Oddly enough - No chance of chilling at 36 degC

9th January 2009 at 00:00

Those shivering in icy schools with dodgy boilers may long for their classrooms to be bathed in tropical warmth, but be careful what you wish for.

Newspapers in Japan have recently uncovered a curious "human experiment" that took place last summer in a school in the city of Omura in Nagasaki.

The board of education decided that it wanted to find out if pupils could endure the summer heat without air conditioning.

Thirty-six pupils from Nishi-Omura Middle School were put in a meeting room with just five electric fans to keep them cool.

To add to the challenge, all the windows were closed because of work taking place to make the buildings earthquake resistant.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that one pupil complained she found it "difficult to breathe in temperatures that hit 36 degC".

The experiment was due to last 50 minutes, but - presumably in a heat-of-the-moment decision - it was abandoned after just half an hour.

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