Bizarre Things Prohibited Worldwide on Absurd Grounds

What should a government do if an item, habit, or occurrence becomes too hazardous to let it exist? It’s simple: just prohibit it.

However, what is deemed “too risky” does not necessarily make a great deal of sense. As you’re no doubt aware, governments throughout the world occasionally ban completely strange items for absurd reasons.

There are so many instances of this that you could probably fill a whole book with them.

Flip-flops, High-Heels, and Obesity

Off the west coastline of Italy, the island of Capri is a famous holiday destination. However, if you intend to take up the Mediterranean heat, you need to pay close attention to your feet.

The island of Capri has banned flip-flops and other “very loud” footwear. Residents of Capri love their tranquility; tourists wearing flapping or squeaking shoes have no place on the island, according to local officials.

Those found wearing prohibited footwear are subject to “heavy” penalties. Therefore, if you are heading to Capri, you should wear sandals like the locals.

In 2011, it was reported that France outlawed ketchup to preserve French cuisine. However, this is not true. France has instead prohibited condiments in classrooms.

Students in France are not permitted to add as much ketchup, mayonnaise, or vinaigrette as they choose. As part of the nation’s goal to prevent childhood obesity, all condiments are instead supplied in predefined amounts by canteen workers.

Capri is not the only Mediterranean holiday resort with footwear restrictions. If you are wearing high heels in Greece, you may want to be cautious about your footing.

The nation has prohibited high heels from all sites of historical significance. However, despite appearances, their thinking is rather logical.

Regular footwear exerts less pressure on the ground than high heels. The old pavement of Greek sites, such as the Acropolis of Athens, is so fragile that swarms of tourists in high heels might do serious damage.

The government of Japan is concerned about the health of its inhabitants. So worried, in fact, that persons who are overweight can suffer consequences.

Employers of Japanese employees aged 40 to 74 are mandated to measure their employees’ waistlines annually. If an employee is overweight, the employer must offer them “dietary assistance.”

Any business that fails to fulfill its responsibilities might be punished. Therefore, employers have the incentive to support weight loss among their staff.

Wheelbarrow, Furbies, and Memes

If you are heading to Nigeria, ensure you have not brought any wheelbarrows. These items will be seized at the border.

Now, Nigeria has prohibited just foreign-made wheelbarrows. Supposedly, the prohibition exists to safeguard Nigeria’s indigenous wheelbarrow industry.

Remember Furbies, those lifeless, strangely menacing furballs from the 1990s that were rumored to mimic human speech? Indeed, they were originally prohibited from National Security Agency premises (NSA).

The prohibition resulted from the marketing of Furbies. Their maker, Tiger Electronics, claimed when a youngster interacted with a Furby, it gradually learned to speak English.

The NSA feared a foreign agent could disguise a Furby as an NSA installation. With time, it would start to regurgitate what it hears and may potentially reveal national secrets.

In actuality, Furbies lack any form of artificial intelligence. Rather, their language system is based on a timer that progressively transforms gibberish into a few coherent syllables.

The NSA just never cared to investigate how Furbies operate. Memes are ubiquitous on the internet. However, they are technically prohibited in Australia.

Australia’s copyright laws ban the “distribution of an infringing work that causes harm to the copyright owner.” Since memes are often irreverent and their creators do not pay for the images they use, they are unlawful.

Obviously, the rule is difficult to police in its entirety; it is doubtful that you would be punished for adding words to a picture. Regardless of how offensive they may be, memes are on the Australian government’s list of prohibited content.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.