Some of the Strangest Laws Around the World


Around the world, laws range from the weird and wonderful to the downright peculiar.

However, mixed in with the sensible laws are some which make very little sense and leave one to wonder why they have not been repealed. 

Here are some weird laws around the world you may not believe exist.

  • Canadian Radio Stations Must Play Canadian Artists

The Canadian stations play a lot of Canadian artists and the reason behind this is a national law that says that thirty-five percent of all popular music played on Canadian stations must be by Canadians, especially during the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • In Victoria, Australia’s it is illegal to change a bulb unless you own an electrician License

In the second most populated state of Australia, changing a light bulb without a valid license to do so was against the law and used to bring a fine of 10 Australian dollars.

However, a revision to the 1998 Electricity Safety Act updated this law and changing a light bulb and removing a plug from a socket were specifically exempted from this law.

  • In Milan, Italy it is a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospitals

In Milan, the law insists you to smile. This has been a regulation since the Austro-Hungarian times and was never repealed.

Only exceptions are for the funeral-goers, hospital workers or those at the bedside of an ill member of the family.

  • It is against the law if you are not walking your dog at least three times a day in Turin, Italy

Turin has the most stringent animal protection rules in the country. Under a new law from the city’s council, dog owners are subject to a fine up to 500 euros if they don’t walk their pets at least three times a day.

In Scotland, you cannot deny if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet

Weird but true, if you need the toilet you can suggest it is illegal for them to deny you the use of their toilet.

  • In Samoa, it is illegal to forget your wife’s birthday

You can invite a legal action rather than just a silent treatment from your wife if you forget her birthday in Samoa.

It is unclear how long your sentence would be, but you may certainly get some time apart for you to think about how to make it up to her.

  • It a legal requirement to have purchased a burial plot before dying in the French town of Sarpourenx

This French town had some cases with people care freely dying and then expecting to be buried.

This made the mayor issue an ordinance in 2008 forbidding people from dying within the city limits unless they own a plot in the local cemetery.

People who die anyway are subject to punishment. Not sure what sort of punishment you give the dead.

  • To Run Out of Gas on the German Autobahn is Illegal

Infamous for having dynamic speed limits that give drivers a chance to travel more than 160 km per hour, car drivers who are fond of speed, love trips along the German Autobahn.

But, you better keep an eye on your gas gauge and fill that up before it gets low as you could face a big fine. And don’t even think of walking to a gas station; you’ll get another fine for that!

  • It’s Illegal to Feed Pigeons in Venice

It is said the cleanup from the birds cost each citizen €275 per year, so, if you’re caught feeding the pigeons, you could face fines of up to €700.

Better to get the picture-perfect shot of Venice’s beautiful bridges instead.

  • Wearing High Heels to the Acropolis of Athens

Make sure you have some soft-soled pair of shoes, when you plan a trip to Acropolis in Greece.

The ruins are nearly 2,500 years old and to protect them from damage caused by the sharp shoes, the country banned high heels at the Acropolis in 2009.

  • Wearing Your Winnie the Pooh T-Shirt in Poland is Banned

Finding the fictional bear character created by English author A. A. Milne, a bit too indecent for the likes of easy to influence children because it doesn’t wear pants, Pooh is banned from all playgrounds and schools. Better to avoid wearing your bear attire if visiting this Eastern European country.

  • No Selfies With Buddha in Sri Lanka

When you take a selfie with Buddha, you are turning your back on him. This is considered an act of disrespect and is punishable by imprisonment in Sri Lanka.

It is also considered disrespectful to point your finger at Buddha, and sometimes there are bans on taking photos with the statues.

Although not illegal to have tattoos of Buddha, a British woman was jailed for three days in 2014 for inappropriate tattoos of the lord, 70% of Sri Lankans feel is a prophet and avatar of the God Vishnu.

  • It’s Illegal to Wear a Mask in Public in Denmark

The controversial ban went into effect in August 2018 and according to the officials the ban helps to properly identify people during crowded events. 

Not just wearing masks but the Danish government wants everyone not to cover their faces in public spaces using masks, helmets, scarves, hats, fake beards and even burkas.

  • Flying a Kite in Victoria, Australia is a Punishable Offence

Listed as part of Summary Offences Act of 1966, it is illegal to fly a kite in a public space if it bothers another person in south-eastern tip of Victoria, Australia. In fact, you cannot even play a game in a public place if it annoys someone else.

  • It’s Illegal to Be Shirtless in Barcelona

In 2011 under an initiative to keep the streets of Barcelona free of beachgoers in bikinis and men going shirtless, Barcelona lawmakers have banned anyone from going topless or in a swimsuit in public anywhere and it can cost you up to €260.

  • Swearing is Illegal in the U.A.E.

Under Article 373 of the UAE Penal Code, “swearing disgraces the honour or the modesty of a person.

” It can get you fined, jailed or deported. Not just for saying the inappropriate words aloud, it includes indecent physical gestures and extends to your text messages and social media, as well. Not even indecent emojis are allowed.

Earlier this year, the British Express reported a man sent an angry message to a car dealer who seemingly did him wrong. He was threatened with three weeks in jail for his choice of words.

  • Dancing in the Dark After Midnight is Banned in Japan

In Japan, dancing after midnight was banned for generations. It was enacted in 1948 while U.S. soldiers occupied Japan, the ban was placed to stop liberal Americans from corrupting the native citizens of Japan.

The ban was lifted in 2015 and people were allowed to dance after midnight, as long as it is in well-lit nightclubs.