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Killer Fan (?)

Friday, April 20, 2007
I took this from the good ol' hdtb and passing it along to get your thots...mine are in bold italics below...

And i totally can see some bad B-Movie developed from this... :-) James Gunn.. maybe? doo it.

Fan Death(dun dun dunnnnnnnnn!)

Fan death is an urban legend that originated in South Korea, but has since spread to other countries in the Far East. The belief is that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can result in the death (by suffocation, poisoning, or hypthermis) 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 crach to avoid "fan death. (dun dun dunnnnnnn!)" 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.


The belief in the myth of fan-death (dun dunn!) often offers several explanations for the precise mechanism by which the fan kills. Electric fans sold in Korea are equipped with a "timer knob" switch, which turns them off after a set number of minutes: apparenty a "life-saving" function, particularly essential for bed time use.**

However, as explained below, these beliefs do not stand up to logical and scientific scrutiny.

Examples of possible justifications or belief in fan death are as flls:

1. That an electric fan creates a vortex, which sucks the oxygen from the enclosed and sealed room and creates a partial vacuum inside. In reality, the air pressure at any point in the room vaires less than it does during a storm.

2. That the fan uses up the oxygen in the room and creates fatal levels of carbon dioxide. There is no actual conversion of ocygen to carbon dioxide happening; unlike a candle, the electric motor in a fan does NOT alter the chimcal composition of the air (apart from creating some ozone if the motor uses brushes, and outgassing from the materials).

3. That if the fan is put directly in front of the face of the sleeping person, it will suck all the air away, preventing one from breathing. However, as can be easily verified, it is possible to breath with one's face in front of a running fan (La-la-la-la-la-luuuuuuuke. I ammmmm your faaaaaaatherrrrrrr).

4. The fanblades chop up air particles (i.e. oxygen molecules) so that the air is no longer breathable, thus resulting in suffocation. If this were true, regular fans could be used to create chemical reactions. However, air ionisers do turn a very small amount of oxygen into unstable ozone.

5. That fans cause hypothermia (a.k.a. blue disease). As the metabolism slows down at night, one becomes more sensitive to temperature and thus supposedly more prone to hypothermia. If the fan is left on all night in a sealed and enclosed room (are people duct-taping their vents/door slits, window???), believers in fan death suppose that it will lower the temperature of the room to the point that it can cause hypothermia. Empirical measurements will show, however, that the temperature in the room does not fall, at least not due to the fan; if at all, it should rise slightly because of friction nd the heat output of the fan motor ( Why do we run fans if it raises the temperature?????), but even this is generall not significant.

Fans actually make one cooler by increasion the convection around a person's body so that heat flows from them to the air more easily, and by the latent heat of vapourisation as perspiration evaporates from the body. Furthermore, hypothermia occurs only when the body's core tmperature drops below normal, and will not generally be caused simply by cooling of the skin or decreas in the body's suface temperature.

6. Often, believers claim that a compbination of these facotrs is responsible. For example, it might be claimed that the decrease in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide, in conjunction with some degree of hypothermia could prove fatal to a sleeping person (Man, those plant-loving, feng-shui fountain lovers are doomed!).

Media Coverage:here.

The Published Professional Opinionhere.

** I guess that little knob does wonders for securing the fear of numerous irrational people overseas...

About me

I'm Sami Jo From Denver, CO, United States Samantha loves to travel, lose herself in a good book, practice yoga at her favorite local studio, The Yoga Mat, and connect with friends, old and new. Her love of working with creative minds extends into her personal endeavors, as well. She and her husband conduct a project called "Songs For Jake," a music collaboration channel designed with the simple mission of getting great songs to one really big music lover. Through her business, Roger Charlie, Samantha focuses on publicity and management, working closely with authors, musicians, and creatives who find value in a more personal approach through communications.
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