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A US citizen can take possession of any foreign, uninhabited island, as long as it contains bird poo

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posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 03:16 PM
TITLE 48 - TERRITORIES AND INSULAR POSSESSIONS CHAPTER 8 - GUANO ISLANDS Sec. 1411. Guano districts, claim by United States. Whenever any citizen of the United States discovers a deposit of guano on any island, rock, or key, not within the lawful jurisdiction of any other government, and not occupied by the citizens of any other government, and takes peaceable possession thereof, and occupies the same, such island, rock, or key may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States.

In the 1840s, guano came to be prized as an agricultural fertilizer and as a source of saltpeter for gunpowder. In 1855, the U.S. learned of rich guano deposits on islands in the Pacific Ocean. Congress passed the Guano Islands Act to take advantage of these deposits.
The act specifically allows the islands to be considered a possession of the U.S., but it also provided that the U.S. was not obliged to retain possession after the guano was exhausted. However, it did not specify what the status of the territory was after it was abandoned by private U.S. interests. The implication is that it would return to its former status as terra nullius.
This is the beginning of the concept of insular areas in U.S. territories. Up to this time, any territory acquired by the U.S. was considered to have become an integral part of the country unless changed by treaty, and to eventually have the opportunity to become a state of the Union. With insular areas, land could be held by the federal government without the prospect of it ever becoming a state in the Union.
The provision of the Act establishing U.S. criminal jurisdiction over such islands was considered and ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Jones v. United States, 137 U.S. 202 (1890).

Who makes this stuff up!
Don't ask how i stumbled on to this but now I'm looking for other ridiculous Federal Laws still technically in effect.
Any takers?

edit on 11/19/2010 by AnteBellum because: Title won't fit

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by AnteBellum

Thats interesting.

Wasn`t there a kufuffle somewhere in South Africa over the guano deposits, sometime in the early part of the last century ?

I`ll have a wee look......

no joy however
Found this ....

Navassa Island was claimed in 1857 by Peter Duncan, an American sea captain, the third island to be claimed under the Guano Islands Act of 1856 because of its guano deposits. These deposits were actively mined from 1865 to 1898. Haiti protested the annexation and claimed the island, but the U.S. rejected the claim and since October 1857 it is claimed by U.S. as unincorporated territory.


edit on 19-11-2010 by UmbraSumus because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-11-2010 by UmbraSumus because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 03:23 PM
Why would you want to give the US more land? Unless you just want to take property for yourself, and remain in the US, I suppose a trip over to Antartica with tonnes of guano should be in order... easiest get rich quick scheme EVER!

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 07:10 PM
looking forward to any other awsome ancient laws you can dig up. that's one of those oldschool right-granting laws, unlike todays popular right-prohibiting laws.

one obscure old law in my town is that they explicitly exempt 2 things from being considered "litter". the first one being water, and the second one being bird feathers.

i guess a long long time ago there use to be a route through the town that was constantly transporting chickens, and the feathers got to be such a problem they had to exempt the feathers because the truckers kept on getting tickets for littering.

im told you can empty a pillow-case of feathers onto the street right in front of a cop, and he wont/cant do anything.

posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 07:17 PM
I'm glad to see that we in the Uk aren't the only Country to have some crazy laws.

Here's a few in the Uk

In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store. (why a tropical fish shop I've no idea)

All English males over the age 14 are to carry out 2 or so hours of longbow practice a week supervised by the local clergy. This dates back to the middle ages when there was no main army.

Any person found breaking a boiled egg at the sharp end will be sentenced to 24 hours in the village stocks (enacted by Edward VI).

It is illegal for a lady to eat chocolates on a public conveyance.

A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet

In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow

It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 12:13 PM
Here's a site which specializes in dumb laws.

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 01:27 PM
Actually in the context of the times, Guano was a very hard to find and important fertilizer. long before we sold our soles to ADM and Monsanto this was a real need for farmers.

Many atolls in the Pacific had pretty large deposites

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 01:29 PM
Does Easter Island have any guano???

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 01:48 PM
reply to post by Tykonos

In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store. (why a tropical fish shop I've no idea)

I don't find this ridiculous at all, I'm going to have a talk with my state senator now!

US Law - You're breaking the law if you carry an animal bigger than you. (Though I can't find any documentation on whether this is a state or federal law???)

I did find some more funny state laws:
Maryland - You're breaking the law if you take a lion to the movies with you.
Tennessee - You're breaking the law if you eat ice cream on the sidewalk.
Massachusetts - You're breaking the law if you use bullets as currency.
Minnesota - You're breaking the law if you cross the broader with a chicken on your head.
Idaho - You're breaking the law if your horse eats a fire hydrant.
Florida - You're breaking the law if you sing in a public place while wearing a swim suit.
Denver - You're breaking the law if you allow dandelions to grow within the city limits.
Indiana - You're breaking the law if you threaten to cut a child's ear off while giving them a hair cut.
Alaska - You're breaking the law if you push a moose out of a helicopter.
North Dakota - You're breaking the law if you dance with a hat on.
Colorado - You're breaking the law if you throw a missile at a car.
Kansas - You're breaking the law if you hunt rabbits from a motorboat.
Kentucky - You're breaking the law if you give another man a wedgie.
Montana - You're breaking the law if you have more than one alarm clock ringing at the same time.
Florida - You're breaking the law if you keep a hippo on the roof of a building.
edit on 11/20/2010 by AnteBellum because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 20 2010 @ 02:16 PM
reply to post by AnteBellum

Hahah! This thread is right in line with some hilarious info I came across when I was researching Nitrogen gas for a Chemistry class. The Outdated-Congressional-Guano-Goofball-Island-Law probably has something to do with this;

For thousands of years, humans had little impact on the nitrogen cycle. The strong bond found in nitrogen gas prevented its simple conversion to other, much more useful, nitrogen compounds. People were therefore entirely dependent upon bacteria for the initial nitrogen fixation. Once fixed in the cycle, nitrogen compounds could be collected.

One of the best, and largest, sources of this fixed nitrogen was found in Chile. This outcrop was due to a vast number of sea birds which nested, and went to the bathroom, along its coasts. Over thousands of years these "natural" deposits called "Guano" accumulated and became several feet thick. A huge industry developed to supply this Chilean saltpeter to the rest of the world.

With synthetic production almost non-existent, the world was entirely dependent on the Chilean resource for fertilizers and high explosives. This was a fact which military leaders did not overlook. They realized that if war broke out, the countries which lacked (or were denied) access to the Chilean supply (like Germany) would quickly run out of munitions.

In 1913 if you were an up and coming nation, intent on feeding your people, or conquering your enemies through conquest, you needed as much Chilean saltpeter as possible. In short, the fate of the world depended upon who could get their hands on the most bird s#!t. It is therefor no coincidence that the first major naval battle of World War I occurred off the coast of Chile.

LOL! I put that in my paper too!

If anyone is interested the fight over birdpoo stopped shortly after the beginning of WWI when the Germans developed a method for producing synthetic ammonia through the "Haber-Bosch Process."

edit on 20-11-2010 by tooo many pills because: (no reason given)


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