At times, signs are a necessity. They give us much needed, even crucial information, whether it’s the speed limits of the road, or a sign pointing to the nearest restroom. Without them, society as we know it would be incomplete and utter disarray.
However, for every helpful, well-designed sign, there is also a horribly confusing, poorly designed sign as well. Indeed, not all signs are created equal many actually do far more harm than good. The following are just some of the many comical instances of the worst of the worst signs of the world. Ranging anywhere from funny, useless, to downright strange. Enjoy!
Changing Lanes in New England? Use Yah Blinkah’
Driving along the roads of New England? Make sure to use yah blinkah! Here, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation reminds drivers to observe safe driving and the rules of the road, in the most stereotypically hilarious way! Yes, by poking fun of the Bostonian accent, the state of Boston is successfully able to admonish commuters, reminding them of the importance of changing lanes, in order to drive safely along the state’s roads. According to the Boston Globe, this message appeared on the state of Boston’s electronic highway signs in May of 2014.
On display throughout that weekend, as more and more motorists spotted this message, and other similar messages, on their way to and from work, this electronic message resulted in an explosion of reactions, both positive and negative, across social media platforms. While clearly targeted towards Boston drivers, this rule holds true for all motorists on the road.
Remove Child Before Washing.
Washing your young child’s clothing? Before placing in the washing machine, make sure to turn the garment inside out before washing, and then shake said garment, to ensure no children will be harmed in the cleaning of your laundry. Wait, what? Yes, according to the above clothing tag, when washing your child’s clothes, make certain that you have removed your kid before placing in the wash. You would think the above washing instructions to be a given among most parents in this day and age. However, as reflected in the above warning label, obviously there are still some new parents out there that may not have received the memo.
Truth be told, this clothing care label is not actually a real tag. Despite the fact that there are not actually (known) any labels like this in existence, it is still a crucial cautionary message worthy of a place on this list of warning signs.
An Important Message to All Non-Fly visitors.
Wait, humans are not actually flying, buzzing insects? This is news to us, and apparently those people the above warning sign addresses. All jokes aside, it is common knowledge that as humans, at one point of time or another, we have all been guilty of not abiding by the rules. Often times, this momentary lapse of judgment can lead to much destruction, and in the case of the above carnivorous plant, detrimental, unrepairable, life-threatening damage. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the Venus flytrap is a flowering plant native to North and South Carolina, most known for its infamously carnivorous eating habits.
Though there are many other wild, carnivorous, plants on planet Earth, the Venus flytrap is known as one of the very few of these plants known to exhibit active movement when capturing its prey. In an ingeniously clever attempt to regulate the fatal, human touching of these Venus fly traps, this nursery effectively brings attention to an otherwise, largely disregarded warning sign, through the power of humor. The above sign is not only informative but also maintains a positive, light-hearted manner — an attitude far more likely to attract and draw in onlookers. And this sign does not lie.
Customers Must Lick Bagels Before Making Selection.
Employees must wash hands? Customers must use tongs or tissue paper when making their delicious, fresh baked breakfast selection? Nah. This sign leads us to wonder what the owners of this bagel shop really meant to print on this sign. Clearly, this bagel shop puts hygiene above all else when it comes to the bagels they bake for their valued customers. Tongs or tongue? Which is the true bagel picking tool the above sign asks customers to use? Is the tongue the new ‘it’ way of picking out your bagels? Does licking your bagel signify you now own this bagel? Does licking the bagel let employees know which bagel you have selected to take home and eat? Luckily for this store’s customers, if one did find themselves unable to use their tongue, or lacking a tongue at all, for that matter, there is another option: select your bagel with tissue paper. But how does one possibly go about selecting a bagel with tissue paper, and not one’s own tongue?
For those without the luxury of a tongue, in order to select your bagel, we suggest simply placing a folded piece of tissue paper in your mouth instead, then proceed to pick up your bagel with your mouth. Though we personally believe selecting and picking up the bagel you desire with tissue papers seems to be the more logical of the two options — to each their own. All jokes aside, it is almost certain the makers of this sign accidentally made a typo, unintentionally and unknowingly typing ‘tongue’ instead of ‘tongs’. Not only is this spelling mistake unprofessional, but it also probably lead to much confusion amongst customers picking out their bagels for the day. Whatever the story may be behind this hilariously misspelled sign, it most definitely emphasizes the importance of double-checking your work before printing out the final copy — crucial steps which the owners of this bagel shop clearly did not take before placing this sign above their bagels.
Texting While Driving…Oh, Cell No!
The horrible habit of texting and driving is clearly very bad these days, as reflected in the above sign. While a cheesy reminder of the dangerous act of texting and driving, it does manage to get the point across is a lighthearted manner, and serves as a friendly reminder to put down your phone when you’re behind the wheel of a car. Most likely intended to reach those most guilty of texting and driving — millennials and people of the generation z, the above message, though comical, serves an important purpose. According to a report by The National Safety Council, the problem of cell phone usage while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
Further, approximately 390,000 injuries documented every year are reported to the direct result of accidents related to texting while driving. And believe it or not, 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States—that’s 25% of all U.S. car accidents — is caused by texting and driving. The above statistics, while shocking, exist as a warning of the dangers of texting and driving. Moral of the story? Want to respond to a text you received while driving? It can wait.
‘A subway car is no place for showtime.’
Hold the pole, not our attention! Here, makers of this subway sign made it very known that there is to be no practicing dance of any kind on the poles of this moving vehicle. The message is clear: a subway car is not the place to put on a show. An inappropriate subway performance is known as ‘Showtime’ to New York City natives — a name given to these performers due to these dancers’ tendency to shout, “it’s showtime!” Before beginning their acrobatic pole performance — the act of subway pole dancing is considered widely annoying and ridiculous to a majority of those riding the New York City subway.
The above sign is an ad apart of the New York City MTA’s 2015 campaign, “Courtesy Counts, Manners Make a Better Ride." An effort ignited with the purpose of targeting unruly, discourteous behavior or trains and buses in the Big Apple (i.e. the notorious manspreading, “polehogging,” grooming, eating, and much more), signs like the above intended to serve as a reminder of proper rider etiquette when on the subway. It is a friendly nudge to commuters that “common courtesies go a long way towards making anyone’s trip a bit more enjoyable,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. Other variations of signs installed as a part of this campaign include messages like, “Dude…Stop the Spread, Please.
Whatever you do, under no circumstances should you breathe underwater.
We beg of you, no matter what you do: DO NOT BREATHE UNDER THE WATER. A seemingly obvious fact, but, like the sign above and the rest on the list, a sign as stupid as this proves that there was probably a near-death situation at this pool involving someone attempting to breathe underwater.
While we do understand the importance of emphasizing the crucial necessity of pool safety rules — especially in this age of lawsuits as trivial as suing the cereal company responsible for making Fruit Loops because the consumer argued they were misled to believe this cereal contained real fruit (yes, this actually did happen), signs like these are just ridiculous.
Note to Self: Balcony Not on Ground Level
Thanks for letting us know! I’m sure all of us had absolutely no idea that balconies couldn’t exist on the first floor. And here we were, about to jump over this hotel’s railing, as opposed to exiting this hotel the normal way: walking all the way down the hall, down the elevator, through the lobby and out through the sliding doors — way too much effort if you ask me. Thank goodness this sign let us known that we’re on the third floor, not the first. Embarrassing situation avoided.
However, when looking at a sign as seemingly idiotic as this one, we know that in order for this sign to be put up, such an event that required this sign in the first place must have occurred. There is no other explanation for a sign as strange and useless as this one, and all others on this list. Proof that I guess not everyone knows that balconies are not on the ground level, and that they should most certainly not be jumped over, and that there are, in fact, people that stupid in the world. While outdoor spaces like balconies, patios, porches, verandas, and decks are all somewhat similar types of outdoor living spaces adored and used by many, in reality, in the world of home and gardens, these terms are not actually used interchangeably. According to experts, there are in fact, very distinct identifying factors that differentiate each of these areas from one another.
The Most Millennial Stop Sign We’ve Ever Seen.
If we had to guess, we’d place all odds on the fact that the above stop sign must have been designed by a millennial. Despite its seeming appearance as a comical take on the traditional stop sign, in reality, this bright red, familiar-looking octagonal sign, as seen on the street of Istanbul, Turkey, actually has an entirely different meaning from the similar looking stop signs of present among Western cultures.
Indeed, according to one Turkey Travel Planner website, while traffic signs and signals on Turkish roads do in fact remain true to the internationally recognized signs synonymous to the majority of the world’s roads, unlike most standard road signs, when compared to road signs used in other countries, the road signs of Turkey differ in how and when these signs are observed. For instance, in the case of Turkey’s Stop (“DUR") signs, as well as its Yield ("Yol Ver") signs, while in other countries this sign firmly establishes the law-abiding need for cars to stop, in Turkey, such signs are largely ignored by its citizen drivers. Additionally, One Way ("Tek Yön"), No Entry ("Girilmez") and No U-Turn signs are also largely ignored in certain areas of the road, as well as in specific situations. However, if you ever find yourself driving around this foreign country, it is highly advised to follow the rules of these signs, regardless of how the surrounding local drivers choose to drive.
How Not to Pee?
Apparently, as reflected in the above sign, somewhere in the world, someone out there has, in fact, peed backward into the toilet. Yes, this sign proves that peeing backward is an issue substantial enough, and ultimately worthy of a sign detailing the explicit rule not to pee backward. Interestingly enough, there is actually a growing trend among both men and women involving relieving oneself backward. According to some experts, sitting backward on the toilet may actually be more hygienic than peeing forwards.
Additionally, while those of us living in Western societies may be comfortably accustomed to the habitat of walking into a bathroom stall, locking the door and then turning around before relieving oneself, when utilizing a non-Western toilet, these bathroom practices are commonly drastically different. Indeed, if you were to follow the classic Western way of turning around before taking care of your business in a non-Western country, you would find yourself far more likely to walk out of the bathroom with urine all over the place. Speaking of bathroom customs, in the Netherlands, gender inequality rights activists have begun the gender-neutral war on toilets, after one woman was charged with public urination after peeing in public. Consequently, Dutch protestors soon flooded the streets, arguing that the men of the city often got away with public urination, much more so than women.
The Debate of the Century: Which Side of the Bridge Should We Really Be Driving On?
What side of the bridge do we drive is the correct one to drive on? — This is a question that almost every driver has faced every time we zoom over a bridge; it is one that has stumped scientists and motorists since the dawn of the invention of the automobile. Indeed, though the question of which side of the bridge is the right side of the bridge to drive on — the left side, the right side, the concrete side, or the water side — is one that may lead to panic for some drivers, this sign takes the answer to this question to a whole new level of stupidity. So what is the true and final answer to this age-old question? Luckily for us, the designers of this sign have created a sign to answer this perplexing, seemingly unsolvable riddle.
According to this sign, while bike-riders should certainly ride on the bridge, in the case of car-drivers, when one finds oneself unsure as to which side of the bridge to drive on when in doubt, don’t drive on the bridge at all! No, you should actually drive just off the side of the bridge, in the water to the right of this concrete structure, of course! In the case of the above sign, this is simply the only logical answer to this perplexing question. Regardless, it’s still a pretty hilarious sign, one that leaves us wondering how long it was up — and how much confusion it caused — before someone finally realized, and hopefully fixed, this major error.
Bees in the Bathroom!
Bees in the rest stop’s bathroom? I think I’ll hold it till the next restroom stop. Though the origins of the location of the above warning sign remain unknown, we figure this sign was probably put up either as a joke or as a means to keep away unwanted restroom visitors. After seeing a sign as weird as this, we can’t help but wonder who actually chose to ignore this foreboding sign, and attempt to enter this supposed bee-filled bathroom. Perhaps this unusual sign was used during the April 1984 Challenger’s flight to space—a voyage which included 3,330 bee passengers.
Housed in a man-made confinement box, which was designed to adapt perfectly to zero gravity, according to Discover magazine, this box abled these space bees to construct an almost perfect bee comb in their hive. The one flaw in this bee-space habitat? The bees could not go to the bathroom. Indeed, since bees are only able to relieve themselves outside of their hive, these bees had to hold it in for a whopping seven days! How these busy bees managed to accomplish such a feat, we may never know. According to one NASA spokesperson, despite the bees inability to empty their bladders, upon inspection, this space hive was deemed “just as clean as a pin.”
Absolutely No Emptying of Dogs in these Parts.
For the love of God — whatever you do, don’t empty your dog here! Yes, it is a known fact: when dogs eat, they will eventually need to ‘be emptied.’ While the phrasing of the above sign is unusual, it does weirdly get the point across. Though the sign would come across better if read as “please pick up after your dog,” we get what the makers of this sign are asking dog owners passing the above sign. All jokes aside, the issue of dog waste is actually extremely important when discussing ways to ensure a more green, sustainable planet Earth. According to the LA times, methane — the result of dog waste, and other animal excrements — is actually “30% more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.”
In line with the above statistic, recent research in the scientific community suggests “ that the effect of methane on climate change is at least 30 times that of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.” Indeed, believe it or not, according to Live Science, “America's 83 million pet dogs produce some 10.6 million tons of poop every year.” So how do we go about solving such an environmentally detrimental issue? The trick lies in remembering to always pick up your dog’s waste, and dispose of it in the proper dog waste bins. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Campaign so cleverly puts it, "If you think picking up dog poop is unpleasant, try swimming in it.”
Where Not to Camp — The Left Line of the Highway
Are you the type of driver that annoyingly sits in the left lane on the highway, even if ongoing traffic struggles to get past you? In Olympia, WA, state patrol troopers are taking on this problem head-on. ‘Camp in the woods, not in the left lane' or get a ticket, they warn. Indeed, long considered one of the major problems, and largest pet peeves of Seattle-area drivers, according to one article, left lane “camping” has now become “the object of a statewide emphasis patrol” by the Washington State Patrol. The point of this law? To keep the left lane a passing lane, as it should be. The consequences of camping in Washington state? A ticket that will cost you $136. And it is evident that these state troopers are taking this problem very seriously. Last year alone, Washington state troopers busted and ticketed nearly 14,000 left-lane “campers." Want to avoid these fines?
When are you legally allowed to drive in the left lane? Courtesy of the State Patrol, the specifics are laid out below: "According to the law, RCW 46.61.100(2), Upon all roadways having two or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, all vehicles shall be driven in the right hand lane then available for traffic, except for overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction, when traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow, when moving left to allow traffic to merge or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted.” In other words, “Keep right, except to pass.” Clearly, the above road faces a similar problem, and its patrollers attempt to solve it in a similarly humous way. The moral of the story? Don’t mess with the people of the mountains.
What is Your Excuse for Littering?
Are you a jerk? Do you not care about natural areas? Does your Mommy still clean up after you? All of the above? What’s your lame excuse for littering? This straightforward, direct sign points out the fact that there is truly no valid reason for making the terrible decision to litter. While direct, in our opinion, it really is better to just be straightforward, as opposed to beating around the bush. As put by Australian owned and operated recycling business Metropolitan Bin Hire (MBH), littering is just one of those things that simply has absolutely no upside. "It is an eyesore, it spread dirt and bacteria, it’s an expensive problem to deal with and it harms the planet.”
Notwithstanding the negative connotations associated with littering, people still continue to litter. And as the world’s population grows, so too does the world’s every increasing waste problem. Whether found in the ocean (where nearly all of the Earth’s human waste is found), or on land, today littering has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. And this issue does not just impact humans. Believe it or not, as a result of the 9 billion tons of plastic littering our world’s oceans every year, and because of the currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastics in the ocean right now, one million birds and 100 thousand sea animals are killed every year, as a result of litter-related deaths (i.e plastic entanglement and eating a piece of human-produced trash found in the ocean).
Lions and Tigers and Humped Zebras … Oh My?
For most every driver and passenger on the road, animal crossing signs for creatures like moose, deer, and even kangaroo (in Australia) are commonly spotted alongside roads all over the world. But have you ever seen a Humped zebra crossing? We most certainly have not. This unusual animal crossing sign has left us wondering a number of things. First off, what is a Humped zebra, and wherein the world can you find them so commonly that they had to put up a sign about it? And secondly, what about regular, non-humped zebras? Are they common in this area as well? And why is there an image of a person crossing the road, as opposed to the actual humped zebra? Did this sign identify humans as the hump, and the zebra as the dashed lines the above figure is walking across? After doing some research on the internet, we have found the answer to the meaning behind this mysteriously placed sign. According to BBC America, the origins of the above sign is not in the country most would expect it to be located. Indeed, this sign is nowhere near the continent of Africa.
In reality, this sign is actually located across the pond, in the UK. And while the wording of this sign leads many to assume there is an abundance of white-and-blacked striped creatures roaming the roads, this sign is actually meant to designate a crosswalk. Yes, truth be told, as strange as it may be, in the UK a “Zebra Crossing” is actually another word for a crosswalk. If you think about it, this actually kind of makes sense. After all, are crosswalks not marked with dashed black lines, similar to that of the zebras of the African safari? As for the meaning of the ‘humped’ zebra crossing, we assume this is more likely than not, a crosswalk containing a speed bump. So what is the moral of the story? If you ever find yourself driving around the roads of the UK, do not be alarmed when you spot a Zebra crossing sign. We’ll save you some time: don’t get your hopes up, chances are, you will not actually spot a wild zebra along this road. Sadly, the only place you will see actual zebras in the UK is behind a fenced-in enclosure at the zoo.
Kids are Alligator Food, Not Friends.
Don’t feed your baby to an alligator: seems like sort of a given, doesn’t it? But apparently not, according to this sign. While a sign like this seems like common sense, when thinking about the tragic incident involving an alligator and a small child at Disney World back in YEAR, it does kind of make sense that signs like these, which warn of the dangers of putting your child just a little bit too close to the alligator exhibit at the zoo. Indeed, according to CNN, in June of 2016, a 2-year-old boy was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near one Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “There is likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator,” said Sheriff of the town, Jerry Demings.
In all seriousness though, while this sign probably did intend to warn of the dangers of alligators, there was definitely a better way to design this sign. Perhaps instead of creating the above sign, in which a Dad appears to be willingly choosing to feed his small daughter to an alligator, instead maybe consider placing a sign that gets the point across a tad bit better.
Don’t Feed the Cats, All Violators Will Be Trespassed.
Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, feed the cats. The warning displayed on this sign, and the punishment for disobeying this sign, could not be more confusing. While we can’t even begin to figure out what this sign actually means, we can only hope this was just a typo, carelessly overlooked by the makers of the above sign.
Though the phrasing of the message appears to claim violators will be ‘trespassed’ from the property, we assume that more likely than not, the designers of this sign more appropriately meant to say, “violators will be escorted from the property.” Either way, we can only assume the intended purpose of this sign is to keep away stray cats. But alas, there is no way to know for sure. In the end, understanding the true meaning of this cryptic, feline sign is a privilege held only by the Fishermen’s Village Management. For all others, the purpose of this cryptic, feline sign may forever remain unknown.
A Touch, And A Fine, of Death.
Hold the phone — touching wire causes instant death and a $200 fine? Yes, according to the above sign, touching wires adds to debt after death. A classic warning sign originating from the Newcastle Tramway Authority, this bright yellow and red warning sign with foreboding skull and crossbones is not one to be ignored.
How someone who has passed away will be charged with a fine, we do not know. But either way, touching the wires near this sign doesn’t seem to be worth it to us.
Is Your Car Illegally Parked? You’ll Be Fine.
Have you or someone you know illegally parked a car? Don’t worry, you’ll be…fine? The above humorous photo of a sign exhibits the consequences of grammatical errors on warning signs. As seen on BoredPanda, it is sign typos like these that often lead to much confusion upon reading. The case of this particular sign is a classic, (in the case of the sign owner) very unfortunate case of irony. While the makers of this sign most likely were trying to convey that all illegally parked cars will be fined — with a d — they obviously unintentionally left out this very important letter.
As for the viewers of this sign, it is a blessing in disguise. Overly concerned about getting a parking ticket? It looks like this sign will get you off scot-free! Even if it does turn out that you’ve parked illegally.
Slippery Floor or Slippery Jazz Hands? You Decide.
What is this sign trying to warn us about? A slippery floor? Or, the less common, but equally dangerous, slippery pair of smooth jazz hands. What is the true purpose of the above sign? That’s up to you to decide. But really, all jokes aside, more likely than not, the intended purpose of this warning sign is to alert oncoming walkers of the slippery, wet grounds that lay ahead. Truth be told, while the designers of this sign probably meant for the above image to portray a person slipping on a wet surface, we can’t help but notice that this stick figure has particularly jazzy-looking hands. Who knows?
Perhaps these sign designers wanted to alert oncoming walkers of a possible side effect of a slippery surface: an undeniable thirst for rhythm. If this is the case, perhaps the makers of this warning sign should have included text to accompany the image—something along the lines of, WARNING: wet surface may lead to an uncontrollable case of jazz hands. Even if this sign was not intended to include such jazzy undertones, we have to admit, if we were to slip on this slippery surface, what better way to go down than with a fabulous set of jazz hands!
Will You AIM to Please?
As far as bathroom etiquette goes, accurately aiming into the toilet bowl is widely considered by most to be one of the most important, highly regarded restroom rules to follow. Aiming is considerate: it is just common sense people. But for those who seem to have conveniently forgotten, or ignored this crucial public toilet rule, the above sign serves as a much-needed reminder. And can you blame whoever put up this sign?
All these bathroom-owners want is for this public place to maintain a little bit of class and elegance. Is that really too much to ask? We should point out that, had it not been for this sign’s witty use of ‘aim’ puns, this sign would most likely remain largely unnoticed by incoming restroom visitors to this bathroom. To whoever created this humorous, yet effective bathroom sign—we salute you.
The Brutally Honest Truth.
The above sign warns of the brutally honest, yet sad truth of the risk of pedestrian-car accidents. Though the above warning sign is somewhat blunt, sadly, especially in big cities, this is the dangerous truth so many pedestrians face every day. According to estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017, and this number is not going down. Yes, this number has proven to hold steady and has even increased in recent years in the United States. According to the GHSA, this number of pedestrian-involved accidents is at an all-time high. Indeed, while this rise in pedestrian crashes “appears to be tapering off,” then the "continuation of pedestrian fatalities at virtually the same pace ... raises continued concerns about the nation's alarming pedestrian death toll.”
Indeed, according to GHSA reports, while other traffic-related deaths dropped by 14 percent in 2007-2016, pedestrian death actually increased by 27 percent. These shocking variations in car crash fatalities prove that, while the safety inside of a car may have increased, the safety outside still remains a huge risk. According to NPR, in the U.S., California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona are the five states with the highest pedestrian fatality rate. These states accounted for 43 percent of pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2017, despite these states only containing just 30 percent of the U.S. population. Of these states, Florida appears the most dangerous for pedestrian-related crashes. Indeed, of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, eight of these reside in the state of Florida, according to one study done by Smart Growth America. The moral of this sign? No matter where you are in the world, If you find yourself walking along the side of the road, be careful, and watch out for oncoming traffic.
Not Haunted? Odds Are, It’s Probably Haunted.
Rule of real-estate thumb: if a house for sale on the market is advertised as “Not Haunted,” it is more likely than not, haunted. In our personal opinion, this really sounds like something a ghost relator would say. The story behind this unusual for sale sign? According to one article, the “Haunted/Not Haunted” real estate sign trend first began around the French Quarter, and have received much national attention since they began appearing around neighborhoods. This trend first gained traction after actor George Takei posted a photo of one of these ghost house signs on his Facebook page, a photo that resulted in over 120,000 likes.
Typically hung from balconies, these real estate signs usually have “haunted” posted one side of the sign, and “not haunted” on the other side. Apparently the work of local real estate broker Finis Shelnutt, according to him, these signs are "more of a joke to drum up business.” Despite this attempt to bring more attention to his business, he still does claim to believe the properties with this sign are in fact haunted. Despite these claims, we’re still quite skeptical. What do you think?
Watch Your Wheelchair’s Step!
In what strange, alternate universe, is a wheelchair user able to wheel up a flight of stairs? The world may never know. Sadly, the above sign is not the result of a new form of wheelchair stair-stepping technology. No, this sign is simply the result of poor design. While the creator of this confusing signage obviously attempted to utilize the sign to convey a potentially hazardous situation ahead, by placing a graphic a wheelchair going up a set of stairs, this sign’s designer ultimately fails to clearly convey the sign’s intended warning message.
Indeed, this sign makes it very apparent that whoever designed this sign clearly did not give the final design of this sign much thought. However, despite this sign’s misleading imagery, it is notable to mention that, in recent years, new wheelchair, stair-climbing technology has emerged. Indeed, with the invention of new, futuristic electronic wheelchairs, like that of the Scewo electric wheelchair, handicapped wheelchair users are now able to independently climb stairs. Designed for use in the city, this Swiss, electrically powered wheelchair is self-balancing and contains rubber tracks on its underside, which drop down when the user turns on its climbing mode. According to designers of this futuristic, self-balancing wheelchair then goes up the stairs backward, at the pace of approximately one step per second. Then, at the top of the stairs, two small wheels emerge from the back of the chair, in order to level the chair. A 21st-century wheelchair project founded by four university students from ETH zurich and ZHDK, this chair can even raise itself up so that wheelchair users can talk to people at eye level! Further, it even has a track mode for bad weather conditions, such as snow or loose gravel.
What to Do When Spotting a Drowner? Laugh Out Loud.
What should one do upon spotting someone drowning in the ocean? LOL first, then call 911. This pro safety tip is brought to you by the above, very confusing warning sign placed near an ocean. Indeed, according to this warning sign, if you spy someone drowning in the nearby waters, you simply must have a good, hearty laugh. Leave the emergency dialing for later. Only after lol-ing should you alert the authorities, and bring the drowning person the help they so desperately need. In the case of the above extremely misleading sign, it is another classic case of poor design. Much to our dismay, this sign does not actually read ‘LOL’. In reality, this sign actually contains a very rudimentary sketch of a person drowning, waving their arms in the air above the water — an international indication that a person is in need of dire assistance — something one would actually expect to be put on a sign such as this. However, whoever designed this sign either a) did not know the slang for laugh out loud, or b) did not realize that the drawing placed on this design resembled this common modern-day term.
In reality, despite the humorous design error pictured above, the danger of drowning in the ocean is actually a huge risk. And, while one may think it would be fairly obvious to spot someone drowning in the ocean, in reality, it is actually shockingly hard to tell if someone is actually drowning. Indeed, swimming in pools, oceans and other bodies of water is especially dangerous for young children, many of whom do not know how to swim.
Bananas = Not Recyclable
Banana peels? Recyclable? We never would have known, had it not been for the above sign. This warning sign, while appearing silly to most, serves an important purpose for those who do not recycle properly. Whether the reasons for improperly recycling are due to a result of indifference, or a lack of knowledge in terms of what can and cannot recycle, regardless of the reason for improper recycling, signs like these, while pointing out the obvious, can in fact exist as an effective reminder when placed above, near or on recycling bins in public areas. While recycling may appear intimidating to those not used to the sustainable practice, in time one will find that it actually is not as hard as one may originally believe it to be.
According to Recycle Nation, while it is actually “incredibly easy to recycle household goods, many people still fail to separate their waste into recyclables and non-recyclables.” The solution to motivate non-recyclers to venture over into to the light side? Educate them. Indeed, by teaching people about why exactly it is important to recycle, as well as informing them about the efforts made by millions of people all over the world as we speak, together we can make a real, widespread impact to protect planet Earth. Don’t think you will be able to make a difference in recycling, as you are just one person? Think again. In reality, the average individual is estimated to produce approximately 4 pounds of trash per day — this adds up to almost 1,500 pounds of trash a year! As reflected in this statistic, in response to recycling nonbelievers, one person actually can make a difference by making the conscious effort to recycle.
The Reverse Psychology of Coffee
While we should point out that the above sign isn’t exactly what one would describe as a ‘traditional’ warning sign, regardless, the message displayed here certainly makes a credible comment on our society’s unhealthy attachment to technology. In the end, while appearing in the form of a lighthearted jab at the general public, this sign does actually say a lot about our unwillingness to unplug to social media and our electronics, as well as our subsequent inability to connect to those around us in real life. According to Psychology Today, numerous studies have proven that, as technology becomes more and more prevalent in our lives, ironically, while it may connect us, it also disconnects us from the rest of the world. In one study published in 2018, researchers found that teens who spent more time on screens and less time participating in non-screen activities, such as face-to-face socializing, exercise, or homework, were mentally worse off than those who spent less of their time glued to screens.
Moreover, this study also discovered that when kids shifted to more screen-based activities, they also experienced a decline in happiness. When you think about it, the above sign actually is a warning sign, in that it warns of the dangers of spending too much time with technology, and not enough time in the real world, with real people, places and experiences.
Take Caution When Running in this Forest.
According to the above song, the first question you should ask yourself when running through this wooded forest is, “exactly how many hands are going to be reaching out at me as I run by?” Yes, this warning sign is just about as creepy as it gets. And sadly, tells the terrifying truth so many runners face when running alone — this holds especially true for female joggers. According to TIME magazine, a majority of female joggers have experienced some sort of assault and/or harassment when running. A new survey published in Runner’s World seems to back up these findings. According to this study, of the 2,500 women surveyed, more than half of those females under 30 claimed they’ve experienced harassment while running. Of those in the survey, 94% of these women said these harassers were men.
In one time interview on female joggers, a majority of these women said they’d been “propositioned, followed or intimidated into changing their routes, and frightened of being assaulted.” Sixty percent of those women interviewed said potential threats like these largely discouraged them from running at night. And this fear is, unfortunately, a very rational one. This past summer alone, three young female runners were murdered in separate states, in unrelated attacks. Sadly, attacks like these are nothing new, especially for female joggers. Yes, according to the BBC, the vast majority of woman joggers say they’ve changed their running behaviors in fear of harassment. One 2017 survey revealed that 43% of female runners experienced harassment while out on a run — this number rises to 58% for women under 30. 4% of men reported similar threats.
Don’t Get Eaten...For the Sake of the Animals.
Have you ever broke the above sign’s rules? Next time you do, think of the animals: you don’t taste good! As reflected in the blunt, yet effective sign above, this zoo certainly isn’t messing around when it comes to the safety of their animals! A clear attempt to prevent small children, and ignorant adults, from getting a little too close to the animals at this zoo, this zoo successfully gets its point across through this humorous sign.
Indeed, according to The Alaska Zoo, the diets prepared for zoo animals are specifically designed to be nutritionally balanced for that specific species. Therefore, human food, and in turn, humans, are unhealthy to these animals, and may ultimately lead to the injury, illness, or even death of the zoo animals. This risks and dangerous consequences of disregarding the rules detailed in the above sign are reflected in the very recent attack of one woman by a jaguar in a zoo located in Phoenix, Arizona. As told by Shawn Gilleland, a spokesman for the Rural Metro Fire Department, in one Washington Post article, fire crews responding to this dangerous incident claim the woman, in her 30s, choosing to remain anonymous, recklessly climbed over the zoo’s barrier, in order to attempt to get closer to the jaguar’s enclosure, in order to take a selfie — yes, a selfie. Not surprisingly, the jaguar proceeding to reach out and grab the woman's arm with its paw, leaving her with nasty lacerations on her body.
Always check under cars for penguins.
Visiting Table Mountain National Park in Western Cape, South Africa? Make sure to check underneath your car for penguins before leaving! Though this sign may appear ridiculous to those who have yet to visit this area, believe it or not, in this South African national park it is actually quite common for rascally penguins to sneak underneath one’s car. Though the visual on the bottom left of this sign may lead one to believe that the penguins of this wildlife area are actually professional car repair-birds, in reality, they do not go under cars to check your oil.
Though there has been much controversy surrounding this sign, it exists so that napping penguins do not turn into roadkill. I mean, c’mon people — is it really that hard to take five measly seconds to look under your car for cute little penguins before driving off? We don’t think so.
Don’t flash the octopus.
A sign seen famously in the Monterey Aquarium of Monterey, CA, here, you should never flash the octopus — whatever that means. While this sign probably intended to warn aquarium visitors not to take any flash photography when capturing photos of their octopus, clearly this sign was either a result of an error or simply a comical way to tell the aquarium visitors not to take flash photography. Indeed, the octopus is a shy, sensitive creature.
A such, the staff of this aquarium courteously ask visitors to respect the space of this sea animal and ensure that one does not do anything to scare this peaceful, introverted eight-armed creature. The moral of this sign? If you want to take a picture of an octopus, make sure you don’t flash the animal. Instead, turn the flash of your camera on ‘off’ mode.
No Pants, No Service?
No shoes, no shirt, no service? No, in this case, it is wearing pants that will get you kicked out of this place. “Sandals only. Strictly enforced. NO PANTS ALLOWED.” Unfortunately, the reason for this odd sign remains unknown. Perhaps, it holds the purpose for an area designated for a 'pants off dance off'? Maybe it was a gag sign purchased on this Amazon listing. We may never know. Right now, we’re most certainly picturing an area full of people dressed in full-out, Winnie the Pooh-esque style (aka, shirts only, and no bottoms), with the added fashionable addition of sandals as well, of course. And further, this sign leads us to question just how strictly this sandal requirement is enforced. And what are the limits and constraints to this strange rule? And are there any exceptions that can be made?
Are Birkenstocks okay to wear? Flip flops? We’re going to see a specific need a list of what can be strictly defined as a sandal before we make any further fashion decisions when traveling to the location of this sign. Indeed, in the case of this sign, the lines as to what defines a true and pure sandal are most definitely blurred. Yes, we’re most certainly going to need a lot more answers before we even think about stepping foot anywhere near this place. By the way, we’re not judging this sign. We’re simply curious. In other words, we’re Sandal-curious.
Must be This Tall to Hit This Bridge
Heads up! How do you know if your vehicle is simply too tall to drive under a bridge? Hit the above sign, of course! As we’ve witnessed in the signs earlier in this article, if a warning sign — like the one above — had to be put up, the situation the sign warns of has most likely occurred before. As such, it makes sense that the townhome to this bridge clearly wanted to ensure no one else would ever take down their town’s bridge again.
While makers of this road sign most likely did not intend for drivers to actually try to test out its theory, it serves as a bold, unique warning to those cars that may have otherwise stubbornly attempted to squeeze under this bridge, despite their vehicles obviously too-close-for-comfort length. Sadly, despite warning signs across the United States, the issue of trucks colliding into, and getting stuck under bridges is not uncommon. In an attempts to fix this problem once and for all, in 2017 New York spent a staggering $4.3 million to develop a technology intended to prevent vehicles from hitting the many bridges located in this New England state. A major widespread attempt to prevent potentially dangerous strikes to New York bridges, the state invested this hefty sum in a series of high-tech detector systems, intended to keep “too-tall” vehicles off the state parkways, where bridge overpasses are notably lower than most others on the road.
Want to Suppress Your Appetite? Eat a Burger.
What can one possibly do to stop being hungry? Eat, a burger, duh! The above sign amazingly solved the age-old problem of figuring out what a person can do when faced with the constant struggle of being hungry. And, as reflected in the sign, what better way to suppress your appetite, and stay fuller for longer than to satisfy your cravings with a big, ol’ juicy burger — you can’t deny that logic, kale eaters. Yes, it is common sense — you eat when you are hungry. And while you can satisfy your hunger pains by consuming other, more healthy alternatives, as this sign hilariously points out, the above diet tip works just as well in filling your belly to the brim. “See honey?
I’m allowed to eat this burger on my diet,” one man may say to his wife after walking past this sign. While probably not the best tip for those looking to stick to a strict, healthy diet, this witty and whimsical sign effectively promotes this restaurant, undoubtedly attracting traffic and interest not only to this restaurant but also in turn to the general business of eating burgers.
Measure Twice, Not Twic.
Measure twic, cut once — A lesson as old as time? We think not. In preparation for this year’s upcoming Father Day, upon beginning your search for the perfect gift to give to your Dad, whatever you do, do not — we repeat, do not — under any circumstances, gift your Father this sign. While presenting your Dad a Father’s Day gift to prove that you did, in fact, listen to every wise, fatherly wisdom he bestowed upon you throughout your life, and while you did hang on to every piece of advice he ever gave you, we beg of you — do not hang your memories with improper spelling or grammar.
The resulting side effects of gifting your Dad this misspelled sign on father’s day include tears, embarrassment, anger resulting in throwing said sign into the fireplace for kindling, and perhaps worst of all, your Father’s disappointment. Gifting a handmade sign to your dad? Think twice, not twic. For the love of God.
A Sign for Spiderman, Perhaps?
Whatever part of the world this sign was placed must have an unusually large population of mutant spider bite victims. Indeed, though we never thought it was possible to stand on a wall, as seen in the above sign, apparently anything is possible. More likely than not, the designer of this sign probably intended to alert loiterers that they should not lean up against the wall. While this wording makes a lot more sense, loiterers are a largely prevalent problem outside areas like convenience stores, movie theaters, malls, and shopping centers, we could very well be wrong.
We’ve all seen rascally teenage loiterers hanging out where they should not be, but we have to ask: have you ever seen one of these loiterers standing on a wall? Maybe there is a parkour problem in the area this sign was placed? Is there a real-life loitering Spiderman on the loose The world may never know.
Breaking News — Roads Are Unsafe When Underwater.
This just in: driving on roads underwater is unsafe. A big thank you to whoever designed this sign; you’re truly a lifesaver. While it may seem obvious to most of us that, if approaching a road submerged under water, it is probably a good idea to proceed further onto this road, in places like the Passage du Gois of France—a road leading to the French island of Noirmoutier, infamous for actually disappearing completely under water!—the the danger of driving underwater is all too real. Believe it or not, this 4,150 meters long (2.58 mile-long) causeway is frequently flooded by surrounding waters, known to flood twice a day by high tide—a time during which the road can disappear as far under as 13-feet underwater!
In fact, this flood-inclined road is actually only accessible to drive on during specific times throughout the day: during the low tide, a 1 ½ hour before the lowest of tides and an hour and a half after the low tide. At high tide, this road is actually submerged under 1.5 - 4 meters (that’s just under five feet) of water! For those driving on this road, panels placed at both ends of this flood-inclined road inform drivers whether or not the road is safely passable at that point in time. Despite these cautionary signs, people still manage to find themselves caught in between the tides. Fortunately, elevated rescue towers placed on this French road exist for this very situation, placed as a tool for trapped individuals to climb up as they wait to be rescued.
Of all the strange signs on this list, this warning sign is by far the most bizarre of them all. While we always believed the act of peeking into an occupied bathroom stall was understood as something one should never even thinking of committed, as reflected in the above toilet sign, clearly we were wrong. Believe it or not, yes folks, this is a legitimate, real-life sign placed in an actual bathroom somewhere in the world. But what we found strangest about the above sign, is the fact that there is no diagonal red line, indicating such an act is not allowed. No, instead, this sign simply displays what may happen to a woman in this bathroom.
Which leaves us to wonder: in what country is the peeking tom so common that they felt the need to put up a sign about it? But what’s worse than one peeping Tom? Numerous peeping Toms, all over Asia. Yes, sadly this is not the only sign warning of potential bathroom stall intruders in Asia. A similar black and yellow sign was also seen in Thailand. In this sign, they even went as far as to put an arrow pointing to the right of the image of the peeping Tom and the woman, as if they were pointing him in the right direction to the lady’s room. These signs have left us with many questions, and no answers.
Some People Just Don’t Want Us to Have Nice Things.
Whoever created the above sign must not want the rest of the world to have nice things — aka, having the basic, personal liberty of washing our hair or clothes in the toilet. Hey, you there! Yes you, sticking your hair in the toilet! Stop at this instant, young lady, and move your flowy, long locks out of the toilet water at once! And you sir, over there! Remove your business suit from that toilet at once! Can’t you see the sign clearly prohibits any washing of hair or clothing in said toilet!? These are, what we imagine to be, along the lines of the series of scenarios, and resulting conversations that lead to the placement of the above sign. You would think that just about everyone in the world with access to a flushing toilet would know how to use it. But alas, in the case of this sign, you would be wrong.
According to NPR, the reasons largely behind confusion when using a toilet is rooted in the different kind of toilets, and toilet techniques used around the world today. While it is commonly assumed that just about everyone on Earth knows how to correctly use a toilet—“Flip open the cover, assume the position and go”—and further, what the primary function of a toilet is. However, for many around the world, as NPR puts it, the toilet is seen as a “UFO,” or “an unfamiliar flowing object.” Indeed, while most in English-speaking countries are familiar and comfortable with the Western-style toilet (aka, the white porcelain throne, complete with an automatic flusher, that we know so well), for nearly 2 billion others, pit latrines are the most known way to go to the bathroom. In fact, the pit latrine is actually the most common of disposal systems for human waste amongst low-income countries. In other areas of the world, squat toilets — or toilet bowls in the ground, requiring the user to squat-hover over this hole in the earth — are most common.