The Student Pocket Guide | The World’s Weirdest Laws
By Stuart Robinson

Whether you like it or not, no one can escape the law. At least, that’s what you might have thought, but there are plenty of strange laws which we’ve never heard of being enforced. Here’s our list of the most weird and wonderful regulations from the UK and around the world.

  1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament. This law was brought in because anyone that dies in Parliament is eligible for a state funeral, which can end up being a bit on the expensive side.
  2. Ah, Christmas day. You’re sitting round with the family, opening presents, and you’re feeling a bit peckish. Well, you better choose your snack wisely, as it is actually illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day.
  3. Living in Liverpool? Looking for a job? Can’t decide between selling tropical fish and stripping? No problem! In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless in public, except as a clerk in a tropical fish store. You probably shouldn’t bet on your boss being too pleased though…
  4. In France it’s illegal to name your pig Napoleon. This was obviously brought in because of France’s famous leader, but surely raises more questions than it answers. Were there a lot of people naming their pigs Napoleon?
  5. Workplace lighting must be a big issue in Germany, as it’s law that every office must have a view of the sky, no matter how small it is.
  6. Maybe they’re not big fans of cross dressing in Italy, as men can be arrested for wearing skirts.
  7. In Alabama, it is illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where this might have been a problem.
  8. Sex and the City, When Harry Met Sally, Maid in Manhattan. All romantic, all set in New York. However, in New York a $25 dollar fine can be issued for flirting. Considering how much flirting goes on in these films, they could have been left with a pretty small budget.
  9. In Greene, NY, during a concert, it is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backwards on the sidewalks. Makes sense if you think about it. Kind of… Maybe…
  10. If you’re the kind of person that likes to have a good sing-song after a dip, just make sure you don’t go to Florida, as it’s illegal to sing in a public place whilst wearing a swimsuit.
  11. Poor old Bigfoot. He’s had a lot of trouble in the past, so it’s a good thing that in Washington, harassing Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.
  12. Social networking addicts, Burma probably isn’t your ideal holiday destination, as it’s illegal to access the internet. Even for a quick tweet?
  13. In Eureka, Nevada, it is illegal for men with moustaches to kiss women. We’re assuming that there was an outbreak of charming moustached men in town.
  14. China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without permission from the government. Without going into the politics of it, it doesn’t really seem like China understands this one.
  15. Have you ever been in trouble for forgetting a memorable day? In Samoa it might be a bit worse, as it’s a crime to forget your wife’s birthday.
  16. Everyone’s seen the trick where you put a note on a string, put it on the ground, and pull it away when someone tries to pick it up. Well, don’t try it in Pennsylvania, as it’s against the law there.
  17. The government in Thailand don’t like going commando, as it illegal to leave your house without wearing underwear. Who’s checking…?
  18. If you’re a guy, you need the toilet and you’re in Switzerland, you might want to check your watch, as it’s illegal for a man to relieve himself while standing up after 10pm.
  19. There are plenty of reasons to lose your driver’s license, but we never thought looking a bit scruffy was one of them. In Athens, Greece, a driver’s license can be taken away if the driver is thought to be either “poorly dressed” or “un-bathed”.
  20. Maybe the Australian government have been watching too many cartoons, as It’s illegal to walk the streets wearing black clothes, felt shoes and have black shoe polish on your face, as these are the items of a cat burglar.