Legal systems are generally held in fairly high esteem but that doesn’t seem to stop them producing laws that stop you in your tracks and make you wonder exactly what strange substances the law makers were partaking in on the day that rule was passed. Here is a small selection of some of the world’s strangest laws.
‘The Outer Space Act 1986’
The Outer Space Act allows the British government to use reasonable force in the event of an alien invasion. The act is nullified, however, if said aliens manage to secure a licence to permitting the invasion and respect the laws of the United Kingdom
No Flush Past 10 pm
In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush the toilet between the hours of 10pm and 6am for fear of waking your neighbours and causing a public disturbance.
Stone Cold Dead
It is illegal to meet your maker in the Arctic town of Longyearbyen. If you believe you are about to die, you are legally obligated to contact authorities so they can transport you to the mainland and you can die there instead. Officials cite that this law was created as bodies do not decompose in the extreme low temperatures.
Parliament House: Death Free Zone
Another place where it’s forbidden to meet your maker is in the House of Lords in the UK. By law, all those that perish in parliament are entitled to a full state funeral and that would place a considerable burden upon the City of Westminster.
In Japan, land of the not quite so with sumo wrestler, it is legally forbidden not to be fat. Men must sport a girth of no more than 80 cm and women are able to sneak a cheeky extra few centimeters and go all the way up to 90cm.
A law written in 1323 states that a beached whale found dead on a British coast does not actually belong to nature and the sea but rather the head is the legal property of the King and its tale the legal property of the Queen. This antiquated law was actually invoked as recently as 2004 when a man was arrested for attempting to sell a beached whale at the fish market.
Step Away From The Money
In Thailand it is illegal to step on the local currency as it features the likeness of the King. In fact, insulting the King in anyway can land you 15 years jail time.
Bird No Longer The Word
While most of the laws listed so far are quite old, outlawing the feeding of pigeons was a relatively recent move on behalf of the Viennese government. The law is rigorously enforced in an attempt to reduce the city’s resident population of pigeons.
In Singapore, chewing gum is completely forbidden. Locals and tourists alike will incur hefty fines if spotted by a local member of police. Chewing gum is equated with illicit drugs as the smuggling of gum had also been outlawed.
Napoleon And The Pig
In France it is illegal to name your pet ‘Napoleon’ after the French Government took offence to the naming of the porky reincarnation of Stalin in George Orwell’s Animal Farm by the same name. Great offence was taken to equating the former French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte with the likes of Stalin. While the bizarre laws is not enforced, French translations of refer to the chubby antagonist as ‘Caesar’ instead.