Whilst most of us here in the UK wouldn’t think twice about carelessly forgetting a loved ones birthday, or flushing the toilet in the middle of the night when nature calls, in some countries these are considered illegal acts. Here are 10 of the most bizarre laws and customs around the world – it’s always good to know in case you’re planning to travel to, or live, in any of these exotic locations…

If your light bulb breaks- don't try and fix it yourself!

If your light bulb breaks- don't try and fix it yourself!

Changing light bulbs – Victoria, Australia

It’s considered illegal for the average Joe to change a light bulb in Victoria, Australia, leading to a AU$10 fine for anyone caught doing so. Only qualified electricians are legally allowed to do so - we bet they must make a fortune!

Elderly Rights Law – China

In 2013 a new law was passed in China that stated all grown children must visit their ageing parents on a regular basis, caring for their spiritual needs. Those who don’t can end up in court, facing either a fine or the risk of being detained.

Royal pets – UK

A law dating back to when George I was King, that is currently still in place, states that it is illegal for someone outside of the Royal family to allow their pet to mate with a pet from the Royal family without their permission. Better keep your dog on a tight leash around the Queen’s corgis!

Frowning is frowned upon – Milan, Italy

The Italian government have ruled that it’s a legal requirement to always be smiling in Milan, unless attending a funeral or visiting the hospital. Apparently if you’re caught frowning you can receive a fine from the police.

Noise pollution – Switzerland

If you’re living in an apartment building in Switzerland, there are a variety of things that are considered illegal to do after a certain time in order to prevent creating unnecessary noise for your neighbours. After 10pm you’re not allowed to flush the toilet, fill the bath or even urinate standing up.

Proxy Weddings – Montana, America

Those serving in the military are allowed to partake in a proxy wedding, whereby a friend can step in for them if they’re unable to attend their own wedding. A proxy wedding is considered legal and the couple are considered legally married, even though one of them was unable to attend. In some cases, both the bride and the groom can be absent, with friends stepping in for both of them.

The Autobahn – Germany

Some areas of Germany’s Autobahn has a speed limit of 81mph, however the majority of it doesn’t have a speed limit in place, therefore it’s illegal for drivers to both run out of petrol on the Autobahn, and also to walk on it (for those considering walking to the next petrol station).

A husband’s duty – Samoa

It is illegal for a husband to forget his wife’s birthday in Samoa. Although, being married you’d hope that he does in fact know his wife’s birthday – and let’s hope he remembers his anniversary too.

Passing gas – Florida, America

The need to pass gas is natural, especially following certain foods, however it’s illegal to do so after 6pm and anyone caught doing so is considered to be causing a public nuisance and can apparently be arrested for doing so. In which case, it’s best to watch what you eat.

Home grown talent – Canada

The CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) have ruled that, by law, at least every fifth song played on Canadian radio has to be performed by a Canadian artist. To be fair, a lot of great singers originate from Canada, including Celine Dion, Drake and Michael Bublé, so it won’t just be Justin Bieber popping up every fifth song.

Research by www.jetcost.com


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