27 Of The Weirdest Laws In The World

Published April 13, 2018

This collection of the weirdest laws in the world will leave you questioning your government's priorities. If you've ever thought about killing Bigfoot in Washington or wearing lacy underwear in Russia, think again.

Weirdest Laws In The World Alaska
It is illegal to sell or give an intoxicated person alcohol in Alaska and it's illegal to even allow an intoxicated person to enter a bar.Pxhere

Weirdest Laws In The World Breathalyzer
In France, it is illegal to drive around without your own breathalyzer, even if you are a tourist. However, since 2013, the fine for breaking the law ($14) has been waived indefinitely.Wikimedia Commons

Weirdest Laws In The World Measuring Waist
In 2008, Japan passed “Metabo Law” to keep its citizens' weights in check. According to the law, companies and local governments must annually measure the waistlines of Japanese workers and citizens who are between 40 and 74 years old. The waistline limit for men is 33.5 inches whereas for women it is 35.4 inches. Dieting guidance and re-education is given to those who fail to measure up.Adrian Clark/Flickr

Eiffel Tower At Night
The Eiffel Tower is probably one of the most photographed monuments in the world, but few know that it is actually illegal to take photos of it at night. While the Eiffel Tower’s copyright expired in 1993, the night time light show was only added in 1985, which means that it is still protected under France’s copyright laws.Pexels

Store Mannequins
In 2014, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan banned underwear that contains less than six percent cotton. This basically means no lacy underwear, which usually contains less than four percent cotton. The ban stemmed from health concerns related to the fact that synthetic garments apparently fail to absorb enough moisture, which can lead to skin problems.The Local People Photo Archive/Flickr

Bigfoot Walking
It's illegal to kill Bigfoot in Skamania County, Washington.Roger Patterson

Baby And Toy
The Danish law on personal names prohibits parents from naming their children something deemed to be silly. Expecting parents can either choose a name from an approved list or else seek a name approval from the government. Banned names include Monkey, Anus, and Pluto.Pexels

Couple Lying Together
It is illegal for unmarried people to have sex in in Massachusetts, Virginia, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Utah, and South Carolina.Pexels

Monk On A Mountain
Chinese monks who wish to come back from the dead have to get the state’s approval on their reincarnation. This approval is supposedly needed so that national union and solidarity of the diverse ethnic groups in the country can be safeguarded as well as to cut down on fraudulent, profiteering monks.Pxhere

Baby Walker
It is illegal to sell, import, advertise, and use baby walkers in Canada, where they are deemed to be unsafe. Those who are caught in possession of a baby walker may be fined to up to $100,000 or face up to six months in jail.Andrew Skudder/Flickr

Man Holding Salmon
In the U.K., it is illegal for a person to hold salmon under "suspicious circumstances."Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr

Wedding Couple
The state of Delaware grants marriage annulments to anyone who claims they have entered marriage as a joke or on a dare.Pexels

Barber Giving Haircut
In New York, it is a misdemeanor for barbers to give you a haircut on a Sunday.Pixabay

Biking Through City
In Bogota, Colombia, it is illegal to drive your car or motorbike during the annual “Day Without Cars.” Those caught driving between 5 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on this special day are fined about $17,000.Pexels

Couple Hiking
Ever felt like hiking in the nude? Then stay away from Switzerland, where hiking in the nude (or public indecency of all kinds) is illegal.Pxhere

Doormat
In England, it is prohibited to shake or beat a carpet in the street. However, it is perfectly legal to shake a doormat — before 8 a.m. Jim Ellwanger/Flickr

High Heels
In Greece, it is illegal to wear high heels at archaeological sites and historic monuments, which could be damaged by the heels. Pexels

Holy Bible
It is illegal in the Maldives to import any material that may be deemed “contrary to Islam,” which includes Bibles, pork products, and alcohol.Pxhere

Man Walking Dog
In the Italian city of Turin, it is illegal to walk your dog less than three times a day. Those who break the law will be fined up to about $622 — although how the authorities will find out how many times a day you walk your dog remains unclear.Pxhere

Marriage Certificate
The Philippines is the only country in the world (apart from Vatican City) where divorce is illegal. The only option is to get an annulment, which is a long and tedious process that requires one partner to claim that their spouse is too psychologically incapacitated to remain married.Pixabay

Round Fishbowl
Italians take the safety of their pets very seriously — so seriously that the city of Rome voted to ban round fishbowls. According to their sources, these bowls make fish go blind and fail to provide enough oxygen.Mad Ball/Flickr

Sandals And Hat On Beach
Noisy shoes such as wooden-soled sandals (and some even say flip-flops) are prohibited on the island of Capri, Italy. It is also forbidden to dress immodestly.Pixnio

Sliding Downhill
It is illegal to slide on ice or snow in the streets of England according to the Metropolitan Police Act 1839.Pxhere

Taking A Photo
It is illegal in the African country of Chad to take any photos inside the country (not just photos of military buildings, airports, and so on) without first acquiring a camera permit from the Ministry of Communications in N’Djamena.Pixabay

Tomato Ketchup Bottle
The amount of ketchup and mayonnaise that children consume in school cafeterias in France is tightly restricted to prevent children from getting addicted to unhealthy fast food.Pexels

Canadian Pennies
In Canada, it's illegal to use more than 25 pennies in one transaction.Rattan Amol/Flickr

Valentines Day
In Pakistan, it is illegal to celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is not part of Muslim tradition. Other countries that have banned Valentine’s Day include Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.Staci Miller/Spang Dahlem

No civilized society can function without laws. These regulations protect us from each other, guide our behavior, maintain order, and resolve disputes.

Laws have basically been functioning in these same ways since the dawn of civilization. Between 2100 and 2050 B.C., the ancient Sumerians created the Code of Ur-Nammu, history's oldest surviving set of laws. The code includes regulations like, if a man commits a homicide, that man shall be killed, among many others.

Human laws have obviously evolved immeasurably since then, although many of the core tenets and taboos remain the same.

Today, every country (and of course the smaller administrative areas within those countries) has a different set of rules and laws, best suited to their culture, history, and needs. What may seem normal and socially acceptable in one country may very well land you in prison in another.

Despite many international differences that are totally reasonable, some of the weirdest laws in the world simply defy all logic and explanation.

For example, don't get drunk in a bar in Alaska if you don’t want to spend a night in prison. Heading to Paris? Don't try to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Discover more of the weirdest laws in the world in the gallery above.


After this look at the weirdest laws in the world, check out some more totally ridiculous laws. Then, read up on some of the world's weirdest sex laws.

Laura Martisiute
Laura is a freelance writer based in Tramore, Ireland. In her spare time, she likes to explore secret beaches, pet cats, and read.