Published By: Ishani Karmakar

Weird Laws Around The World: Don’t Walk Backward In Topeka!

Laws are put in place to maintain order and ensure the smooth functioning of society. However, some laws can be downright strange and bizarre, leaving us scratching our heads in confusion!

From ancient statutes that have never been repealed to modern-day peculiarities, the world is filled with unusual laws that often defy reason. In this article, we explore one such law that stands out from the rest: the prohibition on walking backward in Topeka, Kansas, and delve into other weird laws around the world.

The Curious Case of Topeka’s Backward Walking Ban

Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. However, beneath its picturesque facade lies a rather perplexing law that prohibits people from walking backward down a city street after sunset. This unusual ordinance has been in effect since 1898, leaving both residents and visitors scratching their heads.


The origins of this law are rooted in the belief that walking backward at night can be dangerous and disrupt the flow of traffic. Although it may seem arbitrary in today’s context, it’s important to remember that laws often reflect the social and cultural norms of the time they were enacted. While this law may seem peculiar, it serves as a reminder of the quirks and idiosyncrasies that can be found within legal systems around the world.

Weird Laws from Around the Globe

Topeka’s backward walking ban is just one example of the oddities that exist within legal systems worldwide. Here are a few more peculiar laws that may leave you scratching your head:

Finland’s Wife-Carrying Championship

In Finland, there is an annual competition known as the Wife-Carrying World Championship. Participants must carry their wives through an obstacle course, with the winner being awarded the wife’s weight in beer. While this law may not be legally binding, it highlights the fascinating and sometimes absurd traditions that exist around the world.

Thailand’s Chewing Gum Ban

In an effort to combat littering, Thailand implemented a ban on chewing gum in 1992. While the law does not criminalize the act of chewing gum itself, the importation and sale of gum are strictly regulated. This unusual law aims to keep the streets clean and free from discarded gum.

Japan’s No Dancing After Midnight Law

In Japan, there is a law that prohibits dancing in clubs and bars after midnight. The “no dancing” law was implemented in response to concerns about noise, public disturbance, and potential illegal activities associated with late-night dancing. While this law has faced criticism and calls for reform, it remains in effect in some areas.

Singapore’s No Durian on Public Transportation

Durian, a spiky fruit known for its pungent smell, is a delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries. However, in Singapore, it is strictly forbidden to bring durian onto public transportation. The ban aims to prevent the strong odour from inconveniencing fellow passengers.

Italy’s No Sandcastles Rule

In some coastal areas of Italy, building sandcastles on the beach is prohibited. This law was implemented to preserve the natural beauty of the beaches and prevent any potential damage to the environment. While it may seem restrictive to beachgoers, it demonstrates the importance placed on conservation in certain regions.