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You always hear "crushed like a soda can," but I'm pretty sure that the body wouldn't be much smaller than normal. The person wouldn't be breathing, so nitrogen narcosis wouldn't be an issue. Would this just be an "all over body bruise" kind of thing?

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    $\begingroup$ The lungs would collapse and that is about it. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 2 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, so maybe the ribs would be crushed. $\endgroup$ Jun 2 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ The lungs aren't that large in volume. Sunken-in chest, but not crushing the ribs. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 2 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ Curiously, I found that duplicate link (see Cort Ammon's answer, then read L.Dutch's) with a 10-second Google search for "what happens to the human body at high pressures?" Per the help center, you "Should include research: What ideas have you considered, or what information have you already looked at or failed to find?" $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jun 2 at 3:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Dopplegamer That was a good catch. While I could accept pressure, the tag high is too vague to be practical. cadaver is almost useless from a worldbuilding perspective. I'll update those. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jun 2 at 4:22

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The main issue is not the absolute pressure, but the pressure differential: have you ever experienced ear pain when diving or during an airplane landing? That pain is not caused by the pressure, but by the pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the ear.

Likewise, if the entire body is exposed to the same pressure, it won't be greatly affected, except for the part containing gases, which will experience a contraction (because the compressed gas will reduce its volume): so lungs and bowels will collapse under the increased pressure, while all the rest containing liquid will just adapt to the change of volume produced by the above.

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  • $\begingroup$ What if instead the dead body is exposed to the pressure of cramming for the bar exam with just 48 hours left to go? $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Jun 2 at 18:25

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