The Korea Herald


Eye-licking craze seizes Japanese youngsters

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 14, 2013 - 18:22

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A bizarre act of eye-licking is gaining popularity among Japanese students, causing concerns about eye infections.

An anonymous Internet user, who identified himself as a teacher in an elementary school, posted on a Japanese website Naver Matome that he recently spotted a sixth-grade boy licking a girl’s eyeballs.

The students, when confronted, told the teacher that they were “not the only ones doing it.” The teacher opened a class meeting and found out that nearly a third of students in his class have taken part in “eye licking.”

Another Internet user, a middle school teacher, said that he noticed an increasing number of students wearing eye patches in his class. He said he finally understood the reason behind the mysterious epidemic when he witnessed a boy licking a girl’s eye in the school’s gymnasium.

The fad is considered a show of deep affection among Japanese preteens.

According to the Huffington Post, the unusual practice appears to have spread to the U.S. as well. Elektrika Energias, an environmental science student, told the news outlet that her boyfriend started licking her eyeballs years ago, and that she “just loved it.”

The licking of eye, however, can risk one’s health, according to San Diego ophthalmologist David Granet.

“There are ridges on the tongue that can cause a corneal abrasions,” he was quoted as saying.

Granet also said if the eye licking is done without proper washing of the mouth, a person may put acid right into the eye.