Imagine a world without laws. Anyone can do whatever they want without accountability and consequences. Many would say the globe would be chaotic, unbearable, and unlivable. However, we can never truly know because rules and regulations have existed for as long as anyone can remember.
While most of these rules are reasonable and necessary, others are borderline crazy, to say the least. For instance, how do you explain making it illegal to chew gum? Or having international calling plans? You don’t believe such laws exist? Well, here is a list of some strange laws around the globe.
1. You Cannot Make an International Call in North Korea
Assuming you live in North Korea and have a relative or friend residing abroad, you will have to look for an alternative means of communication. Making a phone call is not it. Additionally, only select leaders and citizens can access the internet.
To paint a picture for you, a North Korean factory owner was killed by a firing squad for making international calls in 2007. From the outside, it’s hard to agree with some of the policies made by North Korea. This is one of them. In their defense, the authorities say it’s for the greater good: security.
2. Sandcastle Building is Illegal in Spain
You can build castles in the air but not on the beaches of Spain. Specifically in Tenerife, the authorities despise the attempts so much that it attracts heavy fines for those who violate the rule. The ban cuts across both adults and kids.
Of course, the guardians pay fines for the mistakes of those under their care.
3. If Anyone Asks to Use Your Washroom in Scotland, Let Them
The law in Scotland obligates everyone to allow the use of their washrooms upon request, even by a stranger. Under the Old Scottish common law, everyone deserves hospitality – sharing a toilet is one of the basic ways of showing this.
Even though this law wasn’t formally authorized by the parliament, it is still enforceable. What could go wrong with helping out a pressed stranger, anyway?
4. Germans and Their Cars: You Can’t Run Out of Gas
When it comes to making automotive vehicles, Germany ranks up there with the best. Sports cars, luxury sedans, you name them. But what good is a fast car if you can’t tell how efficient it is? That is where the German Autobahns come in. Here, you can legally drive at more than 100 miles per hour.
While speeding is not an issue, running out of fuel is! Germans believe it’s the driver’s responsibility to keep their vehicles with enough gas. So, if you run out of gas while driving on one of these busy highways, a fine awaits you.
Do not even consider walking because that attracts more punishment and is riskier.
5. No Lacy Undies in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus
Though strange on first read, it turns out the authorities in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus meant good when they banned lacy undergarments in 2014. They believe that clothes, especially undergarments, should absorb sweat and other dirt; ones with laces can’t do that effectively.
Of course, many women protested when the rule first came into effect, and understandably so. Lacy undies are more attractive, comfortable, and people should generally be allowed to wear what they want, right? Luxury lingerie made of materials with less than 4% cotton are also out of order.
The real puzzle, however, is how authorities can enforce this law.
6. The Rule Against Reincarnation
Those who know a thing or two about reincarnation know it’s purely spiritual. This means it’s beyond human understanding and not easy to control – not for the Chinese authorities, though. The country has a strict rule that restricts Tibetan Buddhist monks from reincarnating unless granted permission.
To qualify for reincarnation, the Golden Urn selects high-ranking candidates that the government eventually recognizes. The rule has existed since 2007, but Tibetan Buddhists have often ignored it.
Most lawmakers feel religion is a delusion and reincarnation is not a possibility hence their constant fights with the monks. Again, it’s interesting to know how authorities prevent “illegal reincarnation” activities if the idea is truly a thing.
7. Sharing Netflix Password is Illegal in Tennessee, USA
Although the streaming giant Netflix recently considered and tried curbing password sharing, the state of Tennessee in the United States has been doing so for the longest time. However, the ban is not specifically on Netflix logins only but on any shareable service, including cable TV.
Those who violate this rule risk a fine of up to US$2,500, a year in prison, or both. The state implemented this measure to reduce illegal movie and music sharing. However, it still sounds extreme, considering Netflix itself is aware that password sharing is a thing.
8. Chewing Gum Is Illegal in Singapore
In Singapore, manufacturing, importing, distributing, selling, and using chewing gum are prohibited. Anyone caught violating this law can pay huge fines or even spend time in prison. Only dental and nicotine gums are allowed but under strict scrutiny.
Apparently, the rule came in place in 1992 after vandals used chewing gum to cripple the mass rapid system, leading to uncountable losses. More than 3 decades later, the country remains unhealed from the incident and chewing gum is still illegal.
9. Cannibalism Is Illegal in Idaho
Why would someone even contemplate eating another person? But then again, the fact that Idaho state has a rule against cannibalism shows that it was once an issue that needed sorting. As obvious as it sounds, an actual law prevents humans from eating others in the state.
Anyone who violates this law risks up to 14 years in prison. Violation includes eating a part of the flesh (or whole) and drinking human blood. Here is a catch though: cannibalism is defendable if you can prove that you did it under life-threatening conditions.