We've all seen those science-fiction movies where people get thrown into space without a suit to protect them. The real question is are the movies accurate? Would you really explode if you were thrown out into space? Would it even be possible to survive if you were exposed to space?
These are all valid questions, and today we'll get to the bottom of this. Let's find out once and for all what would happen if you were exposed to space.
Let's assume for a minute that you're not on earth anymore. Maybe you've built your own spaceship or perhaps you were selected to leave the earth on a colonization mission. It doesn't matter how, but you're in space now. Something goes drastically wrong, and suddenly you find yourself outside of the ship in the vacuum of space without a suit to protect you.
Before we get into the gory details, let's talk about what the Earth does for us while were on it. For starters it has a protective atmosphere. This atmosphere shields us from harmful UV rays, cosmic radiation and other hazards of space.the Earth's atmosphere also provides us with things like oxygen, and food and water.it also provides us with pressure they keeps us grounded in safe.
Out in space there is literally nothing, it's a vacuum. The two worst things about being outside in space without a suit to protect you is a lack of oxygen, and something called Ebullism. The second problem refers to the formation of bubbles inside of your bodily fluids, which happens when there's a lack of pressure to keep everything in place.
Because there's so little pressure in space, the temperature at which your body's fluids boils decreases below your body's normal temperature. This creates gas bubbles inside the fluids of your body. You may think this just means that you'll have gas, but in fact it will cause you to swell up to twice your normal size. You won't explode however because your skin is very elastic, and your blood won't boil either. It will be extremely painful, and your blood circulation won't work so well.
In regards to the lack of oxygen, your body will only take about 15 seconds to use up all the oxygen that it has stored inside of it. At this point you'll lose consciousness. Don't try to hold your breath either, because if you do, the lack of pressure will cause the air in your lungs to expand rapidly which could cause your lungs to explode or rupture.
After you lose consciousness you will only have a couple of minutes left before you die. Even if you were to be rescued in time, you'll be exposed to the vast amounts of radiation from the sun which will cause severe sunburn. In addition, x-rays and gamma radiation will mutate your DNA resulting in all kinds of cancer if you manage to survive.
To debunk another myth, you would not freeze instantly as some movies and shows has shown. The vacuum would cause the heat transfer away from your body extremely slowly.
To review, if you are thrown into the vacuum space without any kind of suit protect you you would first swell up, burn, be exposed to radiation, and pass out. It's also possible that your lungs may explode, so at the end of the day the best advice I can offer you is to wear your spacesuit. Also, try not to make anybody on your spaceship so mad that they throw you out of the airlock.
Look on the bright side though, if you manage to get picked up within the first couple of minutes you'll probably survive. You may have to deal with cancer, but hey, at least you survived the vacuum of space.