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Human Body Survival Limits

The human body, like every other living thing on this planet, was designed to survive. However, how much can our bodies take before survival becomes impossible?

We sometimes hear news of people who have survived extreme conditions. This news is often a learning tool for medical science of how much our body can handle. This is the current list on the extremes of human endurance in certain circumstances.

1. Body Heat: Heatstroke can’t be reversed and will prove fatal when our core body temperature reaches 107.6°F (42°C).

2. Cold Water: You will be very unlikely to survive more than 30 minutes in a 40°F (4°C) sea. This is because water saps body heat, which is why life vests buoy you up to slow heat loss.

3. Hot Air: Adults can handle about 10 minutes in a deep mine or burning building at 300°F (149°C). Kids are known to succumb to much less than this temperature, like in a 120°F (49°C) car.

4. High Altitude: Most people lose consciousness at 15,000 feet. Highland dwellers are fine, because they have more oxygen carrying red blood cells and bigger lungs.

5. Diving Deep: 282 feet has been achieved by the best free diver. An ordinary person is most likely to black out below 60 feet and before 2 minutes without equipment.

6. Lack of Oxygen: Through training, people have been able to hold their breath for up to 11 minutes. An untrained person will typically pass out within 2 minutes.

7. Blood Loss: Spilling 40 percent of your body’s blood would require an immediate transfusion. You can survive without intervention if you lose 30 percent.

8. Starvation: You can survive for nearly 45 days without food. However, lose 30 percent of your body weight and death is imminent. Disease will likely kill you before you starve, due to your body’s weakened state.

9. Dehydration: Surviving more than 7 days is highly unlikely if you don’t replace a quarter or so of water you lose daily. This is because every cell in our body needs water to properly function.

After reading through this list, I’m sure you are amazed at how much your body can handle. However, some individuals have been able to beat certain circumstance on this list. Be it a miracle or an act of physical endurance, it just goes to show how primed our bodies are for survival.

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  1. An informative article. I like the illustration.

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