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Don't try to figure these signs out. Get a GPS instead.

Human communication can get hopelessly jumbled and seriously weird. Especially when sign makers get drunk, depressed or just disinterested in the messages they need to convey. Then sign hilarity hits a new, unequaled high - and drivers everywhere look at these examples in stupefied wonder: how something like this could end up on a government road? And where do I go from here? (see our headline for answer)

Northern Irelanders do not mince words.
(they just take them from the Old Testament)

(image credit: TheLongestWalk)

Seen on the nuclear missile base:

(image credit: designobserver)

Leaving Brooklyn? -

(image credit: Brewgeek)

The sad irony:
("Do not deface the stone" - photo by Christa Gockel - Angkor, Cambodia)

((image credit: National Geographic)

"Ring Found!" (underneath added - "Bilbo Baggins, Shire"):

(image credit: Dominik Dollinger)

Rest Area, with all the necessities:

Traffic Signage Adventures

Lots of choice:

(see in Concord, North Carolina)

Better be "on the ball" here:

(image credit: Lobal)


(image credit: Sandy Redding)

Somewhat alien to Americans, this kind of road-markings often seen in Europe (this photo taken in Poland) -

(image credit: Josip)

Try to figure out this riddle while driving:

(image credit: plh)

This simply stands in the middle of the road in Portugal. No warning is given.

(image credit: plh)

and in Poland:

(image credit: tygodnikkrag)

This sign has been rendered obsolete - by a tree:

(image credit: EliteFeet)

Here is an example where parking markings might as well not be there:

Urban sculpture? I hope so:

(Creative) Warning Signs

... about dangers you never knew existed!

(image credit: wtfsigns)

Japanese way of saying: "Careful of that door" -

(image credit: Jackson Boyle)

This is (possibly) photoshopped:

(image credit: trifter)

But this is just plain creative:
(while you're reading it, you are obviously not bothering the animal)

Wouldn't you be just so slightly spooked by this? -

(image credit: badcontrol)

(seen in Ranathambore, Rajasthan, India. )

Thieves... and bees: don't know what's worse.

(image credit: John Gladu)

No parking on lava, wouldn't you know:
(obviously the sign got swallowed by the lava flow)

(images credit: John Gladu)

I call that a "pretty convincing warning"
(which however, failed to convince these guys) -

Now, this sign goes beyond merely "convincing" - into entirely different territory:

Captain Obvious strikes again:

(image credit: badcontrol)

(image credit: vidslib)

Follow the arrow:

...but carefully:

Dancers crossing... I'd like to see this; must be a beautiful sight:

(image credit: Anton Cheglov)

Invisible Cows are even better:

(image credit: Michael Seifert)

Miscellaneous signs and stickers:

Military does not waste words:

"Some days you wake up..." -

(image credit: choiresicha)

Very precise message:

(image credit: Ian Boyd)

a similar one:

(image credit: Ginny)

Care label (with a global message) -

(image credit: Stephan Augustin)

Seen (and enjoyed) somewhere in Russia

This one says: "DO NOT FEED THE ROBOTS"
Sure... but why?

(image credit: Aerofrau)

"Watch for Cats!" -

"Watch for loose (unruly) pedestrians!" -

"This is dangerous!" (no kidding) -

"Unpack only according to the manual. The manual is inside" -

(image credit: idioteka)

Another Evacuation Plan (Emergency Evacuation Procedures) -

(image credit: idioteka)

"Comrades! The way across the bridge is closed. There IS no bridge."

Imaginative Store Signs

Intense... almost like poetry:

How would you justify this name for a restaurant? - more info
(seen in Kyoto, but there is also a hotel/resort by the same name in Thailand)

(image credit: Chris Gladis)

Sometimes it's a sheer coincidence, sometimes a malicious intent.

(image credit: Chuck Walker)

Something clearly went wrong here:

(image credit: idioteka)

Washroom signs that aren't very helpful

This sinister "glaring entity from above" haunts the men's room in Japan:

(image credit: Chris Gladis)

Only sitting allowed, please. No other unnecessary acrobatics:
(more info)

Wondering which door to choose? This page collects all kinds of "men/women" sign variations, not all of them obvious:

(image credit: Dave Linabury)

Probably the best one:

Here is a really exasperating situation. Imagine opening the door to the last available cabin, hoping to... and seeing this:

(image credit: idioteka)

Spontaneous Graffiti

Some of it is funny, some appeared there for no sensible reason. The following sign was spotted outside a cafe (somebody spent too much time on the internet?) -

(image credit: Willy de Bok)

(seen at Vinnie's Pizza In Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY)

Could be the famous Banksy's work:

So true:

Gamers will know what's this about -

And this sign speaks for all the squashed pop cans everywhere:

This is not broken English... just imaginative.

This "vending machine poetry" was spotted, where else - in Japan. Wonderfully convincing piece:

(image credit: Chris Gladis)

And then, the broken English rears its ugly (entertaining) head:

(images credit: asylum.com)

(image credit: Engrish)

"Be careful to Tsunamis". I doubt they'll return the favour, though -

(image credit: Michael I. Colwill)

(seen near Sydney, Australia)

Gotta be "sports and hobbies" -

(images credit: Engrish)

(image credit: Simon Mills)

Amuseful Customers:

(image credit: Dylan Rich)

Acid Beef (discharged, too) -

(image credit: Dylan Rich)

And we finish with the most mysterious occasion of all:

Thank you to all the contributors. Send us more examples of sign hilarity


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Blogger racetraitor said...

Hey, I used to have a Born to be Chicken in my old neighbourhood. Not bad food.

Here's another cute restaurant sign for you. Not photographed well because I was standing outside an imposing massage parlour with security cameras.

Anonymous Rallymodeller said...

The mysterious road markings in Poland are normal vahicle "No Stopping" warnings, obviously to keep drivers from blocking the bus stop.

Blogger Benjamin said...

There is a restaurant in Taichung, Taiwan, called the Marijuana restaurant. The sign features a brightly-colored cannabis leaf and the word "marijuana". I'll look around and see if I can find a picture somewhere.

Anonymous Miss Universe said...

One sign did in fact make a great deal of sense.

It was offering women who might be tempted to throw their newborns in dumpsters, to turn them over to an social agency.

Perhaps, there were cases of this being done before at that location.

It is bizarre how many teens dont think to do this. There have been a number of high profile cases

Blogger AlastairMac said...

Look carefully in the distance of the zig zag line and you will see a pedestrian crossing, this is the same pedestriam crossing warning sign as they have in Australia too.

Blogger Duivelskind said...

The T.Hanks image on the bin is in Quick, a Belgian Fast Food restaurant chain.

Anonymous Chichocik said...

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/2671/p17cl4.png - this is sign from Poland and like Rallymodeller said it forbids ordinary drivers to stop near bus stops.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those lines on road are common in Croatia too. That means it is the place where bus stops and you cannot stop or park car there. That spot always has to be clear so the bus can "dock"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the Netherlands those zigzag lines indicate the driver to slow down (to a stop). they aint a rule but more a subliminal help.

u mostly find them approaching crossings here, not at busstops.

Blogger Lamberto said...

those zig zag lines are also used in Switzerland (they tell you not to stop there) in Croatia, in Slovenjia and we have them here in London, too, on the bus lanes. Maybe they look odd in America, but here in Europe are really popular!

Blogger Number 4 said...

Cabbages and Condoms is a famous restaurant in Thailand run by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) of Thailand to promote condom use. My parents went there on vacation.


The "don't throw your baby in a dumpster give it to a fireman or a nurse" Probably has to do with "safe haven" laws that allow "a parent to legally surrender newborn infants 7 days old or younger at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution."


Anonymous Up2L8 said...

This one cracked me up while in Kusadasi, Turkey.


Blogger Tarun R said...

The sign about rebirth is from Ranathambore, Rajasthan, India.

Blogger Patrick J said...

Great pics

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw most of these before, but still great pics.


Anonymous Ryan said...

Wow, I've driven past Cramp's Liquors. It's near Burlingon, NJ. I always thought it was a funny name. Now it's e-famous!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Could be the famous Banksy's work:"

I think this picture is pretty powerful...Gaspump handle with tank treads shooting blood....

Anonymous www.HaikuReviewer.com said...

There are some crazy signs in China - the infamous 'Baby' one is pretty good...I love the 'worldwide delivery' one, too... :-) Cool site by the way!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

more then half of these pictures are photoshoped......

Anonymous BeyondRandom said...

Checked your other posts and I am subscribe now! great blog!

Anonymous TomCC said...

On the door of the server room of our school is (and for as long as I can remember, has been) a sign that says:

"Bitte atention! This room is fullfilled mit specialelectronische equippment. Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is allowed for die experts only! So all the "lefthanders" stay away and do not disturben the brainstorming von here working intelligencies. Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked anderswhere! also: please keep still and only watchen astaunished the blinkenlights."

All the previous admins have been students of our school like me, and we have excellent German and English programs, so I can only count this as a creative attempt at mixing the languages... thought I'd post ot anyway.

Blogger Br00klyn said...

Actually The T.Hanks Is From Vinnie's Pizza In Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY (N.9th And Bedford)

Anonymous Nova said...

The 9th sign from the bottom with a lots of japanese characters (and with the "This sign is to prevent foreign tourists from getting lost"), has something written in italian which reads:
"Stà sul senter ostia",
and can be translated (probably from a venetian dialect) into:
"Stay on the signed path, goddamit!"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 9th signage with the turns:

Left turn allowed from left lane. Parking structure can be accessed from left lane.

Right and through movements allowed from right lane.

Left and U-turn allowed from left lane. Trucks cannot make the U-turn.

Right and through movements allowed from right lane.

For those who did not see the first sign, a parking structure is to the left.

The 12th Picture with the clover leaf:

Simply means that you can't make a straight right due to construction. Follow the diagram.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On sign 14 (lots of speed limits), this is at a border crossing.

This means the following:
On separated freeways/highways, speed
limits as follows:
Cars 110 km/h
Motorcycles, Buses: 90
Trucks, autos with trailers: 70
On secondary roads (can't see the exact designation)
Cars/Motorcycles: 90, Buses/trucks/trailers: 70

On local roads, speed limit 60 km/h

Blogger borsic said...

The sign with "This sign is to prevent foreign tourists from getting lost" is from the blue mountains near Sydney, Australia

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Great info, thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update: somewhat alien to Americans, this kind is often seen in Europe to mark "no parking" space.

Those are NOT "no parking spaces". The lines are drawn in a way that they get closer to eachother at the end, when you drive over them a constant speed, it looks like you are speeding up (kind of an optical illusion). It's used near pedastrian crossings or busstops to improve safety.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's not poland, it's germany!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Austria these zigzag markings are used specifically to mark driveways, basically saying: "Don't even think of parking here, it#s my friggin' drive!". I guess it is indeed related to the bus stop in the picture (the blue/white/black sign is the typical Eastern European pictogram for bus stop).

The red circle with the blue sections is indeed a "no parking/stopping anytime" sign, but it#s missing one blue slice :-D


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