Map copyright trap

In cartography, a trap street is a fictitious entry in the form of a misrepresented street on a map, often outside the area the map nominally covers, for the purpose of “trapping” potential copyright violators of the map who, if caught, would be unable to explain the inclusion of the “trap street” on their map as innocent. On maps that are not of streets, other “copyright trap” features (such as nonexistent towns, or mountains with the wrong elevations) may be inserted or altered for the same purpose.

The fictional town of Agloe, New York, was invented by map makers, but eventually became identified as a real place by its county administration because a building, the Agloe General Store, was erected at its fictional location. The “town” is featured in the novel Paper Towns by John Green and its film adaptation.

Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! (French pronunciation: ​[sɛ̃.lwi.dɥ.ˈa.ʔa]) is a parish municipality in the Témiscouata Regional County Municipality in Quebec, near the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Canada. It is located southeast of Rivière-du-Loup and west of Cabano along the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 185), about halfway to Edmundston in New Brunswick. The population of Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! is 1,318.

Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! is the only town in the world with two exclamation points in its name.

The Commission de toponymie du Québec asserts that the parish’s name refers to nearby Lake Témiscouata, the sense of haha here being an archaic French word for an impasse.

A ha-ha (French: hâ-hâ or saut de loup) is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond.

The design includes a turfed incline which slopes downward to a sharply vertical face (typically a masonry retaining wall). Ha-has are used in landscape design to prevent access to a garden, for example by grazing livestock, without obstructing views. In security design, the element is used to deter vehicular access to a site while minimizing visual obstruction.

The name “ha-ha” is thought to have stemmed from the exclamations of surprise by those coming across them, as the walls were intentionally designed to be invisible.

Turtle prank

A practical joke recalled as his favorite by the playwright Charles MacArthur, concerns the American painter and bohemian character Waldo Peirce. While living in Paris in the 1920s, Peirce “made a gift of a very big turtle to the woman who was the concierge of his building”. The woman doted on the turtle and lavished care on it. A few days later Peirce substituted a somewhat larger turtle for the original one. This continued for some time, with larger and larger turtles being surreptitiously introduced into the woman’s apartment. The concierge was beside herself with happiness and displayed her miraculous turtle to the entire neighborhood. Peirce then began to sneak in and replace the turtle with smaller and smaller ones, to her bewildered distress.