What If Earth Lost All Oxygen For 5 Seconds?
Planet Earth is teeming with life as millions of species of plants and animals inhabit every nook and cranny of it. The millions of species are just the ones that we have discovered. Who knows how many more lie beyond our current reach.
There are several ingredients that are responsible for the formation of all this life and its continuation but one element in particular is of great importance and that is Oxygen.
Oxygen serves as the basis of life as it is needed for breathing as well as forms 1/3rd of water (H2O) which is another very important prerequisite of life.
So, what would happen if all the oxygen atoms on the planet suddenly disappeared for like 5 seconds? If you thought you would just hold your breath for 5 seconds and that would be it, you are in for a world of surprise!! Let’s see what exactly would happen.
Earth’s Crust Would Crumble
We have all read countless times that the atmosphere is made of 21% Oxygen but I think not many are aware of the fact that the Earth’s crust, on which everything exists, is made up of 47% oxygen.
So, you can only imagine what would happen if almost half of the Earth’s crust suddenly disappears. We would literally be free falling along with everything else to a much thinner layer of the crust.
The Earth would basically become a smaller ball mainly comprised of silicon and would look nothing like what it does today. As for us, we would all be dead almost immediately after we start to free fall and the next point explains why.
Our Bodies Would Disintegrate
Our bodies are roughly made of 60% water. The billions of cells in our bodies all need to have water in them to remain alive. Approximately two-thirds of water in our bodies exist inside our cells.
And we know what water is made of. Two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. If the oxygen disappears, all you are left with is molecular hydrogen which is a gas.
So, you can imagine what your fate would be. Total disintegration of your body just like they show in movies, which would be a really painful way to go, in my opinion.
The Sky Would Turn Darker
The Earth has an atmosphere that is largely made of Nitrogen (78%) and then Oxygen (21%). It also has other gases and dust particles in smaller quantities.
The light that we see reaches us after having gone through a lot of scattering in the atmosphere. The disappearance of oxygen from the atmosphere would be a drastic reduction in the amount of ‘particles’ in it.
With a lot less particles to scatter the blue light, the Earth’s sky would get appear darker. I think that would set the tone of the apocalypse that would be going around on the entire planet.
The Oceans Would Evaporate Into Space
We all know that two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water in all the gigantic oceans and seas, rivers and lakes, ponds and streams. All that enormous amount of water would simply evaporate and start escaping into space.
Without oxygen to bind the water molecule, all that would be left would be the Hydrogen molecule, which as an unbound free gas would escape into space.
Combine this with the crumbling of the Earth’s crust, and I reckon, the Earth would be a lot smaller in size compared to now and would basically be lifeless and barren, showing no signs of any life that could ever have existed on it.