In space, no-one can hear you scream.

What actually happens to you if you are exposed to a vacuum?

I don’t mean space, like in orbit around Earth where you’d probably boil or freeze. The question I’m asking, I suppose, is do we really explode?

What’s the first thing to do if you have a question?
Ask Cecil!
If you were thrown into the vacuum of space with no space suit, would you explode?

Second thing?
Search the Board:
exposure to outer space

And if that fails?
How would the unprotected human body react to the vacuum of outer space?

Read both the articles and the thread, as they give a few different viewpoints and quote some remarkable incidents. (It can be messy, but it doesn’t have to)

C’mon, TC, you can at least give the guy a synopsis from those links. This is the Straight Dope, after all, not the Straight Google.

Anyway, Mr. Colonist, it seems that the vacuum itself wouldn’t cause a body to explode (it’s strong enough to resist the expanding liquids and gasses inside), but the sudden rush of air caused by explosive decompression can cause a body to be torn to shreds.

Yeah, I heard how you explode, boil, freeze, etc…

I assume SPOOFE is referring to something along these lines:

Yes, re-reading my post I realise that my tone might seem harsh. And I hadn’t noted that Mr Colonist is a relative newcomer to our favourite hang-out.

So, let’s try to be friends!
Hello and Welcome to the SDMB, thecolonist! Your questions have been answered before, by none less than the Master, Cecil Adams. There have also been threads on the subject here before.
The general conclusion has been that vacuum is in itself not fatal, and a fit person should survuve about a minute with no major damage - but I’m not volunteering. The sudden loss of pressure, however, might cause substantial damage.

Sorry, I’m new. Deh.

The basis for that is the fact that, the lower the pressure, the lower the temperature required to boil water. Your body temperature is greater than the boiling point in a vacuum. Hence the argument that your blood would boil.

The problem is that your bloodstream isn’t in the vacuum. The veins and arteries are a closed system and would remain at the usual pressure – too high to boil.

However, if you got a cut in a vaccum, the blood at the cut would boil off.