People blame the laws for everything that is not working right in their countries. Wait to see what others go through just to stay on the right side of justice.
You will be thrilled to see how legal dilemmas affect one’s life every step of the way. From the way you love to the way you drive, the long arm of the law can reach everyone, everywhere.
Of course, most of the whacky rules are relics of a time long gone. Lawmakers were too lazy to revoke them, so they remained to annoy people and make them feel uncomfortable and have doubts.
1. In UK, any whale or great Sturgeon you caught is property of the Queen
Long live the Queen and God bless the courageous fishermen that risk their lives on the seven seas in her name.
Everybody knows that catching a whale or a great sturgeon brings little joy on board British whalers. This is largely due to the law still in effect, one that makes any capture of that type the property of the Queen.
We will help with an easy to assemble mental image. Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II, anxiously waiting on the docks of Liverpool? Once the ships unload their precious cargo, the 90-year-old proceeds to gut the sturgeons in search of the delicious caviar.
Accompanied by her dogs, the Head of the Commonwealth engulfs massive quantities of the rare and very expensive roe, revealing her secret beauty tip.
Once the feast is over, the brave men that fish for a living are allowed to take home the remains.
And we still ask ourselves why they voted out of Europe.
2. In Russia, it is illegal to tell kids that gay people exist
For Russian children, gay people are as elusive as unicorns or aliens.
Of course, it is all part of the state propaganda issued by Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to keep the Western influences as far away as possible. The sexual revolution that is taking over the entire world encountered a freezing stop.
It is easy to imagine the disappointment when kids end up watching their first pride parade on the streets of Moscow. At the same age, children from the other countries deal with another type of trauma. The Santa Klaus conspiracy reveals to them.
Russia made many steps backward on the LGBT issue and it is highly unlikely for the trend to reverse in the future. Gay people are the boogieman your babushka warned you about.
3. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to bait people with a one-dollar bill
Some laws take incredible pleasure from stripping life naked of all the fun things we love to do.
The second state to ratify the American Constitution kept a relic law from that time. All you prankster, beware of trying your usual tricks on the streets of Philadelphia.
It is against the law to tie money at the end of a rope and use it to lure people on a wacky chase. We can only assume that some nasty incidents occurred between jokers and their victims.
Nowadays, the large-scale use of a different kind of bait makes the law obsolete. Why bother with a one-dollar bill when you can harass people on the Internet. All you need from them is to click on your bait.
4. In Victoria, Australia, you are not allowed to change a light without the assistance of an electrician
Something as simple as changing a light bulb can cost you your freedom in Victoria, Australia.
We don’t know how the municipality came up with this stupid law, but apparently, it has something to do with supporting the electricians union. You see, it is against the law to do it by yourself and you are required to have a professional at your side.
Of course, accidents to happen on such “delicate” procedures. Sooner or later, stupidity will strike in another form.
Although useless, the law makes any jokes related to light bulbs redundant. You need at least to people to do it in Victoria. God knows why?
Changing the light bulb was the victory every single mom can claim. Back to opening jars!
5. In Michigan, a woman is not allowed to cut her hair without the husband’s permission
Something as simple as a visit to the hair salon can become a reason for divorce and even jail years.
According to a strange legal document, you are not allowed in Michigan to have your hair cut without your husband’s permission. Women must provide paperwork signed and stamped for every beauty intervention that involves their hair.
Although old and oppressive for the female side, it is easy to understand the motivation of the lawmakers. Women often end up terribly disfigured when they embrace the idea that short hair looks good on them.
Ask every man. Short hair means less material to pull or caress. What is the next thing women would want? Wear pants?
6. In Saudi Arabia, there is no minimum age for marriage
Saudi Arabia is a land hostile to common sense, and its laws go beyond what the sickest mind can imagine.
While dressing kids in bride and groom might be cute for a photo shoot, going all the way through is not funny at all. The version when both are young and naïve is the happy one. You might have a seven-year-old forced into an arranged marriage by her family with a creepy bearded old man.
Introducing a minimum age for marriage was a hot topic for debate in the last couple of years. Shockingly, the strongest opposition came from religious leaders that are convinced the Quran says nothing about lollies.
Even more outraging is the fact that the Arab nation’s gives no crap about human rights and gender equality. Saying that women are low-class citizens is mild. They have no freedom and no way to express themselves.
7. In the UK, it is considered treason to place a stamp with the Queen upside down
We have another bizarre British law that put many behind bars over the years.
You might think that there is no big deal in using the Royal Mail to send an old-fashioned letter to your love. Not only they open the envelope to check if you finished with “God bless our Queen,” but they screen for high treason.
Back in the days when you had no Internet to convey the details of your anarchist plot, people used a very ingenious system to signal their true allegiance.
Placing the stamp upside down became known as the signature of people seeking a quarrel with Crown. The law that first emerged hundreds of years ago is still alive and well. So does the British monarchy. Only the faces on the stamps have changed.
8. In Vatican, divorcing is illegal
The photo above shows Pope Francis and one of his staff sharing a laugh with a couple.
The shot was taken seconds after breaking the awful news – they can’t get a divorce. Vatican City is a citadel of pure-blooded Catholicism, and there is no way the Holy See could allow such things.
If you remember correctly, divorce was for a long time a hot issue, and countries predominantly Catholic accepted it only trough painful and society dividing reforms.
Even so, Francis probably told a good joke, because the mood is a good one. The same pope that accepted being part of selfies and called the yet unproven aliens “our brothers” has his hands tied.
However, there is an easy workaround the problem. Changing the country of residence should solve the problem, as Vatican is the only country that rejects “irreconcilable differences.”
9. In Switzerland, it is against the law to flush the toilet after 10 PM
Switzerland is famous in Europe as the country with the highest standard of living.
The Swiss were so happy with what they have they denied the European Union’s courtship. However, the perfection that welcomes every traveler has one annoying flaw.
It is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 PM, and the Swiss are law abiding citizens like no others. A late night number one or number two turns into a real nightmare if someone else needs to use the bathroom.
Clever by nature, these mountain people devised a way of making sure they don’t need to go to the bathroom. Eating beyond 6 PM makes you immediately a suspect, and you could call yourself lucky if they do not alert the police.
10. In Austria, it is illegal to kiss on public transport
Forget about the magical Vienna city break you planned with your beau.
Austria recently introduced an incredible ban on kissing that covers all forms of public transport. Yep, sharing a kiss or two can get you not only a consistent fine, but also a firm invitation to step outside the vehicle.
Of course, the law is gruesome if you are part of the young generations. Exchanging saliva and forcing people you don’t know to watch is the best part about being in love. On the other hand, people not romantically involved saw it as a huge relief.
For tourist visiting the country for the first time, the foreign rule is more than weird. Just imagine someone speaking gibberish (Austrian German) interrupting your make out.
11. In Denmark, it is illegal to start a car without looking underneath it first
Forget about the seatbelt, lights, or turning the A/C on. The first thing you have to do in Denmark is to look under the car.
Countries around the world have awkward laws where it comes to driving. Knowing them not only saves you a couple of fines but can keep you safe overall. However, nothing will ruin the routine established over the years like the Danish way of starting the car.
The uncomfortable maneuver originates from a series of accidents that involved stray pets. For an unknown reason, dogs and cats love sleeping under vehicles. You probably picture what happened to them before the law was drafted.
Of course, some drivers just mimic the gesture when cops are around. You know the drill. The same way you reach for the belt when the officer wants a small chat with you.
12. In Singapore, chewing gum is illegal
Chewing gum became in 2004 the number one public enemy in Singapore.
Although we don’t doubt the benefits, unleashing such a backlash on an innocent habit is more than eyebrows raising. What happened to all the couples that want to make out just after finishing those garlic oysters?
Chewing gum is the small thing that can make or break it. Yep, bad breath has been voted countless time as the number one mood breaker regarding social interactions.
The poor people of Singapore probably carry toothbrushes with them all the time. Apparently, they enjoy clean city sidewalks more and don’t have to worry about stepping into a sticky trap.
Chewing gum has a statute similar to the one of cannabis in some liberal countries around the world. General access is not granted permission, but you can chew (smoke) if your doctor prescribes it to you.
13. In Colorado, it is illegal to collect rainwater
You have to give credit to the state of Colorado for having one of the funniest interdictions one can come up with.
The folks in the central state take no joy or romantics from hearing rain poor on the roofs. This is because that water does not belong to them, nor are they able to collect it.
Although there is no apparent logic, digging deeper might reveal a good reason. Rainwater from one place goes into the ground and, depending on the geographic context, can contribute to springs and rivers.
Interfering with the usual circuit of water in nature leaves community further downstream without a vital resource. Even so, some fail to accept this “Butterfly Effect.” and defy the Constitution of their home state.
Here’s another funny fact about Colorado. There is a genuine judicial dispute around the correct name for a person from Colorado. Should you call it a Coloradan or Coloradoan?
14. In Norway, there is a law requesting all citizens to go on plunder expeditions every five years
The days when the Vikings would take Europe by storm are long gone.
Even so, the modern descendants of the hornet warriors are not ready to let go of the past. A law that makes it mandatory for each male Norwegian to go on a rape and plunder spree is still in effect, calling to arms otherwise peaceful citizens once every five years.
Obviously, people have learned ways of going around this unbelievable rule. You could easily label things like tourism, shopping, or studying abroad as plunder expeditions. Of course, the spoils of war are acquired from souvenir shops. They replaced the dreaded battle ax with equally strong credit cards.
Traditions are important, and we respect the Norwegians for choosing not to revoke them. However, we fear that the Italians might use their Roman ancestry to justify slave ownership or gladiator schools.
15. In Hong Kong, a wife is allowed to kill her husband
Although not appearing in this form in the Constitution, it is legal for a woman to kill her unfaithful husband.
However, there is one small catch attach to it. Retribution is allowed in one form. The woman is only allowed to use her hands and no weapons, or household objects are allowed.
Hong Kong ceases to be the modern metropolis with one of the most elevated levels of living in the entire world. One wrong step and you can live in fear for the rest of your days
– Because smart Chinese women don’t initiate immediate retribution.
They are well aware that exposing their husbands to constant fear is far worse than a swift strangulation.
Just imagine the emotional roller coaster of living with someone entitled to kill you at any moment. Goodbye, sleep!
16. In Arkansas, a husband is allowed to beat his wife, but only once a month
Just take a look a Bill Clinton. The former Governor of Arkansas was probably photographed while informing the audience that they should not miss the monthly opportunity.
Of course, we might get things wrong. Chances are Bill was pushing for a constitutional reform that would include a monthly cheating allowance as well. Clinton might have lost the opportunity to be ” the first lady,” but his sexist humor remains inexhaustible.
As you found out, in the vast state of Arkansas, an archaic law survived, allowing every husband to discipline his wife with a beating. Once a month was considered enough by the indulgent lawmakers.
Of course, we came a long way since the correction was initially voted. The patriarchal society of that bygone era would have a terrible shock seeing Miley Cyrus or other artists pushing the limits of feminism.
17. In the UK, it is illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances
The UK rejected the European Union and its bureaucratic institutions just to enjoy deprecated and sometimes eerie laws.
The Salmon Act was an initiative of the British Parliament to help put some order in the fishing industry. However, failing to take linguists on board produced hilarious results.
One fragment of the act states that handling salmon in suspicious circumstances will make the ones involved guilty in the eyes of justice. Seems legit, right? Can you imagine the overlords of the fishing industry passing the goods at various waypoints in their smuggling itinerary? Just take the salmon and act cool.
We can all agree the sentence is too sketchy. Should we pay caution at the fish market? Should we close the blinds while grilling the salmon? Good thing the Queen makes no claim on this type of seafood.
18. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal for women to drive
The gender gap is huge in Saudi Arabia, and one of the many things women are not allowed to do is drive.
While this might not be an entirely bad idea (sorry, but women suck at driving), it is certainly an inexplicable anchor holding the Arab state into the past. To make it even worse, as we speak, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that has such a law.
Although women’s status gradually improved, things are far from normal. All women, regardless of age, need a male guardian. Moreover, they barely won their right to vote in 2015.
Because Saudi Arabia has no penal code and no laws written like the rest of us, acknowledging one’s rights is often a matter of the judge being in a good mood in that day.
For women, that is terrible news. Abuse, rape, and a lifetime of slavery are far worse than not being able to drive.
19. In Massachusetts, a woman is forbidden by the law to stay on top of her husband
Sometimes, dumb rules exist just to give people the thrill of breaking them.
In the United States, the country that invented porn and orchestrated the sexual revolution of the last century, some states still have laws from the time of the first colonists.
As a woman, staying on top of your partner during lovemaking can put you outside the law in the state of Massachusetts. Yep, you heard all right. The poor people of Boston have troubled and unsatisfying relationships just because the local government forgot to update the laws.
However, there are always rebels ready to take the risk. With no authorities invested with jurisdiction in the bedroom, it is up to everyone’s conscience.
It is not a sin in the face of God, but no jury in the great state of Massachusetts would ever keep a blind eye.
20. In seven U.S. states, atheists are banned from holding public office
You might think that the American system is the most liberal and open-minded democracy in the world. Guess again!
They do not write “In God We Trust” on the dollar bill for nothing. What started as a way of opposing the godless communism, remained a law that discriminates in an incredible manner.
The most competent persons for public office should be chosen based on their professional and personal qualities. However, they first take you to the pub to test your faith. We all know how a couple of drinks unleash the most intimate beliefs a man can have.
The lucky people that have to obey this old-fashioned restriction can be found in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. All the seven states are part of the so-called Bible belt. And yes, all of them voted for Trump.