Crazy Laws in the State of Hawaii and Fun Facts
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.’
• 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.
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.’
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.'
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.
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
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.
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 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 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 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."