Tan lines are a nuisance. But going topless or partaking in public nudity can get you into some serious trouble.
We’re born naked. We get naked to wash. Some people sleep naked. Naked is not a big deal.
Except, it really is. Public nudity is offensive to many people. In the UK it’s not actually unlawful to get your bits out; but you can be arrested for “breaching the peace” if you are using getting nekkid to harass or scare someone.
So; walking naked in the hills or remote countryside is fine. Public nudity in a shopping centre or outside a school will get you arrested.
The word “naturist” describes someone who engages in public nudity. This is not to be confused with a “naturalist” which is someone who studies nature. As far as we know, you can be both. Even at the same time.
Public nudity dates back centuries. Lots of cultures found clothes a bit of a drag. Spartans would exercise and compete in sporting events in the nude. In Japan going topless was accepted until the 19th century.
Today many countries have nude beaches. France is famed for its relaxed attitude towards public nudity; people regularly sunbathe topless. Germans are notorious for letting it all hang out in the sauna. This tradition dates back to Roman times however, so we can’t really lay that at Germany’s door.
Britain can seem a little more prudish. Despite having four million naturists in the country the Victorian attitude to nudity still prevails. However events like the Manchester Naked Cycle Ride celebrate nudity when hundreds of people cycle around the city naked. We’re not sure how this started but one thing is for sure; the saddle sore must kill.
Public nudity has also been used as a method of getting news coverage. Activists and protesters often use their naked bodies to gain attention for their cause.
Eleanor Hawkins, a British traveller; has been arrested in Malaysia after stripping off at the top of a mountain.
Hawkins had climbed Mount Kinabalu with other travellers and decided to strip off for a celebratory photo. She and her fellow climbers have now been arrested on charges of public indecency.
To make matters worse; 18 mountaineers died on Mount Kinabalu six days after the photo, when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit. One Malaysia official has blamed Hawkins and the other travellers for offending mountain spirits. Mount Kinabalu is a world heritage site; and is considered a sacred site by those in the country.
Whether you agree with the idea that Hawkins’ nudity somehow caused the earthquake or not, she and the other travellers are in big trouble. We don’t know what she knew about the mountain’s sacred status or what the outcome of her trial will be. But this isn’t the only story about Brits getting naked abroad.
The party island of Magaluf has announced tough new laws where naked revellers can be charged up to £500. The crackdown on public nudity came after videos were released last year of Brits getting up to no good.
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Yeah, but this new one isn’t thousands of years old. It was only spotted last month. Lets break it down.
On the left is the Great Wall of China. It was built in 700 BC to defend China’s borders from invaders.
And on the right is the Chinese Great Wall of Sand.
It appeared in 2015 and is there… to defend China’s borders. Well, if it worked before, why not do the same again.
China has been building the “wall” in the South China Sea. Chinese ships pumped sand onto existing coral reefs to build and extend patches of land.
They are then adding concrete and creating airbases out in the middle of the ocean. Oh, and they are also installing weaponry on the islands. Not suspicious at all.
An ocean is a big place; it’s quite difficult to know which bits belong to different countries. After all you can’t exactly just put your flag in the water. Back to the drawing board I suppose.
China claims that the whole of the South China Sea is Chinese Territory. Fair enough, I mean it does have their name in it.
But other countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei (no we hadn’t heard of it either) and Vietnam say some parts are theirs.
All the countries disagree over who owns the Spratly Island Chain. This is a small group of islands in the South China Sea.
So did the countries do the sensible thing and talk it out? Not a chance. Most of the countries involved have built separate military outposts along the Spratly Island Chain to stake their claim.
The islands are hundreds of miles from China. This hasn’t stopped the Chinese marking their territory by pouring tons of sand into the sea and building on existing coral reefs to create military bases. At the moment, these are separate bases. As the Chinese keep on building people have joked that they are building a second wall of China in the sea. It’s ambitious, I’ll give them that.
China and the USA haven’t been the best of friends recently. The USA is suspicious of China’s military expansion and worries China will evolve into a dangerous superpower. And China dislikes being told what to do by the Yankees.
China and other countries are about to attend the Shangri-La dialogue. This is meeting is for world leaders in the Pacific/Asia area to discuss security and military events. I wonder what they will be talking about?