Can you guess where this dumb law originated?


By: Scott Nordlund

4 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

This quiz dives into the dumbest laws in North America. From Alabama to British Columbia, think you can guess where this law is written? Take this quiz and find out!

Where can you find bear wrestling matches that are prohibited.

Bear wrestling, many years ago, was a crude form of entertainment that had to be delt with. It not only subjected bears to harsh conditions, but also risked the bears' lives as well. Thus, Alabama made bear wrestling illegal.


In what state are sex toys illegal?

Sex toys are illegal in Georgia. In 1968 a Fulton-county resident was convicted under this law. This is despite the fact that the Fulton-County jury publicly stated that the law was "archaic" and noted such gadgets can have therapeutic value.


Where will you be fined for having your Christmas decoration up after January 14?

In Maine you must have you Christmas decorations down quickly, as after January 14th you will be charged a fine for having your Christmas decorations still up.


In what Nevada city is it illegal to lie down on the sidewalk?

In Reno you may not lie down on a sidewalk. The law reads: Sitting or lying down on public sidewalks in the downtown redevelopment district prohibited. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk, or upon a blanket, chair, stool, or any other object placed upon a public sidewalk in the downtown redevelopment district, as it is defined in section 18.07.040 of the Reno Municipal Code..


In what state is it illegal to carry your child on the running boards of your vehicle?

Why does this need to be a law.... But it does read: Carrying child on external part of vehicle; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of carrying a child on an external part of a motor vehicle if the person carries any child upon the hood, fender, running board or other external part of any motor vehicle that is upon a highway.


In what state is it illegal to have sex with the lights on?

Not only is it illegal to have sex with the lights on, one may not have sex in any position other than missionary. Virginia... what are you doing with laws in the bedroom?!


In what state is it illegal to hunt camels?

The US Army once experimented with camels in the Arizona desert, and eventually gave up. The remaining camels were set free, and are now protected.


In what Idaho city can you not fish from a giraffes back?

Residents may not fish from a giraffe’s back in Boise. One has to ask what made lawmakers have to put this into official law.


In what state can you not curse?

You may not swear or curse in Michigan. In 1999, a man was convicted of violating this law after he fell out of his canoe and started swearing up a storm. He was arrested and charged under an 1897 Michigan law. In 2002, the law was overturned after the ACLU of Michigan successfully fought the law on First Amendment ground


Besides Oregon, where is the other state that it is illegal to pump your own gas?

Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states in the United States that require attendents to pump gas at gas stations. It is claimed that it should not matter because gas prices are lower in these two states. Insurance costs for gas stations go down slightly if a "qualified attendent" is pumping the gas, but they must also pay for the cost of hiring an extra worker


In Huntington, West Virginia, a fireman may not _____ towards a woman in front of the firehouse

Firemen may not whistle or flirt at any woman passing a firehouse in Huntington. I am not sure if construction crews at the firehouse have the same law though.


In what state is it illegal to mispronounce its name?

The spelling and pronunciation of "Arkansas" (it is always ar-kan-saw) reflect the state's heritage. The name is a French pronunciation of a Siouxan word meaning "land of downriver people" and was prescribed by law in 1881. It is technically still illegal to mispronounce the name, although no consequences are enforced.


In what state is it illegal to hang fuzzy dice from your car?

It is illegal to hang “obstructions” form the rear view mirror, including fuzzy dice, air fresheners, GPS units, etc. This takes a whole new level to the term distracted driving!


In what state are idiots not allowed to vote?

In New Mexico, an idiot may not vote. The law reads: Every citizen of the United States, who is over the age of twenty-one years, and has resided in New Mexico twelve months, in the county ninety days, and in the precinct in which he offers to vote thirty days, next preceding the election, except idiots, insane persons and persons convicted of a felonious or infamous crime unless restored to political rights, shall be qualified to vote at all elections for public officers. The legislature may enact laws providing for absentee voting by qualified electors. All school elections shall be held at different times from other elections.


What must you bring to church on Sundays in South Carolina?

Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday in order to ward off Indian attacks. We are not sure on the official stance of what the 'Indians' must bring with them on Sunday though.


Who has the right of way in Wisconsin?

Livestock have the right-of-way on public roads. I guess you have to yield to the dairy cow on a country road in case of issues.


In what state can you not use a dog to pursue a bear or bobcat?

It’s unlawful to let a dog pursue a bear or bobcat at any time. In California, previously, exceptions had been made for hunting. Bad news for dogs, good news for bears and bobcats.


In what Minnesota city can you only water your yard every other day?

In an effort to conserve water, Cottage Grove enacted this law. However, what lawmakers might not realize is that many residents may compensate for not being able to water their plants on some days by watering their plants even more on the days they are allowed to do so.


In what state is it illegal to congregate in public with two or more people while each wearing a mask or any face covering which disguises your identity.

In New York, the law has existed since 1845, when tenant farmers, in response to a lowering of wheat prices, dressed up as Indians and covered their faces with masks in order to attack the police anonymously. There are exceptions for masquerades and other entertainment events that are deemed appropriate by the city (such as Halloween).


In what state can you be fined for not closing a fence?

Only in Wyoming may you be fined for not closing a fence. Ranches often use natural obstacles (such as rivers or streams) as fences. Livestock tend not to cross water unless they are forced to. Leaving a gate at a crossing of one of these open means that livestock may exit their contained areas. This is also the reason why small private bridges are often made of open bars or pipe - just like dogs will often refuse to walk across a sewer grate, livestock won't cross a bridge that they can see through.


In what Colorado city may you not use a couch on a porch?

You may not have a couch on your porch in Boulder. The University of Colorado in Boulder is renowned for its party atmosphere. In the most recent edition of the Princeton Review (2003), it was ranked the number one party school in the US. A common tradition at the University is to burn couches following big events (i.e. winning a football game). To curb this potentially dangerous activity, an ordinance was passed to discourage such actions.


In what state is it illegal for Organizations to hold their meetings while the members present are in costume.

To discourage members of the Ku Klux Klan from operating within the state, certain measures such as this one were taken. The KKK was known for their use of white hooded costumes during meetings and demonstrations for purposes of remaining anonymous as well as inflicting fear on others. By making these actions illegal, the organization's power was somewhat weakened.


In what province is it illegal to whistle in the city of Petrolia?

It is in Ontario. A Petrolia city rep says this unusual law simply aims to limit excessive noise between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., but according to Article 3, 772.3.6 on the town’s website, “Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing is prohibited at all times.” Keep your enthusiasm to yourself, folks.


In what province is it illegal to transfer beer and spirits across provincial borders?

All of them. According to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (which dates back to the time of prohibition and bootleggers), you can only legally move a bottle of booze from one province to another with the permission of the provincial liquor control board. The situation changed on May 28th, 2012, allowing you to legally move wine, but little else. Guess your moonshining days are over, eh boys?


In what Ontario town is it illegal to have a siren on your bike?

Since 1973, the only noise-makers Sudbury cyclists can attach to their bikes are bells and horns. Breaking noise bylaws in Sudbury can lead to fines up to $5,000. Who attaches a siren to their bike, anyways?


In Brantford, Ontario it is illegal to _____ dip?

It is illegal to skinny dip, and this unusual bylaw ban may well still be on the books. Either way, be sure to get your skivvies on before you get your skinny on


How many loonies can you use in a single purchase?

While it won’t make you a law-breaker, according to Canada’s Currency Act of 1985, there are limits to the number of coins you can use in a transaction. Now that we’ve put the kibosh on the old penny, are you accumulating nickels? If it’s nickels, vendors can say no to any purchase over $5, while the loonie limit is $25.


What article of clothing must Halifax taxi drivers not wear?

According to Halifax’s Regional Municipality Bylaws for Taxis and Limousines, number 42 a) stipulates drivers must wear shoes and socks, keep their attire in neat and tidy condition at all times, and absolutely cannot wear a t-shirt. Looks like summer is a whole lot hotter for cabbies in Halifax.


When was caffeine allowed in non-dark soft drinks in Canada?

It used to be the case that Sprite, Mountain Dew and other non-dark soft drinks couldn’t contain caffeine, but that all changed in March 2010 with the advent of “energy drinks” like Redbull. Now you can have caffeine in soft drinks like orange and grape soda-but there is a limit, and it’s still lower than colas


What is the largest snowman allowed to be build in Souris, PEI?

Souris, P.E.I. is well-known to summer visitors for its curious ‘Singing Sands’ Beach, but few know of a local law that warns residents against building monstrous snowmen. If you live on a corner lot it’s against the law to built a snowman taller than 30-inches. Fear of Frosty’s revenge, much?


In what year was margarine unbanned from Canada?

Few may remember this, but thanks to lobbying by dairy farmers it was illegal to sell butter-coloured margarine in Ontario until 1995. In fact, margarine was altogether banned in Canada from 1886 to 1948 (there was a brief reprieve during WW1).


In what lake is it illegal to swim in if not at a designated swimming area?

According to the Toronto Port Authority, you can’t swim anywhere in the harbour that has not been designated as a swimming area by the City of Toronto. So, if you’re out on a boat and want to cool off, keep this in mind. Historically, there was also a law that you couldn’t swim in Toronto Harbor in ‘less than-seemly’attire. Travel writer Mark Stevens pointed out this ruling: “When the nude beach at Hanlon’s opened Police were ticketing using this bylaw.” That law has been updated, and you can now officially swim naked IF you are at the nude beach.


What kind of comics are banned from Canada?

Our ‘Spidey Sense’ just started tingling! The way Canadian law currently stands, “Everyone commits an offence who… (b) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation a crime comic.”


What drying method is being allowed once again via provincial allowances?

Talk about being hung out to dry! Many Canadian communities long restricted the use of clotheslines because they just didn’t like the look of them. Now because of increased energy consciousness the provincial government has stepped in with a ruling that overrides neighbourhood regulations.


In Saint Paul, Alberta, it is illegal for children under _____ to loiter in public without supervision between 12:01 and 06:00

St. Paul residents don’t have to worry about their kids sneaking out late at night. It’s against the law for anyone 15 or younger to loiter in a public place without supervision of a parent or guardian between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. Take that, whippersnappers!


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on