Today I Discovered Queen Elizabeth II Owns Every Dolphin In Britain

Image: Getty Images

Being the Queen of England definitely has its perks. In addition to being the fabulously wealthy figurehead of an entire nation and getting to have your face on coins and stuff, it turns out you also get first dibs on any dolphin entering British waters. No, really.

Most people are familiar with the archaic British law declaring all unmarked British swans property of the Crown. (They even have a Swan Master whose main job is to count them.)

But did you know similar rules also apply to a range of other aquatic animals? Welp, now you do.

A statute issued during the reign of King Edward II in 1324 grants the Sovereign dominion over all dolphins, porpoises, sturgeons and whales "taken in the sea or elsewhere within the realm."

Today, these sea creatures are still recognised as "fishes royal" in Britain. As an article in Time notes, they can technically be claimed on behalf of the Crown whenever they are captured within three miles of UK shores.

"Generally, when brought into port, a sturgeon is sold in the usual way, and the purchaser, as a gesture of loyalty, requests the honor of its being accepted by Elizabeth," Time adds.

Astonishingly, this statute is still enforced today. In 2004, a Welsh fisherman was investigated by the police after catching a 10-foot sturgeon. We definitely need to keep this woman away from our kangaroos.

Today I Discovered is a daily dose of facts for Lifehacker readers - the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying. Most of the time, it's just mind-blowing. Let us know if you discovered anything that blew your mind in the comments!

[Via Time]


    How about the UK guy that eats roadkill and took a dead dolphin home for consumption? He was threatened with above mentioned law to prevent him from doing it again!

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