14 surprising laws around the world you probably don’t know about

Where are you going on your holiday this year? As summer approaches it may be a good idea to familiarise yourself with surprising laws to look out for around the world.

1. Running out of gas on the autobahn in Germany


It is illegal to run out of gas on the Autobahn since this is down to human error and is therefore punishable. If you run out of gas you can be expected to face fines up to €70.

2. Chewing gum in Singapore


Since 2004 chewing gum has been banned in Singapore unless prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons. The ban stemmed from a man putting a piece of gum between a train door so it could not close, causing delays. Selling gum can even land you in prison for two years or fined up to $100,000.

3. Chickens crossing the road in Quitman, Georgia


It is illegal for a chicken to cross the road in Georgia for the safety of drivers. The law claims owners must have their chickens under control at all times.

4. Winnie The Pooh banned from a playground in Tuszyn, Poland


The much loved animated bear is banned in Tuszyn because he doesn’t wear pants and has non-gender-specific genitalia. Winnie the Pooh lunch boxes, t-shirts and toys must be left at home since the character is ‘inappropriately dressed’ and has even been denounced as a ‘hermaphrodite’.

5. Obesity in Japan


In 2008, Japan implemented the ‘metabo law’ in attempt to overcome increasing obesity rates. Men and women are required to stay under a waist circumference of 33.5 and 35.4 inches. Failure to meet these goals result in a fine.

6. Camouflage clothing in the Caribbean


In Barbados, it is an offence for even children to wear camouflage clothing and adults will be fined or arrested for doing so. Unless you are in the army or anti-drug forces then wearing camo is illegal.

7. Feeding the pigeons in Venice


Since 2008, it has been illegal to feed pigeons in Venice as they are blamed for spreading dirt and ruining the city’s monuments. Offending can land you with a bill up to £622 (€700).

8. Owning one Goldfish in Switzerland


The Swiss government believes it is cruel for goldfish to live without a companion since they are ‘social’ creatures. Other animals covered by this law also include guinea pigs and budgerigars.

9. Making ugly faces at a dog in Oklahoma


You can be fined, arrested or jailed for making ugly faces at a dog.

10. Paying with too much change in Canada


Depending on the value of the transaction, the 1985 Currency Act forbids people from using too much change to pay for goods.

11. Wearing heels at ancient sites in Greece


Since 2009 women have been banned from wearing heels at the country’s archaeological sites as they may damage monuments.

12. Stepping on money in Thailand 


Thailand worships its King and since his likeness is on all currency it is disrespectful to step on the King’s face. It is also forbidden to keep money in your socks and shoes.

13. Frowning in public in Milan, Italy 


Unless you’re attending a funeral or visiting someone in hospital, it is illegal to frown in public in Milan and in doing so you could face a fine. But is there really much to be sad about when on holiday?

14. Flip Flops in Capri, Italy


If you’re heading to Italy for your holiday this year then be aware of the ban on noisy footwear. In Capri in 2010 a couple was fined £100 each for wearing noisy flip flops.

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