7 weird laws from around the world

  1. In Milan, it’s a legal requirement to smile at all times
    1. Well, except during funerals or hospital visits. But apart from that you should be constantly grinning, or else you can get a fine! It isn’t really enforced now, but this city regulation was made in the 19th century and it’s never officially been repealed.
  2. It’s illegal to carry a plank along a pavement in London.
    1. This is an offence under Section 54 of the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act. Other offences covered by the Act include keeping a pigsty in front of your house, singing rude songs in the street and ringing your neighbour’s doorbell and running away. So don’t do that. 
  3. In Oklahoma, it’s against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm.
    1. A rancher in Arizona had a donkey that became accustomed to sleeping in an old bath on the farm. One night, there was a huge flood and said donkey (in said bathtub) floated away into the sea, and much of the town’s resources and manpower were spent trying to save the donkey. That upset the people who lived there (there were possibly better things to have to think about in an emergency situation) and so this law was passed in 1924 to stop it ever happening again.
  4. It’s illegal to be fat in Japan. 
    1. The ‘Metabo Law’ was passed in 2008 as a way of trying to prevent obesity. Japanese law requires employers and city councils to take waist measurements of employees and
      residents (aged between 45-74) once a year and ensure that they are within the government's set guidelines (up to 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. If the measurements are higher, they are required to refer the employee for diet and weight loss therapy. The law punishes the employers and councils that don't do this- not the person who is 'overweight'.
  5. It’s legal to marry a dead person in France.
    1. Called ‘posthumous marriage’ it originated in the 1950s when a dam broke and killed 400 people including a man named André Capra, who was engaged to Iréne Jodart. Jodart was heartbroken and lobbied French President Charles De Gaulle to let her continue with her marriage plans. Thanks to the media’s support, her wish was eventually granted. Today, anyone who wants to file for posthumous marriage can simply send a request to the President of France.
  6. In Lyme Regis, it’s illegal to slap people with a dead eel.
    1. There was a tradition known as ‘the conger-cuddling’ in which people swung dead eels at each other - but in 2006 the game was banned by local authorities after an animal rights group claimed it was disrespectful to the dead fish.
  7. It’s illegal to die in Falciano del Massico in Italy. 
    1. A well-publicised law was passed back in 2012 by the town’s mayor because the town’s cemetery is full. The mayor told the press that his town’s residents were happy with the new law, but unfortunately, two elderly citizens had openly disobeyed it.