In today’s world, no country, state, city or even community can function with an absence of laws. The law is important for a society for it serves as a norm of conduct for citizens. Moreover, they help in eliminating crime and ensure the proper functioning of society. However, there are certain laws from around the world that are absurd, illogical, weird, and even funny. Let’s have a look at 10 such laws:
1. In Wales and England, it is illegal to hold a Salmon
The act essentially exists to avoid illegal fishing of salmon. The act was introduced in 1986 and section 32 states that it is an offence to hold salmon under suspicious circumstances. This section creates an offence in England and Wales for a person to receive or dispose off any salmon in circumstances where they could reasonably believe that the salmon has been illegally fished. The maximum penalty is two years imprisonment. The context makes the law seem less weird, although, it would be funny to be imprisoned for 2 years for simply ‘holding salmon’.
2. It’s illegal to let your chickens cross the road in Quitman, Georgia.
In Georgia, it is illegal to let your chickens cross the road. Simply put, the law wants the owners to have a good hold over their chickens. It wouldn’t have been funny if we consider the dangers of farm animals and pets running around, but the specificity of not letting chickens cross the road is truly funny.
3. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore.
Singapore has banned the sale of chewing gum. This ban was implemented in 1992 after which, for a while, it was all that foreign journalists wanted to talk about. Lee Kuan, the country’s first president, states that “Authorities view people’s tendency to stick the remains of the gum in every place as a palpable attack on Singapore’s ambition to be perfect”. The ban remains one of the best-known aspects of life in Singapore, along with the country’s laws against litter, graffiti, jaywalking, spitting, expelling “mucus from the nose” and urinating anywhere but in a toilet.
4. A weird law prohibits the changing of light bulbs in Victoria, Australia.
In Australia’s second most populated state, it was illegal to change a light bulb without a valid license. The 1998 Electricity Act stated that any person who commits a breach of this law could be charged with a fine of 10 Australian Dollars. Nonetheless, an update in the law exempted changing a light bulb and removing a plug from a socket from being illegal.
5. Milan, Italy states that it is a legal requirement to smile at all times
It is a popular fact that smiling is a natural drug that has multiple health benefits, nonetheless, it would be unnatural for one to always smile. However, in Milan, the law compels you to smile. It is prescribed by a city regulation from Austro-Hungarian times that was never repealed. Exemptions included funeral-goers, hospital workers or those at the bedside of an ill family member. For everybody else, there is no excuse for being glum, the alternative being a fine. This has got to be one of the weirdest laws of all.
6. It is illegal to name your pig Napoleon in France.
In France, it was illegal to make fun of Napoleon which included naming your pig after him. Even after nearly 200 years of his death, this absurd 19th-century law still exists. So, when in France, you can call your pig whatever you like, but certainly not Napoleon.
7. It is illegal to kiss at the railway station in France.
Another surprising law that exists in France states that it is specifically illegal to kiss at the railway station once the train has pulled up. The couples would often take their sweet time to kiss their partners goodbye. This would often lead to train delays which made the authorities ban kissing at the railway station.
8. In Arizona, it is illegal to let your Donkey sleep in your bathtub after 7 Pm.
A public menace case in 1924 resulted in the formation of this weird law. A merchant used to allow his donkey to sleep in a bathtub. The town was flooded when a local dam broke and the donkey was washed a mile down the valley. The donkey survived, but locals spent a lot of time and manpower to save the animal. Shortly after, the locals signed a petition in the law’s favour. However, it is unclear if it is legal to have an awake Donkey in your bathtub? Or a sleeping Donkey in your bathtub before 7 pm?
9. No Camouflage clothing in Trinidad and Tobago
If you are planning to visit Trinidad and Tobago it would be wiser to leave your Camouflage clothing behind as it could land you in jail for around 18 months along with a 1000 dollar fine. The country takes its military seriously and camouflage closely resembles the uniform of the Trinidad and Tobago defence force.
10. Binge eating is now illegal in China.
According to a recent decision, it is now illegal to order too much food or share binge eating videos in China. This confusing piece of legislation was passed to avoid food wastage. The Chinese President Xi Jinping called food waste a “distressing” problem that threatened China’s food security. Filming or sharing videos of binge-eating, a type of eating shows known as mukbang, is also prohibited. Well well…..Just when we thought that we could have a bright future as a professional mukbang eater *sighs*