Monday, March 26, 2007

Fan Death

I have heard about this before but then it came up at dinner last night and again in my adult conversation class today. Take it as a sign, an omen...I'm supposed to blog about it.

Now I'm not normally a superstitious person. And most anything dealing with good luck or bad luck can be scientifically reasoned out. Black cats don't scare me. I broke a mirror once and I should be in that seven years of bad luck phase but some really good things have happened to me. I always forget to throw salt over my shoulder. And it is almost impossible to avoid walking under ladders.

But this one kills me (figuratively, not literally).

Fan death is an urban legend that originated in South Korea, but has since spread. The belief is that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can result in the death (by suffocation, poisoning, or hypothermia) of those inside. This belief also extends to air conditioners and the fans in cars. When the air conditioner or fan is on in a car, some people are apt to leave their car windows open a crack to avoid "fan death." Fans manufactured and sold in Korea are equipped with a timer switch that turns them off after a set number of minutes, which users are frequently urged to set when going to sleep with a fan on.

They argue the fan creates a vortex and partial vacuum that sucks the oxygen away. They also think that the fan turns the oxygen in to carbon dioxide OR better yet, chops up the air particles so they are no longer breathable (laughable factor...high).

My adult class actually tried to argue the science behind the fan death theories. Bad move on their part. Never argue science with a former science teacher masquerading as an English teacher. What got to me was how set on the idea they were. They were utterly convinced.

Oh, by the way, I slept with my fan on last night and I'm alive and well writing this post.


Seoul Art said...

Becky said...

How brave of you....defying the death by fan...but then again being Superman and all fans have nothing on you.