Fan death

Fan death is a well-known superstition in Korean culture, where it is thought that running an electric fan in a closed room with unopened or no windows will prove fatal. Despite no concrete evidence to support the concept, belief in fan death persists to this day in Korea, and also to a lesser extent in Japan.[1][2][3]

Fan death
Korean fans closeup
Electric fans sold in South Korea are equipped with timer knobs that turn them off after a set number of minutes. This is perceived as a life-saving function, essential for bedtime use.
Revised RomanizationSeonpunggi samangseol
McCune–ReischauerSŏnp'unggi samangsŏl

Origins of the belief

Where the idea came from is unclear, but fears about electric fans date almost to their introduction to Korea, with stories dating to the 1920s and 1930s warning of the risks of nausea, asphyxiation, and facial paralysis from the new technology.[4][5]

One conspiracy theory is that the South Korean government created or perpetuated the myth as propaganda to curb the energy consumption of South Korean households during the 1970s energy crisis, but Slate reports that the myth is much older than that – dating almost as far back as the introduction of electric fans in Korea, and cites a 1927 article about "Strange Harm from Electric Fans".[4][6][7]

Proposed causes

Hyperthermia (heat stress)

Air movement will increase sweat evaporation, which cools the body. But in extreme heat – when the blown air is warmer than the body's temperature – it will increase the heat stress placed on the body, potentially speeding the onset of heat exhaustion and other detrimental conditions. The American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discourages people from using fans in closed rooms without ventilation when the heat index is above 32 °C (90 °F). The EPA does, however, approve of using a fan if a window is open and it is cooler outside, or when the heat index in a closed room is lower.[8]


Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature caused by inadequate thermoregulation. As the metabolism slows down at night, one becomes more sensitive to temperature, and thus supposedly more prone to hypothermia. People who believe this theory think a fan operating in a closed room all night can lower temperature to the point of causing hypothermia.[9]


It is alleged that fans may cause asphyxiation by oxygen displacement and carbon dioxide intoxication.[9][10][11][12] In the process of human respiration, inhaled fresh air is exhaled with a lower concentration of oxygen gas (O2) and higher concentration of carbon dioxide gas (CO2), causing a gradual reduction of O2 and buildup of CO2 in a completely unventilated room.[13] This phenomenon is unrelated to the presence or absence of a fan.

Media coverage

During the summer, mainstream South Korean news sources regularly report alleged cases of fan death. A typical example is this excerpt from the July 4, 2011, edition of The Korea Herald, an English-language newspaper:

A man reportedly died on Monday morning after sleeping with an electric fan running. The 59-year-old victim, only known by his surname Min, was found dead with the fan fixed directly at him.[14]

This article also noted there was "no evidence" the fan caused the death, however. University of Miami researcher Larry Kalkstein says a misunderstanding in translation resulted in his accidental endorsement of the fan death theory, which he denies is a real phenomenon.[15]

Ken Jennings, writing for Slate, says that based on "a recent email survey of contacts in Korea", opinion seems to be shifting among younger Koreans: "A decade of Internet skepticism seems to have accomplished what the preceding 75 years could not: convinced a nation that Korean fan death is probably hot air."[4]

South Korean government

The Korea Consumer Protection Board (KCPB), a South Korean government-funded public agency, issued a consumer safety alert in 2006 warning that "asphyxiation from electric fans and air conditioners" was among South Korea's five most common summer accidents or injuries, according to data they collected.[16] The KCPB published the following:

If bodies are exposed to electric fans or air conditioners for too long, it causes [the] bodies to lose water and [causes] hypothermia. If directly in contact with [air current from] a fan, this could lead to death from [an] increase of carbon dioxide saturation concentration and decrease of oxygen concentration. The risks are higher for the elderly and patients with respiratory problems. From 2003 [to] 2005, a total of 20 cases were reported through the CISS involving asphyxiations caused by leaving electric fans and air conditioners on while sleeping. To prevent asphyxiation, timers should be set, wind direction should be rotated, and doors should be left open.

See also


  1. ^ "よく聞く「扇風機をつけっぱなしにして寝ると死ぬ」ってホント?". NAVER まとめ.
  2. ^ 「扇風機に当たったまま寝ると死ぬ」はホント!クーラーでも. 日刊SPA! (in Japanese). 15 August 2011.
  3. ^ Ima sugu sore o yamenasai : dokutā morita no yameru dake de kenkō ni naru gojū no hinto. Subarusha. ISBN 978-4799105207.
  4. ^ a b c Jennings, Ken (Jan 22, 2013). "Is Your Electric Fan Trying to Kill You? Fan death in Korea, the dangers of wearing red in the Philippines, and other momisms from around the world". Slate.
  5. ^ "Strange Harm From Electric Fans", Jungoe Ilbo (Domestic and International Daily), July 31, 1927, "The rotating fan blades create a vacuum directly in front, and the intensity of the resulting air flow always results in an insufficient supply of oxygen to the lungs." ‹See Tfd›(in Korean)
  6. ^ "Fan Death". 6 June 2011.
  7. ^ Herskovitz, Jon; Kim, Jessica (2007-07-09). "Electric fans and South Koreans: a deadly mix?". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  8. ^ Excessive Heat Events Guidebook, United States Environmental Protection Agency. "Annex B: Use of Portable Electric Fans During Excessive Heat Events ... Don't Use a portable electric fan in a closed room without windows or doors open to the outside. ... Don't Use a portable electric fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself. This can accelerate the risk of heat exhaustion. ... Annex C: Excessive Heat Events Guidebook in Brief ... Don't direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90 °F."
  9. ^ a b Surridge, Grant. (2004-09-22). "Newspapers fan belief in urban myth." JoongAng Daily, via and Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
  10. ^ Adams, Cecil (1997-09-12). "Will sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan cause death?". The Straight Dope. Chicago Reader, Inc. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  11. ^ Watanabe, Toshifumi, and Masahiko Morita. (1998-08-31). "Asphyxia due to oxygen deficiency by gaseous substances." Forensic Science International, Volume 96, Issue 1, Pages 47–59. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  12. ^ Gill, James R., Susan F. Ely, and Zhongxue Hua. (2002). "Environmental Gas Displacement: Three Accidental Deaths in the Workplace." The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 23(1):26 –30, 2002. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  13. ^ "Concentrated Carbon Dioxide in Western Pennsylvania." Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine The Pittsburgh Geological Society. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  14. ^ "Summer death revives fan death myth". The Korea Herald. 2011-07-04. Archived from the original on 2011-11-25.
  15. ^ South Korea's Quirky Notions About Electric Fans
  16. ^ "Beware of Summer Hazards!" (Press release). Korea Consumer Protection Board (KCPB). 2006-07-18. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
A Coin for the Well

A Coin For The Well is the third EP by Fan Death. It was released February 1, 2010.

Dandi Wind

Dandi Wind was a post-industrial band created in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2003. The band consisted of duo Dandilion Wind Opaine and Szam Findlay. Opaine went on to form the disco band Fan Death. "Dandi Wind" released two albums, 2006's Concrete Igloo and 2008's Yolk of the Golden Egg in addition to several EPs and singles, and featured in a variety of magazines and media outlets, including Supersweet Magazine, NME, Dazed & Confused, Exclaim!, Nightlife Magazine, The Nerve, Discorder Magazine, The Georgia Straight, and Trash Menagerie.

Death messenger

Death messengers, in former times, were those who were dispatched to spread the news that an inhabitant of their city or village had died. They were to wear unadorned black and go door to door with the message, "You are asked to attend the funeral of the departed __________ at (time, date, and place)." This was all they were allowed to say, and were to move on to the next house immediately after uttering the announcement. This tradition persisted in some areas to as late as the mid-19th century.

Dignified death

Dignified death is a somewhat elusive concept often related to suicide. One factor that has been cited as a core component of dignified death is maintaining a sense of control. Another view is that a truly dignified death is an extension of a dignified life. There is some concern that assisted suicide does not guarantee a dignified death, since some patients may experience complications such as nausea and vomiting. There is some concern that age discrimination denies the elderly a dignified death.

Espen Knutsen

Kjell Espen Knutsen Jahre (born January 12, 1972) is a retired Norwegian professional ice hockey player and currently the general manager of Vålerenga in the Norwegian GET-ligaen. He played five seasons in the North American-based National Hockey League (NHL), and is to date the only Norwegian to have played in the NHL All-Star Game. In his native Norway, Knutsen is also known by the nickname "Shampoo" because his father is a hairdresser, and also a former hockey player whose nickname was "The Soap" (Såpa in Norwegian).

Fan Death Records

Fan Death Records is an independent record label based in Baltimore, Maryland, and Montreal, Quebec. The label is operated by Sean Gray, Chris Berry, and Tracy Soo-Ming.Fan Death is affiliated with DNA Test Fest, a noise rock and experimental music festival held in Baltimore every year. The label began in 2007 in with Gray's radio show DNA in the DNA on WMUC-FM in College Park, Maryland.

Index of Korea-related articles (F)

This is a partial list of Korea-related topics beginning with F.

Kevin James Maher

Kevin "Kevvy Mental" Maher is a Canadian musician, film composer, remix artist and music producer, most notable for his work in Fake Shark - Real Zombie! as lead vocalist and programmer.


Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.

Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena is a multipurpose arena, in Columbus, Ohio, United States. Since completion in 2000, the arena has served as the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

It is one of two facilities in Columbus, along with Greater Columbus Convention Center, that hosts events during the annual Arnold Classic, a sports and fitness event hosted by actor, bodybuilder, and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In May 2012, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman made a pitch to the NBA requesting an expansion or relocated team be moved to Nationwide Arena.


An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.

Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.

Pallor mortis

Pallor mortis (Latin: pallor "paleness", mortis "of death"), the first stage of death, is an after-death paleness that occurs in those with light/white skin.

Phantasy (record label)

For the cartoons produced by Columbia Pictures from 1939–1946, see Phantasies.Phantasy is a British independent record label established in London, England, and founded in 2007 by the DJ and producer, Erol Alkan. Its current roster includes Connan Mockasin, Daniel Avery, James Welsh, Ghost Culture, Babe, Terror, U, Future Four, Cowboy Rhythmbox and Alkan himself, while the label has previously released material from Late Of The Pier, Chilly Gonzales, LA Priest, Boys Noize & Erol Alkan, Babe, Terror, Primary 1, Fan Death, Paul Chambers, Dance Area, Riton & Primary 1, Boris Dlugosch, Tom Rowlands (of The Chemical Brothers), Future Four, In Flagranti, and Nadia Ksaiba.


Roomrunner was a noise rock group from Baltimore, Maryland, fronted by Denny Bowen, formerly of Double Dagger, Yukon, and The Dan Deacon Ensemble. The group also included prominent Baltimore recording engineer Dan Frome on bass. Past members have included Bowen's one-time Yukon band mate Sam Garrett, and John Jones, who went on to join Dope Body. To date, they have released a cassette tape and an EP on Fan Death Records and have toured North America, playing with the likes of Dan Deacon, Future of the Left, and METZ.

The name Roomrunner comes from the wasei Japanese word used for “treadmill.”

The band's sound has been described as "a conscious effort to revive the fuzz and feedback-laden churn of early-1990s indie rock. . . [but] theirs is a more ebullient take on the genre."In August 2015, the band announced on their Facebook page that they will be playing their last show in Baltimore in October 2015, with plans to release a last LP sometime in 2016. The album has yet to be released.

Szam Findlay

Szam Findlay is a Canadian electronic music producer who has been active since 1998. While still a teenager he was signed to Rough Trade Publishing .

Subsequently while still in high school his debut album Die Hautfabrik was released by Resonant Recordings/Todtenschlaf in 2001 to acclaim from BBC Allmusic and Incursion.

This release marked the beginning of a longtime collaboration with performance artist Dandilion Wind Opaine who provided the artwork for the booklet.

In 2003 the two embarked on a decade long collaboration that encompassed the projects Dandi Wind and Fan Death.

Dandi Wind released 2 full length albums, 5 eps, and a handful of singles amidst extensive global touring alongside bands such as Klaxons, The Horrors, The Presets, Final Fantasy, Simian Mobile Disco and Broken Social Scene. The project was terminated in 2010.

In 2007 with the addition of Marta Jaciubek McKeever the Fan Death project was created. An EP and full length album was released on Mercury/Universal/Last Gang Records following singles on Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sounds and Tokyo's Big Love records. In support of these releases live shows were performed with Florence and the Machine, Metronomy, Telepathe, Late of the Pier and Franz Ferdinand in addition to a full European tour supporting Vampire Weekend. As of 2011 Findlay has continued the project with new vocalists Kasia Elizabeth and Tessa Marie.In 2012 both 100% Silk and Big Love Records released 12" EPs from a new collaboration with Manderson under the name Body Double.

The website for the 2013 documentary "Fall/Winter" references his contributions to the score of the film.

In 2013 a full length album entitled "The Fairer Sex" by new vocal project Cry Blue Sky was released via Todtenschlaf.

The Clearing (Locrian album)

The Clearing is an album from drone rock band Locrian. It was originally released on November 1, 2011, through Fan Death Records and later re-released through Relapse Records with an additional album of material titled "The Final Epoch."

The first single off the album, "Chalk Point," was released on October 3, 2011.

To Live and Shave in L.A.

To Live and Shave in L.A. (TLASILA) is an experimental music collective founded in 1993 by avant-garde composer/producer Tom Smith (formerly of Washington, DC groups Peach of Immortality and Pussy Galore) and Miami Beach musician/producer Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra. They were soon joined by oscillator player Ben Wolcott; this lineup created the majority of the early releases in TLASILA's extensive discography.

The group's debut album, 30-minuten männercreme, was released in 1994. Bananafish Magazine described the recording as "a wind tunnel of 30-weight vitriol." The "wildly inaccessible" ensemble has featured Don Fleming, Andrew W.K., Weasel Walter, Thurston Moore, and at least a dozen other musicians and sound artists.

The group's primary aesthetic assertion posits that "genre is obsolete". Although often categorized as purveyors of noise music, TLASILA have been noted to pursue an unorthodox approach, "construct(ing) songs around an overwhelming plethora of sonic detail, challenging the listener to engage with a surfeit of information," deliberately blurring "the line between harsh metal-on-metal noise and abstract musique concrète" Smith's lyrics "distance" the group "from any potential peers," "scanning like (they) came from some previously unearthed hermetic treatise."Following the release of The Cortège (Fan Death Records, 2011), the collective went on hiatus, abjuring live performances but releasing albums all the while. Regrouping in January 2015 with the album Unwept to Meet Strange Clay (Karl Schmidt Verlag, 2015), TLASILA resumed its touring activities.

Womb of Dreams

Womb of Dreams is the debut album by electro-disco band Fan Death. It was released on August 6, 2010.

Main topics
In medicine
After death

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.