The Most Inexplicable Foreign Laws

When you travel abroad, it’s a good idea to research the laws and customs of the area. You don’t want to break some laws accidentally and end up in jail like some of the people in “Locked Up Abroad.” Their harrowing experiences are recounted on an all new season of the show premiering on National Geographic Channel April 25 at 10 PM ET. Of course, the laws in this list are so ridiculous, who could even foresee them?

1. 1. Russia - It is illegal to brush your teeth more than twice per day.

Enjoy it while you can.

ID: 227015

2. 2. Australia - Although it is illegal for children to buy cigarettes, condoms and alcohol, it is legal to use them.

Drink up, kiddo!

ID: 227032

3. 3. Italy - In Milan, it is legally required to smile at all times, except during funerals and hospital visits.

Avoiding fines with friends.

ID: 227094

4. 4. Canada - It is illegal for street musicians to give children balloon animals in Victoria, British Columbia.

Daniel Lee / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: dlee13 / Via

“Don’t worry ma’am, we’ll catch the perp.”

ID: 227164

5. 5. Chile - The country didn’t pass a law legalizing divorce until 2005.

You may have a migraine now but hey, at least you’re not breaking the law anymore!

ID: 227204

6. 6. Finland - Traffic fines are calculated on a sliding scale according to your most-recently reported income.

The most expensive speeding ticket ever ($12.5 million) was given out to a Nokia executive for going 75 km/h in a 50km/h zone on his Harley. Ouch.

ID: 227227

7. 7. Israel - You could be prosecuted for picking your nose on a Saturday.

DISCLAIMER: This law was passed by a rabbi to preserve the sanctity of the holy day, but the rule is not enforced by Israeli secular law.

ID: 227312

8. 8. Samoa - In Samoa, it’s a crime to forget your wife’s birthday.

After the doghouse, there’s the jailhouse.

ID: 227254

9. 9. Portugal - According to Portuguese law, it is forbidden to pee in the ocean.

The Portuguese coast, 100% Urine Free.

ID: 227358

10. 10. Thailand - People in Thailand can be put in jail for mocking the monarchy, whether they are residents of the country or not.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej doesn’t take mocking lightly.

ID: 227410

11. 11. England - At a train station in Warrington, kissing travelers goodbye could get you in trouble.

Quinn Dombrowski / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: quinnanya

A sign at Warrington Bank Quay Train Station reminds travelers of the ban on kissing.

ID: 227532

12. 12. Thailand - It is illegal to leave the house if you are not wearing underwear.

digboston / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: weeklydig / Via

No official word on whether leaving your house in only your underwear is legal, however.

ID: 227606

13. 13. Russia - Dirty cars spotted in Moscow can end up with a $100 fine, although how dirty isn’t defined.


ID: 227616

14. 14. France - It is illegal to name a pig Napoleon.

J P / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: nuskyn / Via

“Je ne m’appelle pas Napoleon.”

ID: 227722

15. 15. Scotland - Being drunk while in possession of a cow is illegal.

Disapproving cow thinks you shouldn’t have that fourth beer.

ID: 228056

16. 16. New Zealand: One law states that any found Uranium should be reported to the Government in writing within three months of its discovery.

Smilin’ Joe Fission should report those uraniums rods stat!

ID: 228213

17. 17. Denmark - You legally have to check under your car for sleeping children before you start it.

Robert Couse-Baker / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: 29233640@N07 / Via

Kind of makes you worry about the state of parenting in Denmark, doesn’t it?

ID: 228324

18. 18. England - It is illegal to consume a mince pie on Christmas Day.

No pie for you!

ID: 228374

19. 19. Greece - Playing electronic games can carry a fine of up to 75,000 euros.

Somewhere not in Greece, video games are played.

ID: 228397

20. 20. Singapore - Chewing gum has been banned since 1992.

The ban on chewing gum in Singapore was relaxed in 2004. The sale of chewing gum with health benefits - such as nicotine gum - is now allowed.

ID: 228450

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