Unusual Laws Around The World

Jun 23, 2020Manuela Mitevova

The world has some strange rules and regulations! Besides the necessary laws which keep our societies safe and healthy, many countries and states are coming up with quite ludicrous ways of showing their power. If you thought you were free to own a feather mattress or to deny someone entry to your home if they are in need of a toilet, you were wrong!

No Suspicious Salmon Handling, England

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England rightfully protects its wildlife, but when it comes to its fish, the laws get a little bit confusing. The Salmon Act of 1986 stipulates that it is a crime to handle salmon ‘suspiciously,’ and this leaves a few questions unanswered. Is there a way to handle salmon unsuspiciously? And what exactly counts as suspicious in this case?


No Sunday Skydiving For Single Women, USA

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Florida is full of surprises, even when it comes to its law system. Did you know that if you are a single woman and you fancy some skydiving on a pleasant Sunday, you simply can’t do it, because it is illegal? Breaking this law can even lead to jail time, so don’t go tempting your faith!

No Bigfoot Hunting, Canada

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If you ever needed proof that Bigfoot exists, this might be the best you will ever get. In British Columbia, there is a law stipulating you cannot hunt and kill Bigfoot, which must clearly mean Bigfoot is indeed real. To those of you who believed in the mythological creature since the beginning, you were right all along!

New Goldfish Aquarium Standards, Italy

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Another animal protection law, but this time, it makes actual sense. This is a law that has been issued by Rome, Italy, and it strictly forbids goldfish to be kept in glass jars or other small containers. The goldfish are to be given proper aquariums if kept as a pet, and if you are found to not adhere, you will pay a hefty fine. 

No Naked Hiking, Switzerland

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Apparently, a few German nudist hikers stirred up quite the trouble in Switzerland when they decided to hike around the country’s beautiful mountains without clothes, and a new law was born! It is now illegal to hike in the Swiss Alps whilst naked, and although this seems like a harsh rule to put on people simply wanting to enjoy nature, it’s probably for the best.

No Sandcastle Building, Italy

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One of the more ridiculous laws out there- the no-sandcastle law, issued by a region in Italy, literally forbid any child or adult from having a jolly good time at the beach. If you are planning to come to a beach at Eraclea, hoping to let your child get creative in the sand, you better prepare to pay the $280 fine

No Reincarnation Without Approval, China

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No one saw this one coming! There is a law in China prohibiting reincarnation to Buddhist monks without getting the government's approval for it first. Not only does this sound absolutely crazy as a law, but it's difficult to understand how the law can even be enforced.

No Pigeon Feeding, USA

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Animal rules and regulations are plentiful all over the world, and for a good reason. In San Francisco, you will get fined for feeding the pigeons, and although you might wonder why you can’t help out the city’s animals, the lawmakers have good points. Feeding promotes overbreeding, which in turn leads to health hazards by the big pigeon populations.

Forbidden Feather Mattresses, Argentina

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Do you enjoy your 21st-century privileges like soft mattresses, for example? Well if you do, don’t move to Argentina, because owning a feather mattress is illegal there! The reasoning of the government is the too high comfort level of the mattresses, so any other mattress which is less comfortable is fine and allowed.

Bouncing Pickles, USA

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Connecticut is clearly taking its pickle game seriously! As of 1948, it became illegal to sell pickles that do not bounce, and if that is not the most ingenious quality control you have ever heard of, no one knows what is. It's not entirely clear how every producer is expected to check each and every one of his pickles, but it seems like a sensible enough law otherwise.

No Chewing Gum, Singapore

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One of the most well-known laws which shocked the world when it was introduced into Singapore was the no chewing gum law. The government there banned all chewing gums in 1992, so if you are caught with one, you might be in trouble. Unless you can prove it is for medicinal purposes.

Illegal Overweight, Japan

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Japan seems to have very specific ideas about how its population should look like! They introduced a law that effectively makes being overweight illegal, and people have to adhere to strict measurements in order to not be criminals. There is a maximum waistline limit of 33.5 in for men and 35 in for women, so probably a lot of people will need to go on government-enforced diets in Japan.

Potato Limit, Australia

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Hoarding potatoes must have been a real problem in Australia at some point, as they issued a law that forbids a person to own more than 110 lbs. Apparently, this had something to do with limiting imports, but these days, it just seems like the government is forbidding people from riding the carb train all the way!

Illegal Wedding Disruption, Australia

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You know that part during a wedding ceremony when the priests say ‘speak now, or forever hold your peace’? Well, in Australia, that is not a thing, as wedding disruptions are strictly illegal. You can get a fine of up to $10,000 and even be thrown in prison, so if you have something to say, better keep it in.

Toilet Sharing Law, Scotland

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To give some context to this wild law, you need to go back into the times when Scotland was short of bathrooms and public amenities, even as recently as in 1970. For this reason, the Scots issued a law that orders everyone to let in a person if they knock on your door asking to use the toilet. It seems kind of invasive, but also like a nice thing to do for someone in need, so why not?

If these laws show us something, it’s that lawmakers sure seem to abuse their power sometimes. Banning certain activities such as sandcastle building or chewing gum makes people feel like they live in a police state, with Big Brother constantly watching. However, some laws, even though odd, can prove to be of benefit, and everyone should be definitely for goldfishes being treated better, or salmons not handled suspiciously.

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