Picture this – you’re strolling down a quiet street on a Sunday in Germany, minding your own business when, suddenly, you hear a loud honking sound. You turn around and see someone naked in their car, driving backward. Instinctively, you shake your head at the absurdity of the situation. Yet, what if I told you, nothing of that would be forbidden? My friend, you’ve stumbled upon the 10 funniest laws in Germany.
1. Don’t ride a bike on this Island
The island Heligoland is known for roughs landscapes, tax-free shopping and boat rides. Opening a bike shop however will not get you far on this island. It is against the law to ride your bike on Heligoland. The reason is simple: It is a tiny island and the pathways are quite narrow and usually crowded with tourists. There are exemptions, however: Doctors, the police and the fire department are allowed to ride bikes.
2. No trees on a soccer field
Soccer is quite a popular game in Germany, and it is therefore no wonder, that there are laws regarding the favorite team sport of Germans. A law states that it is not allowed to have trees or bushes on a soccer field. This may seem obvious to today, but back in 1896 soccer was still quite new, and it seemed necessary to issue a law to state today’s obvious.
3. You lose your job when you die
State employees in Northrhine Westfalia lose their job when they die. So better don’t die if you want to keep working for the Government there.
4. Sleeping at work
Even though most of us wouldn’t dare to sleep while working, there is a law that might be beneficial to those that can’t help but sleep on a pile of documents. If you fall asleep at work and get injured, it counts as a work related injury. This means that your employer (or their insurance) has to cover for any costs from the following treatments.
5. Don’t get out of your car naked
While it is not illegal to drive in your car being naked, it is not allowed to get out of your car without wearing clothes. This might be seen as a nuisance and can result in a fine of up to 40 Euros.
6. No marriage when you’re drunk
If you want to get married in Germany, you better not celebrate your stag party too hard. The marriage can be invalid if you have not been sober while you gave your vows.
7. Vacation Time, Please!
Germans love their vacation time, and they are entitled to it by law. It is actually illegal to work while you’re supposed to be on vacation, so don’t even think about checking those work emails. On the other hand: If you’re sick during your vacation, you will get those days added on top of your normal vacation time. And nice to know: You are entitled to at least 24 work days off per year, most employers offer 28 to 30 days off by now.
8. Walking in lockstep
When some people think about Germany, they still picture soldiers walking in lockstep. Even though this part of Germanys history is far from forgotten, there are still laws that seem to come from those times. As an example: it is forbidden to walk over a bridge in lockstep. The reason: The vibrations could cause the bridge to collapse.
9. Do not detonate nuclear weapons
Another way to prevent disasters seems a bit odd, considering the extent of the damage. You are not allowed to detonate a nuclear bomb in Germany. If you do, and get caught alive, be ready to go to prison for up to five years.
10. No pillow fight
Less dramatic, but still an assault: If you start a pillow fight without consent, the pillow is seen as a weapon in Germany and you can get sentenced by a judge for assault with a weapon. That makes one wonder how many couples have met in court after one lost the pillow fight.
In conclusion, while Germany is a land of order and efficiency, it also has its fair share of absurd and ridiculous laws. From keeping the noise level down to detonating a nuclear device, the laws in Germany will make you laugh and scratch your head in confusion. So, remember to stay within the confines of the law, and while you’re at it, enjoy the humor it offers.