10 Weird Laws from Around the World

Gum is illegal in Singapore.
Gum is illegal in Singapore.

Laws are put in place by governments to guide how people live and relate to one another. Some of these laws are standard, others make sense, and other are bonkers. Here is a list of weird laws from different parts of the world.

1. No Reckless Biking - Mexico City

Reckless biking is illegal in Mexico City. Cyclists are prohibited from lifting their legs off pedals or hands off the handlebars lest they lose control of the bicycle. However, riding the bicycle helmet-free is not an offence as the city repealed their mandatory helmet law in 2010 in an attempt to increase usage of ride-sharing bicycle programs in the city.

2. No Pictures of the Presidential Residence - South Africa

In 2013, South Africa reminded the media that they were banned from taking and circulating pictures of the president’s residence. The law, dating back to the 1980 National Key Points Act, restricts publicity of strategically important locations, in this case, the residence of the president. Media were attempting to take pictures of the president's newly renovated residence, due to controversy over state funds to refurbish the compound.

3. No More Than 50 kg of Potatoes - Western Australia

In Western Australia, you may not own more than 50kgs of potatoes at one time. This law is meant to limit importation of the produce. You can, therefore, be stopped at any time by the relevant authorities, the Potato Marketing Corporation, for checks. The law dates back to the Great Depression and post-war era.

4. No Gum Chewing - Singapore

In Singapore, you have a lot to eat, but gum is not one of them. Gum and its chewing was banned in 1992, but there is an exception to this law, if you can prove that chewing gum is therapeutic then you are allowed to have it.

5. No Feeding the Pigeons - San Fransisco

San Francisco prohibits any feeding of pigeons within the city. In an attempt to keep the city clean and the pigeon population under control, the city of San Fransico has outlawed the feeding of pigeons on city streets or sidewalks. Violators of the law may be cited and give a fine.

6. No No-Questions-Asked Rewards - Tasmania

When offering a reward for returning a stolen or lost property, most owners include the “no questions asked” statement to the advert. This is probably to hasten the recovery process. In Tasmania, offering a reward and including the no questions asked phrase is illegal, and comes with a maximum fine of $500.

7. No Dying - France

Three cities in France have prohibited death within city limits. Le Lavandou created the law in 2000, Cugnaux followed suit in 2007, and most recently Sarpourenx in 2008. The laws, while sounding absurd, were to bring attention to the issue of overpopulated cemeteries within the cities.

8. No Fish Bowls - Rome

Keeping fish in a bowl for one’s self-enjoyment is banned in Rome. This is considered animal cruelty. For the best interest of the fish, they must be kept in real fish tanks that provide oxygenated water and room to swim.

9. No Spitting - Barcelona

While spitting in the street might garner you some dirty looks, in Barcelona it is officially prohibited and offenders can be fined.

10. No High Heels - Greece

In 2009, high heels were banned from many of the monuments in Greece. Many of Greece's national treasures are ancient ruins, and the sharp-heeled shoes were adding to the wear and tear of the sites.


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