The world is a strange place filled with many mysteries. While most mysteries can be solved by asking questions and acquiring facts, some are protected by sheer stupidity and can be a little hard to swallow. In the end, what it all boils down to, is that most rules are set up because of the ridiculous actions of the population.
Every country has their own unique rules and regulations; where one country might encourage a certain action, another might jail you for it. When travelling, finding out what you can and can’t do in that specific area, can be the most important information of all.
Imagine you are on vacation in a faraway land, walking down the street on a beautiful sunny day. In this scenario you’re a happy lad who loves to smile and make eye contact with any passerby, unknowingly to you, in this specific country, locking eyes is an intimate gesture. Suddenly you are handcuffed and deemed a pervert. What you thought to be a genuine action ended up offending a handful of people —and even insulted their ancestors. Shame on you. How could you be so insensitive? You weird, sick pervert.
This scenario might strike you as bizarre, but just because something doesn’t make sense to you, it does not grant you a get-out-of-jail-free-card. So do your research before travelling, or you might find yourself in a frustrating situation.
15. Japan – Illegal To Be Fat
Being fat has its ups and downs. Some of you might read this and wonder,”How can being fat have any ups whatsoever?” Well, the answer is quite simple — if you fall down, you’ll bounce right back up. However, there is a sad truth that comes with being overweight, as your weight grows to a towering height, your self-esteem turns to shreds.
Unlike America, Japan sees obesity as a crime. Why should one civilian be two or three times the size of another? Why should one starve while the other gorges on anything he can get his grubby little hands on? Japan came up with this law with the hopes on lowering obesity and health care costs. A Japanese man cannot have a circumference greater than 33.5 inches and a Japanese woman cannot surpass a waist line of 35.4 inches. If you break the law, not only will you be fined and forced to go to the gym, but your employer will be fined as well.
14. Denmark – Illegal To Start Your Car Without Looking Underneath It First
This may come across as strange to many people, but in Denmark the main reason for being obliged to check underneath your car before starting your engine is poverty. Denmark has seen a rise in its homeless community over the past decade and it has been reported that homeless children tend to seek shelter under vehicles.
So before driving off in your car, you must check for sleeping children. No matter the urgency or need for your speeding off—if you forget to check your surroundings, you will be held responsible for running over any person that sought your car for a safe place to rest their eyes. With this crisis on the rise, many civilians are forced to bend the knee, no matter their size, age or profession.
13. France – Legal To Marry A Dead Person
Yes, you read right. In France, you can legally marry your deceased lover as long as the Prime Minister grants you permission. To qualify for this peculiar matrimony, one must be able to prove that the corpse in question had every intention to marry them before their untimely death. If all goes as planned, the wedding ceremony will be accepted and the groom or bride-to-be will continue on like nothing ever happened.
During a posthumous wedding ceremony, there are certain kinks that need to be worked out. For one, the phrase, “I do” is changed to, “I did” and the line, “Till death do us part” is omitted from the ceremonial texts. This strange law was first enforced during the First World War, when many fiancées lost their loved ones on the battle field.
12. Singapore – Illegal To Chew Gum
Singapore is a small city that has a big reputation, for starters its streets are so clean that you could walk barefooted through its downtown area and have no fear of injuring yourself. All this is thanks to the late Lee Kuan Yew, who was the Prime Minister that changed Singapore for the better.
In 1992, Kuan Yew passed a law that banned the menacing trade of chewing gum. His reasoning behind the ban was that the streets and commercial areas of his beloved city were becoming dirty. You see, Kuan Yew’s vision for Singapore was one of perfection, and seeing things such as gum, litter, graffiti, spit or urine on the floor obscured what he believed to be perfect.
11. Austria – Illegal to Kiss Your Lover On Public Transportation
Love is a beautiful thing to some people; to others, it can be seen as straight up annoying, and when it comes to Austria, let’s just say they’ve had enough. In 2013, a law was passed that forbade couples to show affection while using means of public transportation. So if you’re in love and can’t help but give your lover a big smooch on the lips while riding the train, there’s an appointed sheriff waiting for you to lose your cool.
You won’t get thrown into jail, but you will face some sort of embarrassment. When a sheriff deems your display of affection as a hazard, he will drag you off the train and then give you a fine of €50. Wiener Linien is the main transport company in Vienna and they have made it their goal to ensure that their customers do not have to feel uncomfortable in the slightest.
10. Samoa – Illegal To Forget Your Wife’s Birthday
For those of you who have never heard of Samoa, consider yourself lucky and do not move there if you have proven to have a forgetful mind. Samoa is a country that belongs to Oceania, a string of gorgeous islands that can be found in the South Pacific. However, not everything that is beautiful is flawless, and the women there pack a mean punch.
In Samoa, it is a crime to forget your wife’s birthday, and it has been made a law to help men remember to never forget that one terrifying day of the year. The Samoan government decided to pass this law because husbands feared for their lives after forgetting their wives birthdays. Some were even reported being murdered for their disregard. So remember her birthday, or else.
9. Florida – Illegal To Fart In A Public Area On Thursdays After 6 p.m
There are two types of people when it comes to farting, those who fart to live and those who live to fart. If you are the latter, you most likely find it hard to stifle your laughter when someone makes a fart joke. If you are the type of person who is appalled by a friend or stranger’s flatulence, and happen to reside in Florida, you are most likely to blame for this silly law.
As to why Florida decided to ban farting on Thursday nights specifically, the reason is unknown. The strict no farting law is mostly enforced on the East Coast because of its high volume of senior citizens. Since the elderly make-up a large portion of Florida’s population and have lost interest in holding in their farts — a ban was placed to keep methane gases to a minimum.
8. Australia – Illegal To Change A Light Bulb Unless You Are A Certified Electrician
In Victoria, Australia there are certain requirements to meet before you can change the lightbulbs in your house. Well, actually, there is only one major one; you need to be a certified electrician. Apparently, changing your own lightbulbs can be seen as a villainous act and you can even be fined $10 for every lightbulb you changed yourself.
So I guess the best thing to do is find out how much an electrician charges per light bulb and if it’s more than the fine, just do it yourself. However, if you receive any shock or you hurt yourself while performing this dangerous task, you will not be able to collect insurance and in the past Australians would even be fined $200 or more if they died from changing their own lightbulb. Now that makes a lot of sense.
7. U.S – Legal For The Government To Access Email’s Over 180 Days Old
If you’re an American citizen and live a questionable life, it’s time to clean-up that mailbox of yours. Most of us neglect to delete the emails we receive, from spam to bank transfers and everything in-between. The fourth amendment cannot protect you here, as the 180-day rule has been effective since 1986 and renders all email older than 180 days viewable by U.S. officials.
If you didn’t know this before, now you do. What’s worse is that even if you forwarded and email or sent it out, the copy can still exist on someone else’s server and is therefor still retrievable — even if you deleted it on your end. So watch out – big brother’s watching.
6. Switzerland – Illegal To Not Have A Nuclear Bunker In Your Home
Thanks to the Cold War, Switzerland has upheld the living standards that were made mandatory back in the 1960s. Not only were bomb shelters built in government buildings as well as schools, but the law extended all the way to the civilian’s homes.
All shelters must be stocked with four months worth of food and fuel at all time, and anyone who negates this detail, will be subjected to a hefty fine. Over 85% of the population abides to this law, which is why Switzerland has the best civil defence system in the world.
5. China – Illegal To Abandon Your Parents
Have you been dreaming of abandoning those pesky parents of yours? Well, if you live in China, you’re out of luck. China has an Elderly Rights Law that obliges children to take care of their parents. For some people this law can seem ridiculous because why would you ever abandon your own parents? However, if you’re parents weren’t the nicest people—it is still against the law to turn your back on them.
Most children are born and remain only children due to the strict “One Child Policy” in China due to overpopulation. So, when you are born, you are immediately responsible for two adults. If your parents end up in a retirement home, it is still your responsibility to ensure their mental and physical health is up-to-par, and it is also obliged for you to call and visit them often.
4. Hong Kong – Legal For A Woman To Kill Her Husband If He Is Caught Cheating With Her Bare Hands
In Hong Kong, marriage is a serious commitment, one that can even result in your death if you decide to break your vows. If a woman catches her husband cheating on her, she is legally allowed to murder him, but only if she does this with her bare hands. Killing her husband with a gun or poison would be cheating and so it is not permitted.
So if you live in Hong Kong and suspect that your dear husband is cheating, and you are somehow okay with murdering him over it, start training those tiny little hands for battle. Or, you can be the bigger person and just file for divorce.
3. Lebanon – Homosexual Bestiality Is Illegal
Well, this is awkward. Bestiality has been banned in many countries but not all of them, rules vary from coast to coast and in some places, no rules are mentioned at all. In Lebanon, however, there are exceptions to this law. It seems that the Lebanese government has more issues with the homosexual aspects of engaging in sexual relations with animals.
If a man sexually abuses a female animal, there are no grounds for prosecution whatsoever. Drastic differences ensue, however, if the man is caught doing the same act with a male animal. The man in question is punishable by death for his homosexual actions.
2. Saudi Arabia – Legal To Get Married At Any Age
In Saudi Arabia, there is no age limit when it comes to marriage. The Justice Minister of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly tried to raise to age limit to 15 years old, but his request was denied by his religious leader. Some girls have even been married off as young as eight years old, to men six times their age.
Luckily, there are some laws that go with marrying a child bride. For instance, it is not advised to consummate the marriage until the girl is mentally and physically prepared for the fiasco. In 2010, a 12-year-old wife hired a lawyer to help her get out of her marriage with an 80-year-old man. Sadly, her case was denied.
1. Italy – Illegal To Frown
Having a bad day? Well, it’s about to get worse, especially if you live in Milan. Usually when you see someone who is obviously in a bad mood, you steer clear of them right? Nope. Not Milan. They’ll gladly write you up a ticket and make you smile while you accept it. Apparently looking sad or upset makes others unhappy and so it is completely unacceptable. If you want to cry, do it at home – you’re a nuisance to the public.
According to the law in Milan, the only exceptions to the rule are if you are attending a funeral or visiting a loved one in a Hospital. So make sure to massage your cheeks before you leave your home — your going to be smiling all day long.