When travelling, your knowledge about your country of destination is as important as your safety. As an alien to the foreign land, you might be surprised of some of the acts it bans. Your ignorance could send you to jail, and I’m sure you don’t want that. So here are 25 of the weirdest laws on earth for your guidance and information.
It is illegal to wear a bulletproof vest when committing a crime
In New Jersey, wearing a bulletproof vest could lead to higher charges when you commit a crime. It can even make you guilty if you are found wearing the vest while doing, attempting or escaping from a crime.
Traffic fines are calculated as a percentage of the offender’s income
Imagine yourself speeding at 75 kph in a 50 kph zone and charged a fine of $12.5million, how would you feel? This happened to Nokia director Anssi Vanjoki in 2002. The fine reached that amount because of Vanjoki’s income. Fortunately, Vanjoki’s fine was reduced to a still pricey $103,600 after his reported income dramatically dropped about 5 days after the incident.
Unreasonable amount of coins upon paying is prohibited
The Canadian Currency Act of 1985 prohibits the people of Canada from paying bills, groceries, and the likes using unreasonable amount of coins. It means that you can’t pay for an item with all coins especially if it’s over $10. So if you’re in Canada, it is better to spend the coins while they are few.
No to yellow margarine
Since the 19th century, Missouri was already banning the use of yellow margarine. Misti Preston, the spokeswoman of the Agriculture Department said that it could be imposed to protect the dairy industry which was a key business in Missouri in the early 20th century. For the last 100 years, no offender was recorded. Violators of this law could spend half of a year in jail.
Do not litter
Singapore is very strict in implementing this basic law for everyone. A $1,000 fine will be charged to whoever is found violating the law plus some community labor. A three-time offender shall wear a sign saying “I am a litter bug.” The law took effect in 1968.
No to sagging pants
Flint, Michigan is not a place for saggy pants and offenders could be sentenced to a year of jail time. Flint Chief of Police David Dicks made headlines in 2008 when he ordered the arrest of those wearing saggy pants. Riviera Beach, Florida also tried to implement the same but was deemed unconstitutional by the court.
Do not die in the Houses of Parliament
Nigel Cawthorne, the author of the book The Strange Laws of Old England, said that sick people are carried out of the Parliament. The reason is that anyone who dies there is entitled to a state funeral because Parliament is a Royal Palace.
No to Public Display of Sickness
The statute of Washington prohibits anyone to publicly display sickness. But the law isn’t clear if it is only limited to severely dangerous cases like SARS making it possible that sniffles is also prohibited. In fact, you become guilty of violation of the law if you do not inform your co-worker that you have a common cold. Furthermore, you are also guilty if you willfully expose yourself to a sick person.
The Whale on the British Coast
According to the Royal Prerogative 1324, any whale or sturgeon that is found on the British coast belongs to the monarch. The head becomes a property of the King while the tail is for the Queen. So if you find one on the British coast, inform the Royal Household and never try to sell it.
Do not wrestle with bears
Wrestling with bears in exchange for money is considered a bear exploitation and unlawful in Alabama. The purpose is to protect bears which became the subject of bear wrestling, a popular hobby in the United States.
No to chewing gum
In Singapore, the sale of chewing gum is prohibited by authorities. The order came after huge numbers of gum was stuck on subway stations and cars.
Leave your lights on
Keeping your car’s headlights on is essential in Denmark even in daytime. Violators will face fines of up to $100. According to studies, keeping headlights on helps reduce road accidents in Denmark.
No pets in beauty salon
Juneau, Alaska is such a busy town with thousands of tourists visiting each year. For this reason, the Municipal Code of Ordinances section 36.25.010 prohibits bringing any animals in public premises where food or human consumption is sold, processed, stored or consumed. Plus, the same ordinance also prohibits them from entering any barber shops or establishments for hairdressing and beauty culture.
No mince pie on Christmas
One odd law on the old statute book of England declares the consumption of mince pie on Christmas Day as illegal. Today, the law is rarely enforced. The author of such an odd law was Oliver Cromwell, the self-proclaimed Lord Protector of England.
Fake cocaine is illegal
Cocaine and its imaginary counterpart are both illegal in Arizona. It means that one cannot make false cocaine on its behalf because it is also illegal. The purpose is to ensure that no true or imitation drugs will be available on the market.
Pants are not for women
Since 1800, women are not allowed to wear pants in France. Though it was amended many times, the 1892 amendment allows sport trousers while riding horses and the 1909 permits ladies to wear pants while on bicycles. Since then, there are no latter amendments.
Nose-picking on the Sabbath
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot once reported on January 10, 1998 that nose-picking on Sabbath will be banned. Their source of information was ultra-sensitive rabbi Ovadia Yosef. However, when a videotape was viewed, it was confirmed that Yosef was actually in favor of nose-picking, even on Sabbath.
Do not dye your chickens
In Ohio, chicks or ducklings are free to grow with their natural colors. It is because the law prohibits dying or coloring their feathers. The rule is also applied for rabbits and other poultries.
Swearing is a big no
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe made an amendment to the existing law of the land and added swearing and offensive gestures as a crime. But the law did not specify the actions that are illegal. As a result, Zimbabweans who wave at people in a motorcade are arrested.
The UAE is very strict when it comes to displays of affection. In Dubai, kissing is never practiced because it could land you a month in jail. Displays of affection should never be practiced in public places.
Being dangerous is a crime
If you or anything in your possession seems to put anyone into danger, then you could be in jail in Cuba.
Females don’t drive
Women should never drive a car regardless of her own capabilities. Saudi Arabia is the last country in the world to have such a law. Women have only the choice to rely on men to drive.
Jailed for cheating
It is never recommended to cheat on any kind of exam especially in the Andhra Pradesh state of southern India. The state law provides 10 years of jail to those who cheat on academic examinations.
One child policy
Since 1979, the Chinese government has been limiting Chinese families to only one child. Deng Xiaoping made such ruling in the hopes of improving the social and economic lives of the people of China.
Permit to reincarnate
Tibetan Buddhist monks are required to secure a permit to reincarnate. These monks believe in reincarnation of the soul after its life on earth.