25 Strange Things Banned Around The World

Posted by , Updated on February 18, 2015

We have already published a few posts about some of the most ridiculous and crazy laws and regulations that used to be or still have been in effect in some American states and cities but obviously, the U.S. is not the only country that has imposed a ban on some weird stuff. From wearing noisy shoes and leaving elephants on the beach to die, check out these 25 strange things banned around the world.


If you want to visit Milan, make sure to smile all the time. The Italian metropolis has imposed a ban on frowning. The city states that it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits. Grouches who dare to break this regulation can face a fine.


In Lyme Regis, a little coastal town in West Dorset, England, slapping people with a dead eel is prohibited. There was a tradition known as “the conger-cuddling”, in which people swang dead eels at each other but in 2006, the game was banned by local authorities after an animal rights group claimed it was disrespectful to the dead fish.


When traveling to Singapore, remember to leave your chewing gums at home. In 2004, this city-state in Southeast Asia imposed a strict ban on chewing gum imports. Under the rule, no gum is allowed to be bought or sold inside Singapore and there is a $500 fine for spitting out gum on the streets.


Capri, an island located in the Campania region, Italy, is a popular tourist destination. However, if you decide to visit avoid wearing flip flops. Flip flops and sandals that make loud noises are banned.


In Tuszyn, a little town in Central Poland, Winnie the Pooh is banned from playgrounds. Local authorities argued that Pooh is “half-naked” and of “dubious sexuality”, which is totally inappropriate for little children.


In Victoria, the second most populous state of Australia, you are not allowed to change a light bulb unless you are a licensed electrician. Those who don't comply can face a fine of up to 10 Australian dollars.


In 2005, Ignacio Jimenez, a mayor of Icononzo, a town in Colombia, passed a law under which, badmouthing was illegal. He argued that waggling tongues could be the difference between life and death for residents of the city, thanks to ongoing warfare between Marxist rebels and far-right paramilitary outlaws.


To halt the spread of swine flu in 2009, the mayor of Coulaines, a small French town, banned spitting.

25 Strange Things Banned Around The World

In the little Andalusian town of Lanjarón, Spain, there was a certain time period during which it was illegal to die. The town´s 4,000 inhabitants were to stay alive until the government was able to buy land and build a new cemetery. The unusual law was mostly received with humor among both the politicians as well as the citizens.


Surprisingly, laws that prohibit dying can be found in numerous countries. In the Brazilian town of Biritiba-Mirim, for example, the mayor passed the same bill in 2005. He argued the main reason for the law was the fact that the town´s inhabitants didn’t look after their health properly, which made them more vulnerable to death and could lead to an unnecessary burden on the already full cemetery.


China is notorious for its tendency to control things in Tibet but the law that the Chinese government passed in 2007 was just beyond absurd. According to the law, it's illegal for the Tibetan monks to reincarnate without the government´s permission.


Located just about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Milan, the city where frowning is illegal, Monza also boasts of some very unusual regulations. In 2004, the city passed a law that prohibited housing a goldfish in a bowl, claiming a fish kept in a bowl has a distorted view of reality and suffers from it

Goldfish in an aquarium on a table

Liverpool, the home town of The Beatles, boasts one of the most ridiculous laws in the world. According to the law, a woman is prohibited to walk around topless, unless she sells exotic fish in a store. However, some sources claim that there has never been such a law and that this is completely made up.

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Another popular law passed in England is the one prohibiting people to die in the Houses of Parliament. Completely true and confirmed, the law was based on the fact that the buildings counted as a royal palace, therefore anyone who died there was technically entitled to a state funeral.


Italy is often considered one of the most romantic countries in the world but be careful when kissing your lover here. In Eboli, a town in Southern Italy, kissing in a moving vehicle is banned. Breaking this law can cost you several hundreds dollars.


In Melbourne, Australia, vacuuming your house between 10 pm and 7 am during weekdays and 10 pm and 9 am during the weekends is against the law.


Melbourne is also a place where men are banned from dressing up like women. According to an old law, it is illegal for a man to appear in public wearing a strapless gown


In the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, driving a dirty car is against the law. If you drive a car that is not clean enough, you can get fined up to 2000 rubles (currently around 30 American dollars).


When traveling to Granville, a commune in northwestern France, remember to leave your elephant at home. Or at least don’t bring him to the local beach. According to a 2009 municipal law, elephants are not allowed on the beach. The law was a reaction to circuses that brought their elephants to the sea where the animals would then defecate.


Hawaii is considered one of the greatest summer holiday destinations in the world but those who like singing at night might want to consider choosing another place. In Honolulu, the state´s capital, it is illegal to sing loudly after the sunset.


In Torino, Italy, it is against the law not to walk your dog at least three times a day.


There are many things women are not allowed to do in some Muslim countries (such as driving a car, voting, reading fashion magazines etc.) but in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia they are even banned from using hotel swimming pools and spas.


Manila, the capital of the Philippines, banned all of Claire Danes' movies due to her disrespectful interview while promoting the Brokedown Palace.


North Korea is a country where bizarre laws and regulations come as no surprise but Pyongyang, the country´s capital, has some that those who visit, should definitely know. For example, visitors cannot use local currency (the North Korean won). They're not even allowed into the city´s department stores.


If you find yourself in London, make sure not to break the 1986 Salmon Act that says handling salmon in suspicious circumstances is illegal.


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