Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for a passenger to pass away on a flight. British Airways policy states that in the event of a death on board, flight attendants should put the cadaver in a seat — preferably first class, if available —and cover it with a blanket, tucking it in around the neck. Passengers seated near the body should also be informed. Sounds horrible, but it’s better than what one lead British Airways trainer claims they used to do: “Give them a vodka and tonic, a Daily Mail, and eye-shades.”
In a mind-boggling demonstration of sexism, the Bolivian capital has a law on the books that dictates a married woman be served no more than one glass of wine when in a public establishment. If she does drink more than that, her husband has grounds for divorce. The reasoning for this is that women who have more than that amount are “morally and sexually lax.”
In 2011, the city of Barcelona made it illegal to wear just swimwear anywhere in public outside of the beach. This was done in response to an extensive campaign by local residents and businesses that were sick of the many shirtless or bikini-clad tourists eating, shopping, and walking around in their streets. Those going around semi-nude will be fined €120-300 (about $140–350), whereas the fully naked risk a fine of €300-500 (about $350–590).
The beach town of Eraclea, about 45 minutes outside of Venice, does not allow the building of sandcastles on its shores. The structures have been deemed obstructive, and therefore, a danger to beachgoers. Ball and racquet games have also been banned on Eraclean beaches, as has collecting any sand or seashells. Fines for doing any of these can be between €25 (about $30) and €250 (about $300).
Often cited as one of the cleanest cities in the world, Singapore has worked hard to earn its reputation. One of the ways it stays so beautiful is its ban of chewing gum. By law, chewing gum — with the exception of dental or nicotine gum — may not be bought or sold. Gum is not even produced in Singapore, and only gum used for therapeutic purposes may be imported. If you get caught spitting out your gum on the streets, you can be fined up to $700.
Believe it or not, someone actually has been arrested for this one — a 91-year-old woman of all people! A 1961 law in Gainesville, Georgia, which refers to fried chicken as “a culinary delicacy sacred to this municipality, this county, this state, the Southland and this republic,” outlaws its consumption with anything other than one’s hands. In a fantastic display of capitalism, the ordinance was actually passed as a PR stunt meant to promote the city of Gainesville as the poultry capital of the world. Fortunately, the old woman in question was pardoned.
If you’re visiting Chicago and looking for a bite to eat, don’t go to a place that’s on fire. This isn’t just logic, but law there. Why they felt the need to establish this law, we’re not sure.
When in Florida, you should be careful about your bodily functions. Due to this very specific law, you could get in trouble for letting out some gas while going out on a walk in public. We can’t seem to figure out the reasoning behind this, but perhaps Florida’s high methane levels make the experience quite unpleasant for everyone. When it comes to theorizing what that has to do with Thursday, we’re at a loss.
An Alaskan law makes it an offense to be drunk in a bar, and in the past few years, police officers have started to enforce this, even going so far as to enter bars in plainclothes to identify and arrest offenders. It sounds ludicrous, until you learn that Alaska has a longstanding alcohol problem. According to an Anchorage police officer, most of the people in jail are in there due to decisions they made while under the influence. Simply having a buzz won’t get you in trouble, though; the law is meant for those who are so drunk that they are either causing harm or unable to protect themselves from harm. If that’s the case, we’re not sure why this applies to only bars.
There haven’t been any reports of imprisonment due to a lack of underwear, but we suggest you play it safe. Make sure you have something on underneath your pants, skirt, or dress when leaving your hotel in Thailand.
London cabbies are required by law to ask their passengers (though they never do) if they are currently suffering from a “notifiable disease such as smallpox or the plague.” If you knowingly take a taxi while having such an illness, you could get in trouble.
This law was enacted in 1986 under the Salmon Act, regulating salmon fishery. Section 32, entitled “Handling Salmon in Suspicious Circumstances” ordains that it is against the law for any person in England or Wales who receives or disposes of salmon that he or she has enough reason to believe has been illegally fished. While the wording of the law is far funnier than the meaning of it, the law is still a bit ridiculous. While this measure may have been enacted in order to combat salmon poaching, it makes merely handling poached salmon punishable by up to two years in prison.
Be careful if you’re on the search for the creature known as ‘Bigfoot,’ ‘Sasquatch,’ or ‘Yeti.’ Bigfoot is officially an endangered species and this country is considered a “Sasquatch Refuge.” Any premeditated, willful, or wanton killing of Bigfoot is deemed a gross misdemeanor if committed with malice aforethought, with a fine of $1,000, a sentence of one year in the county jail, or both. If it is done without malice aforethought, it is considered a misdemeanor with a fine of $500, up to six months in jail, or both.
Surprisingly, you cannot kiss your sweetheart on the train platform while in Paris, the City of Love — not legally, at any rate. The law was enacted in 1910 as a measure to avoid delays and people holding up other passengers from boarding. It is no longer enforced.
Portugal has a law against peeing in the ocean, which makes total sense, but we can’t help but find the very existence of it to be silly. We’re not sure how this is supposed to be enforced, but it’s good advice all the same. You really shouldn’t be urinating anywhere other than a lavatory (or the occasional spot in the woods).
For any extraterrestrial readers, if you’re planning a trip to this famous southern French wine town, you may want to rethink your transportation. The “flying over, landing, or taking off of flying saucers” in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is strictly forbidden. Anyone found to be doing so will immediately be taken into custody. While this law was passed in 1954, the town’s mayor refused to lift the ban just last year. (California's idiosyncratic Bonny Doon Vineyard pays tribute to the law with a Châteauneuf-style wine called Le Cigare Volant — "the flying cigar" — which is what flying saucers are called in France.)
Despite the state’s laid-back reputation, Hawaiian Airlines has quite the strict dress code. You can be booted off your flight for having an “unacceptable hairstyle,” which includes, but isn’t limited to, cornrows, dreadlocks, Mohawks, unnatural hair colors such as blue or pink, or even top-knot buns.
Leave the Bermuda shorts or swimming trunks at home if you’re headed to France. Most swimming pools and water parks require that you wear Speedos — or longer leg shorts, if they’re skin tight. Supposedly, this is for hygiene reasons, as you are sharing the water with other people. While there are weird laws all around the world some of the strangest are in the U.S. Click here to read about the weirdest law in every state.