How an Antiquated Danish Law Keeps the Country Lagging Behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

In a ticking episode of Things You Might Not Know, host Tom Scott visits the island town of Gudhjem, Denmark to explain why the Nordic country continually lags by fractions of a second behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Scott spoke with meteorologist Mikkel Schou Nielsen, who explained why this occurs and why antiquated law prevents them from complying with UTC.

Measuring time is a complicated thing. Computers, banks, and stock markets in Denmark all use UTC, the international standard: but according to the law, they shouldn’t.