Fan Death is a South Korean legend which states that any electric fan left running, in a closed room, can be fatal to all individuals in the immediate premises. The electric fan is not the only criminal belonging to this myth; Koreans also consider air conditioners and car fans to be killers as well. Koreans, including highly educated medical personnel, believe:
- Electric fans will create a vortex that sucks the air (oxygen) out of a sealed room creating a vacuum inside.
- Fans consumes the oxygen within the room leaving high levels of carbon dioxide.
- If the fan is directly blowing on a persons face, it will suck all the air away leavening the sleeping person without breath.
- The fan blades slice and dice the air molecules until the air is no longer breathable causing the unsuspecting victim to suffocate. (This one might be my favorite)
- The fan will slowly lower the surrounding air temperature which in turn will cause a body in rest to slip into hypothermia.
Points to ponder:
- Fan death is commonly accepted by many Korean medical professionals.
- Fans that are manufactured and sold in South Korea are equipped with a timer that will automatically shut the fan off.
- In the summer major Korean newspapers regularly run articles and warnings about the victims and hazards of this silent killer. One week in 1997 claimed 11 lives!
- My favorite: Women in South Korea are appalled and revolted when I tell them my mom let me sleep in a room while a fan was operating. The look on their faces speaks of disgust and down right contempt at the thought of a woman hating her child so much that she would leave them in a closed room with a fan running.