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Spanning decades or even centuries, certain laws have endured, quietly navigating the twists and turns of legal evolution. These remnants from bygone eras can give rise to a curious assortment of regulations that, in the context of modern life, seem wholly arbitrary and often comical. In this compilation, we will delve into a selection of amusing examples from various parts of the world, shared by individuals within an online forum.
1. Buying 50 kg of Potatoes in Australia
Someone cites, “Section 22 of the Marketing of Potatoes Act 1946 prohibits anyone from selling, delivering, purchasing, or taking delivery of 50kgs (or what appears to be 50kg) or more of potatoes unless you are a member of the Potato Corporation or an authorized agent.” Leading to the question: who the heck is the potato corporation?
2. Cloning Yourself in North Dakota
“According to chapter 12.1-39 Section 2 of North Dakota law, you could be fined up to $10,000 for cloning yourself.” Good to know.
3. Marry a Dead Person in France
“It is legal to marry a dead person in France, although it’s more common in modern times for widows who had partners died in battle. Certain conditions do have to be met though — there have to have been plans for the widow to marry their spouse prior to their death, and the President of France has to approve of the marriage. If these prerequisites are met, then the date of marriage is set to the day before the deceased partner died. The living partner is, however, still legally considered to be a widow post-marriage.”
4. No Witchcraft in North Ireland
An Irish woman shares an outdated law that was never removed from Northern Ireland, saying it’s still illegal to practice witchcraft there. She clarified that, no, this law obviously isn’t enforced in any way.
5. Don’t Run Out of Gas on the Autobahn
“In Germany, it is a punishable offense to get stuck on the autobahn because of an empty tank.” For safety reasons, some people thought this actually made sense, even though no one would ever purposely run out of gas.
6. Suspicious Fish Handling
“In the UK under section 23 of the salmon act 1986 it’s an offence to handle a fish while looking suspicious.” Interesting and hilarious to envision.
Someone clarifies, “No, it’s an offence to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances. It’s a fairly obvious law against poaching.”
7. No Thistle in Maryland
A woman shares that, “It is illegal to grow thistle in your yard” in her state of Maryland- and she has no idea why.
8. Refrigerator Naps on the Road
“In Pennsylvania, USA, it’s illegal to sleep on a refrigerator that’s on the side of the road.” Wait, what? Who’s ever done this that this had to be made a law?
9. Elephant Crop Plowing
“It is illegal to use an elephant to plow a cotton field in North Carolina.” Darn, someone shares they’ll have to use their giraffe instead.
10. Boots Only for Farmers
“In Blythe, CA it’s illegal to wear cowboy boots unless you own 2 cows.” No posers around there!
11. Opposum Flags
“In North Carolina, around new years, you can raise a opossum up a flag pole. Alive not dead.” Poor animal.
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