One of the great things about the world is how different we are all. If everyone were the same things would be incredibly boring. But it’s also true that some countries have very… odd characteristics about them.
We’ve got a few of the funniest examples of these oddities that will make you laugh and give you a look at the rest of the world. And if you’re from any of these countries, you may just feel a special warmth for your home - oddness and all.
China’s Two-Week-Long Traffic Jams
So if you live anywhere near a city or even a busy suburb, you probably know the pain of sitting in traffic - sometimes for hours! It’s inevitable that when there are hundreds of people all trying to get to work, or get home, or leave the city for a holiday weekend, there is going to be heavy traffic.
But not many of us can say that we have sat in traffic for almost two weeks! The jam happened in August of 2010 and it caused thousands of cars to get stuck on the highway for 12 full days. This was caused by a simple spike in the number of trucks going to Beijing but the effect was huge. On the brighter side, it created some great business opportunities for overpriced road food and drinks.
Singapore’s Simplistic Signs of Advice
We all know how important it is to put on sunscreen lotion and keep ourselves safe from sunburn. But the authorities in Singapore have some great ways of reminding people not to spend too much time in the sun when visiting the beach.
This sign is a very bright red - so when it says “Get Out of the Sun if Your Skin Tone Matches This Sign” it’s very good advice. And if you manage to read the small print, there’s a little poke at Americans with the saying, “This Isn’t Jersey Shore.”
Japan Business Owners Have to Exercise Right of Admission
As a shop owner anywhere, your customers are typically the most important part of your business - but that only really counts for the paying customers. When you have a group of deer knocking on your door, you have to know that there is a very big chance that they do not have money for whatever they are looking for.
If you look at the face of this shop owner in Japan, it seems like he is very used to having to shut his doors on groups of wildlife just like this. We’re unsure if perhaps it’s the same group of rebel teenage deer out on the town, or if this guy’s shop is just a really great place for deer to hang out. Either way, it doesn’t look like they are getting inside.
It’s True - Canadians Are Just Too Nice
It may be a cliche, but this picture really shows just how nice the people in Canada can be. We’re talking about the person who wrote this sign offering all the accessories to the thief, of course, and not whoever stole the person’s GPS device. The thief is definitely not your typical nice Canadian.
Although if you look at this picture a different way, the victim of the crime may not be offering up the cables out of niceness. This might also be a very passive-aggressive response to the loss of their GPS and honestly, it could also be a great way to catch the thief. If the person who lost their GPS just sat and watched - they would catch whoever tried to take the cables.
Australians Have a Different Way of Measuring Disasters
Wildfires are pretty common in Australia. And they can be, well, catastrophic at times. But if you don’t live in Australia, and you don’t have to deal with these fires, you may not understand how bad things can really get. Well, this photo should help you understand - since “High” risk is only the second level on this sign.
In almost any other country, a high risk of fire danger would be terrifying, but it’s not so bad when you’re dealing with other ratings like 'severe,' 'extreme,' and 'catastrophic.' So while this sign may seem odd to those of us not living in such a high-risk fire country, it’s perfect for Australians.
Londoners Have to Deal With Hostile Geese
And while we’re on the subject of warnings, here’s one that you probably won’t see in many other places. Apparently, London has some very aggressive - and strangely powerful - geese. Well, at least one goose that we know of. And this goose seems like a scary one for sure.
We wouldn’t be able to begin telling you what the warning levels one to four actually mean, but with this goose being aggressive and believing that the humans are trespassing on his property - level five seems pretty intense and dangerous. So if you ever find yourself needing to catch public transport in London, look out for the geese!
Texan Transport Is Unlike Any Other
Even though Texas is just one state in America, the things that go on down there make it seem like it’s a country all on its own. Texans are country folk, most of them spend their time outdoors, riding horses and enjoying the warm weather.
But they also enjoy their luxuries and comforts, just like the rest of America. And that includes takeaway coffee. Only, there’s one small difference. Apparently in Texas, riding your horse through a drive-through is just as acceptable as driving your car through. Let’s just hope no hot coffee is spilled on those horses’ backs!
Apparently, People in Finland Have Really Big Personal Space Bubbles
With the most recent events across the world, we all learned how important distance can be - six feet apart means less of a chance of catching germs. But the Finns were doing social distancing before it was cool (and mandatory).
Personal space is really important in Finland, as you can see by the design of these benches. Not only are they single-seater benches, but they’re even faced away from each other. You can be sure there would be no small talk or chatter while people were catching their breath (or maybe catching up on their reading) on one of these benches.
Warning Signs in India Can Be “Vague”
In India, there is no playing around with wild animals. There are some gorgeous animals in the country, including elephants and tigers - but some of these are also very dangerous (we’re looking at you, tiger). And surprisingly, we still have to warn people about these dangers.
Anyone who has come close to the sharp fangs of a tiger will know that those teeth (and claws, for that matter) have no business near a human body. But for those who aren’t yet convinced that it’s best to stay far away from dangerous big cats, there are signs like this. Not looking to reincarnate just yet? Simply stay away from Mr. Tiger.
When in Japan - Urinate as the Japanese Do
Putting up signs in public bathrooms to remind the public about common decency is not a foreign concept. Most of us would have seen these signs encouraging people to keep things clean, wash their hands, and in drier countries to save water.
But what is different, perhaps, is the way these signs are written. Only in Japan have we seen a sign asking people to go about their bathroom business “with elegance.” We understand the precision part - nobody wants a mess all over the toilet stall. But elegance? We’re not sure how that works...
Clothing Sizes Are Not Sugar Coated in Japan
Stereotypically, Japanese people are quite petite and small-sized, but that still doesn’t seem to give clothing manufacturers the right to be so… rude?! The world has a number of different ways to measure clothes sizes, some in numbers (0,2,4, etc. Or 28, 30, 32, etc.) and some in Small, Large, XL, etc.
But Japan doesn’t have time for codes on their clothing. Or at least this is true for the clothing manufacturer in this photo. The size label on this item is simply: FAT. The worst part of this is that we don’t even know what size fat is, it could be smaller than we think. So if you go shopping in Japan, try not to take offense at their sizing measurements.
Australia’s Spiders Get in the Way of Work
As small as Australia is for a continent, there is a large variety of scary (and dangerous) insects, spiders, snakes, it’s pretty much the place where all the most threatening creatures went to live. And perhaps those who live in the city don’t have to deal with them as much, but they still show up every now and then.
Unfortunately for government workers, the spiders seem to really like dark holes and spaces - places like electricity meter boxes. Apparently, there are spiders with red fangs (!!!) that prevent these poor workers from doing their jobs. I guess the only reasonable thing to do here would be to give the spider the whole house and move.
Japan’s Mannequins Are Full of Action
Straight-standing mannequins are so boring! Japan knows how to make shopping fun - by employing their much more exciting ninja mannequins to model their suits. After all, how can you really buy a suit if you’re not sure that it can handle a spontaneous street fight?
Or, an impromptu dance party. Either way, these suits, and their wearers look fit for the on-the-go guy who is ready for anything. It’s business in the morning, party in the evening. With this fun-looking setup, we can almost forgive Japanese shopping malls for their offensive FAT labels.
Florida’s Got the Gators
We went over how different Texas is from the rest of America, but have you seen what’s going on in Florida? Okay, the state often gets a bad rep for the occasion ‘crazy’ going on there, but this picture doesn’t help the state’s case one little bit.
We know that there are a lot of alligators in Florida, and most of them have free reign for the most part. But we did not expect them to be coming out of the sewers like some amphibious version of Pennywise the clown. Do you think it’s friendly?
It’s Never Really Too Cold in Minnesota
From the sunny state of Florida to icy Minnesota… we now bring you “ice-skate-tennis-ball.” It’s what all the ‘cool’ kids are playing (pun very much intended). Actually, we’re not too sure what is going on in this photo, but it looks cold and unpleasant for the most part.
These guys clearly wanted a game of tennis. But then perhaps they found that their tennis court was iced over? So, ice skates were the obvious fix. But then the one guy is wearing a hard helmet which is confusing us, and why are they both wearing shorts?!
Canadians Really Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
With Canada being located so close to the USA, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the same issues that the States have to deal with would spill over the neighboring border. But actually, Canada is mostly free of silly arguments and petty protests.
This is even more evident when you examine this sign that is found in public bathrooms. There is no bickering over who is allowed in what bathroom. As long as everyone is respectful and kind, all that matters is that you urinate elegantly (oh, no, sorry that was Japan).
Alligators Are Not Safe in Florida
Perhaps we should take back the judgment that we passed on the alligator coming out of the drains in Florida. Looking at this image, it seems that the animal may have just been trying to escape the fate of these alligators that had been turned into nonrefundable meat.
So a lot of people do eat alligator meat, and it makes sense in a place infested with these toothy amphibians. But, it seems that those who aren’t used to eating this meat may not enjoy it as much as they had hoped they would. Well, too bad for them, because shops in Florida just aren’t interested in refunding any ‘gator meat purchases.
No Pet Left Behind in Korea
Walking the dog is quite a common occurrence all over the world. Cats aren’t really big on walking on a leash, but some people get the hang of it. And pets like fish and birds definitely aren’t there to take on leisurely strolls through the neighborhood.
But bunnies? Yeah, bunnies you can walk, apparently. In all honesty, we’ve never seen a bunny walk (or rather hop) on a leash before, but then we’ve never looked through the streets of Korea. A bunny on a leash looks a little strange, but it’s also so incredibly cute!
Alaskan Moose Know Their Road Rules
Florida has alligators, London has territorial geese, and Alaska has law-abiding moose that know how to safely travel on the roads along with the cars. Looking out your car window and being met with the face (and antlers) of a massive moose would be terrifying anywhere else.
But these striking animals are so well-known in Alaska that there were probably no double-takes when this moose walked past. He seems to be on his way to the local Wendy’s, so we’d guess it’s supper time for him and perhaps his friends too. We wonder if they’ll let him through the drive-thru?
The Party Never Stops in Nebraska
How do you deal with below-freezing weather, snow piled up and blocking your door, and a stash of beer that needs to be drunk? That’s a simple one in Nebraska. You just open the door, use the snow to keep your beer cold, and have a stay-in party.
This might let the cold in a little, but after a few beers, no one is going to notice anyway. And since the snow is blocking the door (and the driveway) nobody has to worry about driving anywhere. The only thing you have to hope is that you get snowed in with a fun group of people.
Texas Is a Truck Town
We lied to you - but just a little. They do have a lot of horses in Texas, but that’s not the only way to get around in the state. The other way to get places (especially if you’re traveling a little further) is by jumping into your pickup truck.
Now, as you can see in this photo, the person who drives the little blue car is new to Texas and no one explained to them that a pickup truck is pretty much necessary. Sure, a smaller car does the same thing, but you’re going to stick out in Texas without a truck.
No Dinosaurs With Guns in Montreal, Please
Canada is full of nice people, but the dinosaurs in Montreal can get a little out of control at times, and city officials have to reign them in. This is mostly done by forcefully placing large and bright signs all over the city in places where the dinosaurs will clearly see them.
These signs make it clear that the city will not tolerate any violent, gun-blazing T-Rexes running around like they own the place. But instead, the large lizards are encouraged to skip through the streets with flowers and embrace the true Canadian lifestyle.
Russia Has Its Own Hollywood
The USA and Russia have not always been on great terms. And the two countries are very different in the way they operate and how the people live. But if this photo is legitimate, it would seem that there are some people in Russia who idolize the USA’s Hollywood.
We can’t say we blame them, the glitz and glam that is Hollywood has long attracted many people. But we can’t help but wonder how similar Russian Hollywood and American Hollywood are? Would you find paparazzi in bushes and celebs walking their dogs? Or is this just an ironic decoration for the area?
Canada Is a Hot and Cold Country
Some countries (like Australia) are known for being hot almost all of the time. Other destinations (like Greenland) are cold, snowy, and wet for the majority of the year. But countries like Canada have a balance of both these climates - hot and sunny, and cold and snowy.
This photo shows just how ‘balanced’ Canada can be. Although this is an extreme case, with a clear, bright day on the sunny side and freezing snow in the shade. It looks a bit like the sun is slowly melting the snow, but hasn’t completed its job just yet.
Llamas in France Are Fearless
Every year, France holds the Tour de France - a prestigious cycling event that is watched globally. But this does not happen without some bumps in the road (quite literally). One year, the proposed route went right past the home of a herd of llamas.
These llamas were notorious for gathering in the roads and planting themselves there - obstructing passersby. Which would have been disastrous for the Tour de France. So the owners of this herd were made to move the llamas during the time of the cycle tour, to keep everyone safe.
Canada Got Lazy When Naming Roads
When we first saw this image, we thought it might be fake. But we checked Google Maps, and it is very much real. There are three streets in Canada named: This Street, That Street, and The Other Street. How much more obvious can Canada get?
Either someone let their five-year-old nephew name a few streets, or someone got really bored with their job and just threw in a few sarcastic options. Either way, can you imagine living here and telling people “Yeah, I live on This Street. No, not the street we’re on now, This Street - it’s off That Street.” Canadians are confusing.
Sweden Strollers Are Serious Business
When you find yourself faced with a problem, you can either give up and let it affect you, or you can come up with a solution. This mother chose the latter and somehow managed to pimp her baby’s stroller with massive wheels that easily glide through the snowy streets.
We’re doubtful that you’d find something like this anywhere else, but Sweden locals really do know how to engineer their way out of any sticky situations. One thing is for certain, the baby that gets to roll through town in this stroller is one boss baby.
Texas, We’re Looking at You Again
Look, Texans do things their own way, we’ve established that already. So are any of us really that surprised by this hardhat made to look like a cowboy hat? No, not really. Cowboy hats are the typical attire in Texas, even for construction workers, it seems.
There doesn’t seem to be a real need to pimp out your hardhat, but that could just be because we’re not in Texas. And, in all honesty, as long as the safety element is still there, what the hat looks like is up to personal preference, right?
Japan’s Samurai’s Have Modern Transport
Way back when samurais were more common, they often had to travel by foot. Although the richer ones were afforded traditional kago or norimono, and some with less money used cattle-drawn carts. Then the rickshaw was invented and most traveled by those.
The point that we’re trying to make is that never ever in all of history did samurais travel by motorbike. Until now, that is. We’re not sure where this person is going or what his exact reason for dressing up as this historic warrior is, but at least he’s going to get there faster than an ancient samurai would.
Sweden Isn’t Very Good at Naming Things Either
If you thought Canada’s street naming skills were laughable, take a look at this train in Sweden. We love the idea of naming your modes of transport - Mike the motorbike, Cleo the car, Sylvestor the skateboard. But we don’t think that Sweden was really trying here.
The name “Trainy McTrainface” sounds a bit like something a kid would name their favorite toy train. Perhaps this was a joke? Or just a very unimaginative way to name a train. It might not be the most original name, but it does at least make us smile.
The US Is Hiding the Evil Felines
There is a conspiracy that cats are working on a plan to overthrow humans and take over the world. And the only thing standing between them and total World Domination is man’s best friend - the dog, of course. We’re still not sure how true this theory is.
But what is true is that cats can be a little… well, creepy. And mean. And it seems like the US has the creepiest of these felines. Especially this one that seems mesmerized by the fireworks outside. Aren’t they supposed to be afraid of the loud sky explosions?!
Japan’s Roads Really Are Freaky
It seems there might be a club in Japan for people who enjoy dressing up and riding on motorbikes. Some of them dress as noble samurai warriors and others (like this guy) dress up in spooky masks to terrify the other drivers on the road.
We have no idea where this person is going, why they are dressed like this, or if this is a recurring sight. But we do want to warn those who may find themselves on the roads in Japan - do not let these costumed people on motorbikes distract you while driving.
There Shall Be No Small Talk in Finland
Remember those benches in Finland? You thought we were overexaggerating, didn’t you? Well, here we have another example of how much the Finns like their personal space. In other countries, waiting for the train might mean that you meet a new friend, but not in Finland.
We’re not saying that the people in Finland are rude. They just really enjoy their space and we actually totally get that. We’re sure that if you attended a party in Finland, things would be totally different. But try to remember not to stand too close to someone in a line or in the street.
You Have to Drive Carefully in Ohio
While the person driving this contraption of a vehicle is definitely putting themselves and others at risk, we have to admit they have an ingenious way of solving problems. All that is required here is for all the other drivers to be good neighbors and warn the driver if anything is falling off their trailer.
Would you find this driving down any other road outside of Ohio? Maybe if this person decided to do a cross-country road trip. But would the “Honk if Anything Falls Off” strategy work anywhere else? Well, that we can’t say for sure.