Culture

Are You Breaking Any of the Weirdest Laws in the World?

By Robin Mei - February 05, 2018
Credits: It's unofficially official, but wearing underwear with a kilt is frowned upon by pretty much anyone with a Scottish background. Image: Scottish Kilt Shop

Thailand's No-Booze Rule

Credits: Before you plan the bender to end all benders in Thailand, know that you won't be able to re-stock your booze fuel between certain hours. Image: Plumb

Famous for its gorgeous tropical beaches and exciting nightlife, Thailand is a popular tourist destination and the place to be for all those who want to have an unforgettable vacation. However, if your idea of having a great time also involves drinking cocktails all day long, make sure you stock up.

In Thailand, purchasing alcohol in stores between 2 pm and 5 pm, any day of the week, is illegal. Why? That’s when the kids are out of school, and officials don’t want them tempted.

Source: 50 Weird Laws From Around the World

Don't Lose Rover in Tasmania

Credits: We all love our pets, but sticking a sign up if you lose one in Tasmania could get you in trouble.

Having a dog as a pet is great, but it’s also a huge commitment. You have to find time for your beloved four-legged friend and make sure that it gets enough of your attention.

If you are a dog owner living in Tasmania, you may want to pay extra attention that your pup doesn’t run away or get lost, as offering a reward with “no questions asked” is against the law.

Think Twice Before You Flush in Switzerland

Credits: There's no regulation against using a toilet after a certain time, but you might want to think twice about what you're about to put in it.

Switzerland is not only famous for delicious chocolates and yodeling serenades, it’s also known as one of the best organized and well-regulated countries in the world.

Swiss citizens like to abide by the law, even when a law is a bit weird. For example, in Switzerland, one is not allowed to flush the toilet after a certain time. If you need to go to the loo after 10 pm and flush when you’re done, you are risking the penalty for noise pollution.

Chew at Your Own Risk in Singapore

Credits: You won't be arrested for chewing the stuff now, but people might still give you the stink eye. Image: Jóhann Heiðar Árnason

If you happen to be in Singapore and want to treat yourself to a delicious bowl of dim sum, go ahead and enjoy your meal. Just make sure to restrain yourself from reaching for a pack of gum afterward.

Gum was banned in 1992 thanks to Singapore’s high standards for what constitutes cleanliness, but starting in 2004 regulations eased up substantially. You’ll still face a hefty fine for putting the stuff anywhere but in the garbage when you’re done with it.

Scotland's Unofficial Commando Kilt Rule

Credits: It's unofficially official, but wearing underwear with a kilt is frowned upon by pretty much anyone with a Scottish background. Image: Scottish Kilt Shop

There are a couple of (unwritten) rules that apply to a kilt, one being that the kilt is not a skirt and one should never refer to it as such. Ever.

The second is that a true Scotsman should wear nothing under their kilt. At some point in the past 80 years, a ‘rule’ began making the rounds that any individual caught not going commando could be fined two cans of beer. Who exactly gets that beer isn’t specified.

Avoid Getting Pigeonholed in San Francisco

Credits: There's always somebody who wants to feed them, but that person won't be welcomed in San Francisco. Image: Laura Hadden

“Please do not feed the pigeons. There are dozens of reasons why, but mainly: feeding pigeons harms our neighborhoods and also harms the birds,” states the San Francisco Public Works website, reminding people that feeding pigeons on the streets or sidewalks of San Francisco is forbidden by the law.

According to the same source, this law also applies to other indirect actions that may help the pigeon population get out of control, like leaving garbage around and even feeding pets outside.

Source: Pigeons

There's Nothing Fishy About Cruelty to Animals in Rome

Credits: The folks in Rome don't mind you having a goldfish, but just make sure it has a buddy to hang out with.

Cruelty to animals is a crime — no arguing there. Anyone who acts irresponsibly towards animals and mistreats them must be sanctioned.

The only trick is figuring out the definition of mistreatment as it pertains to a specific animal. For example, keeping only one goldfish in a bowl is not very nice as these lovely creatures are a sociable species. The city of Rome recognizes this as cruelty and treats it as such within their legal system.

Keep Your Urine Out of the Ocean in Portugal

Credits: We're afraid to ask exactly how this law is enforced.

There are many weird laws around the world, but it seems that Portugal maybe went too far with this particular one: They’ve declared peeing in the ocean unlawful. We can all agree that urinating in public is rude and should be regulated by law, but can the act of peeing in a vast ocean really be considered a crime?

It turns out it can and it is in Portugal, so better make sure not to wee-wee when in the ocean waters of Portugal.

Poland Is Not a Fan of Pooh

Credits: There's one place on the planet where Winnie the Pooh and his honey are not welcomed, and it's in Poland.

While some parts of the world are working on gender neutrality, the small Polish town of Tuszyn seems to be going in a different direction. It looks like the people of Tuszyn (or at least their representatives in the public administration) prefer to stick to old traditions of having two specific and separate genders.

The gender-free Winnie the Pooh (generally described as ‘he’) is banned due to him being an “inappropriate hermaphrodite” character that is missing pants and genitals.

Oklahoma's Wild Footwear Law

Credits: You might have a horse that likes to kick you on a daily basis, but if you're in Oklahoma don't even think about putting something puffy on its hooves.

Lots of pet owners like to dress up their precious four-legged loved ones in cute costumes, but the citizens of Oklahoma must be careful what garments they chose.

Some outfits are forbidden for animals, especially if they include footwear. Putting the hind legs of any type of farm animal in boots is strictly prohibited there, so this cute little goat and their owners are safe for now as long as it wears the shoes only on its front legs.

Honk 'Em If You Got 'Em in New Jersey

Credits: If you're flying through New Jersey with Bon Jovi blaring prepare yourself for some really annoying disruptions. Image: Famartin

Taking extra caution when driving is never a bad thing as you never know who might be behind the wheel of the other cars next to you. Still, do we really need to go as far as honking the horn every single time we’re passing someone?

According to this New Jersey law, yes we do. The regulations there require that motorists provide “audible warning” to other drivers when they intend to pass other cars.

On a Bike in Mexico? Don't Worry About Your Head

Credits: Make sure to keep your feet planted firmly on the pedals when you're cycling around Mexico. Image: Martin Lewison

Not all car drivers are too happy about sharing the roads with cyclists, so using extra precaution is always welcome. Wearing a helmet when on a bike is law in many places, but as we all know it isn’t the case everywhere.

Bicyclists in Mexico are not legally required to wear protective helmets at all, but if their feet are not properly placed on the pedals or both of their hands are not on the handlebars they might get a fine for reckless riding.

The Maldives Takes Religion Seriously

Credits: If you plan on visiting leave your porn, booze and marriage certificate at home if you're a same-sex couple.

The Maldives, a Muslim nation, has plenty of resorts and its beaches are wonderful, but religion takes precedence over anything tourism-related. Resorts act like mini-nations unto themselves since they are the only place where the consumption of alcohol is legally allowed for non-Muslims.

Same-sex relationships are illegal, and anything contrary to the teachings of Islam such as religious books or materials that reflect any type of ‘idols for worship’ are prohibited.

Source: Maldives

Southeast Asia is Anti-Durian

Credits: It has a smell so pungent it could drop a giant where it stands, and that's why you'll never see durian fruit in Indonesia or Malaysia.

Banning certain types of fruits from public spaces like schools and buses may sound totally unnecessary. If you know anything about the specific odoriferous details about this particular kind of fruit, you may even appreciate this law.

Durian fruit may look exotic and appealing for all who are not aware of its scent, but once you a whiff of its occasionally stomach-churning smell you might get a better understanding of why many countries have outlawed it from public areas.

Japan Puts Some Weight Behind Being Healthy

Credits: You may have heard you can go to jail if you are fat in Japan, but chances are good it'll only be your employer who might get in trouble.

Now, allow us to debunk a popular urban myth that has circulated for the past 10 years about Japan’s stance on obesity. Japanese officials imposed body size regulations in 2008 under its “Metabo Law” that define what is healthy when it comes to waist size.

The standards are strict, with waistline limits set at 90 centimeters (35 inches) for women and 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) for men. Every year companies are legally required to measure their employees, but no one is going to jail over it — only to a dietician.

Leave Your Heels at Home if You're Headed to Greece

Credits: If want to take your chances in heels with the cobblestone streets, that's your business. Just don't try and go anywhere history has been made.

Walking in high heels all day long sounds pretty exhausting, but if a person wants to do it who are we to object, right? Greek authorities disagree.

According to sources if you plan to visit Greece and its amazing historical and archeological sites, make sure to pack some flats. If not just for your own comfort, but you will need them to enter most of Greece’s historic venues since heels are banned at all of them.

In Germany, Don't Even Think About Naming Your Baby "Baby"

Credits: It may seem boring, but it just makes things simpler for everyone, okay?

An old Latin proverb says “nomen est omen” (the name is a sign) and it seems there may be some truth to it. It looks like the Germans have taken it literally since they have stringent laws regarding the naming of their babies.

Germany has a civil registration office responsible for recording all of the births in the country and even has a book of first names that can be given to newborns. New, ‘original’ names are not acceptable. Why? Your baby’s name must make it very, very clear whether it’s a boy or a girl.

Why Didn't the Chicken Cross the Road in Georgia?

Credits: It's okay for chickens to hang out in Georgia, provided they're under adult supervision. Image: Kenneth Allen

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.

Try telling that joke in Quitman, Georgia and you might get an answer that goes a little more like, “Because he was a feathered daredevil looking for trouble and wanted to get his owner tossed in jail.”

It’s not that Quitman has anything personal against chickens trying to stretch their legs, but it does want to make sure they’re under control at all times.

Single Ladies, Florida Doesn't Want You Jumping on Sundays

Credits: It is definitely odd, but way back in the day when Florida was a little too concerned about morals and whatnot it decided combining skydiving and single women was a bad idea.

There are probably a whole lot of pros and cons a person can come up with when thinking about trying out an extreme sport like skydiving, but that’s not the only thing one should do before making a final decision.

Checking local laws might be a good idea too. If you are an unmarried woman who wants to go for a jump in Florida, choosing Sunday for your big skydiving adventure might not be the best idea simply because it’s illegal.

Don't Build Anything on Eraclea's Beaches

Credits: What if you're building a sand jail? Is that legal? Image: Jon

If you are passionate about spending hours on a beach building sand castles and other carefully crafted temporary works of art, avoid Eraclea, a small Italian town close to Venice, as much as possible.

No matter how strange it may sound, the lawmakers of this community believe that such artistic tendencies with uncertain results may violate the beauty of their town. Thus they made sure that putting such aspirations into action will violate the law.

China Likes to Keep Reincarnation Under Control

Credits: If you're planning on passing on it China and you're a Buddhist, you have have some paperwork to fill out first.

Rebirth (or reincarnation) is an essential concept in Buddhism and other Eastern religions as it explains the circle of life and death and the importance of enlightenment as the ultimate goal.

The followers of these philosophical and religious approaches usually take the matters of reincarnation very seriously, but things can get a little tricky for them in China. While in that country you need to have the state’s permission in order to fulfill your Buddhist destiny.

Capri Is Done With All the Crap

Credits: The argument can be made that paying a fine is still better than having to clean the stuff up...

It seems that the good citizens of Capri, a picturesque town in Italy, are particularly sensitive to what dogs (or to be more specific, their owners) leave behind them after a stroll and doggy bathroom break in their beautiful municipality.

They recently introduced legislation that will deal with all of the cases of irresponsible behavior of both the Capri dogs and their owners. Their identities will be determined by DNA testing performed on the poop calling card left behind, and fines will be handed out.

You'll Listen to What Canada Wants You to Listen To

Credits: Canada loves its musical artists and it wants you to love them to by making them impossible to avoid. Image: Lou Stejskal

Radio lovers in Canada who prefer listening tunes as chosen by their favorite DJs rather than making their own playlists must also be Canadian music fans too.

Regardless of their listener’s tastes in performers, radio stations in Canada are required by law to play songs by Canadian artists. At least 35% of the total music they offer must be homegrown. So, if you’re looking for a 24/7 N’Sync station, understand 3.5 tunes out of ten will be by Justin Bieber.

Don't Bring a Squirt Gun to Cambodia

Credits: Water is harmless — until it comes out of a plastic gun. Image: John Shedrick

If you’re visiting Cambodia and you think that refreshing water fights are a great way to cool down a bit from the country’s unforgiving heat, please think twice before you decide to involve yourself in something as entertaining as that. It turns out Cambodia gets a little nervous about guns — any gun.

The usage of “water weaponry” in Cambodia has been forbidden by law since 2001. The reason for it? Such behavior might be used to “cause unrest.”

Art Is a Must in Wyoming

Credits: This state loves its art so much it says you have to have it.

If you think that big cities such as Paris, London or New York are the only places reserved for art and artistic movements, you might be surprised to learn that art is pretty high on the list of priorities in, let’s say, Wyoming.

Although many think of Wyoming as a rural state, it has a law requiring that all new buildings which cost over $100,000 (US) must have at least 1% of their budget spent on artwork.

Source: 50 Weird Laws From Around the World

Australia Has a Problem With Potatoes

Credits: Yes, you can have them, but don't even think about gorging yourself on fries.

Knowing that the potato is the fourth largest food crop in the entire world (right behind rice, wheat, and corn), it’s hard to imagine that any place on the planet would limit the trade of such a household staple.

Yet, those who live in Western Australia cannot purchase or take delivery of more than 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of potatoes at once, according to their law that limits imports of this tasty and valuable source of nourishment.

Source: 50 Weird Laws From Around the World

Bright Ideas Were Once a No-No in Victoria

Credits: In one Australian city, the combination of people and electricity made officials very nervous. Image: Adam Jones, Ph.D.

No matter how strange this may sound, the people in Victoria, a state in south-eastern Australia, were not allowed to change a light bulb by themselves until 1998!

According to the old law, only a qualified electrician with a valid license could do that. Fortunately for the good citizens of Victoria, this silly law was revised. You are still not allowed to take on projects like re-wiring your house, but changing a light bulb is no longer a legal issue.

Source: Is it illegal to change a light bulb in Victoria?

Milan Used to Have a Thing For Perma-Smiles

Credits: It is thought that back in the old days if you weren't having a great day in Milan you might want to stay home.

There’s a common misbelief that if you’re caught without a smile on your face in Milan, Italy, you better be prepared to part with some cash to pay a fine. The only rumored exemptions were for hospital workers and those attending a funeral.

Some scholars suggest that a decree which regulated outward displays of positive behavior did exist, but about a century or more ago. These days, you can be as gloomy in Milan as much as you want.

Source: Are the citizens of Milan legally obliged to smile?

A Spit Take in Coulaines? We Don't Think So

Credits: The law is a little extreme, but the sign for it is kinda awesome. Image: Roland Tanglao

The fear of a swine flu epidemic was a major concern back in 2009. Everyone was afraid of it, and all sorts of precautions were taken all over the world to prevent the spread of the disease. The one we have here is probably the most radical (and weirdest) of all.

Reportedly, during the swine flu hysteria, the mayor of the small town of Coulaines in north-western France outlawed spitting to make sure that this terrible disease stays out of their community.

You Won't Be Sucking It Up in Melbourne

Credits: It's great to have a clean home, but you have to be picky about when you're going to tidy up in Melbourne.

Respecting the house rules in residential buildings is a matter of good manners and common sense, but it seems that in certain parts of the world the legislators thought that these things need to be regulated by law.

In Melbourne, Australia, you are not allowed to clean your home at will if it will disturb your neighbors, so vacuuming between 10 pm and 7 am during workdays and 10 pm and 9 am during the weekends is banned.

Pick Your Wardrobe Carefully in This City

Credits: Expressing yourself through your clothing choices could land you in some hot water in Melbourne. Image: Aimee Ardell

It seems that a lot of old laws are still enforced all over the world, despite them being dated and in contrast with evolving modern values — like expressing individuality through clothing even if it means wearing items associated with the opposite sex.

Cross-dressing is outlawed in the city of Melbourne, at least for men. The coastal capital of Victoria reportedly doesn’t tolerate guys wearing women clothes in public, but it is unclear if the same criteria apply to women.

Keeping Your Donkey Clean in Oklahoma Has Its Limits

Credits: No one likes a dirty donkey, but make sure you get your ass clean before sunset in Oklahoma.

There are dozens of weird and kind of dumb laws all over America, but those from the state of Oklahoma are some of the funniest. According to sources, there are at least twenty ridiculous laws in the Sooner state,

So let this be a friendly warning to you: If you have a donkey sleeping in a bathtub after 7pm you may face charges as this act is frowned upon by Oklahoma officials.

Source: Dumb Laws in Oklahoma

Your Car Needs to Be Spotless in Russia

Credits: Want to go mudding in Chelyabinsk? You might want to think twice before you do.

Keeping your car in good condition is a matter of public safety and not a personal choice. No one should be allowed to drive a car if the brakes are not reliable, or if a turn signal does not work correctly. But what about a car’s appearance? Should that be regulated by law too?

If you live in Chelyabinsk, Russia, the authorities have already answered that question for you! Driving a dirty car in that city is against the law.

North Korea Doesn't Like You Spending Their Money

Credits: If you're going to hang out with Kim Jong-un, make sure you don't show up trying to spend his country's currency. Image: calflier001

Most Westerners don’t really see North Korea as an attractive holiday destination or a perfect place to spend their honeymoon, but that doesn’t mean this country has nothing to offer. According to some who dared to visit this oft self-censored country, the land is beautiful. The tradeoff is there are many rules to be followed there you need to know about first.

One of them forbids visitors to go to North Korean shopping malls and department stores and use North Korean currency.

Source: North Korea – 8 Things to Know Before You Go

Wrasslin' a Bear in Alabama Is a No-No

Credits: There's nothing but bad news waiting for you if you move to Alabama thinking you can further your bear wrestling career. Image: C. Watts

“Bear wrestling is illegal in Alabama.” Is bear wrestling still a thing? Who is even crazy enough to try and duke it out with a bear? This law isn’t about protecting silly (and maybe drunk) people, but the opposite — it protects the bears from those who want to hurt them.

Years ago, bear wrestling in the state was a form of cruel and inhumane entertainment that was finally banned for good.

Source: Dumb Laws in Alabama

Pennsylvania Doesn't Like Tricksters

Credits: It might be hilarious to watch on television, but don't even think about pulling the dollar bill stunt here.

Allegedly, pulling a prank with a dollar bill tied to a string and placed on the ground so that someone sees it and attempts to pick it up is against the law in the state of Pennsylvania.

We can’t really say for sure whether this one is true or false, but it certainly sounds funny. If it turns out to be valid, we would really love to know if it applies only to a single dollar bill, or are all denominations off limits?

Thailand Demands You Wear Your Underwear

Credits: There's no going commando in this country, no matter how hot it gets.

Before you buy a ticket to Thailand, you may want to check out their laws first and make sure to stay out of jail for doing something that might seem natural to you but not to the Thai authorities, like going out with no underwear.

Under the rules of this country, it’s illegal to go out in public if you are not wearing underpants. We can’t say for sure if any tourist has been arrested for breaking it.

Source: Laws in Thailand – How to Stay Out of Jail

If You're Going to Mess With Texas, Do it Right

Credits: If you're packing heat in the state of Texas, make sure its got a full chamber. Image: Laura Salazar

The list of odd laws that are still active in the state of Texas is quite impressive, but we stumbled upon one that seems too freaky even for a place where people really love their guns.

Reportedly, there is a law that bans people from threatening others with an unloaded gun. When put like that, it sounds like it’s ok to issue threats with a loaded firearm, but bluffing with an empty one can get you in trouble with local officers.

In Kentucky, Keep Your Ice Cream Where People Can See It

Credits: If you're really feeling the need to stash an ice cream cone if your pocket, you might want to re-evaluate your life.

If you find yourself in the state of Kentucky, the cities of Lexington or Louisville in particular, make sure you restrain from putting an ice cream cone in any of your pockets, or you may end up paying a fine.

It’s really tough to guess what made the good people of Lexington and Louisville come up with such a regulation, but we’re ok with it. Who wants to walk with ice cream stashed in a pocket anyway?

Source: 8 Obscure Kentucky Laws You Might Be Breaking

No, Your Lion Can't Go to the Movies With You in Baltimore

Credits: Sorry, but you're going to have to leave Leo at home if you're heading out to see the next Avengers flick.

No matter how absurd this may seem, it is unlawful to take a lion to the movies in Baltimore, Maryland. The first reasonable question that comes to mind is: Who would ever even think of doing such a thing? We’re still in search of the answer.

Since this law happens to be true, there must be a good story behind the reasons for the adoption of it, but we just couldn’t find any reliable one so far.