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The Weirdest Laws from Around the World

28th June 2018
Every country has its fair share of weird laws. Some of the weirdest ones are culturally significant, while others are simply outdated. 
 
To avoid committing a crime you didn’t even know existed on your next international adventure, we’ve compiled a list of crazy laws from around the world. 
 

Alaska – Let Sleeping Bears Lie 

Weird laws in America aren’t hard to come by, but this one is particularly odd. In Alaska, waking a bear to take its photo is against the law. If you live to tell the tale, you could be fined for disturbing the bear’s beauty sleep. 

 

India – No Finders Keepers 

If you find a 50 rupee note blowing down the streets of Delhi, think twice about stashing it in your pocket. According to Indian law, any amount of money exceeding 10 rupees must be handed in to the authorities or returned to its original owner. 

 

Scotland – Toilet Hospitality 

There’s nothing worse than trying to find a public restroom when you really need to go. If you’re confronted with this dilemma while touring Scotland, simply knock on the door of the nearest house. According to an old Scottish law, if somebody asks to use your toilet you have to let them in – even if they’re a complete stranger. 
 

Singapore – Chewing Gum Ban

While litter bugs are banned in most countries, Singapore takes public cleanliness to a whole new level. Chewing gum has been banned throughout the island nation since 1992. You’re only allowed to chew gum if you can prove you need it for therapeutic reasons. 
 

Denmark – Strict Naming Guidelines 

The Danes are determined to resist the unusual baby name trend. In an effort to protect children from their parents’ bad taste, every newborn in Denmark must be given one of the 7,000 names included on a government-sanctioned list.

 

Canada – Compassion for Bigfoot  

Those quirky Canadians have made it illegal to kill Bigfoot in the province of British Columbia. This law is kind of a technicality – all wild animals are owned by the government and can’t be hunted without a specific licence, including mythical creatures. 

 

Switzerland – Protections for Social Goldfish 

In 2008, the Swiss government made it illegal to own just one pet goldfish. Swiss residents need to keep at least two goldfish in the same tank, or stand accused of animal cruelty. Why? Because goldfish are social creatures and need companions to live their best life. Duh. 

Bhutan – Smoking Crackdown

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan isn’t afraid to defy the tobacco industry. It’s the only country in the world where the manufacture and sale of cigarettes is completely banned. Smokers can satisfy their cravings on the black market, but risk a hefty fine or even jail time if they get caught. 
 

Germany – Breaking Down on the Autobahn 

Famous for its lack of speed limit, the Autobahn is a highway in Germany. It might not be illegal to drive like a maniac on the Autobahn, but running into car trouble is another matter. Motorists who run out of fuel on this stretch of road can be fined up to 70 euros.  
 
Regardless of how weird a country’s laws are, abiding by them is essential to enjoying a trouble-free journey. To learn more about the unique characteristics of foreign destinations, take our Can You Match the Country to the Custom? quiz. 
 
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