25 Stunning & Weird Facts About South Korea That Are Hard to Digest

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1Adopting children

It's such a stigma to adopt children in South Korea that women are recommended to wear a maternity pillow to appear pregnant until the adoption is finalized.


2. In South Korea, men who win Olympic medals do not have to participate in the two-year-long mandatory military service.


3. In an effort to reduce the high number of suicides on South Korea's Mapo Bridge, it was unofficially renamed the Bridge of Life. It was decorated with positive affirmations and even sympathetic sculptures. Suicides increased sixfold the following year.


4. In 2014, Christians in South Korea put up a giant Christmas tree that was visible from the North Korean border. The North Koreans claimed it was a tool for psychological warfare and demanded it be taken down. The South Korean defense ministry then claimed that it was dismantled for safety concerns.


5. When South Korean representatives open the door at the DMZ meeting room for the North, they hold hands to prevent being pulled across the border.


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6Trees

South Korea once sent China thousands of trees to plant in the Gobi Desert to help minimize the "yellow dust" that engulfs the Korean peninsula every spring. Instead, China planted the trees along a highway.


7. In South Korea to rent an apartment you have to pay a lump sum up to 80% of the value of it. You then live "rent-free" for two years, then get your money back.


8. Employers in South Korea pay their workers a “kimchi bonus” in the fall so that they can buy all the ingredients to make their annual supply of kimchi.


9. In 1982, a South Korean man named Woo Bum-kon began a massive killing spree when his girlfriend woke him up trying to swat a fly on his chest. He was so enraged that he went on to murder 56 people and wounded 35 others.


10. In 2009, the city of Seoul painted 4,929 parking spaces pink so that women would not have to walk as far to their destination and to make the city more conducive to wearing high heels.


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11Love Land

In South Korea, there is a sex theme park called Love Land. It features 140 sculptures representing humans in various sexual positions.


12. A South Korean man named Kim Ung-Yong was a guest student at a university at the age of 3, was invited by NASA to conduct research at the age of 8 and earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the age of 15. He also has the highest IQ ever recorded in history.


13. During the May 18 Democratic Uprising of 1980, hundreds of civilians and students in South Korea were killed by the dictatorship army.


14. The Frog Boys was a group of South Korean children who went missing while frog hunting in 1991. 11 years later their bodies were discovered and the police concluded that they died from hypothermia. However, a later autopsy revealed them to have been murdered, one with a shotgun blast to the head.


15. In South Korea, kimchi is so ubiquitous that many households have a special fridge just for storing it. According to a consumer survey, this "kimchi refrigerator" is the #1 most desired appliance in the country.


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16Koshik

An elephant named Koshik in a South Korean zoo learned to imitate human speech by sticking its trunk in its mouth.


17. The Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea is an annual event that attracts more than 2 million visitors. The mud is considered rich in minerals and is used to make cosmetics.


18. In 2003, a South Korean subway driver named Choi Sang-yeol told passengers to remain inside while a fire was spreading in the station. He then fled with the master key leaving the train doors closed and sealing passengers inside. Out of 198 people who died in the station, 79 were trapped in his train.


19. In South Korea, babies are considered 1 year old from the day they were born and then get 1 year older on New Year's Day. There are calculators to convert international age into Korean age and vice versa.


20. There was a South Korean Gang named Chijon family that specialized in kidnapping and eating rich Hyundai customers. One gang member admitted to dismembering his victims and eating their flesh, saying this was to fire up his courage and to renounce his humanity.


21Gold donation

In 1998, South Korean citizens donated their private gold to help repay an IMF loan the country needed during the Asian Financial Crisis.


22. The South Korean government spent several years and over one million dollars to produce a "space kimchi" that was safe for their astronaut to take onto the ISS.


23. There is a museum in Seoul, South Korea centered around poop. It's called Poopoo Land.


24. “Fan Death” is a well-known myth in South Korean culture. They believe that running an electric fan in a closed room with unopened or no windows can lead to death. Despite no concrete evidence to support the concept, this myth persists due to its popularity as an urban superstition.


25. In the South Korean town of Daesong-dong, residents are exempt from taxes and the mandatory military service in an effort by the government to keep people there despite being only 350m from the North Korean border. However, for security reasons, there is a curfew and headcount at 11 pm every night.

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