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10 of the strangest laws from around the world

Some of these are hard to believe

By Alfie gets VocalPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
10 of the strangest laws from around the world
Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

1. Blue Jeans

It should come as no surprise that this list kicks off in North Korea where blue jeans have been illegal since the early ‘90s as they are considered an American imperialist symbol that could influence the people of North Korea. This year, there were even reports that the North Korean TV station KCTV censored Alan Titchmarsh’s lower body during a rebroadcast of a BBC TV series “Garden Secrets” as he was seen wearing blue jeans while kneeling in a flowerbed. North Korea also has several other strict rules to avoid Western influence, such as banning piercings and only allowing certain hairstyles.

2. Kinder Eggs

Anyone who lives outside of the US will be shocked to learn that the FDA has deemed Italian company Ferrero’s famous Kinder Eggs unsafe. The plastic egg and toy inside the chocolate coating are considered a choking hazard. In the USA, there were over 5,000 choking-related deaths in the year 2022, which led to various measures being taken, such as removing small parts from toys and potential choke hazards from foods.

3. Chewing Gum

In 1992, Lee Kuan Yew banned chewing gum in Singapore as part of a wider plan to make Singapore a “first world oasis in a third world region.” Many Asian countries are infamous for being dirty, with people spitting, drinking, and taking poor care of their surroundings. Lee Kuan Yew’s vision for Singapore was different; he believed that by setting strict rules and enforcing them, as well as investing in the upkeep of the country’s public areas, he could create a different reputation for his small and beloved country. Since 2004, pharmacies and dentists have been allowed to sell prescription gum; however, if you are caught spitting gum on the street, you will face a severe fine. All in all, Lee Kuan Yew has left in place a legacy that is appreciated all around the world.

4. Paying with Too Many Coins

In Canada, it is illegal to pay with too many coins. To be exact, you can use up to 25 pennies, 100 nickels, 100 dimes, 40 quarters, 25 loonies, and 20 toonies in a single transaction. There is also a clause that reads, “No coin that is bent, mutilated, or defaced, or that has been reduced in weight otherwise than by abrasion through ordinary use, shall pass current.” So leave your piggy bank at home or find a place to exchange small currencies if you are in Canada!

5. Dancing for Too Long

In Washington, D.C., it is illegal for anyone to dance for over 12 hours within a 24-hour period. Why anyone would wish to dance for such a length of time, I’m not sure. Nevertheless, this does sound like the movie “Footloose” in real life. The USA has several more strange dance-related laws. In Lynden, Washington, dancing and drinking alcohol are not permitted in the same establishment. In Fargo, North Dakota, it is illegal to dance with a hat on or even wear a hat to a function where dancing is taking place. Violation of the ban on hats while dancing is actually a criminal offense and could result in jail time.

6. Don’t Feed the Pigeons

In both San Francisco and Venice, it is illegal to feed pigeons, and offenders who are caught will be fined. Pigeons typically brood 2 or 3 times per year and lay one or two eggs. However, overfed pigeons are able to brood up to 8 times per year, leading to potential dangers of overbreeding. Overbreeding could lead to damaged buildings and dirty streets.

7. The Dirty Car Rule

In Dubai, it is illegal to let your car get too dirty. In a tweet, the Dubai Municipality said that such things can “tarnish the aesthetic appearance of the city.” Offenders will be given a warning, with a note left on the windscreen giving the owner of the car 15 days to clean it before it will be towed away and eventually auctioned. The fine if your car is towed away is 500 dirhams (a little over 135 USD).

8. No sleeping with your shoes on

In Fargo, North Dakota, the law states that it is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on. I can only assume this dates back to the time when cowboys had spurs on their boots that could damage hotel owners’ beds. I can think of just one occasion when I fell asleep with my shoes on personally, but I will take care if ever I visit Fargo.

9. No knock door run

I didn’t realize how many different names there are for this game until I researched this article. The point is that in the 19th century, the UK Parliament made it illegal to “willfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant” at their door without lawful excuse. I reckon most of the people reading this list are probably criminals who didn’t realize it.

10. Walk your dog 3 times per day or else

In Turin, Italy, they love dogs. So much so, in fact, they have passed a law stating that dog owners must walk their dogs at least 3 times per day or risk a 500 euro (650 USD) fine. They also have a strict rule banning dog owners from dyeing their pets’ fur. Although it’s difficult to ensure people are walking their dogs frequently, officials are relying on neighbors to report suspected cases of people not abiding by the rules.


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    Alfie gets VocalWritten by Alfie gets Vocal

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