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What Would Happen If the World Lost Oxygen for 5 Seconds?

Sure, our supervillains are more of the geopolitical type, but it's inevitable that some day a mad scientist will come along with an oxygen-stealing ray. And when he does, as this Buzzfeed video—based on an imaginative Quora thread—points out, we're all in a whole lotta trouble.


Hope you weren't too attached to your inner ears! Or literally anything made of concrete. [BuzzFeed Video]

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Our atmosphere is about 21% oxygen; the rest is mostly nitrogen. If only the oxygen disappeared, the pressure drop would be equivalent to an altitude change of about 3,000 feet. Your ears would pop but that's about all. Even if you didn't hold your breath, being without oxygen for only 5 seconds wouldn't effect most people.

This guy seems to be saying that the entire atmosphere is gone for 5 seconds; an entirely different kettle of fish.