For the 50+ Traveler

Every state in the union has its fair share of silly laws that are still technically on the books, and other countries are no different. These are the silliest laws we found from around the world. You might want to check them out lest you accidentally break one!

1. No Pee Pee In Portugal

Portugal has taken the "don't pee in the pool" rule to a whole other level by making it illegal for anyone to pee in the ocean.

We're not sure if anyone has been arrested for this offence yet (or how someone would even be caught), but we highly recommend holding it or finding an actual bathroom if you're in Portugal and nature calls.

2. We're All Momma's Boys

The Ten Commandments tell us to honor our parents, but the Chinese government has decided to enshrine parental care in secular law as well. Since 2013, adult children in China have been legally required to visit their parents "often" - a pretty fuzzy term, legally speaking. The same law also requires children to see to their parents' spiritual needs.

So if your kids don't call while you're visiting China, you might want to consider having them extradited!

3. Fishy Behavior

The British Salmon Act of 1986 makes it illegal to "handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances" in the United Kingdom. So if you're walking in an abandoned alleyway in London late at night and you see a salmon on the ground, think twice before you pick it up. When you handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances, you're handling every salmon that salmon has ever handled in suspicious circumstances.

Seafood for thought!

Salmon dish
Dinner? Or probable cause? Unsplash / Caroline Attwood

4. Cambodia Wants You To Leave Your Water Guns At Home

For some reason, the governor of Phnom Penh in Cambodia banned the import and sale of all water guns in 2001. His fear? That people shooting water at each other might cause social unrest during their New Year's celebrations.

Maybe he hasn't seen how comical and harmless water guns are these days. Someone tell the governor there's no such thing as a water bullet.

5. Forget About Naming Your Pig This In France

Anyone who might want to name their pig "Napoleon" in France has been legally banned from doing so for years. While the law has been altered as of 2013 to no longer specifically forbid the name Napoleon, the country does retain very strict laws against defamation and slander.

It might be best to err on the side of caution and just name your pig Frankfurter, or Kevin. (As in Kevin Bacon. Not bad, huh?)

6. No Stilettos At The Acropolis

Forget about accentuating those hips when you're touring through the historic cities of Greece because high heels are banned at many of the ancient monuments.

Besides being the worst type of shoes you could possibly wear for sight-seeing, they can also damage the very artifacts that you're going to see. Silly on the one hand, but serious on the other.

The Acropolis.

7. Georgia Takes Chickens Seriously

Georgia (the state, not the country) doesn't want to hear why the chicken crossed the road. In fact, if you let your chickens cross the road at all in Quitman, Georgia, you'll be facing legal jeopardy.

Basically, you better have those crazy chickens of yours under control!

8. Better Have Gas For The Autobahn

While many parts of the Autobahn have no posted speed limits, they're not entire without rules. Besides keeping a close eye on the road as you zip around at 100 mph, you should be double-checking your gas gauge.

Running out of gas while driving and stopping on the side of highway is completely verboten. It can also lead to significant fines.

9. Huge Fine For Bird Feeding

Some of these laws seem so ridiculous that they're almost unbelievable, but some actually have explanations that are at least somewhat reasonable.

A lot of places don't allow the feeding of birds, but in Venice's St. Mark's Square, they'll actually you fine you up to $700 if you dare feed a pigeon.

They say that feeding attracts too many birds to the area which damages the monuments and is a health hazard. $700 seems extreme, but at least the logic isn't too out there! No one wants to come home from Venice with a case of avian flu.

The Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square, Venice
The Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square, Venice. Unsplash / Sam Mouat

10. Hiking The Alps Naked Is Illegal

Some rules make you wonder if they really needed to be enshrined in law in the first place. Isn't there such a thing as common sense? The Swiss' law against hiking in the nude sure makes you scratch your head. As they say, if it's illegal, that's because someone was caught doing it.

Apparently, Swiss village Appenzell was the first to make naked hiking illegal in 2009 when a German man walked past a picnicking family in his birthday suit.

Some things simply are not meant to be done naked, and alpine hiking is decidedly one of them. Those poor children will likely be scarred for a long, long time, too.

11. Arrogant Bikers Beware

Everyone hates a showboat, and apparently, some people in Mexico were getting a little cocky about their fancy, newfangled bicycle machines back in 1892. A law was subsequently put into effect to forbid bikers from taking their feet off the pedals in case they lost control.

While practical, it's hard to imagine a police officer pulling someone over for taking their foot off the pedal of their bike! But they could...

12. Stick To These Baby Names

Baby names have gotten a little ridiculous these days. (Just look at celebrity baby names like Moon Unit Zappa & Jermajesty Jackson.) In response, Denmark has perhaps overreacted.

They instituted official child-naming guidelines that basically force parents to stick to a database of 7,000 approved names, or seek government approval for going off-book.

Have fun on your next adventure. And don't get arrested!