Strange and illogical laws can be found in any country. Often they are remnants of a past era in which they may have actually been purposeful, but have since become obsolete or inappropriate. At other times they might be laws that have been so poorly formulated that they create illogical policies or obvious legal loopholes.

However there are few places in the Western world that rival the US in terms of bizarre laws. Many of said laws are state-specific, whilst others are nation-wide. For most of them, you have to wonder what unlikely event must have taken place for there to have been a perceived need for the law in the first place…

Here are some of the most shocking, unusual and ridiculous laws from around the US.

Unlawful Fun

In Alabama, it is illegal to partake in bear wrestling. To think such an activity was ever commonplace is quite frightening, but it’s only one of many instances in which Alabama has criminalized a sport or game. It is also illegal to play dominos on a Sunday in Alabama. Wearing a fake moustache to church is yet another killjoy crime in the state, created apparently over concerns that faux facial hair risked inducing inappropriate laughter in the holy place. That’s not as bad as in Washington, however, where lollipops are completely outlawed. Clearly, that’s not a very strictly enforced law…

And if you thought US online poker laws were ridiculous, wait until you hear what other gambling legislation some states have in place. In Oklahoma, women are not allowed to gamble in the nude, in lingerie, or in a towel. The same doesn’t apply to men, apparently, who are therefore not banned from the prospect of strip poker. However there does exist a law in New Hampshire which does some dictating over men’s fashion at the card table. According to this law, no player is allowed to sell an item of clothing to pay off a gambling bet.

Somewhat Sexist

Married women in Michigan are supposed to request their spouse’s permission before getting a new haircut. Arizona meanwhile, forbids women to wear pants, though it’s safe to say this law is entirely overlooked. Virginia law at one point saw it necessary to make it illegal for a woman to drive down Main Street without her husband waving a red flag some distance in front of the car. Montana seems to have it out for women too. The state has made it illegal for unmarried women to go fishing alone. According to law, they’re not supposed to look through their husband’s mail, either.

Loopy Loopholes

Then there are those laws intended for one thing, but inadvertently affecting the legality of something else. For example, the allowance of a “destructive vehicle”’ permit has enabled one Texan father to drive his kids to school in an army tank each morning.

You may have heard of the extensive allowances made under ‘religious freedom’ laws in Indiana. Businesses in the state are notorious for being allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples, for example. But there are other loopholes that can be found through claiming certain acts and statements as falling under ‘religious freedom’. One man from Indiana recently founded a Church of Cannabis in which smoking marijuana is a religious practise. He’s waiting to see whether the state of Indiana will agree to his reasoning and make an exception for church members smoking the otherwise illegal substance.

Danger Averted

Florida is known to be amongst the more dangerous states, though the image of crocodiles roaming the sidewalks is perhaps a little inaccurate. It’s no surprise, however, that Florida has had to create some pretty extensive laws on health and safety. For example, a dwarf-tossing contest (that’s exactly what it sounds like) is illegal in any establishment selling alcohol. Yes, that appears to mean that dwarf-tossing is perfectly permissible in other circumstances…

In Massachusetts, the local government seems to be more concerned with children’s teeth than dwarf-tossing contests. It is mandated by state law that children attending day care must brush their teeth after eating lunch. We wonder how Massachusetts dentists feel about being put out of business in the near future…

Tennessee, meanwhile, is concerned with protecting its unique wildlife. It is illegal to hunt or harm an albino deer. This law at least makes some sense – it’s understandable for a state to want to protect a rare and beautiful animal, but it does seem a little unfair that deer of a different shade don’t get the same compassionate treatment.

Forbidden Foods

Ever thought about moving to Minnesota? Well, maybe the fact that eating a hamburger on Sundays is a criminal act will make you think again. Fortunately, your Sunday hamburger is safe in Ohio; however this state requires you to follow some strange rules when it comes to donuts. Make sure you’re not walking backwards whilst consuming the icing glazed circular treat, as such a combination of activities is forbidden by law.

Bizarre and Unlikely Laws from Around The US

Wisconsin has an equally bizarre food law – but this one is designed to satisfy citizens rather than limit their eating habits. State-certified cheeses must, by law, be officially deemed ‘highly pleasing’. In other words – any cheese which isn’t considered of a high enough quality (although exactly who sets the standard is unclear) cannot be advertised as cheese from Wisconsin. The state sure is proud of its “America’s Dairyland” reputation…

These are just a few of the thousands of hilarious and strange yet-to-be-nullified laws across the states. You never know what seemingly normal (or bizarre) acts can get you arrested in America…