15 of the Oddest Laws from Around the World

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Everyone comes across a law at some point that strikes them as just plain weird. The good thing about ridiculous laws is that they’re generally not enforced, but the fact that they still exist might say something about the government that hasn’t gone to the trouble of abolishing them yet. These are 15 of the oddest laws, both from overseas and right here in the USA.

The Missionary Position

It’s still technically illegal to have sex in Florida in any position other than “Missionary.” This particular rule isn’t native to just the Sunshine State, though; it can be found throughout the country and in the military. What makes Florida’s law hilarious is the added stipulation that, while having lawful sex in the Missionary position, it’s illegal for the man to kiss the woman on the breasts.

Sex with Animals

To say the least, Lebanon’s a quirky place, but this law is ridiculous to even by quirky standards. A man may have sex with animals other than humans, so long as the animal happens to be female. Sex with male animals is strictly forbidden and punishable by death.

Patent-Leather Shoes

This is the sort of thing that sounds like it belongs in an elementary school — women in the state of Ohio are technically forbidden from wearing patent leather shoes. Why? Because a guy could use the reflective material to see up her dress.

Examining Women’s Genitals

Male gynecologists in Bahrain don’t have an easy job. To examine female genitalia, they must use a mirror because looking directly at a woman’s private areas is strictly forbidden unless she’s his wife.

False Mustaches

In Alabama, it’s technically illegal to wear a false mustache to church — because it could cause “unseemly laughter.” Of all the “during church” sort of archaic laws that still exist in this country, this one might be the funniest.

Husband Killing

In Hong Kong, a woman is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but only if she can do it using her bare hands. However, the woman he slept with is at the wife’s mercy — regardless of her choice of weapon.

Cat Calls

In Beverly Hills, of all places, it’s technically illegal for men to make catcalls at women on the street. To make it funnier, the law’s wording is quite specific: “No male person shall make remarks to or concerning, or cough or whistle at, or do any other act to attract the attention of any woman upon or traveling along any of the sidewalks.”

The Threesome

In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a guy can have sex with both a woman and her mother — but it’s illegal if he has them both at the same time. We’re guessing this has more to do with the incest/lesbian taboo than the threesome part.

Revenge on Your Dentist

They used to believe in “an eye for an eye” in the Old West, and apparently, the folks in Castaic, California, believed in “a tooth for a tooth” as well. They have an archaic law that says that if a dentist pulls the wrong tooth, you can pull one of his to make it fair.

Wine Limitations

In Bolivia, an old law still stands today, saying that a woman may not have more than a single glass of wine in bars or restaurants. The reasoning was that women are “morally and sexually yielding” when they’ve had too much to drink. You don’t say…

Wife Beater

An oldie but goodie in Los Angeles says that a man may beat his wife with a leather belt so long as it’s not wider than 2 inches. This sort of “rule of thumb” law isn’t unheard of, though — until you get to the part where he can use a belt wider than 2 inches if the wife consents to it.

No Masturbating

Indonesia can be a beautiful place, a fun place, and an exciting place. It can also be a horrifying place because they can technically behead you for masturbating.

No Fat Chicks Allowed

In Pico River, California, it’s illegal for a woman to ride a horse wearing shorts — if she weighs over 200 pounds. Apparently, they were more worried about the sight of a fat woman’s legs than the poor horse’s health that carried her.

Walking or Riding Only

In Brewton, Alabama, they’re serious about pedestrian efficiency. At least, they were back when they wrote the ridiculous law that requires anybody on a public sidewalk to be walking or riding something. Standing, crawling, sitting, lying, or sleeping on a sidewalk are all illegal activities.

Trains at a Crossing

This may hurt your brain — Kansas passed a law that states, “When two trains approach each other at a crossing, both shall come to a full stop, and neither shall start up again until the other has gone.” If you find yourself pondering several days from now as to just how this was supposed to work, don’t worry. You’re not alone.


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