There are elves in Iceland and killer fans in South Korea
Did you know many people in Iceland believe in elves? It is true. Polls consistently show the people of Iceland believe in these humanlike creatures that live in rocks. This innocuous urban legend is simply an assumed part of their Celtic culture in which some Icelanders believe and some do not.
In South Korea there are many people who believe if an electric fan is left running in a closed room it will suck away all of the oxygen in the air and suffocate those in the room or that the fan slows the person’s metabolism so much that she or he dies from hypothermia. This urban legend is so strong that every electric fan in South Korea is sold with timer switch to shut it off after the person has fallen asleep.
Urban legends are funny things because this phenomenon shows how the human mind is often willing to believe something completely outrageous even in the face of fact and logic.
When the people of South Korea were told that no one outside of their country believed in death by fan, there were excuses given as to why this trend affects only the South Korean physiology. Sometimes people will believe what they want to believe regardless the validity of the facts staring them in the face.
For example, as rational and reasonable as I believe myself to be, I once believed God created humans 6,000 years ago and placed them in a garden where a talking snake, with legs, convinced Eve to disobey God. As a result, God cursed the snake to slither on the ground, eat dust, and also cursed Eve with pain in childbirth and servitude to her husband.
I once believed Methuselah lived to be 969 years old and that the average age of the antediluvian patriarchs was 912 years. This does not include Enoch who was taken up to heaven without dying at age 365.
I once believed God instructed Noah to build an ark to house two of each of the millions of land species and then proceeded to flood the earth, killing the millions of people and animals who were alive at that time. This event also resulted in God creating the rainbow as a sign of his promise to never again flood the earth.
I once believed God was threatened by humanity’s ability to build a tower to the heavens so he confused their language. Up to that that point, all of humanity spoke a common language, and because of this event we now have different languages.
I once believe that God caused the sun to stand still for a full day in order for Joshua to kill more of the enemies of Israel. Does this mean the earth stopped spinning for a day?
I once believed that Jonah spent three days in the belly of a big fish because he disobeyed God. This big fish then vomited the undigested Jonah out and he proceeded to preach the word of God.
However, in the face of believing these and other Bible stories, I still found urban legends like elves in Iceland and killer fans in South Korea to be too fantastical for my rational mind.