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That is why many South Koreans are afraid of fans

In South Korea, the myth of “fan death” has persisted for decades. This states that people die if they leave their fans running overnight. Although an actual danger has never been proven, Korean vendors continue to warn against using the devices. atechbook explains what the myth is all about.

There is a fear going around South Korea that is closely associated with fans. It even goes so far that the staff in hotels recommends guests to turn off the fan completely at night or use its timer function. Many of these devices have this feature there to prevent possible death from suffocation, hypothermia or poisoning. Since the 1930s, newspapers in South Korea have repeatedly reported mysterious deaths linked to ventilators.

According to the myth, the device is supposed to create a vacuum via the draft, which causes respiratory problems. Therefore, it is also dangerous to put it directly in front of you, especially when the window is closed. Moreover, it consumes the oxygen in the air, producing CO 2 which could poison the sleeper. And as if that were not enough, the device could also cause hypothermia in the room, which could freeze you to death overnight.

Myth about fans scientifically investigated in South Korea

To get to the bottom of the myth, many studies explored the phenomenon. For example, according to the WORLD, Rim Chun-Paek, a professor of energy at the KAIST Institute in Daejeon, South Korea, was able to prove minimal to no changes in value caused by fans. But no matter how many studies disprove the myth, the public continues to cling to it.

The media continues to fuel the superstition with reports. Even the government in South Korea is said to have done its part. After all, they even advised users against buying fans during the energy crisis in the 1970s. Experts believe that if anything, the myth itself is responsible for these deaths. According to the nocebo effect (the counterpart of the placebo effect), something innocuous can have a negative effect on someone if they firmly believe in its effects. But this is also very unlikely. In fact, the people in question probably rather died of heat stroke and by chance there was a fan nearby.