When we visit a new country, we can often become confused as the laws here are completely different from the laws that we find at home. Most of the time we can try and make sense of them, but in some cases, this is simply impossible. The rules can be so crazy and ridiculous that it's hard for us to fully believe that they are real. We're here to give you a rundown on some of those laws that are sure to leave you in complete shock.
1. Mobile, Alabama's Paper Confetti Only Law
In Mobile, Alabama, there is a law that prohibits anyone from throwing confetti that is made of plastic. It has to be paper only.
The reason for this? Saving the planet, obviously. The environment can't take a bunch of plastic confetti being thrown onto it on a regular basis, so instead paper confetti is used. Much more fun, much better for the planet. It's a win-win.
2. The Ban On Billboards
Billboards have actually been banned in four states; Hawaii, Alaska, Maine, and Vermont. Can you guess the reason why?
It's basically because these states pride themselves in their beautiful scenery, and their lawmakers don't want anything obstructing it. Random billboards aren't the most natural-looking thing in the world, and they definitely ruin the view. Businessmen don't like this one, but it really helps with tourism.
3. Heels Forbidden In Greece
Turns out high heels are forbidden at some archeological sites in Greece. This is because these structures are so old and fragile, high heels can actually pierce right through them if enough pressure is applied.
Since the ancient relics are so frail, it is better to wear a flat, even shoe to minimize any chance of damaging them. Sneakers only, guys.
4. This Law Will Track You Down
In Capri, it is actually illegal to leave your dog's mess behind. It is such a big deal that if you do leave your dog's poop on the street, you will be found and fined. How, you ask? Through DNA.
That's right, a sample of your dogs stool will be taken and DNA tested and matched back to you. Then, you will be in serious trouble and fined around $2,400. No joking around here.
5. Sleeping Donkey Law In Arizona
This is a weird and wacky law that you will hardly believe is real, but it is. In Arizona, it is illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub. Yes, you read that right.
This law originates from 1924, back when a donkey that was sleeping in a bathtub got washed down a river in a flood. Since rescuing the poor donkey was such a big deal, residents of the area decided to create this law to avoid such instances in the future. Makes sense, we guess.
6. Healthy Italian Dogs
In Turin, Italy, people must take their dog on a walk at least three times a day by law.
Good for them, as this means that people take their dogs' health very seriously. We love the idea of these dogs regularly being out and about in beautiful Turin.
7. No Bear Hugs Allowed
In South Africa, it is illegal to wrestle a bear. This law is truly weird for two very important reasons.
Firstly: who would want to wrestle a bear? That sounds like a truly terrible idea. Secondly: bears aren't even native to South Africa. We're just as confused as you are.
8. No Excuse For Low Gas
On the Autobahn highway in Germany, it is an offense to be low on fuel. Cars go very fast on the Autobahn, making it extremely dangerous to pull over.
Running out of gas is considered negligent and your own fault, so there will be no excuses made for you if you break the law, Germans notoriously love to stick to rules.
9. No Disturbances For Special Days
In South Australia it is against the law to interrupt a wedding ceremony. That's right, it's not "speak now" it's simply "forever hold your peace."
If you break this law you could face imprisonment for up to two years or you could have to pay a $10,000 fine. They really want to make sure their weddings go smoothly.
10. Knights Of Old Not Welcome
It is illegal to enter the British parliament buildings wearing a suit of armor. This law was put in place all the way back in 1313 and still actually exists today.
Guess there was some reason for making this law all those years ago, but it's obviously pretty obsolete now. At least it still serves one purpose--making us laugh.
11. One Glass Then Home
In the city of La Paz, Bolivia, there is a law that states that married women can only drink one glass of wine in public. This is to prevent them from flirting with men that are not their husbands, and if they are seen drinking in public it's considered sufficient grounds for divorce.
All we can say is, it's a good thing this law doesn't exist in Europe because European ladies certainly would not accept this.
12. Cotton Panties Only
In 2014, lace undergarments were banned in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. This sounds like a crazy law to us, and it was definitely not popular. In Kazakhstan, there were even protests against it.
This was allegedly because most lace undergarments contain very little cotton, causing their fabric to increase risk of skin problems to some. However, it still seems quite extreme.
13. Speedos Or Go Home
The stigma around wearing speedos is very real in certain parts of the world, but not in France. In France, speedos are REQUIRED.
If you are a French man and you want to swim in a public pool, then you have to have your speedos (or similar, tight-fitting swimwear) firmly on. This is because men's baggy swim shorts are considered unhygienic.
14. Strictly Scientific In Baltimore
In Baltimore, Maryland, fortune-telling for money is forbidden. If you tell someone's fortune for a fee then you could face either a $500 fine or up to one year in prison.
We wonder if it can be done for free. Maybe a big fortune-telling scam happened there way back when, or maybe Baltimoreans simply know something we don't.
15. No Large Sand Sculptures Allowed
On some beaches in Spain, it is illegal to build big sand sculptures. It may sound silly, because who doesn't like a big, impressive sand castle, but maybe there's something behind it.
In fact, huge sand creations were used to get tips from tourists which some people were against. They were also taking up lots of space. We still think they're fun, though.
16. Leave Your Cows At Home
In the UK there is a law that states that drunk people can't be in charge of a cow. Now even though this law is weird as heck, it also makes a lot of sense.
Like, it's not hard to see how this law came about. It's also a pretty good idea that drunk people won't be in charge of anything. Ever.
17. Mouths Closed In Singapore
In Singapore, it is illegal to both buy and sell chewing gum, as in, they are simply forbidden.
This law was put in place in 1992 and the reason for this was a result of the country wanting to stop people from vandalizing the streets by sticking chewed gum everywhere. That's how Singapore stays clean, we guess.
18. Indoor Only Food
In Florence, Italy, you can be fined if you try and eat or drink food in a public place such as near a church or a public building. They want to keep the historic center clean.
If you are found to be loitering and eating in a public place you can be fined up to $500. Ouch, that's gotta hurt.
19. Healthy Folks In Black Cabs
In the UK, it's illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague. Again, this law is pretty weird but also makes a lot of sense.
Maybe in the modern day and age, we can tweak the law slightly so that instead of the plague, it's COVID. Still works. If it helps the taxi drivers, then we're happy with it.
20. Monte Carlo Not For Locals
The locals of Monaco are forbidden from playing in the Monte Carlo casino. The reason for this is that all of the intended income would arise from foreigners. The locals would keep their money, rather than gamble it away.
In exchange for the sacrifice of not being able to play on the adult adventure park right on their doorstep, the locals are excused from paying ANY income tax. This sounds like a pretty good deal to us.
21. Looks Matter In Denmark
In Denmark, it is actually illegal to wear a mask that is fully covering the face. The reason for this law is, of course, in order to be able to identify people and see that everyone stays in line.
However, we do wonder how this law fared during the coronavirus pandemic; were people still not allowed to cover their faces? In any case, people from Denmark are traditionally so beautiful we can't see why they would want to cover their faces anyway.
22. Chinese Family Function
In China, there is a real law that states that people must look after their elders. Adults HAVE to care for their aging parents and visit them at least once a year, as is written in the law.
Since the population of China is getting older and older, there have been laws put in place in order to make sure that this elderly population receives the love and support they deserve.
23. Take Buddha Seriously
In Sri Lanka it is against the law to take selfies with the statue of Buddha or any other religious artefacts. That's right, it's illegal. This is out of respect for Buddha, who is a religious figure and should be treated as such.
Although we can see the justification behind this, it does seem to take out some of the fun of admiring the marvelous religious symbol. But as long as people stick to it, it seems like everyone will be happy, we guess.
24. Keeping It Canadian
In Canada, radio stations must abide by a law which says that they must play Canadian music by Canadian artists. In fact, 40% of the overall music they play has to have some Canadian roots.
This is in order to keep the Canadian musical and cultural scene alive, rather than just sharing things that made in the US. This seems like a great idea, and we all know that many great musical talents like Justin Bieber and Drake are originally Canadian, so it doesn't seem like such a bad plan to us.
25. Keep Your Clothes On To Hike
In the Canton Appenzell Innerrhoden, Switzerland, there is a law that bans people from hiking in the nude. Yes, people were hiking naked. Yes, more people wanted to hike naked. It was such a big deal, apparently, that they made it against the law.
The Swiss people decided that they didn't like meeting naked foreigners on their hills, so in 2009 they passed a law that meant clothes have to stay firmly on while enjoying the beauty of the Swiss Alps. That's a relief, we guess. Or a disappointment. It depends on which side you're on.
26. No Boring Spaces In Wyoming
In Wyoming, there is a law that states that blank walls in public spaces must be filled with art. If a building is over a certain size then it simply has to have some artwork covering the walls.
This is a great initiative that helps local artists become integrated into public space and society, as well as leaving the general public entertained by all the amazing art they encounter. We approve of this law!
27. Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?
Well, in parts of Georgia, it didn't. We hate to ruin the joke, but it is a fact. In Quitman, Georgia, it is illegal for your chicken to cross the road. By law, chickens and other domestic birds must be kept away from roaming away in public places.
We're not sure exactly why, but we can't imagine people are too keen on finding chicken roadkill on the side of the road. Keep your poultry safe, people.
28. Dancing At Reasonable Times Only
In Japan, there was a law in place from 1948 right up until 2015 that said it was illegal for people to dance after midnight. That's right, once the clock hit midnight the dancing had to stop. Pretty crazy, huh?
It is said that the law wasn't really followed because it was mostly meant as a deterrent for crime and for dangerous things to happen in the night. Lucky it's no longer forbidden, though. The Japanese people need to dance!
29. Feet On The Ground In Canada
In Oshawa, Canada, people are not allowed to climb trees by law. A relatively new law dating from 2008, we can't even make fun of it for being outdated.
The logic behind this law is that people are unsafe when they go up trees, and the law enforcers in Canada want to make sure that all of their citizens stay safe. Kind of cute, kind of sounds like an over-protective parent-style rule to us.
30. All Reincarnations To Be Registered
In China, there is a rule that states that any Buddhist monk reincarnation has to go through some strict policy and procedure to make sure it is legitimate.
Gone are the days of just being able to claim you are a born again Buddhist monk, there are now forms and documents to be signed to make sure that this is true. Crazy times.
31. Early Toilet Business
In Switzerland, there's a famous and funny law forbidding people from flushing the toilet in an apartment block after 10 p.m. That's right, if you do your business at night it has to wait until the next morning to be flushed.
We suppose there is some logic somewhere behind this law, but it does seem pretty extreme to us.
32. No Suspicious Salmon Here
In the UK, it is actually illegal to hold a salmon suspiciously. Yes, you heard us right. However, we don't know what it means to actually do this.
We'd by lying if we said we weren't kind of tempted to try and find out for ourselves, though.
33. Regular Is Great In Denmark
In Denmark it is actually illegal to name your baby something 'funny'. There is a list of 7000 approved names by the government, and these are the ones you can choose your newborn baby's name from.
This sounds like no fun at all if you ask us. On the other hand, for someone who isn't from Denmark, it's likely most names on the list sounds pretty funny.
34. Mexican Safety First
In Mexico, it is against the law to ride your bike recklessly. This means that if you're on a two-wheeled vehicle, you best make sure that you're taking real care as you go.
To get technical though; taking your hands off the handlebar is allowed if you're stable. What isn't allowed, is lifting the front wheel up and riding just on the back wheel. Best to know your laws before you start showing off your bike skills in Mexico.
35. No Napoleons Allowed
In France, it is illegal to name your pig Napoleon. Firstly, if we had a pig, this would definitely mean we would want to call him this. Secondly, this law was actually changed in 2013.
Now, rather than just being 'Napoleon,' the law states that you can't name a pig after any head of state. Again, it just makes us want to do it even more.
36. No Peeing Here
In Portugal, there is an actual law against peeing in the ocean. Our first question is: how would they know if you did it? Our second question is: how would they enforce this?
Our third question is: why could this possibly be necessary as a law? Having a pee in the ocean is one of nature's greatest gifts. Ok, if there are many people around, then maybe not so much, but other than that, it's a basic right, surely.
37. Sticking To An Ozzie Limit
If you own a pub in Australia and one of your customers gets too drunk, you can actually end up getting fined as it is illegal. As in, watch how much fun your patrons are having because you could get in trouble.
This law is, of course, in theory. In practice, it seems unlikely that this law is actually being enforced. After all, we know they like to enjoy themselves down under.
38. Cambodia Stays Dry
In Cambodia, it is illegal to use water guns on New Year's Eve. In a law that sounds like a parent rule at a child's birthday party, the Cambodian government have made their stance clear.
This law was put in place in Phnom Penh in 2001, presumably after tourists got pretty carried away with their water guns. Guess it's a lot safer, albeit hot and boring now. Probably better for the locals, though.
39. Keeping It Down In Canada
We all know the stereotype that Canadians are known for being quiet, polite, and reasonable people. This law does not go against this understanding.
In the city of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, it is illegal to whistle, shout, scream or make any excessive noise. This rule actually applies to singing, too, so you better keep it down.
40. Venice's Pigeon Problems
Venice, Italy has a major problem with the enormous pigeon population. In order to try and keep the pigeon population under control, there are laws that forbid a few things.
In beautiful Venice, people aren't allowed to feed pigeons at all. Yes, that's right. Even for the sake of a good Instagram post. What a pity.
41. No Cactus Cutting Here
In Arizona, it is illegal to cut any cactus that you find in the wild. The price of breaking this law? 25 whole years in prison, which does not sound like fun.
We don't know why you would want to cut the cactus anyway, and it seems like a pretty painful job with all those nasty thorns. Still, in case you were tempted, now you know better.