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Eyeball Licking Craze Causes Problems

LONDON - JANUARY 24: In this photo illustration the Job Centre Plus website is reflected on an eye, January 24, 2009 in London, England. Government figures released earlier in the week put the number of people out of work in December 2008 at 1.92 million, its highest level since September 1997. (Photo illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Photograph by Getty Images

It’s a fact: Teenagers do strange things. But we think teenagers in Japan take the cake for weirdness after hearing about a disgusting new trend: They’re licking each other’s eyeballs.

Why? Who knows. Perhaps the utter grossness of it is what makes it a challenge, and where there’s a challenge there’s the potential for sport. It’s called “oculolinctus” or “worming,” and hundreds of videos of this weird fetish have popped up on YouTube. Here’s a peek at one in case you’ve got the stomach for it:

But it’s all fun and games until someone gets pinkeye—and Japan is experiencing a surge in this eye infection. Many experts theorize it’s a consequence of this trend. Some doctors warn that kids can even pass on herpes this way. Dr. Phillip Rizzuto, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, warned that certain bacteria found in the mouth could damage eye tissue and even lead to blindness.

"When you get licked on the eye, you're transferring dangerous bacteria to the eye," Robert Cykiert, an associate professor in the department of ophthalmology at the New York University Langone Medical Center told ABC News. "It's a very dangerous trend, to say the least. [People] may have scarring of the cornea that can be permanent depending on the bacteria in germs. ... It may cause a perforation or hole to develop."

The moral of the story? Just say no to the eyeball licking craze, kids. Whether this trend will take off in the U.S. is unknown, but never overestimate just how dumb kids can be when they're bored.

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