13 Old-School Vacations, Hobbies and Pastimes That Would Be Illegal Today

Nuclear explosion watching used to be a thing.
13 Old-School Vacations, Hobbies and Pastimes That Would Be Illegal Today

Ah, the days of yore. When people would engage in activities that would make modern-day safety advocates shudder. From bear-baiting to fox tossing, from sheep fighting to dwarf-tossing, we have come a long way in terms of safety regulations and cultural norms... thankfully. We look back on these activities with a mix of nostalgia and horror, remembering the thrill of the risk (well, sometimes) but also definitely, 100% understanding why they are no longer acceptable.

This list is a compilation of some of the most outrageous activities that have been outlawed over the years. From the Statue of Liberty's torch balcony to the Tidal Wave Pool at Action Park, these activities were once considered fun and daring but are now prohibited for safety reasons. We can only hope that the lessons learned from these activities will help us create a safer and more responsible society... and we do, indeed, live in hope.

"Atomic box lunches" no more.

CRACKED NUKE-WATCHING PICNICS In the 1950s, people in Nevada used to go on trips to places near ground zero of atomic explosions. They'd bring atomic box lunches and have picnics (although Uncle Sam wouldn't let them get too close).


Fox tossing: the 18th century's strangest sport.

CRACKED FOX TOSSING Back in the 18th century, German aristocrats had a really weird sport called Fox Tossing. Basically, they'd let foxes, badgers, and wildcats into an arena, then fling them by pulling a cloth tight and releasing it.


Safely settling disputes, 1900-style.

CRACKED DUELING WITH WAX BULLETS In the early 1900s, people used to settle disputes by having a duel with wax bullets - a safe way to protect their pride. Nowadays, though, this kind of dueling is extremely against the law.


Barbaric pastime: Bear-baiting.

CRACKED BEAR-BAITING In 16th and 17th century England, people used to have a cruel game called bear-baiting. They would, as the name implies, tie a bear to a stake and then let a pack of dogs attack it. Yes, it's as dumb and cruel as it sounds.


Action Park: Thrills, spills, and 30 rescues a day.

CRACKED ACTION PARK Action Park in Vernon, NJ, was one of the first modern water parks in the US. It was known for its risky attractions, like the Tidal Wave Pool, nicknamed The Grave Pool because it needed 30 rescues a day. Just imagine that kind of thing today. K A on P


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