this week i would like to talk about fan death.
i learned about fan death a few months ago, so i'm not sure why it's on my mind now, but it is. maybe because the weather's starting to warm up a bit.
anyway, it's pretty interesting, so i thought i would share.
many south koreans believe that it is dangerous, even deadly, to sleep in a closed space with a fan running.
wikipedia (a trusted source) lists hypothermia, suffocation, and poisoning as possible reasons fans might cause death in the case of fan death. people i've asked have explained that a fan will remove all the oxygen in a room with closed doors and windows. one belief is that a fan set right in front of your face will suck all the oxygen away while you sleep.
my initial response to this was sheer surprise. people really believe this? but it's not a joke. and who am i to contradict anyone's beliefs or superstitions - especially while i'm a guest in this country.
i mean, it's even on the news (another trusted source).
one explanation I was offered, though I can't remember from who, was that fan death is often used to explain away suicide. appearance is huge here, as is religion. i can't imagine a family talking openly about suicide. so i guess that would make sense.
believe what you will, but it's taken very seriously in south korea.
i've found a variety of stuff on the internet - mostly by foreigners, like myself, who are equally intrigued. or maybe more so...