Friday, February 27, 2009
Did you know that it is illegal to die in Britain's Houses of Parliament? Or that in France it is against the law to name a pig Napoleon?
The Times of London has compiled a list of 25 of the world's strangest laws. Topping the list is a British law that says the head of any dead whale found on a beach belongs to the king, while the tail belongs to the queen.
Some other wacky rules include a Florida law that says unmarried women can be jailed for parachuting on Sundays or a London law that forbids taxis from carrying rabid dogs or corpses.
Whether or not anyone has been convicted of any of these crimes seems less questionable than how they became laws in the first place. The police in Ohio must be busy making sure no one breaks the law by getting a fish drunk.
Here is the Times' list of the world's most ridiculous laws:
25. It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.
24. It is illegal to die in the Britain Houses of Parliament.
23. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.
22. In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.
21. Under the U.K.’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.
20. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.
19. In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk.
18. Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.
17. In the U.K., a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants — even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.
16. In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.
15. In Miami, Fla., it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.
14. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.
13. In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.
12. In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.
11. In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.
10. In the U.K., a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.
9. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.
8. In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.
7. In Chester, England, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.
6. In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.
5. In Boulder, Colo., it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet — the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders."
4. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.
3. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.
2. In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination; he may only see their reflection in a mirror.
1. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the king; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the queen — in case she needs the bones for her corset.
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