26 Aprile 2023

10 of the Strangest Laws from Around the World

di Tom Roper
Scarica in PDF

As we know in Italy we have a lot of Bureaucracy and Laws to follow, sometimes these are quite obvious and sometimes all it takes is a very unique case to bring something to legislation which none of us would have ever thought about. Whenever we hear about a new legal process or even a historical law, there is always the question of how and why it would have come into place. Some are based on a very common problem that would happen many times, some are based on very unique examples. Let’s take a look at some of the stranger and more bizarre Laws and rules from around the world and have a better look at why they are there:


No Chewing Gum in Singapore

In Singapore, chewing gum is strictly prohibited. The ban was introduced in 1992 to keep the city clean and tidy, as the government believed that people were disposing of their gum improperly. This is a law which I believe also exists in the UK under the “littering” laws, as the streets are/were unfortunately covered in gum.


No High Heels in Greece’s Ancient Monuments

In Greece, it’s illegal to wear high heels in ancient monuments. This law was passed to protect the ancient ruins and marble floors, which could be damaged by the heels. I imagine this also may have improved the acoustics when visiting these ancient sites.


No Whistling at Night in Turkey

In Turkey, it’s illegal to whistle at night. We have our first ancient belief-based law on the list. This law is based on an old belief that whistling at night could summon evil spirits. Whilst I’m sure that may no longer be the case, there could be an argument that reducing noise pollution at night is always a good thing.


No Walking Backwards While Eating a Hamburger in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to walk backwards while eating a hamburger. The law is said to have been passed to prevent people from choking on their food. Whilst the presence of the law seems rather over the top, you can imagine this would have been passed to prevent further law-suits in a country famous for its litigious nature.


No Wearing a Suit of Armour in the UK Parliament

In the UK parliament, it’s illegal to wear a suit of armour. This law dates back to the 1313 Statute Forbidding Bearing of Armour, which prohibited people from wearing armour in the presence of the King. Whilst unlikely to happen these days as not everyone has access to a full suit of armour, you can see other benefits from not having someone completely covered from head to toe entering one of the more powerful buildings in the UK.


No Dyeing Ducklings in the US

In the US, it’s illegal to dye ducklings or any other live poultry. The law was passed to prevent people from buying dyed chicks as novelties, which often led to their neglect and death. Unfortunately, many rules and laws will come into place following tragic circumstances.


No Naming Pigs Napoleon in France

In France, it’s illegal to name a pig Napoleon. The law was introduced to prevent people from insulting the former emperor. Whilst I don’t believe this law would be enforced too often by the French police, it is something that we can still see today in other more totalitarian regimes around the world.


No Eating in Public in the UAE During Ramadan

In the United Arab Emirates, it’s illegal to eat or drink in public during the holy month of Ramadan. Non-Muslims are also required to abide by this rule. Whilst this may seem strange to tourists and non practising Muslims, this is principally a question of respect for the hosts in a country.


No Flying a Kite in India Without a Permit

In India, it’s illegal to fly a kite without a permit. The law was introduced to prevent accidents and injuries caused by kite-fighting competitions.


No Importing Kinder Eggs in the US

In the US, it’s illegal to import Kinder Eggs. The law was introduced because the chocolate eggs contain a small toy inside, which is considered a choking hazard. This means that while so many of us still get the joy of not only eating some great chocolate but also having the opportunity to build a toy (we’re not including the pre-made figurines which as we all know are boring), large parts of the US will miss out on this creative experience.


In conclusion, while some of these laws may seem strange, they often have a practical purpose. These laws and rules remind us that different cultures and societies have their unique ways of maintaining order and protecting their citizens and we should always keep an open mind to respecting the different natures of each country. Can you think of any particularly strange laws and legislations that we have here in Italy?