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Lonely & Overworked South Koreans Are Keeping Stones As Pets

These 'pet stones' are treated like actual pets, with some owners giving them names, talking to them, and some even purchasing clothes for them.

Cover image via pett.rocks (TikTok)

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South Korean youths experiencing burnout and loneliness are turning to 'pet stones' to help them cope with life and work

With approximately 50% of the country's 51.8 million population leading solitary lives and working long hours, South Korea's youth are turning to peculiar hobbies to wind down and relax.

Some of these peculiar hobbies include participating in mock funerals and competing in yearly Space-out events.

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These 'pet stones' are treated like actual pets, with some owners giving them names, talking to them, and some even purchasing clothes for them

Some owners even massage their pet stones and provide them with special beds. Many are drawn to pet stones as they're easy to care for, not demanding, and affordable.

One owner said that she often talks to her pet stone about her problems

“I occasionally complain to my rock about what a tiresome day I have had at work,” one owner named Lee told the Wall Street Journal.

Another said that the stones have endured a lot over the years to reach their current states, providing a sense of serenity to pet owners who appreciate this fact.

Owning pet stones is not a new phenomenon. It originated in the US in the 1970s as a joke by Gary Ross Dahl

Gary Ross Dahl died in 2015.

Image via The New York Times

He introduced his Pet Rock in August 1975 in San Francisco, where it went on to become a fad. 

Dahl claimed that he sold around 1.5 million of the Pet Rocks. He sold each rock for USD3.95, effectively making him a millionaire. The fad eventually slowed down in 1976. 

In Malaysia, some businesses sell pet rocks on Shopee for less than RM20.

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