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Air/Water Pressure Direction

  1. Aug 27, 2004 #1
    If you're on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean and you swim out, do you get crushed from all around, or just from the top? I read in a couple places that the pressure is exerted from all directions, but I thought that the pressure is like the "weight" of all the fluid stacked above you. I don't know; please advise.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2004 #2
    There is also the weight of the columns of water above the water beside you. The water on your left and on your right will try to move out from under the columns above them by crushing you.
  4. Aug 27, 2004 #3

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    You'll get crushed from all sides. But since the pressure is a bit higher underneath you, you will be pushed more by the water underneath you. The water pressure, in addition to crushing you, will exert a net upward force on you.
  5. Aug 27, 2004 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Yes, this confused me too, but remember that the water below you has to support this "column weight". So as Doc Al said, the pressure below you is even higher than the pressure above.
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