9 Things You Might Not Know Are Banned Around the World

9 Things You Might Not Know Are Banned Around the World

Image: Rod Library

From movies about time travel to carrying a sour face, these bans around the world…

1. Scrabble, Romania

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Image: Sarah Slade

In the 1980s, the Romanian President, Nicolae Ceausescu, decided to ban the game of Scrabble. Why? Because it was supposedly a “subversive evil.” We’re not really sure what kind of backlash ensued, but to the delight of wordy fans, the ban was lifted just a few years later. P-H-E-W.

2. Time Travel Movies, China

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Image: JMortonPhoto.com & OtoGodfrey.com

Can you imagine a world without Back to the Future? Or even something like Terminator 2? In China, movies featuring the element of time travel are banned because they are considered disrespectful to history and treat it frivolously.

3. Kinder Surprises, U.S.

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Image: Tojosan

Unfortunately, there haven’t been any little chocolate toy surprises for kids living in the U.S. for a long, long time (since 1938). The FDA bans any chocolate in the U.S. that includes non-nutritive embedded materials. In 2012, two men from Seattle tried to smuggle in a few Kinder Surprises from Canada – risking a fine of $2,500 per egg!

4. Video Games, Greece

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If you’re considering a spot of gaming on your trip to Greece, beware. Since 2003, the country has banned the playing of any video games in Internet cafes, with the law applying to both locals and tourists. It all started as an attempt to put a stop to illegal gambling, but it seems the whole fiasco may have gone a little too far…

5. Tomato Sauce at School, France

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Image: SunOfErat

We might’ve grown up dunking our pies and sausage rolls into tomato sauce, but you’ll never get the chance to do this in France. Tomato sauce is now banned in all primary schools because it apparently taints the authenticity of French cuisine.

6. Chewing Gum, Singapore 

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Image: Richard Foo TH

For those of you who love smacking on a piece of gum after a meal, you’ll have to put your habits aside when travelling to Singapore. In this country, gum chewing has been banned since 1992. The only gum you can get there is dental or nicotine gum, which must be prescribed by a doctor. And if you spit it out on the street, expect a heavy fine.

7. Tanning Beds, Brazil

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Image: Jason & Megan Mills

Brazil banned the use of tanning beds in 2009 thanks to research that pointed out that their use could lead to cancer. We think that’s a pretty smart move!

8. Dying in the Houses of Parliament, U.K.

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Image: mauricedb

Thinking of dying anytime soon? Don’t do it in a House of Parliament! In the U.K., this ‘practice’ is banned because if you do die, you’re apparently entitled to a state funeral. We don’t reckon this ban is still entirely in place, but we don’t recommend trying it to find out!

9. Frowning, Italy

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Image: Rjommabolli

If you don’t like the sound of this ban, make sure you don’t frown upon it when in Milan. Apparently if you forget to smile here, an old law says you could see a fine coming your way (which will make you frown even more). The only exceptions are if you’re in a hospital or at a funeral. We’re pretty sure this rule is no longer enforced, but hey – there’s no harm in smiling anyway!