If you’re planning a trip to a country you’ve never been to before, it’s a good idea to study local laws before that
Yes, the basic rules are the same all over the world; you can’t take things that aren’t yours, you can’t fool other people, you can’t fight, you can’t hurt animals.
But certain laws established in certain countries may seem strange if not absurd.
Most of the time each of these interdictions has its history but this doesn’t make them any less surprising. So what exactly can’t be done in some parts of our planet? We’re going to find out.
Let’s get it on.
The Norwegian city of Longyearbyen is located in the polar archipelago of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Svalbard is an area with a special status so there are many particularities here.
But what is happening in Longyearbyen is much more interesting, is the northernmost settlement in the world with more than 1000 permanent residents.
It’s cold here too, you can observe the polar day and the polar night, and you’ll barely meet people over sixty-six.
And it’s forbidden to DIE.
If you’re old or suddenly fall seriously ill and there’s a danger that you won’t be able to cope with the disease, you’ll probably be sent to Oslo as soon as possible, so that you can live out your last days there.
It sounds creepy and somehow unpleasant, at the very least if death suddenly strikes a man in Longyearbyen, the body will be removed from the city.
The small town cemetery stopped receiving newcomers in 1950. When it discovered that the bodies weren’t decomposing, and this is a much more serious problem than it seems at first glance.
In 1918 the Spanish flu epidemic ravaged the city and claimed many lives. The dead were buried, but more than thirty years later it turned out that the permafrost to preserve their bodies. That means that a dangerous virus which in the 20th century destroyed 5% of the world’s population has also survived.
Since then, it’s been formally forbidden to die or rather to bury the dead in Longyearbyen.
However, this is not the only strange local law. There’s a ban on cats too, there are restrictions on the amounts of alcohol, and there’s a requirement that anyone who goes out on the street carries a rifle, polar bears often come to visit.
The times of the Inquisition are long gone, but Canada still prohibits witchcraft. It’s not exactly doing witchcraft but pretending to do witchcraft.
We don’t know what sounds stranger, though witchcraft is dealt with in article three six five of the Criminal Code of Canada, it says that you’re guilty of a crime if you do any of the following things:
- Pretend to cast spells
- Pretend to tell fortunes
- Pretend to find a lost object or person with the help of occult forces.
And is no coincidence that we repeat the word pretend. Apparently, if you’re a real witch or sorcerer and you don’t just pretend, there’s no punishment.
However, if you fake it, you can expect a small prison sentence to wait.
Then how is Halloween celebrated in this country? Perhaps part of this law exists to protect people from charlatans and various psychics. But the fact remains it seems that there was a possibility to lift the ban in 2018, but it didn’t go any further.
Going to The Bathroom After 10 p.m
Yes, and you can’t take a shower either. This is the kind of bans that applies to old apartment buildings in Switzerland.
in addition, this law is really observed and you can be declared to the police for its violation. But what is the reason for this restriction? Well, it’s all because of the noise.
When the water is flush from the toilets, there’s a terrible roar, which is able to wake up the neighbors who’ve already gone to bed.
It’s exactly the same story with the bath. Of course, you can take a quick shower but you won’t be able to splash about in the bathtub, because when you run the bath there’s a lot of noise, and it exceeds the time set for silence from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Most often, however, these bans are local. In Switzerland, most houses are rented, that’s why there are several homeowners associations that set their own rules for tenants.
So they may have this strange bathroom ban. By the way, in recent years, swiss manufacturers of discharge valves are developing exceptionally quiet models.
These toilers can be used at any time of day, even if you have very grumpy neighbors.
You’ve probably heard about this prohibition that applies in Singapore. But it’s not only you can’t chew gum there, but it’s also forbidden to buy or bring it into the country.
Except for this special medical gum like; nicotine gum for quitters and dental gum. They can only be bought in pharmacies otherwise, the gum is strictly forbidden and it can cost you some large fines, why?
Well if you think about it the reasons are quite logical. It’s difficult and also expensive to scrape it off the floor, walls, bus seats, and other places where it’s usually put. It’s much easier to ban it than to spend money on this kind of work.
Another reason came with the opening of the subway. Shortly after its launch, the hooligans found a great way to have fun. They stick it to the censors on the automatic doors which of course cause them to fail.
In the end, the authorities concluded that chewing gum caused more problems than benefits and banned it altogether and it seems to work. The subway doors no longer break and you don’t step on anything sticky while walking.
The Alpine villages are practically made for photographs and for putting them on social networks afterward. But it’s not legal everywhere.
Thus, the Swiss municipality of Bergen introduced a ban on photography in 2017, each troublemaker will be fined five dollars.
However, the ban doesn’t apply to citizens who photograph from their precincts, nor to wedding photos nor to photos taken from the car of a passing train, but what is the point of such a law?
The answer is simple; it’s an advertisement. According to the authors of the prohibition, scientists have shown photographs with beautiful views, make people unhappy.
This statement applies to those who can’t go to this place and experience positive emotions in reality and Bergen is really a wonderful place in every way, similar to the decorations of fairy tales. Therefore, it’s better to visit it in person rather than see photos of other people.
Yups, it’s very strange logic indeed. There are even signs of a ban on photography throughout the village. Did it help tourists? And those who couldn’t come to Bergen? Who knows.
Traveling Back in Time
Or rather, it’s forbidden to show films that include time travel that law was passed in China in 2011. Representatives of the central bureau of film, radio, and television, said that most of the stories in those films are fictitious and distort historical realities.
However, the Chinese authorities were very picky about the film’s inaccuracies. In their opinion, such projects are not worth encouraging because they support superstition and almost undermine the state system. Well, who would have thought that any back to the future or x-men could be so dangerous?
Interrupting a Wedding
Remember this technique which was often used in old movies, a heroine marries someone, and the priest says speak now or forever hold your peace and then the hero breaks into the church and shouts I object, he goes down the aisle to say that he really loves the heroine and ahh., how romantic.
Well, in South Australia it’s forbidden to do that and it’s no joke. You can’t interrupt a wedding or a funeral here and the prohibition is prescribed by law.
According to it, anyone who deliberately obstructs a wedding or funeral ceremony is guilty of a crime and is liable to a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and in some cases, it can cost you two years of life behind bars.
The prohibition applies to all ceremonies, both secular and religious.
Stopping on a Motorway Without Gasoline
German highways are a place where there are special rules and they’re quite unexpected.
All motorways have special recreation areas, there’s also an emergency lane where you can stop in case of failure. So far everything sounds quite logical.
And that’s right.
But if you run out of petrol on the motorway and suddenly stop you will be fined. This is because traffic on these roads is very fast and stopping can cause a serious accident and the fact that you don’t have any petrol won’t be a mitigating factor.
After all, you are the driver and should be responsible for such things.
Playing with Snowballs
We guess in every country where it snows kids are free to play with snowballs, sometimes adults do – all over the world, except in the American city of severance in Colorado.
Because here almost a century ago this fun game was banned. It sounds like a lie but that law really existed. It appeared in regulation that forbode throwing stones and other things at people and their properties such as cars.
Armless snowballs also fall under this definition. The first references to severance date back to 1920. The ban on snowballing was almost as old as the city itself and for many years no one even tried to changes.
Fortunately, the younger generation may think differently. In October 2018, a boy named Dane Best was on an excursion in a City Hall along with his classmates. The mayor began telling the schoolchildren about the strange laws he also mentioned the snowball ban.
However, the authorities never insisted on enforcing the ban. In addition, the mayor of Severns didn’t even know how to punish the offenders, overall the law seems completely meaningless and Dane Best decided to fix the situation.
A nine-year-old boy collected two dozen signatures from his classmates to support him and prepared a five-minute presentation. In his presentation, he explained in detail why the city authority should lift the ban.
The boy called the law obsolete and stressed the children living in Severance, like children around the world should have the opportunity to play with snowballs and Dane succeeded.
A meaningless law that lasted a century was abolished and the mayor even gave the student a special snowballing device.