When You See These Strange Law You Might Accidentally Break, You'll Be Completely Shaken Up!


The purpose of most laws is to promote acceptable behavior and to prevent unacceptable behavior. But some countries have strange laws and you may already break!

1. You can’t like Winnie The Pooh in Poland

In Tuszyn, Poland, the town council decided that Winnie the Pooh, a beloved children’s character, was an “inappropriate hermaphrodite” because of its lack of identifying genitalia. As we all know, one of the things you really need in a children’s character is prominent genitals. One councillor said, “The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe.” The bear’s lack of pants was an issue as it was “half naked.”

The meeting, which was taped in secret and leaked to the media, began to get out of hand when someone mentioned that the author was “over 60 and [had] cut Pooh’s testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with his identity.”

In the end, the council decided to go with a Polish children’s character that was fully dressed “from head to toe.” Just to be on the safe side.

2. You can’t have funny names in Germany

Like most governments, the Germans were anxious to ensure that children were not bullied at school. Specifically, they don’t want kids to be teased because of their names. 

Height, weight, glasses, funny haircuts, okay. But not names.

So, the government has instituted a policy of allowing only approved names to be entered on German birth certificates. Of course, there are a few rules. For example, new parents are not allowed to name their children after ordinary nouns such as a piece of fruit.

To make it onto the approved list, a name must not leave the child open to ridicule or abuse. (Calling your child “Reignbeau” or “Kal-El” would fall under this heading.) It must also be a recognized name. (“River” would be out, as would “North.”) Finally, it must make the sex of the baby clear. (“Indio” or “Dusti” just wouldn’t cut it.)

3. You can’t hold a fish in a ‘suspicious manner’ in England

You might imagine that an Englishman would be free to hold his fish in any way he chooses, but you would be wrong.

According to the 1986 Salmon Act, Section 32, if he handles a salmon in a “suspicious manner,” he will be subject to prosecution and a fine of up to £800. And not just a salmon. The law applies also to trout, eels, lampreys, smelt, freshwater fish, and any other fish “specified for the purpose.”

All of this seems to be very specific—except, of course, that the legislation does not say what a suspicious manner looks like.

4. You can’t be fat in Japan

Even though the country doesn’t have a large obesity problem, Japan decided to take a proactive approach to the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight. So, in 2008, Japan banned its citizens from being fat. 

The “metabo law” requires all citizens over age 40 to have their waist measurements taken once a year. Anyone deemed to be overweight is given three months to shape up. After that, they receive compulsory dietary “advice and guidance” followed by six months of “reeducation” if they are still not making sufficient progress.

5. You cannot be reincarnated without permission in China

In 2007, the Chinese government banned Buddhists from reincarnating without prior written authorization in “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.”

However, the law would allow the Chinese a say in the next reincarnation of the most important Living Buddha when the current Dalai Lama dies. According to tradition, the Buddhist leader, who is in his eighties, will be reborn to help humanity.

6. You must wear speedos in France

In public swimming pools in France, men are only allowed to wear extremely tight-fitting swimming trunks in the swimming pool. Attempts to jump into the pool in shorts may lead to you being “rescued” by a lifeguard or hauled out by a large hook.

Supposedly, the reason for the rule is “hygiene.” Although the tight swimsuits may not always be flattering, they are unlikely to have been worn outside on the streets. On the other hand, shorts might have been worn anywhere.

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