Weird Laws Around the World

1 . A location to die for

If you fancy a spot of eternal life, forget the Holy Grail: just go and live in the remote Arctic town of Longyearbyen, where dying is against the law. Actually, this is because it was found that bodies didnt decompose in the permafrost. The graveyard stopped accepting newcomers 70 years ago; so if you fall gravely ill there now, you will be hastily dispatched by plane to the mainland, where you can end your days without getting arrested.

2 . I arrest chew in the name of the law

Ever thought that chewing gum could land you in jail? Well, in Singapore, it has been completely illegal since 1992. The only exception is nicotine gum, but even then smokers can only get it from a pharmacy with a prescription. Chewing gum is legal in New York, of course, but cinema owners there must chisel all gum off the undersides of their auditorium seats every month. Makes trodden-in popcorn seem positively pleasant.

3 . The indelicate delicacy

The people of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia simply love the durian fruit, which looks a little like a cross between a pineapple and a porcupine. However, many local authorities have completely banned the consumption of this delicacy from buses, subways, hotels and airports. Is this yet another outrageous infringement of civil liberties? Well, since the durian is said to smell like a mixture of pig-droppings, turpentine and onions, maybe not, on this occasion.

4 . Wheres that dessert trolley

When dining at a restaurant in Denmark, you dont have to pay for your food unless, by your own opinion, you are full at the end of your meal. A wafer-thin mint, sir?

5 . Catch 22 customs

If you ever suffer at the rubber-gloved hands of a suspicious and painfully overzealous British customs officer, dont be tempted to take him or her to court no matter how innocent you are. Section 268 of the Customs Laws Consolidation Act 1876 rules that no action can be brought against such an official without one months notice. While Section 272 of the same Act insists that any action must be started within one month of the incident.

6 . Fat fighters

You are forbidden to be fat in Japan. Although their country already has one of the worlds lowest obesity rates (less than 5 per cent, in contrast to the USAs 35 per cent), that didnt stop Japanese lawmakers from setting a maximum waistline size in 2009. Every man aged 40 and over must not have a waist measuring 80cm or above, every woman, 90cm or above. And this from the land that brought us sumo wrestling.

7 . Thai him up

Thailand may tolerate many exotic sexual shenanigans, but it is still illegal to leave your house there if you are not wearing underwear. And you cant drive your car if youre not wearing a shirt, not matter whats going on in your trousers. Nor should you step on any of the nations currency. And dont even think of insulting the king you could get 15 years in jail.

8 . Barefaced Cheek

If youre on a safari in Kenya and your guide suddenly removes all of his clothes before wandering off towards the wildlife, do resist the temptation to do the same. While its completely legal for Kenyan citizens to streak across the Masai Mara, it is illegal for foreigners to do so. Its also deeply inadvisable for at least 147 other reasons.

9 . I wonder what that teddy was doing there

In Denmark, you legally have to check under your car for children who may be sleeping there before you start the engine. But dont panic too much if you forget and get thrown in jail for running over some catnapping kids in Denmark it is not against the law to escape from prison.

10 . Not feeling very flush

You must plan your movements very carefully in Switzerland. Flushing the toilet after 10pm in an apartment building is illegal there. The Government curiously considered noise pollution to be more anti-social than olfactory pollution. Not sure we agree with them on that one. Anyway, whether you relieve yourself and leave the flat humming, or you just wait until morning, the choice is completely yours.

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