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Monday, October 30, 2006

What Happens after You're Tossed out an Airlock?

Ask Metafilter has the ghoulish answer. Apparently, the classic answer, eruption of blood-and-guts from your body, is a myth. User adipocere's reply seems plausible:
I'm voting for space mummy. The volatile gases would go nice and quick and the moisture along with it not much later, since the body would still be warm. Under zero pressure, water wants to be a vapor above 200 Kelvin. My guess is that a lot of the surace moisture would boil off until the body got colder due to blackbody (heh) radiation. So, after a while, remaining moisture would be in the form of ice. The eyes might go, they might not. Certainly some bloody froth on the lips and possibly some, uh, action downstairs. After some blood vessels rupture to space (possibly from being shot on the way out), that's when you'd get the real boiling away, but if they didn't, I don't think you'd get much moisture loss from anything but the mucous membranes and the top layers of tissue.


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