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can this question even be answerd?

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posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by wx4caster
i would have to say that no, space does not have a smell, and if you were to take off your helmet to have a whiff, your head would explode.

smell requires particles that trigger sensors in your nose. space = vacuum = nothing to smell.

No your head wouldn't explode, that's a myth. If you had a cold your eardrums might rupture, but that's about it in the head exploding department. If you held your breath your lungs might explode when the air expands, but most people don't have air in their heads, except airheads of course

The air would need to be trapped to explode.

But you're right that you probably wouldn't smell anything due to a lack of sufficient molecules. Actually we can ask somebody who's been exposed to a vacuum. Jim LeBlanc was exposed to a vacuum and said the last thing he noticed before he went unconscious is that the moisture on his tongue was starting to boil:

Video of Jim LeBlanc in a vacuum:
What Happens to a Human Exposed to Total Vacuum?

What happens when a human is exposed to a vacuum?

According to the McGraw/Hill Encyclopedia of Space, when animals are subjected to explosive decompression to a vacuum-like state, they do not suddenly balloon-up or have their eyes pop out of their heads. It is, in fact, virtually impossible to compress or expand organic tissues in this way.

Instead, death arises from the response of the free gasses trapped within the tissues. When the ambient pressure falls below 47 millimeters of mercury, about 1/20 the atmospheric pressure at sea level, the water inside all tissues passes into a vapor state beginning at the skin surface. This causes the collapse of surface cells and the loss of huge amounts of body heat via evaporation. After 15 seconds, mental confusion sets-in, and after 20 seconds you become unconscious. You can survive this for about 80 seconds if a pressure higher than about 47 millimeters of mercury is then reestablished.

There have been instances of accidental exposure to a hard vacuum during space suit tests in vacuum chambers, and by pilots flying military aircraft at 100,000 feet. The experience was not fatal, or even exceptionally uncomfortable, for the typically 10 to 15 seconds or so that it was experienced.

The main thing to note is you can't inhale in a vacuum, all the air would get sucked out of your lungs, you wouldn't be able to inhale anything to check the vacuum odor, even if there was one.

Originally posted by Nephi1337
Now there is one way you might be able to answer this question ..molecules in space are extremely rare but they are present. If you were able to collect those molecules, then compress them into something breathable, you could then check the odor, but that's about the only way.

Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
Also, space-walking astronauts have all described a smell on their spacesuits after coming in from their spacewalk. They describe a "smokey and bitter" smell -- but I wonder if that smell is actually just the way their spacesuits reacts with space radiation -- i.e. the space is causing the spacesuits to give off an odor.

Great post Soylent Green Is People, I'd have to go with the explanation of something to do with the radiation. I once had a sunlamp (incandescent, not fluorescent) and I could smell a peculiar odor when that thing was on and I could smell a peculiar odor which I always presumed was the radiation affecting things.

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 03:48 PM

Originally posted by Nephi1337
ok another thought i had was this ...we think of alians and we think big eyes and grey skin ...what if they were nothing more then creaturs like the ones we find in the deep sea ? there has got to be some kind of life that can live in space ? thoughts ?

I have thought the same thing, especially back when I was captivated by the "tether incident" video...(plenty will show up in search box if interested or no idea/ frame of ref)...that there could be organisms (exreme extremophiles) that may or may not be comprised of living tissue as we are...that absorb energy via light or heat or need for moisture or pressure, that could thrive in a vacuum. Sort of like interstellar jellyfish. (Insert Mr. Spock audio "Pure Energy" here)

...limiting our search for life based on our own physiology is short sighted...but harder to prove.

At this point, Im sort of on the fence regarding the existence of the documented donut critters...but a life form capable of that existence is not impossible, based on what we see here on earth.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 05:56 PM
reply to post by Cole DeSteele

hey!!!!!! you got it i was thinking the same thing but you worded how i wanted to xD ..anyway thank you ...and the rest for you wonderful thoughts my next question would be

can a fish fart in water ?


love Nephi

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 06:11 PM
With so much activity going on I would say a smell of metalic sulfur wouldnt suprise me
As far as creatures I would think they would have to be plasma, magnetic or light in nature to be able to survive out there.

lol my 1 cent, figured its a fun thread why not try

[edit on 7/8/10 by Ophiuchus 13]

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 06:31 PM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur Actually we can ask somebody who's been exposed to a vacuum. Jim LeBlanc was exposed to a vacuum and said the last thing he noticed before he went unconscious is that the moisture on his tongue was starting to boil...

It's a good thing that the nitrogen is washed out of the astronauts' tissues too, because another thing that would happen when exposed to vacuum otherwise is an instant, severe, and possibly lethal case of the 'bends'.

There were some Navy SEALS that had that happen to them years ago, when they locked back into a sub's escape trunk. They dogged the outer hatch closed, and the operator was supposed to open a vent and pump the water overboard with a high speed pump.

Instead he just pumped the water out, drawing a very nice vacuum on the guys. When he realized what he'd done, he popped the vent open, opened the hatch and looked inside - they were fizzing at the eyes from the nitrogen. The ones that fell to the bottom of the chamber drowned, and one guy had hooked his arm around a pipe before the event, he was ok after recompression.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 05:54 AM
reply to post by wx4caster

I would have to say that no, space does not have a smell, and if you were to take off your helmet to have a whiff, your head would explode.

Your head would not explode.

In fact you would survive short periods of exposure to vacuum unlike Hollywood suggests.

If you don't believe me, why not research

How long can a human live unprotected in space?

If you don't try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to watch out for when ascending, and you'll have eardrum trouble if your Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts -- and animal experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness.


You watch to much tv.

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 07:53 PM
Sorry good sir but there is nothing for the smell to travel on.

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 08:47 PM

Originally posted by Cole DeSteele

Originally posted by muzzleflash

Originally posted by Whine Flu

Originally posted by Silver Shadow
In a vacuum there is nothing there that could convey the sense of any smell.

A bit like asking what colour is total darkness.


No black is the absence of color. It's not a color itself.

Show me where on the spectrum it is.

Got ya.

You sure black is absence of color, or absence of light?

I'm really asking.

Because if darkness is defined as the absence of light, and without light, color cannot exist, then it's color would be black.

Nevermind. I feel a headache coming on.

[edit on 25-6-2010 by Cole DeSteele]


Black is the full absorption of light. It does not reflect or emit any light.

Physics is fun.


posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 09:15 PM
The absence of color should be clear to everyone. It is "clear".
Black can suggest the absence of color "perceived", that is, your eye can perceive black when your eye fails to "perceive" other colors, or the instrument fails to detect other colors.
To say that black is not on the color spectrum is wrong, because you cannot create some images without using black, but you cannot use "clear".

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