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Context: After reading this question and commenting (half joking) that it might be possible for the designated mech pilots to undergo biological modification to remove the problems typically associated with resurfacing entirely, I then wondered if that was actually possible.

Question: Given that the pilot is encased by a bio-mechanical mech about 15 feet tall, what kind of modifications can be made to a human to survive resurfacing?

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    $\begingroup$ How about a nervous system optimized to resist gas narcosis? They could use exotic gas mixes like hydrox (or possibly argonox) and not suffer the adverse effects, also reducing the effects of nitrogen narcosis if nitrogen was used. I don't think we currently understand the mechanisms of these things to say how it would be different. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Aug 27 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ ah. resurfacing as in "come back to the surface of a liquid", not the "grind away and replace the outside covering" meaning.. heh. Images of assault with sandpaper came to mind. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Aug 27 at 6:04
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I asked the question, but I also have some ideas.

In response to barotrauma (air in lungs rapidly expanding and compressing in response to pressure): The modification can take inspiration from deep-diving whales and have flexible rib cages able to collapse, driving most of the air out of the lungs when diving. To continue to breathe underwater, the mech will include a compressed store of oxygen released bit by bit to the pilot. Also, a bunch of stuff mentioned here.

However, I won't know where to begin on nitrogen related issues, or the bends (bubble in bloodstream)

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