What would happen if you lived in a pool of water

I thought about this after readng the thread about not bathing and posted to it but noone wanted to respond to the question I guess :frowning:

So instead of hijacking that thread I’ll just start a new one
What would happen if you spent all your time in a pool of water with temperature control and a carefully monitored PH level?

Let’s Assume for sleeping they have some sort of harness connected to the roof or whatever that would keep your head above water but the rest of your body in the water. You could swim for exercise I guess, and you could have food brought to you, and maybe some sort of special way to dispose of bodily waste that I have not thought, some kind of tube or something that would suck it? :eek:
Talk about pruny hands

Doh! reading*

So what would happen on what front?

If your skin is in contact with pure water for a long period, the process of osmosis tries to even the balance of certain chemicals between the water outside and inside your body. This leads to the wrinkled fingers/toes you get if you stay in the shower too long. I’m not sure whether the effect would keep getting worse if you stayed in there for days on end, though.

Of course, you could get around the prune effect simply enough by making it a pool of saltwater, not fresh. This would also make it easier to keep your head above water for sleeping.

Lol this thread I think is going to die a nice quiet death but I will give it one last bump. :frowning:

I think temperature regulation would be difficult. Sweating is an important method of temperature regulation, and it wouldn’t work at all in water. Even if you kept the water at a constant optimal temperature, your body cannot vary the cooling rate according to need (e.g. more cooling when excercising). At the very least, I think you need to monitor body temperature and adjust the water temperature accodingly.

I was under the impression that your skin needed a certain amount of oxygen, which is why being painted with gold all over could kill you? I don’t know if you could get that from water or not but I would think probably not.

Ummmm Being painted with gold will not kill you. You don’t breathe through your skin.
I just think it’s funny that this thread was started by a doper named pool.

Your outer layer of skin would peel off in a short time (like within 24 hours ). Don’t know if other layers would then follow soon after. I’ve heard horror stories of people rescued after long periods in the water (like downed airmen in WWII) and when rescuers grab them to pull them into a boat the skin on their hands and forearms pulls off like a glove.

At any rate, even if just the outer layer peeled off, you’d soon be dead of infection or fluid (not just water) loss.

Funny thing is I did not realize that until right before I read this post. :smack:

Jesus! :eek:

I agree the skin effects would be nasty. And I also think the temperature regulation would be a tough problem - water conducts heat much better than air. Which could be both a good thing and a bad thing.

But the other thing that comes to mind is that you (mostly your legs) would become weak. Between fat and other substances that will add to bouyancy, your body won’t be “fighting” gravity as much as if you were above water (dolphins actually have air bladders that enable them to be the closest to “weightless” as possible). So over time, aside from getting weaker legs (from not having to support as much), I would think this would also effect your spine and other structures that your body has developed to maintain body structure against the forces of gravity.

The other downside not yet mentioned, is that everyone can see when you fart :wink:

True, if you were just floating in it. But if you move around in water (wading or swimming), it takes a lot of energy. I think it would provide more than enough excercise.

And the bathroom issue… yuck.

well I think David Blaine proved it could be done for much longer than 24 hours. Prob minus the chlorine though.

That wouldn’t be any great problem. The body does not rely exclusively on sweating in order to cool itself. If it did you would never stop sweating and of course the vast majority of mamals would die within minutes because they can’t sweat.

Most cooling is achieved simply by flushing blood close to the surface of perfectly dry skin. The excess heat is lost through radiation. That is why animals that don’t sweat can regulate their temperatures perfectly well and vary the cooling rate according to need.

Water of course has a far higher thermal density than air and so makes sweating quite unnecessary. So long as the water wasn’t excessively cold (which means less than about 20oC) the body would be able to vary the cooling rate according to need just as well as it does on land by regulating blood flow.

Dolphins, elephants, dugongs and probably hippos are able to regulate their density by compressing the lungs using the intercostal muscles. However humans can also do that, and if you are a reasonably lean man or a very lean woman you can train yourself to do it in a couple of hours. No bladder is required.

But still no weight bearing exercise. Not all exercise is equal when it comes to maintaining muscle mass and bone density.

Read James Blish’s Surface Tension and find out!
Watch out for the protozoans.