Attack of the Killer Fans: Why Are South Koreans Are Afraid of ‘Fan Death’?
What could be more peaceful than a night of rest with a little fan gently blowing the air of your bedroom across your body? It sounds harmless — unless, perhaps, you are from South Korea, where there is a widespread belief in “fan death,” the mortal danger of sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan. Many fans in South Korea come equipped with timers so that they will not remain on throughout the night. The Korea Herald called the belief ” one of Korea’s best-known urban legends.”
No one seems to know why this belief persists, given that its position as a medical condition is dubious. There is some speculation that it has its origins in 1970s efforts by the South Korean government to curb energy use. The natural tendency is to write it off as some kind of crackpot belief.
While it seems likely that the reported cases of fan death have other causes, such as excessive drinking or undiagnosed heart conditions, the relationships between beliefs and physical health are tough to pin down.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]