South Korea’s Leading Virtual K-Pop Girl Band Looks Eerily Realistic

Eternity is an A.I.-generated virtual K-pop idol group consisting of 11 members created using advanced deep-fake technology.

K-pop has really taken the world by storm in recent years, with groups like BTS and Black Pink conquering market after market with their catchy songs and energetic dance routines. The genre has become one of South Korea’s main exports, generating tens of billions in revenue, but despite its massive international success, the massive corporations behind the K-pop wave aren’t resting on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly looking for ways to stay relevant in this constantly changing industry, and artificial intelligence is apparently the next big thing. So it’s not that big of a surprise that A.I.-generated virtual K-pop groups are already a thing.

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Man Ordered to Pay Ex-Girlfriend $1,150 After Urinating in Her Louis Vuitton Handbag

A South Korean civil court recently ordered a 31-year-old man to pay his ex-girlfriend 1.5 million won ($1,150) as damages for urinating in her designer handbag.

This bizarre story dates back to last October, when the defendant in this case, a 31-year-old man from Seoul, South Korea, whose identity has not been revealed, for privacy purposes, allegedly got into an argument with his girlfriend at the time. The two were at the girlfriend’s house in Gangnam-gu, and somehow started fighting about the amounts of money the woman was spending and the debts she was racking up. At one point, the man allegedly went into the bedroom, brought out one of his girlfriend’s Louis Vuitton handbags, unbuttoned his pants, and started urinating in it right there in front of her. She didn’t like that very much, so she filed a complaint against him with the police.

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KFC Introduces Blue Mint Chocolate-Flavored Dip for Its Fried Chicken

KFC fast food restaurants across South Korea recently introduced a bizarre new dip for its fried chicken and it has been raising eyebrows for both its unusual color and flavor – mint chocolate.

In case you didn’t know, a mint chocolate craze is sweeping South Korea these days, and companies are trying to take advantage of it. Major South Korean companies like Starbucks Korea, Haitai Confectionery and Foods, or Orion have all added mint chocolate-flavored products to their lineups. The latest to do so is fast food giant KFC, which recently launched a mint chocolate dip. Featuring a somewhat off-putting light blue color and gooey texture, the unique fried chicken dip recently went viral on social media.

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Thrifty Woman Spends Just $7 per Month on Food, Saves Up $80,000 in 4 Years

A 24-year-old woman became the talk of South Korean social media this month after it was revealed that she managed to save up 100 million won ($79,400) in 4 years by being extremely thrifty.

Ji-hyeon Kwak started working when she was 19-year-old and quickly realized that she needed to save money if she was ever going to get her own place to live. Despite earning an average of 2 million won per month (after tax), the young woman managed to put enough aside every month to save over 100 million won in the last four years. That was enough for her to win an apartment subscription, which means she will soon get her own place to live. But, as you can imagine, saving that much money on such a small salary wasn’t easy. She had to take her thriftiness to an extreme level, which included spending just 8,400 won ($6.7) on food per month.

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Wall-Mounted Noise Maker Helps South Koreans Deal With Noisy Neighbors

In South Korea, people who can’t convince their neighbors to keep the noise down are increasingly turning to expensive but effective sound systems designed specifically to irritate neighbors.

South Korean media first started reporting on these specialized sound systems back in 2016, when they were viewed as an almost funny way that some apartment building neighbors used to settle their disputes regarding noise. However, as time went by, they became incredibly popular as they delivered on the promise of making next-door or above-floor neighbors pay for ignoring requests to keep noise levels down. There are now different types of wall-mounted speakers designed specifically to annoy.

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Kosk – South Korea’s Controversial Nose-Only Face Mask

A new type of South Korean face mask that only covers the wearer’s nose has been getting a lot of attention from the western press lately.

Called ‘kosk” –  a combination of ‘ko’, the Korean word for nose, and ‘mask’ – the unusual face mask sold by South Korean company Atman consists of two parts, one of which can be removed to leave the wearer’s mouth exposed. They are apparently designed to provide some level of protection against Covid while eating, but can also be worn in nose-only mode at any time. Kosk is just one of the nose-only face masks available in South Korea these days, and the unusual trend has sparked some controversy in the western world, with many declaring the facial accessories utterly useless.

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Man Spends 10 Years Hoarding Tons of Garbage as Dowry for His Son

South Korean media recently reported the bizarre and sad story of an elderly couple who spent the last decade of their lives hoarding tons of trash for their 40-something son who refused to leave the house and find a job.

SBS, a South Korean national television network presented the shocking story of Choi, a 75-year-old man from Gwangju, who over the last decade turned his two-storey house into a dump full of garbage gathered from the city streets and from trash cans. Convinced that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure, the pensioner literally filled up his entire house with junk, before doing the same with the balconies and even the yard. As you can see from the photos below, the house was quite literally buried in trash.

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K-pop Idol Hides His Face Behind Long Bangs for a Year, Can Barely See in Front of Him

A member of a popular South Korean K-pop group has been getting a lot of attention because of his unusual hairstyle – long bangs that completely cover the upper half his face, including his eyes.

Junji (준지) is one of the seven members of OnlyOneOf, an all-male K-pop group founded in 2019. He’s easy to identify among his band mates, as he’s the one with the face half covered by long, blonde bangs. He’s been sporting the bizarre hairstyle since January 2020, and has managed to generate quite a lot of buzz in South Korean entertainment business, because of it. Some people have been speculating that Junji is trying to conceal his looks because he wants fans to like him for more than just looks, others that he is simply not as handsome as the other six members, but the important thing is that they’ve been talking about him a lot.

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Cosmetics Company in Hot Water After Its Paper Bottle Turns Out to Be Plastic

South Korean beauty brand Innisfree has attracted a lot of criticism after a bottle labeled as being made of paper turned out to be plastic simply wrapped in thin cardboard.

Innisfree,  a company that specializes in naturally-inspired beauty products, apparently didn’t expect anyone to actually check if the bottle for its face serum was actually made of paper, as suggested by the texture of the packaging and the “Hello, I’m paper bottle” branding printed on it. Only someone did check, slicing open the thin cardboard only to find a regular plastic bottle inside. This person posted photos of their discover on a Facebook group called “No Plastic Shopping,” and it didn’t take long for them to go viral.

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TV Documentary Uses Virtual Reality to Reunite People With Loved-Ones Who Have Passed Away

Virtual reality has the potential to change our lives in a number of ways, one of which is apparently the possibility to reunite with loved ones who have passed away.

South Korean television MBC recently started broadcasting season two of its hit documentary,  너를 만났다 (“I Met You”), a unique program that uses state-of-the-art VR gear and software to reunite people with their departed loved ones and allow them to make one more memory together. The network spends months on each case, putting together an emotional reunion in virtual reality, but while the response from the public has been generally positive, there are critics who describe it as emotionally manipulative.

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This Incredibly Delicate Shaved Ice Dessert Looks Just Like Fine Noodles

Shiltarae bingsu, or stringed shaved ice, is a modern take on a popular South Korean treat that consists of amazingly fine ice shavings that look like super-thin pasta.

You’ve probably heard of spaghetti ice-cream before, but this is nothing like that. Shiltarae bingsu is reportedly an incredibly airy and creamy treat that not only looks good but tastes great as well. It was allegedly invented a few years back by Seoul-based café and dessert lab Tiravento, and has since become a staple dessert, and a sought-after props for Instagram users. There is no denying the visual appeal of this treat, as the shaved ice actually looks like noodles before it starts to melt.

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YouTuber’s False Review Forces South Korean Restaurant to Shut Down

HayanTree, a popular restaurant and food reviewer on YouTube, has recently come under fire for causing a restaurant to close down after his false review negatively affected the business.

On December 7, HayanTree, who at the time sported just over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a video review of an all-you-can-eat soy sauce-marinated crab restaurant in Daegu. At one point, the popular YouTuber refills his plate, but notices grains of rice in his marinade, raising the suspicion that the restaurant might be reusing its unsold food. The controversial review quickly went viral, getting over 1 million views in a matter of days, and impacted the accused restaurant so profoundly that it had to be closed down a few days later.

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South Korea’s First AI-Powered News Anchor Looks Eerily Realistic

South Korean television channel MBN recently introduced its viewer’s to the Asian country’s first ever AI-powered news anchor, an eerily realistic version of human anchor Kim Ju-ha.

Developed by MBN in partnership with artificial intelligence  production company Money Brain, South Korea’s first AI-powered news anchor was reportedly shockingly similar to her human inspiration. Not only did it have the exact same look and voice of the popular presenter, but she also mimicked the small gestures that Kim sometimes makes, like fiddling with a pen while reporting the news. During a broadcast on November 6, AI Kim even shared a conversation with real-life Kim Ju-ha to compare their voices, which apparently freaked out a lot of people.

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Hongeo – South Korea’s Stinkiest Food Smells Like a Public Restroom

Hongeo is a bizarre South Korean dish with a pungent aroma that most people describe as a mix of dirty public toilet and wet laundry left untended for days.

Made from skate, a bottom-dwelling ray fish, Hongeo is considered by far South Korea’s smelliest food. It’s so stinky that many South Koreans wouldn’t come near it, let alone put in their mouths. However, its many fans can’t get enough of the ammonia fumes it emanates and swear that once you get used to it, it’s impossible to replace with anything else. But feasting on this stinky delicacy comes with a social cost, as the smell tends to linger in the mouth as well as on clothes. In fact, hongeo-specialized restaurants advise customers to seal their jackets in plastic bags before eating, and spray them with deodorant before leaving.

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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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