7 Interesting Laws From Around the World

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Countries across the globe have different societal norms that influence the way the collective population behaves. 

And to curb chaos and misconduct, laws are set in place to restrict bad actors from doing antisocial actions without consequence. 

These laws can come from various sources: they can be an adoption of the legal guidelines of previous rulers, or they could stem naturally from the local legislative branch or government.

While there are laws that need no explanation—such as a long degree of jail time for murder and rape—there are a few not-so-ordinary laws that still get enforced in this day and age.

This article will delve into the more interesting side of the law, the ones that leave you scratching your head and thinking, “Huh, so that’s a thing!”

No more dilly-dallying—let’s jump straight to these interesting laws.

1) Singapore: Chewing Gum is Prohibited

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Love blowing bubbles with bubblegum? While that’s permissible in any other country, if you’re traveling to Singapore, it’s best to leave your stash at home. Singapore will fine you or even put you to jail for simply having bubblegum in your possession.

The law was created in 1991 to prevent people from vandalizing public property with this sticky substance.

The catalyst that spurred the law into action was when there were two separate incidents of people placing chewed gum in the door sensors of Singapore’s first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), causing massive delays. This prompted government officials to ban the production and possession of these products altogether.

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2) Greece: High Heels Ban

view of brown ruin during daytime

The Acropolis is one of the architectural marvels found in Greece’s most beautiful city. For centuries, tourists have stepped foot into this place to immerse themselves and enjoy the feeling of the vibrancy that has come and gone.

But for the ladies and female-presenting folks out there, don’t think of strutting down the Acropolis with your favorite high heels!

While it’s not the most comfortable thing to wear heels on these elevated grounds in the first place, the Greek government has banned these shoes not just with tourist safety in mind. They did so to prevent damage to the historical site, as pointed heels can cause irreparable harm to the floor tiling and marble.

So if you’re touring the site, stick with sneakers and other soft-soled footwear!

3) France: Wear Swim Trunks or Bust

people gathered on seashore during daytime

France has an array of fun summer beaches thanks to it having coastline in its north, south, and western territories.

And while locals of other countries can jump into the beach and take a dip without any restrictions, the French have imposed a ban on men wearing loose-fitting shorts to the beach.

This may seem odd, but there’s a valid reason for this—hygiene. The train of thought here is that men wearing tight-fitting trunks won’t have any outside germs accumulating in their shorts, unlike those who wear loose-fitting shorts which can easily hold any contaminants.

So if you are a man looking to take a dip in the French coast, be sure to wear a Speedo! T-shirts are also not allowed.

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4) Australia: Stealing Pigeons Are Forbidden

two rock pigeons on gray surface

Have you ever had that odd compulsion to just steal a pigeon? Probably not.

But in case you make up the tiny fraction of people who want to keep and house your very own pigeon, you should know that it is illegal to do so in parts of Australia, particularly South Australia and Victoria.

In Western Australia, stealing a pigeon is also illegal only if the pigeon is part of a pigeon’s house or is tamed.

When it comes to unlawful taking, another example is Larceny, which can carry a maximum sentence of up to five years. Given these tight sentences, do your best to resist the temptation of taking home anything in general if you haven’t paid for it!

5) Sri Lanka: No Selfies with The Buddha

Gautama Buddha statue under white clouds

It’s illegal to take selfies with Buddha statues in Sri Lanka, and it’s not because selfies are an “unglamorous” or undignified way to take a picture.

The reason this is considered illegal is because you’re turning your back to the image of Buddha and, for the locals, this is seen as a sign of disrespect. So much so that a law is in place to prevent it from happening.

This law carries hefty penalties if broken, so whenever you’re visiting temples or sacred places in this country, avoid taking out the selfie stick.

Furthermore, some places ban the photography of their statues altogether, and they’re not just limited to Sri Lanka. So do obey and respect these rules when visiting these religious places.

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6) Argentina: No Kite Flying

aerial photography of high-rise building beside seashore during daytime

It’s a popular sight in many countries to see kids flying kites with big smiles on their faces.

But if you’re from Buenos Aires, kids and kids-at-heart may get into trouble flying their kites on prohibited grounds—which is the majority of the city.

The city has banned flying kites due to safety concerns. It also poses a nuisance to residents as they can get tangled in power lines or cause accidental damage to buildings and property.

That said, the government has designated some areas of the city, such as parks, to serve as appropriate places for your kite-flying time.

Another fun fact is that Australians also imposed a ban on kite-flying for largely the same reason. If you’re caught, you could be guilty of a minor offense, so do try to keep your hobbies grounded.

7) Denmark: Baby Name Regulations

two gray and black boats near dock

For citizens of most countries, you probably don’t have to worry about running into the law when naming your newborn.

In Denmark, though, parents must choose a baby name from an approved list of 7,000 names provided by the government. This is to avoid the promotion of weird and odd-sounding names that are embarrassing or have negative connotations.

That said, if the Danish parents wish, they can take up to six months post-birth to come up with a name. So you can technically step out of the hospital with a nameless baby, but taking any longer than six months to name them can incur a fine.

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