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Most Ridiculous Things Banned

Being in control of a country can obviously be a mind-altering experience. Desperate to assert your power and maintain conformity amongst your people, massive amounts of power can sometimes cause a rash decision.

For most of us, a rash decision might be the purchase of an extra large bag of peanut M&Ms, when a smaller one would do, but when you're important it can result in variously random products being banned.

Here are some of the most irrational bans ever made:

(Images: Rex Features)

Spiked Hair

While a dab of gel is acceptable for use in the hair of Iranian men, anything which causes hair to spike up and resemble those pesky westerners is considered illegal. A catalogue was sent to the Barbers Association which detailed safe cuts and outlawed the Jersey Shore look, as well as mullets and ponytails. We can see their point a bit.

Time Travel

Ever watched Back To The Future and decided to rewrite your idea of history, based on what you'd just seen? Well that's what Chinese censors feared would happen so introduced a completely rational ban on all TV shows and films which included time travel elements. They've been angered at the frivolous way that shows like Lost and Quantum Leap have dealt with the subject. Damn right, time travel is a serious matter.

Marmite

Along with crippling negativity and poor dental hygiene, our rabid love or overwhelming hatred for Marmite is an important part of being British. So you can imagine the recent patriotic outrage after Denmark announced they'd be forcibly removing the black stuff from their supermarket shelves. The reason? Too many evil vitamins. Our response? A call on Twitter to ban Carlsberg. Well played.

Scrabble

Now, we've all taken a Scrabble loss pretty seriously. It's one of the few games that reminds you of how stupid and illiterate you may well be. But in the 80s, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu went a little overboard and called for a ban. He described it as "overly intellectual" and a "subversive evil". All of which are words he'd probably never be able to play in Scrabble

Claire Danes

Hanging out in Manila and looking to rent Romeo + Juliet or Stardust? Tough luck. After referring to the city as "a ghastly and weird city" which "smelled of cockroaches", every film starring Ms. Danes was eradicated and the star herself was denied any future entrance. Thankfully, for Manila residents, many people from around the world have been surviving without Claire Danes for years and they're doing absolutely fine.

Valentine's Day

If you're a depressive singleton looking for solace next February 14th then best head to Saudi Arabia where you'll be able to avoid the whole charade. As the day is about a love which isn't directed towards God, it's considered a pagan holiday and any Valentine-related paraphernalia, including the colour red, is a no-no. Have a feeling things might change next year if the Saudi officials get coupled up though.

Haggis

While many non-Scots are happy to impose a self-inflicted ban on the sheep stomach-based delicacy, America has had a 40-year hatred for haggis that they refuse to overturn. The Yanks have a ban on all food made from lungs (fair enough) and despite recent attempts from the Scottish government, they won't budge.

Mannequins

General sexiness isn't greatly popular in Iran in case you weren't already aware but you might not be clued up to their distrust of those seductive plastic mannequins. Having probably seen the film Mannequin and its even sexier sequel, Iranian police targeted any mannequins not covered up or with breasts that haven't been sanded down. Probably in case they came alive and caused mayhem.

Dictionaries

Mandatory library time at school was, at times, interminable. The only activity that made it seem worthwhile was the sophisticated skill of finding rude words in the dictionary. But, sadly, this time-eroding pastime led to dictionaries being removed from Californian schools as they were corrupting youths with their filthy vocabulary. Stupid, dangerous, incredibly useful dictionaries.