Strange Things Banned in Different Countries

It is not uncommon for governments across countries to ban various items in their respective countries. While some of these outright bans have some rhyme or reason, others make absolutely no sense whatsoever. In case you are unaware of these mind-boggling decisions, here are some strange things banned in different countries.

Strange things banned

Handsome Men (Saudi Arabia)

It may be unfair to make handsome men part of a list of strange things banned but it makes sense if they are marginalized like this. Three male delegates belonging to the UAE were escorted out of an annual cultural festival in Saudi Arabia before they were flown off to the UAE. Saudi religious authorities took this rather unusual decision as a result of the men being ‘too handsome’ which could have led to female visitors falling for them.

Handsome men - Strange things banned

Kinder Surprise (United States)

While teenagers today might think much of these chocolate eggs with a surprise toy embedded within them, kids absolutely love these. Many adults actually grew up having these when they were kids, so that’s their reason to cherish them. However, FDA has banned the sale of any such candy which contains a toy within it. Travelers carrying these eggs back in 2011 had to pay a whopping $2,500 per egg after a customs officer confiscated 60,000 of these eggs.

Kinder surprise - Strange things banned

Video Games (Greece)




How can we talk about strange things banned around the globe without mentioning Greece? Believe it or not, this was the Greek way of drawing the shutters on gambling machines in 2002. To be fair, this is a result of legislation being written so broadly against gambling that it ended up covering all types of electronic gaming systems. Interestingly, a gamer playing an MMO in an internet café was arrested due to violation of the law. Eventually, law was found unconstitutional by the end of 2002 following constant pressure from video gamers all over the world and the ruling overturned as a result.

Video games - Strange things banned

Original baby names (Denmark)

So, you just had a kid who happens to have been born in Denmark? Do not bother your brain with the thoughts of original names you could give him/her.  The government of Denmark has an approved list of 7,000 names for newborn babies. Citizens are expected to either choose from the list or seek the allowance for an exception from the government.

Baby names - Strange things banned

Chewing gum (Singapore)

Singapore has not allowed the import or possession of chewing gum in Singapore since 1990s. The rationale behind this is that chewing gum results in vandalism and rubbish as people throw it across pavements and walkways. Singaporean authorities state that when people spat it across subways, it would stick between carriage doors that would not allow full closure. The only silver lining here is that students in Singapore are not burdened with the task of removing gm stuck under their tables.

Chewing gum - Strange things banned

Scrabble (Romania)




A loss in the game of Scrabble can result in quite a lot of frustration for some. Perhaps, the president of Romania in the 1980s took it even more seriously. This could explain why Nicolae Ceauscu called for a ban on Scrabble as he tagged it ‘subversive evil’ and ‘overly intellectual’. Who is willing to bet he could not have used to those words while playing a game of Scrabble?

Scrabble - Strange things banned

Unhonorable mentions:

Emo clothing (Russia)

Hammers (Philippines)

Western haircut (Iran)

Gaming consoles (China)

Death in House of Parliament (England)

If you can think of any strange things banned in other countries, let us know in the comments below.

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2 Responses

  1. Rettopyrrah says:

    Mats, a “language” of cursing deriving from 5 or 7 curse words, has been banned in Russia. This has resulted in massive fines for certain rappers that continue to perform without censoring.

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