The most insane laws of the USA

If you search the internet for the craziest laws in the world, you almost always end up in the USA. Here in America, we have a couple of the most absurd and funniest laws in the world. Here's our best-of.

#1. No bale throwing

In Baltimore, Maryland, throwing hay bales from the second floor is prohibited. Also, the use of chutes is not allowed when transporting hay. Admittedly, the law literally refers to "bales and bulky objects," which is why you shouldn't throw refrigerators, pianos, or living room tables from upstairs either. Thanks for pointing that out, Baltimore.

US laws in Maryland

Laws in the USA: Banning hay bale throwing
US state: Maryland
Law: Baltimore City Police Ordinances

#2. Hula hoop ban in Vegas

The Las Vegas Municipal Code prohibits hula hoops in the Fremont Street pedestrian mall if they exceed three feet in diameter. In addition, parades through the shopping district and the use of unicycles are also prohibited, among other things. Clearly, if things like that have to be in the law, Sin City really is a wild place.

US Laws in Las Vegas

Laws in the USA: Hula hoop ban
US state: Nevada
Law: Las Vegas Municipal Code

#3. No swearing in Virginia

Until 2020, Virginia still had a $ 250 fine for swearing in public. However, after Rep. Michael Webert fought for five years to decriminalize this rule, it was finally rewritten based on HB 1071 and now refers to public intoxication (by alcohol or narcotics) rather than offensive language.

US laws in Virginia

Laws in the USA: No swearing
US state: Virginia
Law: Code of Virginia

#4. A duel that costs you your job

According to the Tennessee Constitution, you may no longer hold public office if you have participated in a duel or issued a summons to a duel. Aiding and abetting a duel (whatever that means) is also prohibited for public office holders.

US Laws in Tennessee

Laws in the USA: the duel
US state: Tennessee
Law: Tennessee Constitution

#5. No psychics allowed

If you ever find yourself in the small town of Yamhill, Oregon, and are in desperate need of a psychic, you're in for a bad time. That's because it's illegal to practice "occult arts" there.

The ban includes the practice of divination, astrology, phrenology, palmistry, clairvoyance, mesmerism, spiritualism, or any other practice that is generally considered unsound and unscientific.

US laws in Oregon

Laws in the USA: occult arts
US state: Oregon
Law: Yamhill, Oregon Municipal Code

#6. Stage diving prohibited

Whoever gives a concert in the city of Billings, Montana, is not allowed to leave the stage during their performance. Hence, stage diving, crowd surfing, and the legendary "trust fall" off the stage are canceled. Sorry, Iggy Pop.

US laws in Montana

Laws in the USA: no stage diving in Montana
US state: Montana
Law: Billings, Montana - Code of Ordinances

#7. Don't make mistakes in the national anthem

According to state law, a person who plays, sings, or performs the "Star-Spangled Banner" in a public place can be fined if they change the lyrics or melody. So make sure you have the lines down before facing the audience.

US Laws in Massachusetts

Laws in the USA: the national anthem
US state: Massachusetts
Law: General Law of the 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

#8. Ban on dancing

In the state of Maine, you can get into trouble if you dance in a bar where alcohol is sold. This is because the bar owner requires a "special amusement permit" for this. The only exceptions to the dancing rule are for karaoke events.

Live music is also prohibited in bars where alcohol is available. However, radios and streaming services have been permitted since an amendment to the law.

US Laws in Maine

Laws in the USA: No dancing allowed
US state: Maine
Law: Maine Legislature

#9. No reptiles in church services

Anyone caught with a reptile in a church service in Kentucky will face a fine of at least $ 50. This law was enacted to stop the dangerous handling of rattlesnakes practiced within a particular denomination in Appalachia.

US Laws in Kentucky

Laws in the USA: no reptiles in the church
US state: Kentucky
Law: Kentucky Revised Statutes

#10. AR-CAN-SAW (pronounce Arkansas correctly)

The US state of Arkansas has passed a law to encourage the correct pronunciation of its name. Technically, however, there is no penalty if, instead of the correct [ɑːˈkənsɔː], you end up saying [aʁkɑ̃sɑs].

US laws in Arkansas

The Historical Society of the State of Arkansas and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock have agreed on the correct pronunciation as it results from early American immigrant usage. The final "s" is silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables.

The AR Bureau of Legislative Services rule specifically states that the second variant with the accent on the second syllable and the sounding "s" at the end is a novelty that is discouraged.

Laws in the USA: Pronounce Arkansas correctly
US state: Arkansas
Law: State’s General Assembly resolution 1-4-105

Life according to the laws of the USA

If reading these bizarre American laws made you a little scared of your next trip to the USA, we can reassure you: not all rules written somewhere in old US statutes are enforced by police officers.

So you don't have to worry about getting arrested out of the blue in the US. However, it can't hurt to familiarize yourself with the general behavioral rules of everyday life in the US. So before your next trip, be sure to take a look at the typical mistakes tourists make on vacation in the USA.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

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