We find a strange affliction under Koreans. It is something called Fan Death.
Fan Death is when you go to sleep in a room with the doors and windows closed and way wake up dead. No, wait, you do not wake up, that is the point.
I only heard of this when I came to Korea, and I haven't been able to find any non-Koreans who believe in it. I asked a few people about it and got some interesting answers:
Over MSN Messenger...
Otto says: Have you ever heard of people who die because then leave the fan on when they sleep?
Korean Online Friend says: Yes, in summer time? Why?
Otto says: Do you believe it?
Korean Online Friend says: Yes, it happens.
Otto says: OK
Korean Online Friend says: Why, you don't believe it?
Few Minutes later on MSN
Canadian Teacher says: Hahahaha.
Canadian Teacher says: I just asked my teacher, or a English teacher. He said "it's proven science. It's not myth"
Canadian Teacher says: WOW
Later that day during conversation...
Otto: Do you know fan death? What is it in Korean?
Korean A: There isn't a real name for it, but it is something that means "death from lack of oxygen"
Otto: Oh. Ok. So, is fan death true?
Korean A: Um... Yes!
After explaining the meaning of fan death...
Korean B: Yes, I know it. Actually, a friend of mine died from it.
I decided to do my own armature research using this questionnaire with people I know. A few online friends asked Koreans they know as well.
When someone dies from using an electric fan while sleeping.
Please check all the answers that you think are correct….
1. Fan death happens in:
2. Fan Death can only happen in a room with the windows and doors closed.
3. Fan Death can happen in a small apartment with the doors closed.
4. Fan Death is caused by:
5. An air conditioner can do some of the above.
The results were amazing. About 90% of Koreans seem to believe this. It supposedly happens in summer because that is when people use fans. Most people do not believe that the air conditioning can do the same thing, but some do. Lastly, most seem to agree that it must be a room. A small apartment, like mine will not work. Interesting, because my apartment is the same size as the room I grew up in.
Let us look at the results a bit closer. Body temperature drop? Personally, I get under the blankets when cold and everyone I know will get under the blankets when things get cold around them.
The fan takes the air away from my face and suffocates you? WHAT? How is that possible. Surely that will happen when I am awake as well?
The fan uses up the oxygen in the room. Ooooo-K. Fans do not use up oxygen or produce carbon dioxide. They circulate the air, nothing else. Secondly, and again, why only when I am asleep? If the room is completely sealed then the fan is not your problem, the room being sealed it. YOU are using up the oxygen.
I have two close friends who are Korean and I am dying to ask them. I keep on forgetting.
Here is a Korean YouTube clip that tries to make a case for it. It asked all the same questions I did and gives the answer, "There is no proof; you just have to believe it."
If anyone has ever tried to incriminate a fan on video, then this is it...