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Old 04-13-2012, 09:19 PM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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titanic sinking

I was wondering.... I'm sure there were air pockets in the titanic as it went to the bottom.

I wonder how far down a person would live before succumbing to the pressure of the sea. The person would probably die a gruesome, yet instantaneous death when the pressure from the outside pushed into those spaces and crushed the people inside.

Anyone know?

Also, with the airtight sections, would it be possible that there are still human remains deep inside the ship? I'm talking bones, not bodies. I figure the air tight compartments were all compromised at the bottom, but if there were no major holes to allow large fish to scavenge the bodies, bacteria would probably have to do the job. and at that temp and depth, it would be a slow process. Slow enough to still have a femur floating around down there?
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:45 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
... when the pressure from the outside pushed into those spaces and crushed the people inside.
It's not a case of when pressure pushes inside - as any ship (except a submarine, with its pressure-tight hull) sinks, the pressure in all spaces will increase steadily with depth. But this pressure will not crush a person. It will compress air-filled spaces such as lungs and sinuses, but most of the body is essentially water-filled and thus largely incompressible.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:45 PM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
It's not a case of when pressure pushes inside - as any ship (except a submarine, with its pressure-tight hull) sinks, the pressure in all spaces will increase steadily with depth. But this pressure will not crush a person. It will compress air-filled spaces such as lungs and sinuses, but most of the body is essentially water-filled and thus largely incompressible.
I think I misspoke. I agree that the crushing of a person (or anything else) would only happen if the person was in a pressurized room that was not compromised in any way. As long as the pressure pushing in from the outside was equal to the pressure pushing out from the inside, everything would be fine.

I was referring to any airtight/watertight compartments that people were in.... assuming any existed. If something like that were on the titanic, where there was a room with no water inside, with enough air to breath for an hour, and completely airtight, how far would that person go down before being crushed?

I guess the best way to visualize this would be one of those very small submarines that can go to great depths because the pressure on the inside of the sub is equal to the pressure from the outside pushing in. Now that you pointed it out, this was probably not a likely event on the titanic.

OK, since that is probably very unlikely, we can scratch that scenario... let's say there is a significant air pocket where someone can breath for a while as the titanic goes to the bottom. How far could that person go down before the lungs collapsed?
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:10 AM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
How far could that person go down before the lungs collapsed?
James Cameron is keen on the Titanic and undersea exploration. Can we fool him into volunteering for this test? Please? It'll only be for twenty minutes.

Last edited by Nunzio Tavulari; 04-14-2012 at 12:10 AM..
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:12 AM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Originally Posted by Nunzio Tavulari View Post
James Cameron is keen on the Titanic and undersea exploration. Can we fool him into volunteering for this test? Please? It'll only be for twenty minutes.
I have no objection. In fact, I'd be willing to help fund it if it ever made it past the planning stage.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:11 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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The NY Times had an article today pertaining to some of these questions: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/sc...0bodies&st=cse
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:50 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post

OK, since that is probably very unlikely, we can scratch that scenario... let's say there is a significant air pocket where someone can breath for a while as the titanic goes to the bottom. How far could that person go down before the lungs collapsed?
Assuming that we are talking about an air pocket where the pressure is free to change with depth a persons lungs would not collapse as the pressure inside their lungs would be the same as the pressure in the air pocket.
However there would be effects, bad effects. Nitrogen narcosis starting at about 150 feet, would make our survivor feel drunk. As you get deeper oxygen poisoning would occur due to the percentage of O2 being too high.
But as long as our survivor can breathe his lungs would not collapse.
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