Weird Road Signs from Around the World

Skewed meanings create comedy and confusion in signs around the world

Cyclists crossing... horizontally?
Cyclists crossing… horizontally? Flickr/Steve Jurvetson

Road signs give us warnings of the conditions ahead and offer advice on how to prepare. Sometimes we pass up signs without giving them a second thought, other times however, signs stop us in our tracks. No, not because they are “STOP” signs but because they are so outlandish.

Traveling in other countries can lead to a wealth of these confusing signs. Some traveler’s even make a game out of locating strange signs. Bad translations, new laws or even cultural norms you don’t understand can add to a traveler’s confusion.

Exporta Global has put together a collection of some of the funniest, strangest signs from around the world and turned them into an infographic.

My personal favorite in the compilation is the sign that has roads curving in and about from all directions, has the recommended speed and for good measure wishes the driver, “GOOD LUCK”. The phrase hardly seems sincere and comes across more like, “You’re never going to make it through this one.”

Another sign tells you to, “GO AHEAD DRINK AND DRIVE” in large all caps lettering. It then, as an afterthought, proceeds in smaller font to tell you where the jail, hospital and morgue are located in that area. A sarcastic font might be able to save this one, but until you realize it’s tone, it looks like it’s giving you permission to drink and drive here.

I am going to assume that the, “ROAD UNSAFE WHEN UNDERWATER” sign is being directed to people with amphibious vehicles and is presumably warning them of iceberg dangers of Titanic proportions. If seeing the entire road underwater isn’t enough to warn you, I’m guessing this sign isn’t going to do the trick either.

If I were a sign maker and I had a government client come to me and say they had all of the signs they could ever need, I might tell them, “Well surely then you need a “SIGN NOT IN USE” sign for when you aren’t using all of your other signs.” That is what I am going to assume happened for that sign because the only thing more obvious would have been a sign that said, “THIS IS A SIGN”.

Last but certainly not least is the combination of “SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY” and the “HUNTING WITH SHOTGUN ONLY.” I wonder if the person who put those signs up together was a fan of The Most Dangerous Game. I just hope it’s not the children who are playing with the shotguns.

Check out some more of these crazy signs below. And if you have seen some crazy road signs in your travels or driving around your hometown, take a picture or tell us about them in the comments below.

Strange and funny road signs