We live in strange times. Do you know what makes it even stranger? These bizarre laws that you cannot believe once existed in a part of the world! We’ve all broken a few of these laws at some point, making us a lawbreaker in at least one country in the world. Being at the right place at the right time has never seemed more important.
These are some of the strangest laws I came across that made me laugh in disbelief. Thankfully, some of these have been repealed, while others are still intact in the lawbooks.
It is illegal to feed pigeons in Italy
Venice, the world’s most romantic city, sets a lovely, idyllic atmosphere for tourists all around the world. Cut! Enter the pigeons that make a mess of this lovely city. A situation that is aggravated by tourists who feed these pigeons. Hence, this law came into being as a measure to preserve this city’s picturesque beauty and charges a fine to tourists who do not comply with this rule.
It is a legal offence if your car runs out of gas in Ohio
Regarded as one of the most peculiar driving laws of the world, running out of gas while driving is considered an offence in Youngstown, Ohio. Not only do you get stuck on the road halfway through your journey, but you also get a ticket with a fine. As if the day couldn’t get any worse!
Hitting a vending machine is illegal in Kansas
Ahh! It is frustrating when the machine gets all stubborn and refuses to give you your M&M’s, but you absolutely cannot smack the vending machine for acting up. Step away from the machine. You need to move on!
It is illegal to connect to a Wi-Fi network that is not your own in Singapore
I’m sure we have all broken this law at some point in time. But in Singapore, you could be charged a hefty fine and jailed for up to three years if you connect to someone’s Internet connection without their consent. It is considered hacking. Therefore, no matter how bored you are, do not connect to a Wi-Fi that is not your own while in Singapore.
UFOs are banned in France
The ban reads, “Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.”
This ban that came into being in 1954 forbids the landing of any unidentified flying saucers. It was decreed by the Mayor of a town called Châteauneuf-du-Pape during a time when aliens were a trending topic after a man claimed to have seen aliens staring at him from a UFO. Though it was initially a publicity stunt and a way to hush down the talk about extraterrestrials, the publicity did more than good for this town known for winemaking. The world became curious about this place, and journalists began to swarm the place that had banned UFOs. Thanks to this law, even you, dear reader, have now heard of this little town in France.
It is illegal to play dominoes on a Sunday in Alabama
So it’s okay to play Scrabble in Alabama, but God forbid, do not play Dominoes or cards on a Sunday here. A person can be jailed or charged with a fine from $10 to $100 if found guilty of breaking this law.
The legendary chewing gum ban of Singapore
However, it is not the chewing of gum that is banned but the importing and selling of it. This law came into effect to eliminate the problem of sticky chewing gum, creating a menace in public places. Chewing gums are difficult to find here. The only ones you will get here are the sugar-free gums that are given with prescription at medical stores. Be careful when you chew in Singapore!
Billboards are banned in Hawaii
But we could do without those, right? Now that we’ve heard of it, billboards do seem to stick out in our mental image of the heavenly paradise.
Black cars are banned in Turkmenistan
Black cars are a big No-No in this country known for their love for gold statues and white facades. This country in Central Asia is also notorious for the bizarre laws decreed by its former president who banned gold teeth, dogs and beards in his country. Now it is non-white cars and women drivers that are banned in this country.
It is illegal to whistle in Canada
This law that was repealed in 2009 was part of Petrolia’s noise bylaws that forbade whistling, singing and shouting. It was an attempt by the municipality to curb down noise levels in house parties which were a major source of disturbance for the residents of the town of Petrolia. The 2009 repealed law charges a $250 fine on anyone who shouts or whistles for the purpose of advertising. Other than that, you can whistle all you like when you visit Canada.
The laws listed here are just a drop in the bucket. There are many more strange laws that we are unaware of. Law has never seemed more tricky, has it?