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Crazy Laws in the State of Idaho and Fun Facts

Updated on June 8, 2015
Crazy? I'll show you CRAZY!
Crazy? I'll show you CRAZY! | Source
I'm still trying to figure this law out, too.
I'm still trying to figure this law out, too. | Source

Crazy Laws in the State of Idaho and Fun Facts

Was the law in Hawaii prohibiting the sinking of the islands crazy? How about the bizarre Florida fart law? Or the strange California law banning the use of used underwear to wipe one’s car? I’m serious.

Wait ‘til you read these very crazy Idaho laws.

Crazy Laws in the State of Idaho

• Cutting off a friend’s head with an axe is against the law.

What if the friend is only an acquaintance?

What if the friend is a former friend?

What if the friend is a chicken?

• Lawyers must not charge widows a fee for moving their piano from one room to another.

Listen up, you Idaho lawyers. If you plan to move a widow’s piano, you have to do it for free.

• Snakes have been banned from biting humans on a Sunday except when it is snowing.

What the … ? I am still trying to figure this one out.

Let me read my job description once more.
Let me read my job description once more. | Source
50 pounds of chocolate heaven
50 pounds of chocolate heaven | Source

• Non-married couples who engage in sexual intercourse can be jailed for up to six months.

Who monitors this ‘activity’? Just wonderin’.

• You cannot buy or sell chickens after sundown without the sheriff’s permission.

That’s it, folks. The buck stops with the sheriff.

• In Idaho, it’s illegal to fish while sitting on the back of a camel or a giraffe.

What is with these crazy legislators? What were they smoking when they created this law?

• It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing more than fifty pounds.

Hershey, Nestle, Lindt and Godiva must have fought against this law tooth and nail.

I'm here to serve and protect ... and suspect!
I'm here to serve and protect ... and suspect! | Source

Crazy Laws in the cities of Idaho

In Boise – it is illegal to lead an animal on a sidewalk, or drive any vehicle upon, along or across any city cement sidewalk.

I promise not to drive my car on the sidewalk, but I will NOT walk my precious poodle in the street.

In Coeur d’Alene – if a police officer approaches a vehicle and suspects that the occupants are engaging in sex, he must either honk, or flash his lights and wait for three minutes before approaching the car.

Officer to Dispatch: “Okay, I’ve been watching the two of them go at it for two minutes and 45 seconds now. 15 seconds more and I read them the riot act.”

In Eagle – dirt may not be swept from one’s house into the street, alley or sidewalk.

Find a dirt bag.

In Pocatello – a law passed in 1912 provided that “The carrying of concealed weapons is forbidden, unless some are exhibited to public view.”

So it’s okay if I have a Smith and Wesson in my boot …
or a Beretta in one pocket and a Colt in the other …
as long as I have my Glock exposed in my waistband?

• A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face.

I am not joking. My research indicates that in 1948, George Phillips, the Mayor of the city of Pocatello, passed an ordinance making it illegal not to smile in Pocatello. The “Smile Ordinance” was passed tongue -in-cheek as a result of an exceptionally severe winter which had dampened the spirits of the residents.
Wouldn’t it be great if this law were universal?

In Wallace – you are not allowed to sleep in a dog kennel unless you are a dog.

Must have been a substantial number of hen-pecked legislators who found it necessary to enact this crazy law.

Appaloosa horse
Appaloosa horse | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Idaho

• The Appaloosa horse was first bred by the Nez Perce in the Kamiah Valley primarily for use as a war animal.

• Birds of Prey Wildlife Area is home to the world's most dense population of nesting eagles, hawks, and falcons.

• Idaho’s Shoshone Falls is known as the ‘Niagara of the West.’ It drops 212 feet beating out Niagara Falls of the East by 45 feet.

• Idaho shares a border with Canada, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, and Washington.

Bruneau sand dunes
Bruneau sand dunes | Source

• American Falls was the first town in the U.S. to be completely relocated.

In 1925, the entire town was moved to facilitate construction of the nearby American Falls dam.

• Bruneau Dunes State Park contains North America's tallest single structured sand dune which stands 470 feet high.

• Bruneau Canyon Overlook offers a view into a 1,200 foot-deep, 800-foot-wide river canyon.

• Elk River is the home of the Idaho Champion Western Red Cedar Tree, the largest tree in the state.

Estimated to be over 3,000 years old, this giant is more than 18 feet in diameter and stands 177 feet tall.

Soda Springs geyser
Soda Springs geyser | Source

• Soda Springs is home to the largest man-made geyser in the world.

Note: in 1934, the town fathers were looking for hot water for a ‘hot pool’ bathing attraction. Instead they drilled into a chamber of highly pressurized carbon dioxide gas and cold water and the geyser was released.

After running for weeks and flooding the downtown area, it was capped and manually released when requested as a tourist attraction. Now it is let loose every hour on the hour by a timed release valve.

Sun Valley is recognized as the home of America's first destination ski resort. The first alpine chairlift was used in Sun Valley. In 1936, the fee was 25 cents per ride.

Philo T. Farnsworth
Philo T. Farnsworth | Source

• Rigby is known as the birthplace of television since it is the hometown of Philo T. Farnsworth who pioneered television technology.

• Weiser is Home of the National ‘Old Time Fiddlers’ contest.

• President Theodore Roosevelt established the Caribou National Forest in 1907.

The area now covers more than 1 million acres in southeast Idaho.

• In the 1800s, several sightings of a creature in Bear Lake led to tales of the Bear Lake Monster. To this day, some locals still refuse to swim in the lake or go fishing at night.

Well-fed yellow-bellied marmot
Well-fed yellow-bellied marmot | Source

• Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve with three major lava fields covers an area of 1,117 square miles.

The yellow-bellied marmot is one of the unique animals that makes its home here.

Note: when a marmot sees a predator, it whistles to warn all other marmots in the area giving it the nickname ‘whistle pig.’

• An excavation of Wilson Butte Cave in 1959 unearthed artifacts about 14,500 years old, some of the oldest man-made artifacts in the country.

• Idaho has 3,100 miles of rivers, more than any other state in the country.

Great Seal of Idaho
Great Seal of Idaho | Source

• The Great Seal of Idaho was designed in 1890 by Mrs. Emma Edwards Green. It is the only Great Seal in the 50 states to be designed by a woman.

• The Church River of No Return Wilderness has 2.3 million acres of back country (and probably the coolest name).

• Hailey, Idaho is where Bruce Willis and Demi Moore moved to in order to raise their children out of the Hollywood eye, back when they were still married.

• Hailey is also the birthplace of famed poet, Ezra Pound.

Idaho Potato Museum
Idaho Potato Museum | Source
3 types of lentils
3 types of lentils | Source

• Idaho grows one third of America’s potatoes or about 27 billion starchy vegetables annually.

Note: People outside of Idaho eat more Idaho potatoes than the people in Idaho.

• The Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot features the world’s largest potato chip. Resembling a Pringle, the chip is a reported 25 inches by 14 inches.

• Along with potatoes, Idaho is also the top producer of lentils. Moscow (Idaho, not Russia) is part of the Palouse region known as The Lentil Capital of The World.

• Idaho is home to the largest hops farm in the world, Elk Mountain Farms, which grows hops for parent company Anheuser-Busch on 1,800 acres of land.

Bronco Stadium unique blue turf
Bronco Stadium unique blue turf | Source
Hells canyon
Hells canyon | Source

•The Boise State University Broncos play on the world’s only blue football field known as The Smurf Turf.

• The capital city of Boise was named when French-Canadian trappers arrived in the early 1800s and were so relieved to see the forest, they exclaimed, ‘Les bois! Les bois!’ (‘The trees’).

• At around 7,900 feet, Idaho’s Hell’s Canyon is the deepest gorge in the United States, even deeper than the Grand Canyon.

• Silver City, the Burke, and Custer are just a few of Idaho’s many ghost towns.

The Fosbury Flop
The Fosbury Flop | Source
Seven Devils mountains
Seven Devils mountains | Source

• The Fosbury Flop, a high jumping technique, was invented by Dick Fosbury in Ketchum in high school.

• Five historic pioneer trails cross Idaho, including the Oregon Trail and the California Trail. Wagon ruts are still visible along the rugged dirt paths.

• When you get to Heaven’s Gate Lookout, you can see four states at one time: Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon.

Note: In a bit of irony, you have to go to Seven Devils Campground to reach Heaven’s Gate Lookout.

• Idaho has a bra tree. It’s become a tradition for women to throw their bras from the chair lift at the Brundage Mountain ski resort in McCall giving the Brundage Bra Tree its name.

Evel's X-2 Sky-cycle
Evel's X-2 Sky-cycle | Source

• Evel Knievel’s Snake Jump Monument commemorates the daredevil’s failed attempt to jump the Snake Canyon on a rocket cycle in 1974.

• Arco was the first community in the world ever to be lit by electricity generated by nuclear power in July, 1955.

Note: The original name of the city, population 995, was Root Hog.

Atomic City today
Atomic City today | Source
Coeur d'Alene Resort floating green
Coeur d'Alene Resort floating green | Source

• Atomic City had a larger population in 1975 when it neighbored the National Reactor Testing Station and was home to the Experimental Breeder Reactor.

Today, about 29 people live in the desolate town with one store and one bar.

• Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course is home to the first retractable floating green on the 14th hole.

• The grocery store chain Albertsons was founded by Idaho native and supermarket pioneer, Joseph Albertson.

• Science and technology provide more than 25% of the state's total revenue and are greater than agriculture, forestry and mining combined.

• The statehouse in Boise is heated from a geothermal underground hot springs.

Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps that explains why some of those crazy laws are enacted. The legislators are always on the ‘hot seat.’

• The film, 'Napoleon Dynamite,' was made in Preston, Idaho. Jared Hess, the director, shot the movie at his alma mater high school and other Preston haunts one year after graduating.

Cost $400,000. Gross $4,000,000. Star Jon Heder was paid the magnificent sum of $1,000 for his role.

State Symbols

• State Motto – ‘Esto perpetua’ (It is forever)

• State Nickname – Gem State

Note: Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones. It’s believed that the largest diamond found on U.S. soil was discovered in Idaho.

• State Bird – Mountain bluebird

• State tree – White pine

• State fish – Cutthroat trout

• State flower – Syringa

• State fruit – Huckleberry

• State horse – Appaloosa

• State raptor – Peregrine falcon

• State insect – Monarch butterfly

• State vegetable – Potato (surprise!)

Favorite Will Rogers quote: “An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh.”

© 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 Idaho and Fun Facts

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    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You betcha, shanmarie. You mean you didn't know I could read minds?

      Thanks for laughing.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Hahaha! Henpecked legislators. You more or less read my mind with that comment.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Genna, Condolences on your computer crash - hope all is well now. Thanks for being a faithful reader and interesting commentator on my series of crazy laws. That crazy smile law makes sense in a way when times are difficult.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Doc. I'm behind due to a computer crash, and am now only getting caught up in reading hubs. This series is one of my very first stops. I couldn't bear to miss them. The ordinance about smiling in public places is something we New Englanders could have used after this past winter. I have learned some interesting facts about this state I never knew before, including the number of miles of rivers that run through it. Excellent hub.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Say Yes ... That camping trip with new hot springs every day sounds like a winner. Can understand why you would enjoy it so much. Nice to know that you are acquainted firsthand with so many of Idaho's treasures.

      My earliest recollection of Sun Valley was it provided a beautiful backdrop for a number of skiing and ice skating movies.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Idaho has the second largest number of hot springs in the US, superseded only by Nevada. I once saw a camping trip - I can't remember whether it was the Youth Hostel Association or the Sierra Club running it - but it lasted 8 days. Every day, you hiked to a new camp site, and there was a hot spring there, so you could soak away your aches and pains. That would be the ULTIMATE trip for me!

      I have a pair of opal earrings I bought on Orcas Island, WA; the opals come from Spencer's Mine, ID. The opals are purple!

      I have skied at Silver Mountain and Schweitzer; the snow is light and fluffy champagne powder. It's like floating on air!

      Carole King lived on a fabulous horse ranch near Sun Valley, ID (she may still live there). It contains a hot spring. She ran her own hippie commune there. I would LOVE to retire that way!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      What a coincidence, Alicia. That's what the snake said, too. 'Tis a puzzlement,' it said. Trying to analyze some of these bizarre laws could easily send a person to the funny farm. Wait a minute! Perhaps that is where they came from?

      Thanks for your welcome visit, m'dear.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The facts about Idaho are very interesting, drbj, and the laws are very funny. I won't be able to get the law about snakes out of my mind for a long time. It's so puzzling!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Eric. Your kind comments are most gratifying. Thank you for appreciating this series. Didn't know you had a giraffe though to fish from - you lucky duck.

      And thanks for sharing these crazy laws and tidbits of info - makes my day to learn that.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Kim. Thanks for appreciating my fun, interesting and wacky-filled hub of info. You are my type of woman, y'know. :)

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, pd. I understand your reasoning, my friend, but the last line of your comments really resonated with me. We need to require mental health testing for all our crazy lawmakers - at ALL levels!

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Netty Net. You are most welcome for the laugh. Chuckling is good, too.

    • drbj profile imageAUTHOR

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      Who knew, Bill, that Idaho could be so scary? Although these days the entire world seems a scarier place. Thanks for being first in line. As I inch closer to your corner of the world, I will try to be more kind. Promise.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bravo another great one in a wonderful series that has me constantly looking for the next one. This reminded me of the time I caught that trophy Trout fish while sitting on my pet Giraffe. What?

      I enjoy sharing your great tidbits of information and whacky laws with friends and family Thank you.

    • ocfireflies profile image


      3 years ago from North Carolina

      What a fun, interesting and wacky-filled hub of info. V+ for sure.


    • profile image 

      3 years ago

      Grieving widows got me thinking. Perhaps need to be able to play piano in a different room DRBJ a fee would add to their grief - the piano playing might provides an outlet or...perhaps rejoicing in some cases... I don't know..really but ver interesting law Who wants to play in the same room after a partner departs this world? Perhaps that's it. We shouldn't be charged for that...oh I don't know. Perhaps there should be a law to test the mental health of lawmakers!

    • profile image

      Jeanette Harris 

      3 years ago from 11996 Valley Falls Loop Spring Hill Florida, 34609

      Thanks for the laught

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You're getting closer to me. :)

      The first one about cutting off heads....that seemed normal to those of us who live near Idaho. It didn't surprise me at all, and that scares me. LOL


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