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Purple Island – South Korea’s Newest Instagram-Worthy Tourist Attraction

There are plenty of interesting places to visit in South Korea, but if you’re all about adding new and exciting content to your Instagram feed, the you simply must add the Purple Island on your itinerary.

With the Covid-19 wreaking havoc around the world, South Korea included, international travel isn’t what it used to be just a few months ago, but that just means more time to plan your next great adventure. And if you have your sights set on Instagram-worthy destinations, South Korea’s new Purple Island is a must-visit. As the name suggests, this place is a purple paradise complete with vast fields of lavender, empress trees that bloom purple, purple painted houses, bridges and even purple roads.

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South Korean Man Has Been Training by Banging His Head Against a Tree Every Day For Five Years

Last month, South Korean television featured the bizarre case of a shoe repairman from Seoul who has been conditioning his body by banging his body and his head against a tree for the last five years.

Would you ever pick on a man after seeing him violently banging his forehead against a full-grown tree trunk? I myself would, steer away immediately, which is just what the hero of our story is betting on. Back in April, South Korean TV show X SBS WOW featured a shoe repairman from Seoul’s Sinchon neighborhood famous for banging his head and body against a tree every day. You’d think they had made up such a preposterous story, but this man has the forehead callus to prove that he has been doing a lot of head banging for quite some time.

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51-Year-Old “Goddess of Youth” Often Gets Mistaken for Her Daughter’s Sibling

Lee Su Jin, a 51-year old dentist from South Korea, has amassed quite an impressive online following thanks to her incredibly youthful looks.

The first time we featured Lee Su Jin on Oddity Central was back in 2016, when photos of her went viral on Asian social media, along with the heart-to-believe information that she was 48-years-old. It turned out her age was correct, and we subsequently learned that she was already popular in her native South Korea, having already appeared on several television shows. She has since solidified her reputation as a “goddess of eternal youth”, as the years keep rolling by, but she simply refuses to age.

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South Korean Woman Has Drunk 150,000 Cans of Coke in the Last 40 Years

If you’re the kind of person who thinks drinking Coke every day is a sure way to an early grave, this 74-year-old woman who has been basically living on the popular soft drinks for four decades would like a word with you…

Back in February, South Korean YouTube channel X SBS featured the unusual story of a pensioner who has allegedly been drinking nothing but Coca Cola for the past 40 years. Interestingly, she isn’t one of those people who just can’t stand water, or who has been drinking Coke from a young age and could never be weaned off of it. Her Coke addiction is related to a traumatic event – the loss of her husband, the love of her life, at the age of 34. The woman said that she turned to Coke the way other people turn to alcohol to drown their sorrows, and only became more addicted to the drink even more after also losing her son in a traffic accident.

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The Controversial Case of a High School Teacher Imprisoned for Bullying a Student to Death

South Korean media recently reported the disturbing case of a high-school teacher who scolded and humiliated a student in front of the class, causing him to take his life that same day.

On April 26th, 2020 ethics professor at Youngshin Middle School in Pohang City referred to only as “A”, for personal privacy reasons, was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 10 months in prison and had his teaching license suspended for 5 years. His crime: shaming a 9th grade student in front of the whole class after catching him reading a light manga novel, and causing him to end his own life, because of the humiliation. The teacher’s sentencing sent shock waves through South Korean social media, with some users accusing the teacher of bullying, and other expressing fears that the case set a precedent that will put fear into other teachers, preventing them from being strict when they need to be.

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The Crazy Transformations on South Korea’s Controversial Plastic Surgery Reality Show

Plastic surgery has always fascinated people, so it’s no surprise that shows like Botched or Extreme Makeover are so popular, but nowhere in the world is going under the knife more mainstream than in South Korea, so it makes sense that the Asian country’s own plastic surgery reality show is bigger than any Western shows can ever hope to get.

Let Me In is a hit reality TV show about transforming poor and socially excluded women through plastic surgery in order to give them better lives. But we’re not talking about a simple nose job, some lip fillers and lots of makeup here, most of the candidates chosen to go under the knife come out looking unrecognizable, with some displaying different bone structure and completely changed general features, like the shape of their eyes and mouth. Let Me In has been running for a decade now, and it continues to be a massive television success, although it has also attracted its share of criticism for glorifying plastic surgery.

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Chef Sues Michelin Guide for Including His Restaurant Against His Wishes

Seoul chef Eo Yun-gwon has shocked the restaurant world after announcing that he is suing Michelin Guide for including his restaurant in their 2019 edition, despite him asking them not to.

Most chefs would kill to have their restaurant included in the famous Michelin Guide, and in fact some waste years of their lives and big money in pursuit of a Michelin star and never get it, so Eo Yun-gwon’s announcement that he not only explicitly asked the authors of the guide to remove his restaurant from this year’s edition, but that he also sued them for not honoring his request, came as a huge shock. Eo described the Michelin Guide as cruel and unfair, and vowed to continue his crusade against the publication.

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South Korea Runs Out of Dog Deworming Medicine Because People Think It Cures Cancer

Remember that story we ran a few months ago about a man who claimed he cured his terminal cancer with a cheap dog deworming medicine? Well, apparently it recently went viral in South Korea and stocks of the antiparasitic medicine have been depleted.

Back in May, the story of Joe Tippens, an Oklahoma man who allegedly cured his terminal with the help of a $5 dog deworming drug called fenbendazole, went viral. Doctors said the cancer had spread everywhere in his body and he only had about three months to live, but today he is cured and he credits the veterinary medicine for the miracle. The news made headlines all around the world, but it really made a big impact in South Korea, where stocks of fenbendazole have evaporated due to people buying it as a way to prevent or cure cancer.

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South Korean Mayor Dumps Tonne of Trash on Pristine Beach for International Clean-Up Day

On September 21, volunteers across the globe, from Thailand to Hawaii, gathered on their local beaches to clean up trash and make a powerful statement about the poor state of our environment? But what about volunteers with no dirty beaches to clean? Well, some of them got a bit of help from local authorities.

Late last month, a South Korean mayor came under fire after revealing that he dumped a tonne of trash on a pristine beach just so hundreds of volunteers could clean it up the next day, in celebration of the International Coastal Cleanup Day. His office later apologized, saying that there wasn’t any trash for people to pick up, and that they only did it to “raise awareness about the seriousness of coastal waste”.

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South Korean Cafe Makes You Feel Like You’re in an A-Ha Music Video

Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is a uniquely-designed cafe in Seoul’s Yeonnam-dong district that makes visitors feel like they’ve miraculously steeped into a cartoon or a comic.

Remember the song “Take on Me” by Norwegian band A-ha? It’s one of the catchiest tunes of all time, but I remember being fascinated with its music video, as a child. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, a person stepping into the pages of a comic book that comes to life. I still consider it one of the coolest music videos ever made, but you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning in an article about a cafe in South Korea. Well, it was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw photos of the incredible Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20.

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Parents in South Korea Are Hiring Intimidating “Uncles” to Protect Their Kids from School Bullies

South Korean parents are increasingly turning to “uncle service” providers to make sure their children don’t have to put up with bullying in schools. Such services are apparently a pricey but efficient alternative to having schools handle the matter.

Earlier this month, Korean media reported on the growing business of leasing intimidating uncles to either protect children from bullies, gather evidence of bullying for filing an official complaint with the school, or even contacting the bully’s parents at their workplace. Most companies offer different packages to meet clients’ needs, and business is reportedly booming. But while many South Koreans view this type of service in a positive light, there are those who see it as simply answering bullying with another type of bullying.

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Gongbang – South Korea’s Fascination with Watching Other People Study for Hours on End

Gongbang is the name of a growing live-streaming trend in South Korea, where people broadcast themselves studying in almost total silence for hours on end to dozens, sometimes hundreds of viewers who love nothing more than to watch them do it.

Ask most popular streamers and they’ll tell you that the keys to a successful live-streaming career are providing entertaining and exciting content, and viewer engagement. That’s what makes the Gongbang live-streaming trend, which has been growing in the Asian country over the last decade, so fascinating. Gongbang streamers almost never connect with their audience, and as for providing exciting content, the most excitement they offer is turning a page every once in a while. They simply broadcast themselves studying for many hours at a time, and, for some reason, people love watching them do it.

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Cult Leader Arrested After Allegedly Holding Followers Captive and Forcing Them to Take Part in Bizarre Rituals

The deranged leader of a South Korean cult was recently arrested for holding over 400 of her followers captive at a compound on Fiji Island and forcing them to take part in violent rituals under threat of incurring God’s punishment.

Shin Ok-ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, was detained along with three senior leaders of her cult in connection to allegations that she led hundreds of her followers to the island of Fiji by telling them that a “great famine” was imminent on the Korean peninsula. Once there, she reportedly confiscated their passports and refused to let them leave the 83-acre compound. Under the watchful eyes of handpicked guardians, worshippers were also forced to take part in brutal rituals that often left them bloodied.

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Hood Houses – Used Jacket Hoods Recycled Into Cozy Homes For Stray Cats

South Korean ad agency Cheil Worldwide partnered with Molly’s Pet Shop, a popular pet shop chain, to provide stray cats with comfortable shelters on cold winter and spring nights, by recycling old jacket hoods into cozy homes.

Called Hood Houses, the ingenious cat cribs were created to raise awareness about South Korea’s stray cat problem, and also promote positive interaction between people and homeless animals. Last December, Goodwill shops and Molly’s Pet Shop branches started collecting old jacket hoods and other padded clothing, which were then recycled into portable dome homes, fitted with a waterproof roof, a bed as well as bowls for food/water. Over a two-week period, over 2,000 Hood Houses were given away for free to Molly’s Pet Shop customers who bought food for stray cats.

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South-Korean Woman Allegedly Dates Almost 200 Men in Less Than Two Years

Popular South Korean TV show Mars People XFile recently featured a young woman who claimed to have dated nearly 200 men in the last two years, purely for materialistic purposes.

The young and attractive woman, named Han Mirim, gives speed dating a whole new meaning, admitting that she sometimes broke up with men on the same day they hooked up, just because they wanted to split the bill at restaurants, or just didn’t seem willing to shower her with gifts or cover her many expenses. Mirim claimed that during the last couple of years, she had dated almost 200 different men and had received around 1 million won ($92,000) in gifts, like jewelry, clothes or gadgets.

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