The Surprising Reason You Shouldn't Eat While Swimming In Maryland

We've all heard the age-old adage not to swim after eating lest we get a stomach cramp and drown. While this advice has been repeatedly debunked by medical organizations including the Mayo Clinic, there is one place in the world where you would be well advised not to swim while eating, not because it's unsafe, but because it's illegal.

That's right, according to Annapolis-based defense attorney Drew Cochran, the state of Maryland still has a law on the books prohibiting swimmers from eating while they are swimming in the ocean. Though Cochran admits the law, like many other strange rules around the country which have never been repealed, is not readily enforced, it technically could be if you were to run across an overzealous police officer on your trip to the beach.

It is unclear when this law was first passed, why it was deemed necessary, or what sort of penalties an aquatic snacker would face if they were to be spotted violating this weird regulation, however, it would almost definitely be a bigger pain than the oft-forewarned lunch-related stomach cramps (which warning someone about could also theoretically get you in trouble under another odd Baltimore ban on fortune telling).

The weirdest laws you've never heard of

While it is unlikely anyone would ever run afoul of this unusual Maryland prohibition on where they can enjoy their crab cakes – both because it is seldom enforced but also because eating in the ocean is likely to lead to a wet, overly-salty lunch – Patch reports that there are many other strange laws in the Old Line State you have probably already violated if you've spent any significant time there including bans on swearing in the Baltimore city limits, scrubbing sinks, "mistreating" oysters, and blocking a sidewalk with a box. There are also some that have likely never been violated since the law was passed like the Baltimore ban on taking a lion to the movie theater or throwing a bale of hay out a second story window.

That's not to say Maryland is the only state with weird laws surrounding food. Taste of Home compiled a list of the weirdest food laws in every state which range from the Alaska's strange but understandable prohibition against giving alcohol to a moose, to Illinois' so obvious it shouldn't need to be codified rule stating it is illegal to eat in a place that is on fire, to Nebraska's odd ordinance forbidding bars from selling alcohol unless they also sell soup.