14 Strange and Unique Facts About South Korea
1. Major fast food restaurants in Korea will deliver right to your door
You can watch your favorite idol’s variety show while eating McDonald’s or Burger King, freshly delivered right to your door, as most fast food restaurants have a delivery service.
2. Nearly 1/3 of Korean women undergo at least one cosmetic surgery
South Korea is the largest market for plastic surgery per capita in the world. It is reported that around 20-30% of women undergo a cosmetic procedure at least once in their lifetime. Sometimes, parents gift their daughters “double eyelid surgery” for their sweet 16th birthday, a popular procedure on the eyelid to appear more western.
3. “Gangnam Style” is still the highest ranking K-Pop song ever on Billboard
PSY’s immortal hit single “Gangnam Style” has more than 3 billion views on YouTube since its release in 2011. It peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot Singles Chart, which is the highest placement for a Korean artist in history. Gangnam district, which is known to be the most expensive and prestigious areas in Seoul, is the inspiration of the title, which describes a chic, trendy, and fashionable style.
4. It is common to force criminals to recreate their crime for the press
If you commit a crime in South Korea, be ready to be publicly humiliated. South Korea is famous for its practice of crime re-creation, which means you have to reenact the crime at the scene, with handcuffs, while the press is invited to watch and take pictures as you re-create the crime step by step.
5. Never write a Korean’s name in red ink. Ever.
When you write someone’s name in Korea, make sure you do not write it with red ink. When a Korean’s name is written in red ink, this indicates that that person is about to die or is already dead. This might sound superstitious, but it’s very well-known among the South Korean traditions and considered inappropriate.
6. Death by electric fan is a common fear among Koreans
South Koreans believe that leaving an electric fan on overnight will kill the person sleeping directly below it. The electric fan death is a common urban legend in South Korea, which the media and press keep re-visiting to ensure that these are just myths. No actual deaths have been reported from this incident and yet, many are still superstitious.
7. Korean men love their makeup
Believe it or not, 20% of the South Korean men are known to put on makeup on regular basis. The market for men’s cosmetic is huge in South Korea and you don’t have to be a male idol to put on some makeup. Now you know why Korean guys look so polished and handsome at any given time.
8. Korea has the lowest obesity rate in the world
Have you ever wondered about those perfect bodies that Korean idols have? Well, Koreans are known to be fitness crazy and health conscious. The proof? Only 3.2% of South Koreans are overweight, which is the lowest rate in the world.
9. Koreans have two ages
In Korea, babies are considered one year old at birth, and they count up from the January 1st of every year. For example, IU was born on May 16, 1993, which makes her 24 everywhere else, but she is considered 25 in South Korea. Also, on January 1, 2018, she will age one more year, and people will say she is 26 years old now. This is why you see many Korean celebs complaining about aging another year near the end of each year.
10. You can get your drink on just about anywhere you want
In South Korea, it is perfectly legal to drink alcohol in public. Even better? There’s no such thing as the last call. If you drink like a whale, you could drink all night until the bar closes and then go to the nearest convenience store and buy some more. Book your flight now! It’s a paradise! (Always drink responsibly)
11. The number 4 is unlucky
If Americans consider 13 as the unlucky number, South Koreans consider the number 4 as theirs. The number 4 is associated with death, and this belief seems to have come from China. Want to know how serious they are about this? Many old, traditional apartments built back in the day would not have a 4th floor, as it would be considered unlucky. Building numbers would often skip from 3 to 5.
12. Korea’s Internet speeds are some of the fastest on Earth
South Korea is known for having one of the world’s fastest wireless speeds on the planet. Most Koreans have social media accounts and use them on a regular basis. Over 10% of the adult population suffer from internet addiction. A lot of K-Pop idols are not hesitant to use the various social media platforms to their advantage. Maximizing accessibility, they use a variety of social media accounts to communicate with their fans regularly, attracting more global fandom.
13. Shopping and eating can be done at virtually any time of day or night
South Koreans love shopping, and the country has some of the biggest shopping malls in the world. Most restaurants open until very late at night, while others are open 24 hours. Some of the late night shopping malls are open until 4 in the morning, so you can get your shopping done more comfortably, with visitors.
14. Everyone wants to know your blood type
Don’t be offended or surprised if a Korean person asks you about your blood type as they might be asking you if your personalities are compatible. Most Koreans are automatically classified at birth according to their blood type. They firmly believe that blood types are related to personality traits. They believe this so much that there are books and articles published, explaining which blood types are compatible to date each other. However, no concrete evidence has been found about this.