Can U Freeze?


2 Answers

Neil Grayson Profile
Neil Grayson answered
Most definitely, although to what extent depends on what you mean by your question.

One approach is to say that a human being can ‘freeze’ to death.  This is commonly known as hypothermia, a condition in which the body’s core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions, defined as 35.0 degrees C (95.0 degrees F). Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level of 36.5 - 37.5 degrees C (98 - 100 degrees F) through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation. If exposed to cold, and the internal mechanisms are unable to replenish the heat that is being lost, a drop in core temperature occurs.

As body temperature decreases, characteristic symptoms such as shivering and mental confusion occur. By the time the body reaches a severe state of hypothermia, there is a difficulty in speaking, thinking becomes sluggish, and amnesia starts to appear. There is an inability to use the hands and stumbling is also a common symptom. After this, cellular metabolic processes shut down.

Below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F), the exposed skin becomes blue and puffy, muscle coordination becomes very poor and walking becomes almost impossible. The victim also exhibits incoherent/irrational behavior. Pulse and respiration rates decrease significantly, but fast heart rates can occur. Major organs will then start to fail and clinical death occurs. Because of decreased cellular activity in the final stages of hypothermia, the body will actually take longer to undergo brain death.

As the temperature decreases further physiological systems falter and heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure all decrease. This results in an expected heart rate in the 30 beats per minute range with a temperature of 28 degrees C (82 degrees F).

Alternatively, if you’re literally asking "will the human body physically freeze?”, cryonic scientists studying the low-temperature preservation of humans and animals preserve human bodies at -196 degrees C (-320 degrees F).

Answer Question