turns out, we are not the only animals in the world who participate in these sort of jumping competitions. We all know that horse jumping is a legitimate sport, and some dogs get trained by their owners to take part in certain competitions that include jumping over tubes or hurdles, but what may surprise many of you to know is that there are frog jumping competitions as well. Frogs are relatively small amphibians who are known for both grabbing their prey with their long tongues, and for jumping fair distances. In communities all over the United States, frog owners get together to see whose frog can jump the furthest. California is a state which permits these contests, but according to state law, no one is allowed to eat one of the competing frogs if they die during the contest. Instead, the body must be destroyed as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will face unjustified animal cruelty charges.
14. Atheists Can’t Run For Office In Several States
Despite the fact that Donald Trump is now President, the United States is still viewed as the greatest democracy in the world, as every citizen within the country has the right to go to the polls and vote for whichever candidate they prefer. It is thanks to the Constitution, that any US-born citizen can choose to run for office, regardless of their gender, race, or faith. But as it turns out, there are in fact seven states which prohibit a certain group from running for office because of their chosen belief system. Atheism, is the disbelief of a singular God or group of gods, and in Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi, it is against the law to run for office if you do not believe in God. The U.S. Constitution specifically mentions separating church and state, and seeing as there are no studies which identify atheists as being terrible politicians because of their lack of faith, it is quite silly and unfair that laws like the one in Mississippi’s Constitution which states, “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state” still exists.
13. You Cannot Hunt Using A Ferret
Like any other meat-eating animal in the world, human beings, if they want to, can go out and hunt their own food with the only real difference being that unlike every other animal, we have the advantage of using guns. It is true that nearly every hunter out there uses a gun to hunt with, but not every hunter is capable of tracking down an animal, which is why some hunters bring helpful animal companions along with them. Most hunters who use animal aid bring dogs along, as their sense of smell is ideal for tracking prey. However, some people decide to use ferrets when it comes to hunting things like rabbits and small flightless birds. Now, there is nothing wrong with a ferret helping a person to hunt, seeing as ferrets are hunters by nature anyway. But in West Virginia, it is illegal to hunt, kill, pursue, or injure another animal using a ferret, and if you are caught doing so, you can face between 10-100 days in jail and be forced to pay a fine between $100-$500.
12. You Can Marry Your Cousin In Utah
For centuries, people have been getting married to one another, either because their faith or their parents demanded it, or because they simply wanted to properly express and solidify their love. Over the past 100 years, the institution of marriage has changed a great deal, especially in the United States. As some places allow one person to be married to several people at once, interracial couples can now tie the knot without fear, and it is now finally legal for same-s*x couples to get married throughout the country. With that being said, there are still some limitations in place which prevent certain people from getting married, as a person cannot marry a member of his or her immediate family. Yes, despite many jokes to the contrary, it is actually illegal in most of the U.S. to marry your cousin, and for good reason seeing as it is not only incredibly weird, but because any children born as a result could face serious health issues. In Utah, you can indeed marry your cousin if you want, as long as you are 65 or older.
11. You Cannot Cut Down A Cactus In Arizona
Our planet is home to literally millions of different animal and insect species, many of which have yet to be discovered. But our world is also filled with what seems like an endless number of plant species. Plant life has existed on the Earth’s surface for millions of years, and has taken many different shapes and sizes. And although most plant life grow where there is an abundance of water, some plants grow in relatively hot, dry environments. The cactus is probably the most well-known plant to come out of these dry areas, with its trademark green coloration and spines covering its body. But if you think you can cut down a cactus without any repercussions, you would be wrong. In Arizona, if you plan to cut down a Saguaro cactus, even if it is on your own property, you must inform the state’s Department of Agriculture, so that they can tag the plant and give you a permit. If you cut the cactus down without a permit, than by state law, you can be imprisoned for up to 25 years.
10. You Will Be Fined For Not Closing A Fence In Wyoming
A person can own as many things as they want if they believe they are valuable. But the truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of things that actually increase in value over time, and one of those things is land. It is because of the fact that land gradually increases in value that people try to buy and own as much as they can. And no matter how big the patch of land is, if there is a house on the premises, then there will be a fence or gate as well, which serves as the owner’s personal border. In the state of Wyoming, there are a lot of ranches dedicated to raising livestock, and when ranchers had to move their livestock, they would accidentally leave certain gates open, which allowed livestock from other nearby ranches to escape, which led the state to pass a law prohibiting everyone (and not just the ranchers) from leaving a fence or gate open when it crosses a private river, ditch, stream, or road. So if you live in, or visit Wyoming, remember to close those fences, because you can be slapped with a fine of up to $750 if you do not.
9. Bear Wrestling Is Illegal In Alabama
The sport of wrestling has been around for well over 1,000 years, and it is an incredibly big deal at the amateur level, while “fake” professional wrestling has become a million dollar industry. Whether it’s real or fake, the main reason for wrestling’s popularity is the fact that audiences get to watch two or more individuals compete in a test of strength and athleticism. However, for some people, watching human beings wrestle is not entertaining enough, which is why certain places in the world, including some parts of the U.S., feature people wrestling other animals. For some reason, people think it is a smart idea to put a person into a wrestling match with a bear, a very heavy and strong animal that can literally rip people to shreds no matter how well-trained they are. As of 1996, the state of Alabama made bear wrestling illegal, and classified it as a Class B Felony which could lead to serious jail time. What makes this law stupid is the fact that it needed to be implemented in the first place, considering the blatant animal cruelty involved, and the fact that no sane person should be trying to fight a freaking bear.
8. Swearing In Public In Mississippi Is Illegal
Whether you disagree or not, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is by far the country’s most important and sacred law, as it guarantees every single citizen the freedom to say whatever they want no matter how inappropriate, offensive, or stupid it may be. Men and women have died to maintain this freedom of speech, which is why no one should have the legal right to tell someone how to talk in the privacy of the own home, or out in public. But in Mississippi, you can be jailed for using profanity in public. Everyone swears in public places, and if you say you do not, you’re lying, because swearing has almost become a part of all of our everyday routines. In Mississippi, it is against the law to swear in public in front of two or more people. The law was passed to “protect the public.” If you break it, you can either pay a $100 fine or spend up to 30 days in jail.
7. You Can’t Sell A Person Toothpaste And A Toothbrush On Sunday
Ever since large groups of people started to live together in villages and cities, hygiene has been of the utmost importance, because without proper hygiene, sickness and disease would eventually run rampant within the community. Over the centuries, there have been major advancements made in the hygiene department, with the most important advances coming in dental hygiene, because if it were not for things like toothbrushes, toothpastes, and dental flosses, most of us right now would be missing a lot of teeth and suffering from very bad gum disease. At any point during the day, you can walk into a supermarket, drug store or convenience store and buy both a toothbrush and toothpaste at the same time with no problem. But in Rhode Island, if you want to buy both those things on a Sunday, you will need to go to two different stores. In Rhode Island, there is a law that states that no store owner is allowed to sell a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same person on Sundays, for reasons that completely boggle the mind.
6. You Cannot Harass Bigfoot
Thanks to science and fossil records, we know that our world was once home to dinosaurs, large insects, massive aquatic lifeforms, and large bipedal apes, and it is the existence of these fossils that fuel the belief that some of these creatures are still out in the wild somewhere. In North America, there are people who believe that there is an undiscovered large, hairy, bipedal humanoid species living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Most people refer to this animal as Bigfoot. As a result of Bigfoot being considered an undiscovered species, it falls under the Unidentified Species Protection Act in Washington State, which means that no one is allowed to harass, hunt, or kill Bigfoot if they see one in the wild. Seeing as Bigfoot is at best a myth, it is actually quite funny that you can be given a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 10 years for harassing something that does not exist.
5. Adultery Is Illegal In Michigan
At some point in time, we get involved in some kind of romantic and intimate relationship with another human being, and in most cases, that relationship will eventually lead towards marriage. When people get married, they make a vow to remain faithful to their spouse for as long as they are together. But from a biological standpoint, it is not in our nature to remain with the same partner for a long period of time, which is why so many marriages end as a result of one spouse cheating on the other. To be fair, cheating on someone who genuinely loves you is a terrible thing to do, but despite that, it should not be a criminal offense if both parties involved in the affair are consenting adults. In Michigan, you are indeed considered a criminal for committing adultery. Since 1931, anyone caught cheating on his or her spouse can be arrested, be sentenced to prison for up to 4 years, and will also receive a $5,000 fine.
4. It’s Illegal To Collect And Carry Seaweed At Night
In the United States, as well as many other countries in the world, it is illegal for people to carry things like marijuana, cocaine, or pills that were not prescribed by a doctor on your person. As regards those types of substances though, a case can actually be made as to why they should be illegal. But as it turns out, there are also certain things that literally cause zero harm to people that people are not allowed to carry once the sun goes down. Seaweed may sound like some kind of plant that only grows in or around a body of water, but it is actually a type of marine algae which can be used for food, and it can also be used for medicinal purposes, as well as fertilizer and for filtration. In New Hampshire though, it is against the law for someone to either collect or carry seaweed at night for no discernible reason, and the actual punishment for this “crime” happens to also be unclear.
3. A Bingo Game Cannot Last More Than 5 Hours
We all enjoy some form of entertainment because everyone wants to find a way to escape from the daily stresses of life. But as we grow older, the methods in which we get entertained change. There has been a running joke for many years that all elderly people like to congregate into a hall to play bingo games, because it allows them to pass the time. If they win, they get prizes which sometimes include money. In some instances though, bingo games can become very heated, and in rare occasions, punches can even be thrown. However, aside from possible assault, there are no real laws surrounding the game of bingo itself unless you live in North Carolina. According to the state’s administrative code, no bingo game is allowed to last more than 5 hours; but that’s not all, as organizations can only hold one game every 48 hours, while the max prize money that can be won must be $500. Just the idea of using police manpower to enforce the length of a bingo game is completely absurd, because who would want to force a senior citizen out of a chair simply because the game they’re playing is taking too long?
2. In Virginia Only Married Couples Can Be Intimate
As mentioned earlier, everyone will eventually get involved in some sort of intimate relationship with another person. And although there are still some people who wait until marriage to get intimate, many people choose not to wait. As long as the act is consensual and legal, no one has the right to tell you when you are allowed to be intimate with someone. But as it turns out, a law in Virginia does exactly that, as the law states that only married couples are legally allowed to have s*x. Yes, you have read that right, according to Virginia law, a couple who is dating is not allowed to have s*x, which also essentially means that cheating and one-night stands, are also illegal. What really makes this law stupid, aside from how the police are supposed to enforce it, is the fact that if the law is enforced, the people who are arrested would be charged with a Class 4 Misdemeanor, which can carry a prison sentence of at least 1 year.
1. Cannibalism Is In Fact Legal
Human beings are omnivores; which means that we can eat meat, fish, fruits, plants, eggs, and even insects. But just because we can theoretically eat whatever we want, does not mean that we can legally eat everything. There are certain animals which we are not allowed to eat because they are poisonous, but it is also illegal to eat some animals because of their status on the endangered species list. However, there is one animal in particular that is illegal for almost everyone to eat—humans. When a human eats another human, it is known as cannibalism, and cannibalism is almost universally banned throughout the world, because obtaining human meat either requires someone to be tortured or murdered. Now, what may surprise many people to learn is that cannibalism is not technically illegal in the United States. Idaho is in fact the only state that has completely outlawed cannibalism, and engaging in it can carry a 14-year prison sentence. But in every other state, there is no law that actually prevents people from eating human meat. What makes Idaho’s law stupid though, is that it still allows cannibalism to take place, as long as the human meat is consumed in life-or-death situations.