We give new examples of topological groups that do not have non-trivial continuous unitary representations, the so-called exotic groups. We prove that all groups of the form L^{0}(ϕ,G), where ϕ is a pathological submeasure and G is a topological group, are exotic. This result extends, with a different proof, a theorem of Herer and Christensen on exoticness of L^{0}(ϕ,ℝ) for ϕ pathological. It follows that every topological group embeds into an exotic one. In our arguments, we introduce the escape property, a geometric condition on a topological group, inspired by the solution to Hilbert’s fifth problem and satisfied by all locally compact groups, all non-archimedean groups, and all Banach–Lie groups. Our key result involving the escape property asserts triviality of all continuous homomorphisms from L^{0}(ϕ,G) to L^{0}(μ,H), where ϕ is pathological, μ is a measure, G is a topological group, and H is a topological group with the escape property.