Some South Koreans Believe Electric House Fans Can Kill You, Why is This?

The belief among many South Koreans is that if you sleep in a closed room with an electric fan on you can die. I didn’t believe this was a real belief until I started researching it further on the internet and found that it is a widely held belief.

I set out to determine why so many believe it and from what I can find it is because the government created this myth to help out with the electricity demand problem they were having at the time electric fans came into prominent use.

There were so many South Koreans adopting electric fans to cool their homes that the electricity grid in South Korea could not keep up with the demand for electricity.

Hodges also shared the following passage from the government-issued Cultural Guide for Migrant Workers in Korea: “In some cases, a fan turned on too long can cause death from oxygen deficiency, hypothermia, or fire from overheating.” “Some Koreans,” he adds, “give outlandish explanations about how the whirling blades of a fan can sever oxygen molecules.”Nowhere in any scientific literature does this myth come up.

Also there is no other country that has this belief regarding electric fans but that of South Korea. Of course not all South Koreans believe this but it is remarkable that such a belief exists still to this day in this country.

Snopes has an interesting article about this here and Hyphen magazine also has a good story on this as well here

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