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Crazy Laws in the State of Hawaii and Fun Facts

Updated on October 24, 2015
I'm a baby girl. Don't name me 'Charles.' Instead, could  you name me, Sam?
I'm a baby girl. Don't name me 'Charles.' Instead, could you name me, Sam? | Source

Crazy Laws in the State of Hawaii and Fun Facts

Crazy laws are not confined to the U.S. mainland. Did you know that you must not feed a shark in Hawaii? And you cannot give your newborn child the name, ‘Charles’? Here are 13 of the craziest laws that still remain on the books in Hawaii.

Crazy Laws in Hawaii

• No child can be given the name, ‘Charles.’

Now this crazy law makes sense . . . if that child is a girl!

• A law dating to the year, 1418, makes it illegal to sink the islands.

Does this mean that in 1418 someone tried?

Coins are not allowed to be placed in one’s ears.

I can’t help but wonder how many citizens were actually doing that.

Surfing in Hawaii is Heaven.
Surfing in Hawaii is Heaven. | Source
Eating surfers in Hawaii is Heaven.
Eating surfers in Hawaii is Heaven. | Source

• Surfers must express themselves at all times using a vocabulary of no more than one hundred words.

Why confine only surfers to one hundred words? It would make more sense if the law were applied to the Hawaiian legislators who enacted these crazy laws.

Feeding a shark is against the law.

That makes sense. Keep those sharks hungry so they can eat more of those surfers who exceed their 100-word allotment.

• By law, twins must not work for the same company.

Hawaiians do take nepotism seriously.

We have room for 13 more pets.
We have room for 13 more pets. | Source
Call me names and you cause me trauma. If you annoy me, I'll tell my momma.
Call me names and you cause me trauma. If you annoy me, I'll tell my momma. | Source

The hoarding of more than 15 cats and dogs in a household is unlawful.

So, 15 pets is OKAY?

• Men from the Orakama tribe are not permitted to eat their second wife.

Hmmmmmm! This appears to be outright discrimination again the rights of the first wife . . . may she rest in peace.

• It is unlawful to annoy any bird within the limits of any public park.

How do you annoy a bird?

Do you call it names?

Do you tell it ‘yo mama’ jokes?

• It is illegal to get a tattoo behind your ear, or on your eyelid unless in the presence of a registered physician.

Why would you want your tattoo in either place where few folks would see it?

It is unlawful to break off mineral deposits from a cave.

So if you happen to find a rare gem accidentally in a Hawaiian cave, just bring it to me for safe keeping. For a price, my lips are sealed.

Say what? I only see one drink.
Say what? I only see one drink. | Source
All I want is a fighting chance.
All I want is a fighting chance. | Source

You may only have one alcoholic drink in front of you at a time.

Here is the Full Text of the Law: ‘If getting more alcoholic drinks, the bartender must ask, ‘Who is that other drink (or drinks) for?’ and the customer must point them out. And that person (or persons) may not be holding a drink.’

Picky, picky!

It is against the law to fish with dynamite, electric current, or poison.

This crazy law actually makes some sense. Would you want to eat fish that were blown up, electrocuted or poisoned?

Note: If you plan to visit Hawaii here are two very useful phrases to memorize:

‘Ehia?' How much is this?’ and 'Aia i hea ka lua?' Where is the toilet? These phrases will come in handy. Trust me.

Captain James Cook (1728-1779)
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) | Source
King Kamehameha I (1758-1819)
King Kamehameha I (1758-1819) | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Hawaii

Captain James Cook, the British explorer, originally named the islands the Sandwich Islands in 1778 to honor John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich and the First Lord of the Admiralty.

The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands – Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and the Big Island or Hawaii – and 124 small, uninhabited islands, reefs and atolls.

The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a tremendous undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian Emperor seamount chain.

They were formed by volcanic activity in the mantle of the Earth.

King Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, united the islands under his rule as the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810.

Note: The king’s full name was Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kauʻi Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea.

The Hawaiian archipelago spans the distance of 1,523 miles making Hawaii the longest island chain in the world.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state whose land area is increasing … from volcanic eruptions.

The Hawaiian alphabet consists of only twelve letters. The five vowels are A, E, I, O, U. The seven consonants are H, K, L, M, N, P, W.

Every word and syllable ends with one of the five vowels.

The apostrophe you see in some Hawaiian words is called an ʻokina.‘ It signifies a slight pause. When two words are spelled exactly alike, but one has an ʻokina,’ you are looking at two different words.

For example,’ moa’ means ‘chicken,’ while ‘moʻa’ means ‘cooked.’

Iolani Palace, Honolulu
Iolani Palace, Honolulu | Source
Foster Botanical Garden
Foster Botanical Garden | Source
Oahu has a land area of 596.7 square miles
Oahu has a land area of 596.7 square miles | Source

Oahu Fun Facts

Honolulu – population 1, 392,313 - is the capital of Hawaii.

Iolani Palace located in downtown Honolulu, is the only royal palace in the United States. Electric lights illuminated the Palace four years before the White House in Washington, D.C. had them.

Foster Botanical Garden near Iolani Palace was built in 1855 which makes it the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii.

Oahu is home to the world’s largest wind generator. The windmill is located on the top of a 20-story tower and has two blades, each measuring 400 feet in length.

Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors on any given day. That’s as much as 44% of all tourists present in the entire state of Hawaii.

Honolulu is the second most expensive city in the United States, after Anchorage, Alaska.

More people live on the island of Oahu than in the entire state of Alaska. Oahu's population was 953,307 (2010 Census), while Alaska's population was 710,231.

The oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, built in 1843.

No matter how old you are or how long you’ve lived in the state, only people with Hawaiian ancestry are called 'Hawaiians.' People of non-Hawaiian ancestry - even those born and raised there - call themselves 'locals.'

Haleakala Crater
Haleakala Crater | Source
Silversword flower
Silversword flower | Source
Humpback whale
Humpback whale | Source
Maui has a land area of 727.3  square miles
Maui has a land area of 727.3 square miles | Source

Maui Fun Facts

Haleakala Crater on the island of Maui is the world's largest dormant volcano.

Hawaii has many plants that are endemic to the islands. One of the best-known is the Haleakala silversword on Maui.

The silversword only grows in a 2,471 acre area at an elevation of 6,890 to 9,843 feet within the Haleakala National Park.

Note: The silversword takes about 15 to 50 years to grow and flowers only once at the end of its lifetime.

Maui is known as the Valley Isle and is the second largest island in the Hawaiian chain.

It has more than 80 incredible white, red and black sand beaches with a combined shoreline that spans 120 miles.

Maui is also the breeding ground for the Humpback Whale, who winters here before returning to Alaska.

These baleen whales weigh 25 to 40 tons and are known for their acrobatics – they enjoy breaching and slapping the water with their tail and pectorals.

Hawaii has the oldest school west of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in Lahaina in 1831.

Hawaii has a unique way of giving directions. To point people in the right path, local residents say ‘makai,’ which means toward the sea, and ‘mauka,’ meaning toward the mountains.

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon | Source
Kauai has a land area of 552.3 square miles
Kauai has a land area of 552.3 square miles | Source

Kauai Fun Facts

Kauai is home to Waimea Canyon also known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ It measures about 3,000 feet in depth and 12 miles in length.

The island of Kauai is home to the wettest spot on Earth. The average yearly rainfall on Mt. Waialeale is about 397 inches.

By law, no building on Kauai is allowed to be built taller than a palm tree.

Kauai, the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands, is over six million years old.

Kauai, also known as the ‘Garden Isle,’ is famous for its jagged green mountains, white-sand beaches and tropical landscapes.

More than 60 Hollywood movies have been filmed here, including ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Outbreak,’ ‘Blue Hawaii’ and the TV shows. ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Gilligan’s Island.’

Clips from Gilligan's Island TV show

Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea | Source
Map of 5 volcanoes comprising Big Island
Map of 5 volcanoes comprising Big Island | Source
Kilauea volcano
Kilauea volcano | Source
Big Island of Hawaii has a land area of 4,028.2 square miles
Big Island of Hawaii has a land area of 4,028.2 square miles | Source

Big Island (Hawaii) Fun Facts

The Big Island’s Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base at the ocean floor.

It rises 13,796 feet above sea level and another 17,000 feet extend to its base below the ocean’s surface.

The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the world’s biggest telescope located on the top of Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa on the Big Island is one of the world's largest active volcanoes and has been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago.

The volcano's magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain over tens of millions of years.

Kilauea volcano on the Big Island is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in the world.

Not only is the Big Island the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, but it’s also home to the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Parker Ranch near Kamuela covers 480,000 acres.

Ka Lae on the Big Island of Hawaii is the southernmost point in the United States. Visit here and you’ll notice a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing east to west, 24 hours per day 365 days per year.

The Big Island of Hawaii is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.

Loihi Seamount, an undersea volcano located southeast of the Big Island, may emerge in a few thousand years as a new Hawaiian island.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state that commercially grows coffee, cacao, and vanilla beans.

Note: It can take up to five years to grow a single vanilla bean.

Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle | Source
Monk seal
Monk seal | Source
Molokai has a land area of 260 square miles
Molokai has a land area of 260 square miles | Source

Molokai Fun Facts

The first Hawaiian fossils were discovered in sandstone at the Moomomi Dunes.

This preserve protects rare green sea turtles and the occasional Hawaiian monk seal.

Kalaaupapa on Molokai was once a leper colony. It was administered by Father Damien, a Flemish Catholic missionary, who later died of leprosy himself in 1889.

There are no traffic lights or shopping malls on Molokai.

The largest rubber-lined water reservoir in the world is in Kualapuu. It can hold over one billion gallons of water.

Molokai’s north shore is home to:

the world’s largest sea cliffs more than 3,000 feet high;

Hawaii’s longest waterfall (Kahiwa Falls – 2,165 feet tall);

Hawaii’s longest white-sand beach (Papohaku Beach – about 3 miles long).

Lanai has a land area of 140.5 square miles.
Lanai has a land area of 140.5 square miles. | Source

Lanai Fun Facts

The island of Lanai was once the home of the world's largest pineapple plantations.

At one point, the island was producing 75% of the world's pineapple.

Lanai has only three paved roads.

In 2012, Larry Ellison, then CEO of Oracle Corp. purchased 98% share of the island. The state owns the remaining 2%. The asking price was reported to be between $500 million and $600 million.

Kahoolawe has a land area of 44.6 square miles.
Kahoolawe has a land area of 44.6 square miles. | Source

Kahoolawe Fun Facts

In 1981, Kahoolawe was added to the National Register of Historic Places. At that time, the island was home to 544 recorded archaeological or historic sites.

Kahoolawe was once used as a target by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. It is uninhabited and until today, is off-limits to visitors. Kahoolawe was returned to the state in 1994 and is currently being cleaned up by the U.S. government.

Niihau has a land area of 70 square miles.
Niihau has a land area of 70 square miles. | Source

Niihau Fun Facts

Niihau is Hawaii’s ‘Forbidden Isle.’ It is a privately-owned island and access by the general public is highly limited. The island’s population is 230.

Niihau is owned by the Robinson family, whose ancestors bought it from King Kamehameha IV in 1864 for $10,000. One can only visit it by invitation from the owners or one of the Native Hawaiians who live there.

Happy Face Spider

Hawaii State Symbols

• State bird – Hawaiian goose

• State fish – Humuhumunukunukuapua’a

Note: The Hawaiian singer, Don Ho, who sang about this fish in his song, ‘My Little Grass Shack,’ may have been one of the few people who could pronounce its name.

• State nickname – Aloha state

Note: ‘Aloha’ means both hello and good-bye.

• State flower – Hawaiian hibiscus

• State insect – Kamehameha butterfly

• State Mammals – Humpback whale, Hawaiian monk seal, Hawaiian hoary bat

• State tree – Kukui nut tree

• State dance – hula

• State gemstone – Black coral

Note: The state gem is not a standard mineral. Black coral is technically an animal, but it is often used to make jewelry.

More Hawaii Fun Facts

Hawaii is the only state in the United States that is not geographically located in North America.

Hawaii is home to the ‘Happy Face Spider’ (Theridion grallator) which resembles a smiley face on the spider’s back.

Only two types of mammals are native to Hawaii: the hoary bat and the monk seal.

Sugar is mainly produced on Maui and Kauai on 70,000 acres. In 2002, 340,000 tons of raw sugar were produced.

Note: One ton of water is needed to make a pound of sugar.

Paradise Cove Luau, the largest luau in the State of Hawaii, cooks 127.5 tons of pig each year for its nightly luaus.

The people of Hawaii consume the most Spam per capita in the U.S.

Charlie Chan, the fictional hero of 6 novels and 50 movies was based on Honolulu police detective Chang Apana, a rough but honest cop with a no nonsense attitude. Earl Derr Biggers found him to be the perfect inspiration for his books.

In 1884, King Kamehameha V offered to sell a strip of land running from downtown Honolulu to Diamond Head to Eliza Sinclair, a rancher’s widow from New Zealand, for $10,000. She turned him down because the land wasn’t fit to raise cattle. This priceless land is now known as Waikiki.

Favorite travel one-liner: "What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?" - George Carlin

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

Comments for Crazy Laws in the State of Hawaii and Fun Facts

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Say Yes, for that inspiring anecdote about Koko Head Crater on Oahu. It was news to me and is an awesome example of doing things the hard way. (laughing)

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      5 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I was told by a Hawaiian that their language has very few swear words, because they don't consider many things dirty. Example: Koko Head Crater on Oahu is a shortened Anglified name for its Hawaiian version, which means "ragged vagina". The story behind that is, a goddess spared herself from getting raped by tearing out her vagina and throwing it in the ocean.

      That's one way to handle it...

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Dianna. A big bang is exactly the right way to describe that unique method of dynamite fishing. Thanks for appreciating the humor and education in this series I appreciate your telling me so.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Fishing with dynamite? Someone must have gotten a big bang out of that experience! Thanks for the light-hearted humor and the education.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Of course, because you are perspicacious and sentient!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Everything has to be political with me.

      Or evolutionary.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Touche! nicomp. Rumor has it that certain birth certificate documents may be printed in invisible ink.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Isn't there a law in Hawaii that birth certificates are optional?

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Linda - happy you never ran afoul of that nepotism law with your twin sister. How great to be a twin. I always wanted to be a twin or have twin children. Never happened. Thanks for the visit and the kind words, m'dear. Give my best to your sis.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      My twin sister and I have worked at many jobs at the same time-thank goodness we weren't born in Hawaii. Thanks for the fun, informative article. Excellent job.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Alicia. Thank you, m'dear, for your loyal visits and kind comments. I, too, am fascinated by both the history and beauty of Hawaii and hope to visit the islands again one day.

      You are most welcome as well as appreciated.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub is very funny, like all the other ones in your series, drbj. I found the facts especially interesting. Hawaii has fascinated me ever since I visited it many years ago. Thank you for sharing so many informative details about the state.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      You are more than welcome, Eric, for the education and the laughter. I could not ask for a more welcome comment. Do hope you get to visit this Paradise with your second wife. Perhaps you might want to keep that 'Orakama law' to yourself though. Just sayin'.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      You know, Lizzy, that selection of Charles as a name that is forbidden surprised me. I thought they might have chosen the name, James, since Capt. James Cook was the man who discovered that Paradise and opened it up to foreign acquisition.

      And, like you, I am still puzzling over how one sinks an island. Especially one formed of hardened lava.

      Thanks for stopping by, m'dear, the lovely comments, and I look forward to writing more of these for you to read.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Paula. That law re the 'Orakama first wife' has got to be one of the craziest most bizarre laws I have discovered to date. Loved your comment though. Very inventive, m'dear.

      I absolutely concur with you that Oahu has got to be one of the most lovely places on earth to visit. That Gilligan - what did he know?

      Thank you for your estimable comments - delighted you are learning while laughing. Hilarious is my mission ... when possible. And thank you as always for the visit and your Up pluses.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Another great one. Thanks for the education and laughs. This one definitely made me want to visit. I will entice my second wife to go assuring her they have a special law just for her.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Oh, my! I don't think I could live in any state that went so far as to dictate what you may and may not name your own child!

      And sink the islands? Seriously? LOL Now that's a good one. While they were enjoying whatever toke they had going at the time, I'm surprised they didn't make it illegal for volcanoes to flow over roads and homes! Such a law would make as much sense! Shaking my head in wonder, here.

      Voted up, interesting and funny--and I look forward to reading more in this series!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Carson City

      Hmmmm...Sounds like they solved the expense of divorcing your first wife....YIKES! I wonder if they celebrate with a Luau, serving fried wife........Oh, now that was bad. Sorry! LOL

      Oahu (Honolulu) is an absolute "Paradise." That is the only place I have always wanted to return to on vacation........I never understood why Gilligan and the gang continually struggled to get off the island!! That was a really good show in my (our?) day!

      Another wonderful hub in your series Doc. They have all been informational as well as hilarious!!......Learning while laughing. Can't

      beat it!...UP+++

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Say Yes. How nice to have an authentic Hawaiian local visiting. You are fortunate to live in such a fascinating place. I have visited Hawaii only once but hope to return one day soon.

      Thank you for taking the time to add much of the local facts and flavor - you are much appreciated.

      I think one of the reasons Honolulu is such an expensive city to live in is that unlike the U.S. cities you mentioned, so much has to be imported to Hawaii.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      So, bp, those coins your uncle always had in his ears - were they dimes or 50-cent pieces? Just wonderin'.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Delighted you began the day with a laugh, Bill. May it ever be so! Hawaii is a fascinating group of islands and Hawaiians are fascinating people. I could have written 5,000 more words about the islands.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      5 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I've lived in Hawaii for 14 years. I'd like to add a few facts.

      The Big Island has a beach with green sand - yes, GREEN! It's the color of the "Post Comment" button. I wrote a hub describing my experience sand boarding there. It is one of two such beaches in the world - the other is in Guam.

      The native Hawaiian population is 20%, as compared to Native Americans on the Mainland, which is 2%. We have a network of schools that preserve the Hawaiian culture; the largest is the King Kamehameha schools.

      All the Polynesian languages are closely related; Hawaiian, Tongan, Maori, Tahitian, and Samoan are the main ones. If you're fluent in one, you can understand all of them.

      "Honolulu is the second most expensive city in the United States, after Anchorage, Alaska." I have to disagree on that one; what about New York City and San Francisco?

      Thanks for this great hub! ~ from a local.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      5 years ago

      My uncle always had coins in his ears that he could produce on demand. Luckily, he didn't live in Hawaii!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My first response is...."well, that's Hawaii!" I think being cooped up on an island all your life would make one a little bizarre, don't you?

      Great fun my friend. I start this day laughing.


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