Three signs with remarkable English, displayed at bridges in Alishan National Forest, Taiwan.



Why six men? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



No admittance for suicides? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Who is going to count? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






In most countries of the world, traffic signs warn drivers against crossing wildlife. In former days, the signs depicted larger animals, which constituted a danger to the driver and his vehicle. In later years, however, many signs have appeared, which urge drivers to slow down, as small animals, such as frogs or hedgehogs, often cross the road – not for the sake of traffic security, but to avoid mass death among these small animals due to fast-moving vehicles. A selection of pictures below shows traffic signs, depicting various animals.


Numerous countries have more or less identical traffic signs, depicting deer jumping across the road.



Alperne 2018
These pictures are from Schladminger Tauern, Austria (top), and Funen, Denmark. It seems that a frustrated hunter (or whatever one should call him) has ‘decorated’ the sign in the lower picture. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The moose (Alces alces) is a huge species of deer, encompassing about 7 subspecies, which are distributed in the entire taiga zone in the Northern Hemisphere, from Norway to eastern Siberia, and in Alaska, Canada, and northern United States. In Sweden and other places, this species has adapted to other types of forest, and can also be encountered in open areas, such as fields.



This picture is from the island of Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The endemic Taiwan macaque (Macaca cyclopis) is a protected animal in Taiwan and is fairly common in most parts of the island. This species and other monkeys are presented in detail on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes.



Taiwan 2014b
This Taiwan macaque in Linbei Chukou, near Linnei, is waiting to be fed by tourists beside a sign, which urges people not to do so. The presence of the monkey is proof that this rule is often violated. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Taiwan 2018c
Sign, warning against crossing Taiwan macaques, Linnei. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The domestication of wild horses (Equus ferus) began on the Central Asian steppes around 4000-3500 B.C., and by 2000 B.C., domestic horses (subspecies caballus) were found in most of Europe. Today, horses are mainly used for sports and leisure, but in certain parts of the world, especially South America, cowboys still work on horseback.

You may read more about horses on the page Animals – Animals as servants of Man: Horse, donkey and mule.



Horses on the road! – Sign west of Turangi, New Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Road sign, warning against horse carts, between Kavak and Havsa, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The sad fate of elephants is dealt with in detail on the page Animals: Rise and fall of the mighty elephants.



In Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, I came across this sign, warning against crossing elephants (Loxodonta africana). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Snakes on the road! Signs in Taipingshan National Forest (top), and Dasyueshan National Forest, Taiwan. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid, which is distributed from Peru and southern Bolivia southwards to Tierra del Fuego. It is fairly common in many places.



Chile 2011
In Parque Nacional Pan de Azucar, Chile, you may encounter guanacos on the road. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





“Bats are often flying in this area! Slow down!” – Nanya Peculiar Rocks, northern Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Originally, the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was native to Asia, from the Caucasus eastwards to China and Taiwan. However, it was introduced in Europe as a hunting object, maybe as early as around year 1000, and in North America in 1773. Today, it is firmly established as a feral bird in major parts of both continents.



This home-made sign on the island of Öland, Sweden, is warning against crossing ring-necked pheasants. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Swinhoe’s pheasant (Lophura swinhoii) is fairly common in the mountains of central Taiwan, but is found nowhere else. – You may read more about this species on the page Animals: Birds in Taiwan.



This sign in Yushan National Park is warning against crossing Swinhoe’s pheasants. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Another endemic pheasant in Taiwan is the mikado pheasant (Syrmaticus mikado), which is restricted to the highest mountain areas.



These signs in Dasyueshan National Forest, of which the upper one shows a pair of Mikado pheasants, urge car drivers to drive slowly, and not to honk the horn. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





In many countries, domestic cattle (Bos taurus) are roaming the countryside outside enclosures, and you must be aware that you may encounter them any time.



Tyrkiet 2018c
This sign is from northern Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





In 2012, seven vicents, or European bison (Bos bonasus), were released in a 200-hectare enclosure in the forest Almindingen, Bornholm, Denmark. Despite the fact that many calves have been born, diseases have taken their toll, and in 2019, only 12 animals were living in the area. Presumably, the very small genetic pool in the few vicents, which survived World War II, weakens the animals.



(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Tortoises and turtles are slow animals, and thousands are killed on roads annually.



This homemade sign warns against turtles on the road. – Reeds Beach, Delaware Bay, New Jersey, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The first donkeys (Equus africanus ssp. asinus) to enter the Americas were brought to the island of Hispaniola in 1495, during the second voyage of Columbus. In Mexico, donkeys probably arrived in 1528, from where they quickly spread northwards, used as pack animals by soldiers, missionaries, and miners. During the Gold Rush in the 19th century, the donkey, or burro, as it was called, was the main pack animal. When the Gold Rush ended, many burros escaped, or were deliberately released, forming feral populations, which have existed until today.

You may read about the taming of the wild ass on the page Animals – Animals as servants of Man: Horse, donkey and mule.



Californien 2013a
This traffic sign in Death Valley National Park, California, warns against burros on the road. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Kiwis are five species of flightless birds of the genus Apteryx, which are restricted to New Zealand. They belong to a group of birds, called ratites, which also include ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries. Kiwis have become a national icon of New Zealand and the unofficial national emblem of the country. All species are threatened by introduced mammals, including dogs, cats, stoats, and ferrets, and huge measures have been taken by national and local authorities to save these birds from extinction.



Traffic signs in Waipoua Forest (top), and in Tongariro National Park, warning drivers against crossing kiwis. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Strict measures have been taken to prevent dogs from entering areas, where kiwis thrive. This sign was seen at the entrance to Taranaki National Park. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The three signs below were encountered in wild areas, far away from habitation, in Taroko National Park, central Taiwan. The upper two are warning against endemic Taiwan serows (Capricornis swinhoei) on the road, or, as the text says, ‘wild mountain goats with long hair on their head.’ The third sign is warning against crossing ‘feathered bipeds’ (i.e. birds).

Clearly, the artist who made these signs, hadn’t got a clue what a serow looks like, but has depicted domestic goats, of which one has a beard, and horns curving forward, whereas the other has huge horns. The serow has no beard, and its very short horns are curving slightly backwards. Also, he didn’t know much about wild birds, since he has depicted a turkey!



(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is widely distributed in North America, living in forested areas from Alaska and northern Canada southwards through the United States (where it has a patchy distribution), to mountain areas of Mexico.



Black bears are common in Sequoia National Park, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Signs, depicting crabs on the road, must be very rare indeed.



Tyrkiet 2018e
The text on this sign in Kenting National Park, southern Taiwan, reads as follows: “Crabs crossing the road! Reduce speed!” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Various species of hedgehog are often killed by cars, and they have declined drastically in many places.



Skandinavien 2001-05
This sign on the island of Öland, Sweden, warns car drivers against crossing European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as puma or mountain lion, has a very wide distribution, found from the Yukon area in Canada southwards through western North America to the southern Andes of South America. This large cat is very adaptable, found in almost all habitat types in this vast area.

Until 2005, it was believed that the tiny population of cougars in Florida, often called Florida panthers, constituted a distinct subspecies, P. concolor ssp. coryi. However, recent genetic studies have concluded that all North American cougars are very similar, and all former subspecies here have now been lumped in the subspecies couguar. In the 1970s, it was estimated that as few as 20 cougars remained in the wild in Florida, but strict conservation measures have caused the population to increase to an estimated 230 by 2017.



USA 1998-99
This sign in Everglades National Park, Florida, warns that cougars may cross the road. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Every year, frogs and toads are killed by the millions in the traffic.



Taiwan 2017a
Frogs often cross the road in this area near Dongshih, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





In Turkey, you may encounter domestic pigs (Sus domestica) as well as wild boar (Sus scrofa), on the roads. – The domestic pig is described in detail on the page Animals – Animals as servants of Man: Pigs.



Tyrkiet 2018a
Tyrkiet 2018c
(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)





Signs, depicting ducks on the road, may be seen in several countries.



USA 2002-10
Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Lake Tikitapu (‘Blue Lake’), New Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tanzania 1993
Hairdresser’s sign: Muddy Hair Salon, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Due to a grammatical mistake, this sign outside a farm in Jutland, Denmark, announces one Salmonella-tested egg for sale. Or maybe the others are not Salmonella-tested? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






On the island of Crete, according to Greek mythology, Minos and his brothers competed to rule. To win the power, Minos prayed to the sea god Poseidon, asking him for a snow-white bull, as the bull was a symbol of power in the kingdom. His wish was granted. He was supposed to sacrifice the bull in honour of the deity, but found it so beautiful that he kept it for himself, thinking that Poseidon would not mind. He was wrong, however. To punish him, Poseidon made his wife Pasiphaë fall deeply in love with the bull. She persuaded a craftsman to make a hollow wooden cow and climbed inside it, whereupon the bull mated with her. The resulting offspring had a bull’s head and tail, but a human body. Pasiphaë nursed Minotauros, as he was named, but he grew monstrous, feeding on human flesh.

On advice from the oracle at Delphi, Minos let his craftsmen construct a gigantic labyrinth, in which Minotauros was kept. To control the monster, it had to be fed with human flesh, and the people of Athens, who paid tribute to the kingdom of Crete, were ordered to send seven young men and seven maids to Crete as an offering to the monster on a regular basis. Several young men, who tried to kill Minotauros, got lost in the maze and were eaten by the monster.

Theseus was a hero, who had saved the people of Athens from several horrible beasts. When he heard about the misery on Crete, he volunteered to try to kill Minotauros. In his quest, he was assisted by King Minos’ daughter Ariadne, who handed him a ball of yarn, the end of which he attached at the entrance to the labyrinth. He then entered it, rolling out the yarn as he went deeper into it. When he had managed to kill the beast, he was able to find his way out of the maze by following the yarn. (Sources:, and L. Hjortsø 1964. Græsk mytologi (‘Greek Mythology’), in Danish)



This poster in the city of Chania, Crete, which is advertizing Coca Cola, is surely inspired by the legend of Theseus, who is balancing on the back of Minotauros in the labyrinth. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2017b
Wall painting, depicting a kitten, urging people not to smoke in this area, Sanyi, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Alperne 2017
This sign in Bühlertal, Schwarzwald, Germany, reads as follows: “Watch out! Free-running dog. Postman 5, Burglars 3, Cats 6.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign, announcing sale of a dog breed, Taichung, Taiwan. Would you buy a dog in a shop, which displays a sign as dilapidated as this one? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
In rocky areas of India, traffic-’signs’ are often painted on rock walls or large boulders. In this picture, a dog is resting beneath the poor remains of a ‘sign’ in Ladakh. The building in the background is Shey Palace, formerly residence of the King of Ladakh. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2017b
Outside this blacksmith’s shop in the village of Dalinpo, near Kaohshiung, Taiwan, the service is announced in the old-fashioned way. Painted on the wall, the text reads as follows: “Hammering iron shop. Retail, repair, production. Sharpening of knives”. – To the left, a faded New Year’s ribbon says: “Ten thousand miles of spring light gives out heavenly fortune” (i.e. money). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign outside a restaurant in the city of Rethymno, Crete. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Myanmar 2007
Sign outside a shop in Old Bagan, Myanmar. – Credit cards are welcome, but what about their owners? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






A most illustrative sign, warning anglers against dangerous waves, Bitou Cape Trail, northern Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






At Lake Toplitz, near Bad Aussee, Austria, I noticed the sign in the picture below, which urges visitors not to throw garbage in nature, informing them, how long it really takes for certain items to break down completely: cigarette butts and chewing gum 5 years; plastic bottle 300 years; aluminum can 500 years; and glass bottle 4,000 years. The ‘beetle’ on the sign is composed of a plastic bottle, a disposable can, and cigarette butts.



Alperne 2016
(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tyrkiet 2018
Sign outside the Nuruosmaniye Camii (‘Light of Osman Mosque’), Istanbul, forbidding public kissing. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Alperne 2018a
This sign, indicating the altitude of Passo della Mauria (1298 m), Dolomites, Italy, is almost illegible, covered by scores of badges. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Bali 2015
The time of Fuji Films is over, but this sign in Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia, has remained, despite wear and tear. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Around the world, traffic signs urge drivers to slow down because of crossing school children, or children playing on the road. Five examples are shown below.



Sjælland 2012-15
In 2015, in a remote corner of Zealand, Denmark, I found this fine, old-fashioned traffic sign, depicting school children, which had miraculously survived modernization. The children trot towards school, school bags in hand, the girl dressed in a skirt – unthinkable in today’s Denmark, where children carry a backpack, and girls are dressed in trousers. This sign is a stark contrast to modern Danish signs, which depict children with ugly, circular heads. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Sydindien 1997-98
As opposed to the peacefully trotting children in the picture above, the school boy in this traffic sign in the town of Munnar, Kerala, South India, is running for dear life. He is probably aware that Indian drivers show very little respect for pedestrians! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Sverige 2015
Sverige 2015
Two home-made traffic signs, warning car drivers against playing children, both from the island of Öland, Sweden. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Taiwan 2016a
Traffic sign, depicting children playing on the road, Wanda, near Wushe, central Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign in a restaurant, Patea, New Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Skilt, Pushkar, Rajasthan, Indien
I do hope that the spaghetti served in this restaurant in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India, is cleaner than their sign! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






“Look and decide!”

Along many trails in the Himalaya, you find interesting information boards, painted by local artists, showing hiking trails, mountains, rivers, villages, and a selection of the local wildlife. These three boards were all encountered in the Modi Khola Valley, Annapurna, Nepal.



Annapurna 2007
This board depicts a Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), a leopard (Panthera pardus), and a creature, which is probably supposed to be a snow leopard (Uncia uncia), but rather more resembles a hybrid between a leopard and a tiger (Panthera tigris). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Annapurna 2007
This board depicts mountains, a dancing couple, and a pair of kalij pheasants (Lophura leucomelanos). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Annapurna 2007
On this board, a pale-armed langur (Semnopithecus schistaceus) is playing a tabla. – Langurs and many other monkeys are presented on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Why is the couple in this sign, displayed in Alishan National Forest, Taiwan, so happy, when they cannot enter without a permit? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Rules and regulations for Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur, California, United States. Some prankster has added: “No fun” on the sign. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






India Bloodivensity_resize
Is an ongoing feud taking place among western chatting animals? – Sign in Annamalai National Park, West Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. (‘Bloodivensity’ should be ‘biodiversity’, and ‘Western Chats’ should be ‘Western Ghats’ – a mountain range in South India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






A somewhat superfluous sign, warning against sand on the road, Sahara Desert, Algeria. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2018
Sign on a wall, indicating the house number, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 2016
Beautiful mermaid, advertising for a pub in Old Portland, Maine, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Motels in Taiwan often serve as love nests for men and their mistresses. The sign below informs you that you can do your business without fear. However, according to Oxford Dictionary, consumption means either ‘the action of using up a resource’, or ‘a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis’. Make your choice!



(Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Alperne 1968-2001
This sign in Lammartal Valley, Austria, says “Honey for sale.” – It was probably placed here in the summertime, but maybe there is still a few jars left? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nordindien 1997
Poster in Amritsar, Punjab, India: “Managing money is an art, and not a science.” – Why not both? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






On this dilapidated door in the city of Rethymno, Crete, someone has written in Greek and English: ”Life is too short to drink cheap wine. Cheers!” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tibet 1987
Chinese propaganda poster, promoting the Chinese way of learning, Lhasa, Tibet. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






The coyote (Canis latrans), also called prairie wolf, is common and widespread in the major part of North America, southwards through Mexico to Panama. Due to its adaptability and its varied diet, which consists of smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and occasionally fruits and vegetables, it has been able to expand into urban areas, despite being persecuted in many places.



Arizona-Utah 2001
Sign, discouraging people from feeding coyotes, Tucson Mountain Park, Arizona. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign at Bitou Cape Trail, northern Taiwan. – Is it up to each visitor to estimate, what ‘excessive noise’ means? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Old sign, advertising for Baxter Brewing Company, Old Town, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Several troops of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) live around the Hindu Wenara Wana Temple (popularly called ‘Monkey Forest’), near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. – You may read about this macaque and many other monkeys and apes on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes.



Road sign near the Wenara Wana Temple, warning against thieving long-tailed macaques. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nordindien 1997
Eat our drugs, and you’ll be strong! – Sign outside a pharmacy, Amritsar, Punjab, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sydlige Afrika 1993
Sign outside a chemical plant, warning against drinking the water, Palapye, Botswana. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Californien 2011a
A decently dressed mermaid, advertising pottery, Charlton, Coos Bay, Oregon, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sydindien 2000-01
How can this place in Kochi, Kerala, South India, exist, if it’s prohibited? – The upper text is Malayalam (the main language of Kerala), in the centre Hindi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
The text on this discarded oil drum forbids entry into a diamond area near Lüderitz, Namibia. This diamond area and other places in Namibia are described on the page Countries and places: Namibia – a desert country, (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






The signs below, photographed in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, urges visitors to take good care of the area. Obviously, the sign in the lower picture was erected many years ago, as lichens have started growing on it. The monkey on the sign is the rare Delacour’s langur (Trachypithecus delacouri), which is endemic to northern Vietnam. – You may read about this species and many other monkeys and apes on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes.



(Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Californien 2013
Does ‘Bigfoot’ sell gifts and souvenirs here? – Garberville, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Chile 2011
Warning! Very steep road ahead! – Parque Nacional Fray Jorge, Chile. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






In 1987, I stayed a couple of weeks in the town of Shigatse, Tibet. During my stay, a number of signs in this town caught my attention. Four examples are shown below.

My at times rather grotesque adventures in Tibet are related on the page Travel episodes – Tibet 1987: Tibetan summer.



Tibet 1987
Sign above a small restaurant. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Tibet 1987
This huge Chinese propaganda poster, depicting very happy Tibetan herders, is a striking contrast to the harsh conditions, which the Tibetans had to endure during The Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. The text, in Chinese and Tibetan, announces the following: “Act together! Pay attention to hygiene! Prevent illness by raising your personal health level!” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Tibet 1987
Sign board outside a dentist’s clinic. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Tibet 1987
Chinese commercial poster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 2016
Sign, advertising apple cider, Long Island, United States. – New England is famous for its production of excellent cider. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






India Pictorial cancellation_resize
Unfortunately, this interesting exhibition at the post office seems to have been cancelled. – Annamalai National Park, West Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Info sign with peculiar English, describing the foundation of the Cherry Blossom Garden in Alishan National Forest, Taiwan, where a small plantation of Tokyo cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) was established. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Signs outside a butcher’s shop, Patea, New Zealand. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Costa Rica-2
Exclusive tobaccos for sale, Tilarán, Cordillera de Tilarán, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Bornholm 1977-96
This home-made sign on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, announces that the road ahead is extremely bumpy. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






How long will it take, before you die? – Sign outside the Horus Temple, Edfu, Egypt. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Ladakh 2009
Road marker near Stakna Gompa, Ladakh, India, urging drivers to slow down. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 2012a
Beware, dog owners! This sign indicates that you get a fine for having your dog on a leash, and also for cleaning up after it! – Winnekenni Park, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Churchgoers in San Pedro de Atitlan, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala, often have a few drinks before going to church. For this reason, they are in dire need to relieve themselves, when the service is over. This sign on the church wall, says: “Please do not urinate here.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Indien 1994
The speed limit is indeed very low, when you pass over this road bump near Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India. – Before you have finished studying the sign, you may have had an accident! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the world’s largest lizard, growing to 3.5 m long and weighing up to 135 kilograms. This monitor lizard was unknown to science until the early 1900s. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, this species has a very limited distribution, found only on the small Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rintja, and Padar, and possibly in a very small area on the western tip of Flores. Secondly, these small islands were uninhabited until the 1800s, when convicts were deported to Komodo – a dry, inhospitable place with a very limited supply of freshwater.

Read about my rather grotesque encounter with Komodo dragons at Travel episodes – Indonesia 1985: Difficult journey to Komodo.



Indonesien 1985
Sign at a feeding area for Komodo dragons, Komodo Island National Park. Today, this practice has been banned. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Irland 1987-99
Sign outside a pub, promoting Guinness beer, in Cloghane, Dingle, south-western Ireland. – Another well-known slogan is: “Guinness is good for you!” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Costa Rica
This shoemaker in Puerto Jiménez, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica, also sells ‘new sandals’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sverige 2015
No entry. – Dilapidated traffic sign in the village of Glömminge, Öland, Sweden. If you remove the fern, you are informed that residents, or others with an errand, are allowed to enter. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Myanmar 2007
Just in case! – Nyaung Shwe, Lake Inle, Myanmar. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA-Canada 1992
You must be really drunk not to notice this lake! The sign, however, may be useful in foggy weather. – Chamberlain, Missouri River, South Dakota, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 1987
This sign is advertising jungle safaris to Chitwan National Park, Nepal. – This park seems to house enormous tigers! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Chile 2011a
El Gloton – dream restaurant for gluttons, Valparaiso, Chile. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sydindien 2008
This rusted sign on a pole in Kerala, India is warning against high voltage, also in Malayalam, the main language of Kerala. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Norden 1967-86
A nice, old-fashioned grocery store with numerous old-fashioned signs, Nesbyen, Halling Valley, Buskerud, Norway. This picture was taken in 1978, so the shop may have long gone. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA-Canada 1992
Home-made warning sign, Charleston, Oregon, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Indien 2003
Sign near Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India, depicting a road worker, handling a rather inefficient shovel. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2016
Are excavators not allowed to remove the wall around this park in Taichung, Taiwan? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Python is a genus of large constricting snakes, comprising eleven species, distributed in tropical regions of Asia and Africa. The Indian rock python (Python molurus) is found on the entire Indian Subcontinent, including Sri Lanka.

In Ancient Greek mythology, Python was a huge dragon or serpent, guarding the temple at Delphi, which by the Ancient Greeks was regarded as the centre of the Earth. In his book Fabulae, Roman author Gaius Julius Hyginus (c. 64 B.C. – 17 A.D.) states that Zeus had made love to the goddess Leto. When she was about to give birth to Apollo and Artemis, goddess Hera got jealous, sending Python to pursue Leto, making her unable to deliver, wherever the sun was shining. When Apollo grew up, he wanted to avenge his mother, travelling to Mount Parnassos, where the monster dwelled. He chased it to Delphi, where he killed it with his arrows.



Nordindien 1985-86
As is obvious from this info sign in Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India, the rock python is a formidable predator. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign on a door, Hulterstad, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Dog, sleeping beneath a sign in Kathmandu, Nepal, with the following slogan (in English and Nepali): “Clean green healthy Kathmandu.” – The surroundings seem to belie this allegation. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 2002-10
Humourous sign, depicting ‘wildlife’, Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nordindien 1997
Poster in Amritsar, Punjab, India, advertising candy: “Toys that I can eat and play with!” – Shouldn’t it be the other way around? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Home-made sign: Beware of abyss ahead! – Rueilli, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






In 2004, when I visited the Bhote Kosi Valley, central Nepal, this area was controlled by Maoist rebels, fighting against the government. I had to pay a ‘donation’ of 1000 Rupees, or I would not be allowed to pass this village, but otherwise the Maoists were very polite towards me.



Suspension bridge across the Bhote Kosi River, near Jagat. The red banner on the bridge reads as follows: “Let us fight against the government. Help the low castes and get rid of the caste system.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






This sign in the city of Chania, Crete, informs you that this is not an entrance. Entry would be rather difficult anyway, and why would anybody want to visit this lot? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Mani stones are stone slabs with chiseled Buddhist mantras, which you may read more about elsewhere, see Religion: Buddhism.



Ladakh 2009
Sadly, on this row of mani stones near Upshi, Ladakh, India, it has been necessary to instruct tourists not to urinate at this sacred site. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 2002-10
Sign outside a lobster restaurant, Southwest Harbor, Mount Island, Acadia National Park, Maine, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2014b
Kitschy sign, warning against a dangerous side trail on the Walami Trail, Yushan National Park, eastern Taiwan. The announced danger has nothing to do with bears, however, although the Formosan black bear (Ursus thibetanus ssp. formosanus) is occasionally seen in this area. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Costa Rica-2
Private house, which is also a tour info centre, Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






White and regular teeth! – Dental clinic, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Guizhou 2007
Outside a shop in Yuanyang, Yunnan Province, China, I noticed this sign with a remarkable English text: “Yuxin the bed is last toreside the decoratins.” – I was told that the shop sold bedroom decoration. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






The chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) lives in southern Africa. Where they are fed regularly by tourists, baboons often become aggressive and may have to be shot.

Baboons are dealt with in detail on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes.



Sydlige Afrika 1993
This sign in Cape of Good Hope National Park, South Africa, prohibits feeding of baboons. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






In many areas of New Zealand, signs like this one announce, in English and in the Maori language, that consumption of alcohol is banned. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Alperne 2018
Collecting Burgundy snails (Helix pomatia) is not allowed in the Krajcarca Valley, near Trenta, Triglavski National Park, Slovenia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sydasien 1976-77
Happy little Tamil girl, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Note the official sign in the background: “Avoid rumours and loose talk. Do your duty.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 1987
Are the meals prepared inside a mountain? – Ghumna, Langtang National Park, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Taiwan 2009
These signs in Taiwan warn against snakes and bees on hiking trails, in Basianshan National Forest (top), and on Hu-tou Shan (‘Tiger Head Hill’), Tungxiao. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Ladakh 2009
In dry Ladakh, north-western India, where water is scarce, an owner of a roadside restaurant has urged his customers not to waste water. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 1991
‘Touris information board’, announcing ‘dobal rooms’, Banthanti, Annapurna, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 1998-99
“No lifeguard on duty.” – This sign in Bayville, Long Island, United States, seems a little irrelevant in December, when this picture was taken! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






This photo studio in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China, can compete with the famous town in Wales about possessing the world’s longest name: HAPPYBOYCHILDPHOTOGRAPHYORGANIZATION. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Sign, instructing people to leave hatchlings of sea turtles alone, Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nordindien 1997
Firearms are not allowed to walk into this bank in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
Wildlife ranger at a sign, warning against poaching, Whowi, Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 2009-1
In this fancy shop you can get woolen ‘godis’ and yakbone ‘soovenirs’. – Thangshyap, Langtang National Park, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






In Jhiben National Forest, eastern Taiwan, a steep flight of stairs leads up to a huge weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) with numerous stilt roots, called ‘Thousand-root Banyan’.

This remarkable tree, as well as other large fig trees, are dealt with at Plants: Ancient and huge trees.



Taiwan 2014b
This sign has been placed halfway up the steep flight of stairs in Jhiben National Forest to encourage people, who are about to turn back. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Don’t disturb this bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) in Periyar National Park, Kerala, South India! – This species and many other monkeys are described on the page Animals: Monkeys and apes. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Guizhou 2009
In the Black Necked Crane Hotel, Weining, Guizhou Province, China, I noticed this sign on the counter. At first sight, the meaning of the text was not quite obvious, but ‘with a little help from my friends’, some light was thrown on it: Guests were requested not to leave any valuables in their room. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tyrkiet 2006
A stylish pedestrian! – Sign in the town of Zonguldak, northern Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Garbage dump, donated by Lion’s Club, Lindi, Tanzania. – If I were a member of this Lion’s Club, I wouldn’t be happy with the condition of this monument! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 1992
Humourous sign at the jaguar’s den, Tucson Desert Zoo, Arizona, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Part of the text has faded on this sign board in Bangkok, Thailand, and now it reads: “Translation for alien detective.” (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 1994
Before you have finished reading this sign at the entrance to Nagarjun Royal Forest, Kathmandu, Nepal, informing visitors about park rules and regulations, the day is over! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Zambia 1993
Fancy sign, leading followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Kingdom Hall in the village of Chitaba, Zambia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tibet 2004
Would you visit this ‘restaorant’ in Tingri, Tibet, even if you were very hungry? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tyrkiet 2006
Don’t climb on the ruins! – Sign at Hattusa, capital of the Hittite Empire during the late Bronze Age, today situated near the town of Bogazkale (Bogazköy), Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Guizhou 2007
Is this garbage container only for organisms? – Anshun, Guizhou Province, China. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






USA 1992
Sign, warning against American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 1994
Apparently, the white-water rafting depicted on this sign takes place during a hurricane! – Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Many places around the world, unbelievable amounts of signs are often displayed on the same spot, confusing the by-passer and causing him or her to lose interest in studying them. Some examples are shown below.



Huge collections of signs in the Taiwanese cities Kaohsiung (top) and Taichung. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Sydindien 2000-01
In one of these signs in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, South India, Santa is handing out Coca Cola as Christmas gifts. As the temperature in this area all year around is about 28o Centigrade, he must be terribly hot in his outfit! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)



Sverige 2015
An overwhelming amount of information, Brösarps Backar, Skåne, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Tibet 2004
In this shop in the village of Tingri, Tibet you can buy vegetables, and if they don’t go down too well, you can always come back here to buy some drugs! And when you have eaten the drugs, maybe you’ll xing a song? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 2000
“Delicious sweet fine here.” – Sign outside a shop in the village of Marpha, Kali Gandaki Valley, central Nepal. Are you going to get fined here, but in a nice way? No, on the contrary, you can find delicious sweets inside the shop. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Varanasi 2008
Do you have to climb the wall to get to Hotel Elena? – Advertisement near the Ganges River, Varanasi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Yunnan 2007
This sign along a highway in Yunnan Province, China displays remarkable English. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Home-made sign near Samfya, Zambia: “Barber shop and hair blowi-ng.” – In 1997, when this photograph was taken, a trend among Zambian women was to make their hair look as big as possible, so hot air was blown into it to make it even more fluffy. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






Nepal 2009-1
Sign at small wayside restaurant in the village of Sundarijal, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, announcing that ‘dry and wet foods are available’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)






I wonder if the drinking water supply is also contaminated with mercury? – Kenoza Lake, Winnekenni Park Conservation Area, Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)




(Uploaded August 2016)


(Latest update February 2020)