In the past we’ve highlighted a number of credulous reporters in the Chinese media taking satirical articles on face value and generally making fools out of themselves. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that I approached this story about an alleged craze among Japanese teens of licking each other’s eyeballs. On the one hand, this is the kind of insane, WTF news that blogs are built upon. On the other, it has to be fake right? Right?!
After eye patches suddenly took off among middle school students in Japan, teachers were confused but ultimately decided it was just another weird fashion craze. However, a post by a middle school teacher, originally shared on Naver Matome and translated by Japan Crush, describes the disturbing trend behind the patches:
After class one day, I went into the equipment store in the gymnasium to tidy up. The door had been left open, and when I looked inside, a male pupil and a female pupil had their faces close together and were kind of fumbling around. Could it be bullying? I wondered, but when I had a good look, the boy was licking the girl’s eye! Surprised, a shouted “What are you doing? Stop it at once!” and the two of them were so shocked they jumped apart. The girl burst into tears, and the boy just went bright red and was shaken up. At any rate, to try to calm them down I took them to the janitor’s room and listened to their story.
On questioning, the two students revealed that eyeball licking is basically like second base – what you graduate to after Frenching.
Mr. Y immediately told the school staff the story. A classroom assembly for the year 6 students was held, and when each homeroom teacher questioned the students, it was revealed that a surprising one third of the kids had done “eyeball licking”, or had had their eyeballs licked.
Lest you think this is just cod moralising from a squicked out adult, eyeball licking is a great way of spreading trachoma (eye chlamydia) and conjunctivitis/pink-eye.
One potential inspiration for the eyeball licking trend is this video from Japanese band Born, in which the lead singer gets his eyeball licked by a knife-wielding woman (around 3:35, warning video contains terrible emo rock):
Don’t lick each other’s eyeballs kids.