It’s an old and popular adage that decrees: “peace comes at the edge of a sword.” It exemplifies the implementation of the law in many places. The law and its practice and execution, in the purest sense, should permit everyone to carry out their lives and their business without being hindered by the actions of others. Its ultimate aim is that crime shouldn’t pay and the reward for infringing on the freedom of others is the limitation of the criminal’s own freedom.
Yet far from being an intangible force that should empower and enable the populace to conduct their lives unhampered, the law often gets messed around with. Authoritarian law makers and politicians or bureaucrats with far too much time on their hands twist the law to their own bizarre ends, often with some head scratching results. When looking back through the past and old laws that have faded into the parchment into which they were etched, some really shocking edicts have been scratched into statute. Laws that are so ludicrous that committing them is as unthinkable as the very fact that they are illegal. You have the right to remain in shocked amusement as the following list unfolds…
18 UK - Illegal to Die in Parliament
17 Thailand - Illegal to Step on Money
16 Germany - Illegal to Run out of Gas on Highway
15 South Korea - Police Officers Must File Bribe Reports
14 Australia - Illegal for Crossdressers to Go Strapless
13 Portugal - Illegal to Pee in Ocean
“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!” The fact that 70% of our planet is covered in brine may well put the kybosh on that! Yet to some regions and nations, the ocean is precious. Portugal has always been a seafaring nation, at the edge of Europe and facing the roiling deeps of the Atlantic Ocean, dependent on fishing, now the once pioneering nation of European exploration/colonization is home to plenty of beach tourists. It is therefore expected that this precious commodity of water on the Portuguese doorstep is seen as something to be protected. So woe betide anyone caught short whilst wading in the sea! Letting a stream of water loose from the genitals into the ocean carries risks anyway. From parasitic creatures burrowing their way up the ding-a-ling, but in Portugal, a wiz in the water may result in some time in a cell, as fouling the ocean is illegal.
12 Japan - Illegal to be Fat
11 Italy - Illegal to Fall Asleep in Cheese Factory
10 Oklahoma - Illegal to Mock Dogs
9 Alaska - Illegal to Wake Bear
8 Utah - No Violins in Paper Bags
7 Britain - Illegal to Handle Salmon "Suspiciously"
6 UK - Illegal to Import Polish Seeming Potatoes
Staying in Britain and it seems that the kingdom on the edge of Europe ostensibly has absorbed the randomness of the roiling Atlantic it overlooks and this weirdness seems especially focused on food. People in the UK are very fond of the potato. It’s popularity has sprouted ever since it was introduced from the Americas (evolving a little in the way it’s prepared and eaten, from when Queen Elizabeth I apparently bit into one raw when one of the root vegetables was presented to her by Sir Walter Raleigh). So it is apparent that the law of the land takes pride in this prized import that has adapted so well to the island’s soil. Yet it is somewhat baffling still that it is illegal to import potatoes into England and Wales if there is sufficient reason to believe they were imported in from Poland! What differs Polish potatoes in appearance, texture and flavor from British ones? And what makes Poland the victim of such potato xenophobia?
5 Chicago - Illegal to Eat At Burning Restaurant
4 Bangladesh - Cheating At School is a Felony
3 Hong Kong - Wife Can Kill Cheating Husband
2 Milan - Illegal to Frown
1 Samoa - Illegal to Forget Wife's Birthday
Samoa is a small island country that seems like a lush tropical paradise to some. Yet there are some serious legal undertones for one forgetful enough to spoil the birthday of a loved one in this lush place. It is illegal on the small island nation for a husband to forget their wife’s birthday. It is easy to imagine then that many a husband is rushing about like crazy at the last minute, or they have the date of their wife’s birthday tattooed on their arm or the palm of their hands. Because a wife’s wrath is one thing, but backed by the arm of the law, then it makes for a lethal combination!
ThoughtCatalog.com, DailyMail.co.uk, Telegraph.co.uk, ReadersDigest.com, IndiaTimes.com
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