The world’s strangest laws

Where is it illegal to pass wind in public? What about flushing the toilet? We’re all familiar with the common laws of our own county, but what about those of others? When you’re travelling overseas, it pays to know what is and isn’t illegal.  Find out which countries have the strangest laws – number 13 will really surprise you!

 1. In Milan, it is a legal requirement that citizens smile at all times, or they’ll face a fine. Funerals and hospital visits are exempt.

2. In Utah you are allowed to marry your cousin – but only if you are both over the age of 65.

3. In Dubai, you can be jailed for having extramarital sex. In the case of rape, both the victim and the criminal can be charged with the crime.

4. Forgetting you wife’s birthday in Samoa is illegal.

5. When you’re in Thailand, don’t step on money – that would be against the law.

6. If you need to pass wind in Florida after 6pm on Thursday, you might want to run home first, otherwise you could be branded a public nuisance.

7. Flushing the toilet in an apartment in Switzerland after 10pm is illegal. Its government considers it noise pollution, so you’d best do your business earlier in the evening.

8. In the United Kingdom, a pregnant woman has the right to relieve herself wherever she likes – including in a police offer’s helmet!

9. It is illegal in England to die in the Houses of Parliament.

10.Selling and importing non-medical chewing gum in Singapore could fetch you a fine of $1000. Even pharmacists who sell medical chewing gum but fail to produce identification can be punished with two years in jail.

11. It is also illegal to spit and litter in Singapore. If a person is caught littering three times, they can be forced to clean the streets while wearing a bib that reads ‘I’m a litterer’.

12. In Hong Kong, a wife is allowed to kill her husband if she discovers that he’s cheating. However, she must use her bare hands.

13. Last but not least, in Victoria, only a qualified electrician is allowed to change a light bulb. Those who disregard this law could receive a $10 fine.

Which law do you think is the most unreal?Do you know of any other strange laws from around the world?


Written by Amelia Theodorakis

A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.

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