11 Weird Laws You Probably Didn’t Know Existed – See Which Ones You’ve Broken

Source: Unsplash/Aron Van de Pol

Many of us try to abide by the law, and typically most of us know the main offenses that could land you in handcuffs, with fines, or behind bars. However, it’s unlikely that you know every single law that exists, especially laws that are enforced in the UK. Some of these are so strange, and it’s possible that you have unintentionally broken a few. Let’s dive into 11 of the strangest laws you probably didn’t know existed. 

Flying Your Kite In The Street 

We all know that flying your kite along the beach or in a field is commonplace, but did you know that it is actually illegal to fly your kite in the streets? According to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, it is illegal to fly a kite in ‘any street, to the obstruction, annoyance, or danger of the residents or passengers.’ 

Source: Saigoneer

We aren’t hundred percent sure that they actually enforce this rule anymore, but it’s still worth noting nonetheless. 

Carrying Planks Of Wood In The Streets 

This one isn’t applicable to most, mostly because there aren’t many of us that are strolling down the streets with planks of wood. But in case you might be part of the small number of people that might participate in this act, just know you are breaking the law.

Source: AdobeStock/Cavan Images

According to the Metropolitan Police Act of 1936, ‘A plank of wood must not be carried along a pavement. It can only be moved if it is being unloaded from a vehicle or taken into a building’. In other terms, don’t take your plank of wood for a walk down main streets.  

You Cannot Lead Cows Down The Street During The Day  

Ever take your cow for a walk? Well if by some odd chance you have, it is illegal to do so.

Source: Unsplash/Stijn te Strake

This one contravenes the Metropolitan Streets act of 1867, which makes it illegal to walk cattle through the streets between the hours of 10am and 7pm. Maybe play it safe and just take your dog for a walk instead. 

Pets Are Prohibited From Mating With Royal Pets 

Alright we get it your furry friend might have a wandering eye, but if that gaze happens to include the liking of a royal pet you may want to steer clear. Yes we realize the likelihood of this happening is pretty slim,

Source: Unsplash/James Barker

But allowing your pet to mate with a royal pet is not just illegal, in the past it was taken so seriously that until 1965 offenders could potentially face the death penalty if convicted of this!

Don’t Shake Your Rug Out On The Street 

Regardless of whether or not you want to clean that prized rug, make sure you don’t shake it out in the street, if you do you are breaking the law. 

Source: Reenrugcare

According to Section 60 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 it’s illegal to beat or shake the dust off a rug in a London street. Shaking your doormat on the other hand is allowed – as long as you do it before 8am.

Taxi Drivers Are Required To Ask Passengers If They Have The Plague

It’s common to have your cabbie spark up a conversation with you, but have you ever had one ask you if you were afflicted by the plague? 

Source: Flickr

Although we realize this wouldn’t be a pleasant conversation to have, the cabbie is actually breaking the law if they don’t ask, since according to the Public Health Act of 1936 cab drivers are legally required to ask passengers if they are suffering from smallpox or the plague. It’s unlikely, of course, given neither of these is actually found in the UK these days, but rules are rules.  

Queue- Jumping Is Prohibited In The Tube Station Ticket Hall

While we might all be eager to catch a Tube sometimes, if you find yourself in the queue, you simply have to sit and wait it out. Especially because it is against the law to queue jump.

Source: PA Wire/James Manning

This surprisingly reasonable rule was enacted by Transport For London as one of their London Underground byelaws, it aims to prevent passengers getting frustrated by others jumping the line, and also for safety reasons, if people are pushing past others to board a train.  

Can’t Be In Charge Of Cows And Be Intoxicated 

Cows are now on this list twice, not only is it illegal to stroll down the street with a cow in hand during daylight hours, it is also against the law to be in charge of them if you are knackered.

Source: Unsplash/Lomig

This is because, according to section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872, people face fines if they are found drunk in charge of cattle or horses – a law imposed to help keep people safe. Although in fairness this legislation also extends to ‘steam engines and carriages’ – which effectively qualifies as cars and other vehicles in the modern world. So this law actually makes sense if you think about it. 

It Is Against The Law To Wear A Suit Of Armour In Parliament

Ok ok so we recognize that the likelihood of this taking place is pretty damn slim, it’s worth noting that wearing a suit of armor in parliament is actually illegal, and has been since a law forbidding it was passed back in 1313.

Source: Playground AI

Edward II enacted the law to prevent violence between the two factions of parliament at the time, the Lancastrians, who were pro-royalist, and the anti-royalist party led by the Earl of Gloucester. Oddly enough this law has never been repealed. 

Handling A Salmon In A Suspicious Manner Is Prohibited   

According to the 1986 Salmon Act, handling a salmon while ‘looking suspicious’ is definitely a breach of the law. That being said, the law is meant for those that are involved in the illegal sale of salmon, rather than those buying salmon, so you are most likely safe and don’t need to be worried about being detained while buying your filets at the supermarket.

Source: Unsplash/NOAA

However if you are a fan of fishing, you’ll want to be mindful of the Scottish law which states rod fishing for salmon is prohibited on a Sunday.

No Sliding On Icy Streets 

You might get a bit of a thrill from pretending to be an Olympic skater when the weather turns icy, but did you know you’re actually breaking the law if you do?

Source: Youtube/Paul Dubbelman

The Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 actually banned this fun pursuit for safety reasons – and also because it could potentially cause a disturbance to others. So you may have to refrain from slipping and sliding down the icy streets, unless done unintentionally of course.  

What do you think?

199 Points
Upvote Downvote
Athena Hallet

Written by Athena Hallet

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Why It’s Illegal To Collect Rainwater In Some States, Explained

Two Dozen U.S. Cities Are At Risk Of Disappearing Underwater: Study