Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you underwent an outer space exposure without an appropriate space suit? When cartoons show images of bloated, disorientated and blue-faced people, they don’t exaggerate. Well, not too much at least.
Going outer space means going into abrupt and significant change in temperature, radiation and air pressure. That’s why space suits are invented – in order to protect your organism from those alien conditions. Various tests and experiments show that if you’re exposed to such conditions for around 15 seconds, your skin color would change into blue-ish, you’ll bloat and you won’t be in any condition to comprehend whatever’s going on around you. Basically your brain will lose consciousness.
Now, we know what you are thinking – “I will just hold my breath”, but not exactly, because in outer space there is no outside pressure, so it doesn’t really matter if you are going to hold your breath or not. With no outside pressure air expands and will rupture the tissues in your lungs. Meanwhile you will swell to about twice your normal size, your body won’t explode like you’ve seen in some movies, but it will hurt as hell.
If your exposure to outer space is short and under the 15 seconds long limit, the damage you’ve caused to your body, could be obviated if you’re exposed to oxygen for around 90 seconds.
Since going outer space means actually dumping the oxygen from your system, the later exposure would recover your body.
H/T – Smithsonian