Imagine a closed room with holes on the floor. Through some trigger, a trap is activated in which the holes begin to suck air from the room (say to some other chamber), so that the chamber is becoming more and more like a vacuum.

Suppose an average human being was placed into this chamber and triggered the trap. What would happen to him? Obviously he would die, some way or another (suffocation?) but what are the stages? How long could he last?


closed as off-topic by Vincent, JDługosz, Ghanima, ArtOfCode, bowlturner May 4 '15 at 12:46

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    $\begingroup$ How long will it take to suck all the air out of the room? $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast May 3 '15 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Say...2 minutes? $\endgroup$ – Dider May 3 '15 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ It was tested on animals and there is a painging of it en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Experiment_on_a_Bird_in_the_Air_Pump In this article, experiment itself (Experiment 41) is also described. $\endgroup$ – BartekChom May 3 '15 at 21:30

Assuming air pressure drops linearly over 2 minutes, it's worth pointing out that the peak of Mt. Everest (29,000 ft) has an air pressure just about 1/3 sea level. So, for the first 80 seconds, or so, the subject would experience considerable discomfort due to the pressure drop (and would spend a lot of effort keeping his ears clear) but would not have any major problems. After that, it starts to get nasty.

http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum.html discusses the effects of vacuum, with links to the literature - the Air Force, for obvious reasons, has done a lot of research on the subject. As a rough number, the subject will be unconscious after about 2 minutes, and dead in about 4-5.


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