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Could blood literally boil?

  1. Nov 4, 2011 #1
    Let's say that somehow your blood could literally boil. First of all, is that even possible? Second, how? What circumstances would you have to be in for your blood to boil?

    Also, in a kind of related question, if your blood did boil, would it cause you to swell and/or explode?
     
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  3. Nov 4, 2011 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    If your core body temperature approached 100 degrees you would boil. This would make you swell and probably leak a lot of bubbling blood through your now well burnt flesh.
     
  4. Nov 4, 2011 #3

    phinds

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    Or you could microwave yourself and cook from the inside out. I doubt you'd live long enough to worry about the fact that your blood was boiling.
     
  5. Nov 4, 2011 #4

    Pythagorean

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    In an effort to clarify both question and answer:

    SonicaBoxx: can blood start boiling purely from internal biological/chemical interactions?
    Ryan_m_b: No

    Did I paraphrase this discussion correctly?
     
  6. Nov 4, 2011 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Yup :approve:
     
  7. Nov 4, 2011 #6

    Borek

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    You don't need to get to 100°C to reach the boiling point. Think low pressure.

    Astronauts and pilots of high flying jets don't use pressure suits without a reason.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2011 #7

    Ygggdrasil

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  9. Nov 12, 2011 #8
    The link by Ygggdrasil was very interesting. Sweating/panting saves you, as it uses evaporation to cool a thin layer of air around you. But surely if the temp of room was raised high enough, this seperated area of air would evetually heat to above boiling point as well and then you would boil.

    How much cooler is the thin bit of air around you that evaporation of sweat cools for you?

    If you stay there long enough, all liquid that is used for sweating, will be used up and then would you die? How long would this take?

    Also if ( and when) your blood boils, would other bodily fluids such as spit,snot, sperm/vaginal fluids boil with it?
     
  10. Nov 12, 2011 #9
    I have read about pilots who having ejected at very high altitude could feel their saliva boil. With enough time I'm sure their blood would boil.

    I once had the opportunity to use the sauna at the Hotel Kempinsky Berlin and I noticed the thermometer read 100 deg. Another guest explained the proper procedure was to stay in the sauna 10 min. (there was a 10 min. hour glass on the wall) and then soak in a 0 deg. temperature controlled bath. The two temperatures should be alternated 5 times.

    My blood did not boil but I can report that a bath in water at 0 deg., even after a 10 min. sauna at 100 deg., still feels like a bath in water at 0 deg.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  11. Nov 13, 2011 #10

    Borek

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    Temperature in sauna goes up to 120 deg C in upper parts if memory serves me well. However, air in sauna has humidity low enough to allow perspiration to keep body temperature in the correct range.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2011 #11

    Pythagorean

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    you only have to drink one beer in the sauna :biggrin:
     
  13. Nov 20, 2011 #12

    Moonbear

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    Long before you reached the boiling point (which would be higher than 100 C, because of the solutes in blood), blood would have lost sufficient ability to carry oxygen to sustain life. With increasing temperature, less oxygen is able to bind to hemoglobin (good locally when your warmed up muscles are trying to coax that oxygen out of blood, but bad systemically if your blood can't get the oxygen from your lungs to bind). Also, keep in mind that blood contains a lot of proteins that are going to be denatured by heating. You'll be cooking those. Also, the other gases dissolved in the blood will bubble out before the water in it hits the boiling point (the bends anyone?).
     
  14. Nov 20, 2011 #13

    I like Serena

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    What if you cut your finger and then jump out of a spaceship into vacuum?
     
  15. Nov 21, 2011 #14
    Don't worry about that finger cut, you'd explode anyway, see..:

     
  16. Nov 21, 2011 #15

    I like Serena

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    Explode?

    I imagine that any moisture (or blood) on your skin would evaporate immediately.
    But aren't the fluids in your body contained and as such under pressure?
    Would the pressure difference be large enough to explode?
    Somehow that seems unlikely to me...

    (I'd keep my eyes closed though.)
     
  17. Nov 21, 2011 #16

    Borek

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    Explosion is probably unlikely, but I would expect at least some kind of bends.
     
  18. Nov 21, 2011 #17
  19. Nov 21, 2011 #18

    I like Serena

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    Nice article!
    And yes, apparently one gets possibly "the bends".
     
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