Thursday, October 16

Fan Death

I learned yesterday that Koreans have an urban legend that says that if you sleep in an enclosed room with the fan running, you will die. Seeing as how in the States we're told not to open umbrellas inside for some reason and not to walk under ladders for some other reason, I guess it's not that strange of a superstition. But what's weird is that the vast majority of Koreans really truly believe it. They think fan death is undisputed scientific fact. And it's not a belief held only by poor farmers or anything. Young, college educated professionals take it just as seriously. Fans here even come with built in timers that automatically turn the fan off in case you fall asleep. Death occurs, says my co-teacher, due to the fact that air cannot move in an enclosed room, so the fan sucks up your life force and you suffocate. Duh. There are some other good theories:

That an electric fan creates a vortex, which sucks the oxygen from the enclosed and sealed room and creates a partial vacuum inside.
That an electric fan chops up all the oxygen particles in the air leaving none to breathe.
The fan uses up the oxygen in the room and creates fatal levels of carbon dioxide.
That if the fan is put directly in front of the face of the sleeping person, it will suck all the air away, preventing one from breathing.
That fans contribute to hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature.
That fans contribute to hyperthermia, commonly known as heatstroke.

As it happens, Fan Death is also a female, 2-piece electropop group that sounds like they listen to The Knife too much. I'm really hung over.

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