Strange and Rare Road Signs of the World

Most of us complain about our commutes, but most of us don’t have to deal with these kinds of road stresses: attacking moose, centaurs, crocodiles, falling cows, or, the most ominous, “road surprises.” Crazy things can happen on the road, it seems, so it’s no wonder that some of us are on edge. And you’re not even really allowed to complain about the insanity because honking in some places will land you a $350 fine!

Let’s simplify this. Wait … we can’t.

In most parts of the world, road signs are made to help us understand the insanity. That’s why so many of them strive to use pictures that are easy to process as you’re speeding down the highway. These weird street signs are meant to helpfully warn drivers of the chaotic things that can happen on a road (and give us the comforting illusion of the regularity of nature in a tumultuous world), but most of these signs are likely only going to cause confusion.

Strange and Rare Road Signs from Around the World

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I’m in danger about what!?

Are they warning us about thin ice or zombies? About centaurs or horses without heads? And some, like the infinite stopping point that seems to be the end of the universe, or this terrifying roundabout of roundabouts (also known as the “magic roundabout,” likely because you have to be a wizard to traverse it properly), will cause drivers to panic and wonder what to do. Some of these weird street signs actually seem to make less sense the more you look at them.

Are these cultural differences, or do the people here believe that invisible cows exist?

Some of them may seem normal in certain parts of the world and bizarre to everyone else, such as those funny road signs warning of kangaroos, polar bears, landing aircraft, and immigrant crossings. (That’s harsh, San Diego.) Checking under your car for penguins before you drive may be strange here, but it’s just the polite thing to do while on Phillip Island.

Others seem to make no sense at all and should not be in any car-driving society, like the skidding car that seems to not obey the laws of physics or the sign that’s labeled “sign not in use.” (But it is in use, isn’t it?)

The invisible cows actually make some sense; the domestic Bos Taurus in Hawaii can seem almost invisible in the darkness due to their naturally dark color. But to the islands’ many visitors, the notion of disappearing cattle may be a bit confusing when speeding along on a vacation.

Don’t panic. Except do panic. Except don’t.

The most problematic of these bizarre street signs aren’t the ones that warn people to be cautious about a specific thing. The most problematic ones are probably the vaguest ones: What does “extreme crashing” mean, and how can I possibly avoid it? How occasional are those blinding dust storms, exactly? What kind of “surprises”? What do you mean there are “obstacles”?!

Without further adieu, here’s a collection of our favorite rare, obscure, sometimes downright strange, and funny road signs from around the world!

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