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Assuming such a stellar body is even possible, could human or animal life (also assuming they have a way to avoid being pulled toward the planet's core) breathe its outer atmosphere? Would such life be crushed by the atmosphere's pressure?

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Could air gas giants exist? $\endgroup$ – Damian Yerrick Sep 19 '15 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ Let's put it to a test we can introduce our most hardy lifeform on Earth the extremophile which volunteered willingly in the name of science. It will float quite happily at the top of the cloud since it is quite resistant to deadly radiation from space, soon it will be sucked down towards the core due to convection current. As it is pulled nearer to the core the atmospheric pressure and temperature builds up quickly. The pressure easily reached thousands of times higher than Earth's and temperature soars to over 10000℃ more than enough to vaporize anything. May the volunteer rest in peace🙏 $\endgroup$ – user6760 Sep 19 '15 at 7:07
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Jupiter's surface gravity is only 2.4 times that of earth. Uranus is only 0.86 of earth. So gravity is no issue as long as you can stay aloft in the atmosphere.

The level at which the atmosphere is too dense for life depends on the biological machinery of the life in question. The density varies from the top to the bottom of the atmosphere. It is reasonable to say that life cannot exist right at the top where the density is very very low and the radiation is very high, or at the bottom in which the pressure is immense.

Depending on the size of your gas giant, all kinds of things are possible and many science fiction stories feature airborne plants and animals living in the atmosphere of suitable gas giants.

The main thing is being able to reliably maintain altitude within some given band.

A simple search on google will turn up articles like this

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May I introduce you to the Ice Giants? The ice giants are formed of sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen with a relatively small amount of hydrogen and helium (20%) compared to Jupiter and Saturn (90%).

Gas Giant Atmospheres

200 K is -73C so life as we know it isn't breathing that atmosphere.

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  • $\begingroup$ Extremophiles :p $\endgroup$ – Youstay Igo Sep 19 '15 at 7:43
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Gas giants are no place for life as we know it. Period. Reason being that a gas giant is composed 95% of gas. The core of a gas giant is composed of gas which condensed to liquid/solid form under incredible pressure. At the surface of a gas giant, the pressure would be at horrific levels (earthly life forms would be crushed into less than 50% their earth volume).

Also, since there are no large water bodies on the planet, the heat difference between the day and night sides would be extreme, leading to storms, dunes and vortexes, the magnitude of which reels the brain and makes us shiver in horror. Read about the Giant Red Spot to know what I am talking about here! Forget life. Anything larger than a virus would be torn apart into shreds within seconds.

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