This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series . The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
It wasn't until I was in my 20s and moved to Texas that I realized Florida wasn't like any other state. Visitors looked at it as a place known for wild happenings and events, and most of it is because of the locals that live there.
I guess I didn't notice anything because I fell into that category .
Upon moving back to my hometown a few years later, I started paying attention to bizarre things my fellow neighbors were doing that I don't think the rest of the world could quite understand.
So, here's a strong list of extraordinary things Floridians do that could honestly put the rest of America into a coma — emphasis on "extra."
We learned how to run from alligators in grade school.
\u201cIt wasn\u2019t until last year that I learned not every elementary school teaches kids how to run away from alligators. I just thought that was standard curriculum for eight year olds\u201d— Joel Liebert (@Joel Liebert) 1595951671
Almost every Floridian knows the answer to this because it was taught to us in school. Since an alligator's eyes are located on the side of its head, you're supposed to run in a zig-zag so it confuses the animal.
Florida locals calmly coexist with alligators because, for the most part, they don't bother you unless you bother them.
Typically, if they are in a man-made neighborhood lake, you can call animal control so they can place the animal back in their natural habitat.
Hurricane parties are a thing.
hurricane szn is here⛈️🌫️ apparently floridians like to throw hurricane parties instead of panicking #hurricane #hurricanian #florida #floridahurricane #hurricaneseason #floridalife #floridarealtor #hurricanecheck
Full disclaimer: Floridians do take hurricane season seriously, but one thing most people are shocked about when they come to the state is how nonchalant locals act around this time. The laissez-faire attitude is because they are no strangers to how bad it can get.
The Sunshine State, believe it or not, experiences lots of rain and because the landscape is nearly below sea level, it also floods.
While residents are knowledgeable about it, they make the most of their time, head to the grocery, get what they need (and maybe a few extra bottles), and prepare for the worst. If you're going to be stuck inside, you might as well make it fun.
However, it is important to note that if advised to evacuate, safety is most important.
You can legally shoot an iguana with a pellet gun, and people actually do it.
\u201cim watching the news in florida and they were talking about how iguanas are found in a bunch of peoples yards and then they reminded people that its LEGAL TO SHOOT THEM WITH PELLET GUNS... ummmmm wtffff\u201d— Finn McCarty (@Finn McCarty) 1581135183
When you live near the water, you're bound to see iguanas everywhere. Iguanas by themselves are amusing to visitors, but they are a bother when they are constantly on your lawn and pooping all over your yard.
In over 25 years of living in Florida, it has come to my attention that some residents actually have a pellet gun to kill these poor animals... and they do.
It was shocking to find out, but it is a legal practice, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission actually encourages landowners to remove them.
Driving golf carts on main roads.
\u201cjust saw someone driving an actual golf cart on the street with a car seat for their tiny dog. my rent is totally going up.\u201d— Kati Kokal (@Kati Kokal) 1676127212
There is one thing unique about driving in Florida , and it's the fact that it's legal to drive golf carts on the road.
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles , they are allowed on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less.
I live in quite a touristy town, and I've even seen golf cart drivers make a living out of it on rideshare.
"Florida Man" headlines. We're never short of entertaining things going on.
"Florida Man" headlines can practically send the rest of America into a coma. Every time "Florida Man" is represented in the news, it's normally for a crime or a situation that is so out of the ordinary you wouldn't even think it was possible.
Of course, there is a common joke around the Internet that tells you to type in "Florida Man" and your birthday next to a Google Search and see what pops up. You'll typically find something outrageous.
People wear flip-flops to fancy restaurants.
Clothing attire at restaurants is questionable. Florida is practically on island time, as it's surrounded by coastal beaches, so a lot of different dress attire slides at certain establishments.
One thing is for sure, you'll most likely see someone at a fancy restaurant in flip-flops. It could be a tourist who was too lazy to go back to their hotel or a local who pretty much knows they won't be turned away.