About Korra... Jan 7, 2012 0:41:46 GMT -5
Post by dirtyyasuki on Jan 7, 2012 0:41:46 GMT -5
True. Exposure to hard vacuum would result in rapid decompression/depressurization similar to the DCS. However, massive decompression or decompression sickness is not the main concern of anyone exposed to hard vacuum. Hypoxia or lack of oxygen is the main enemy.
ref. here, here, and here
TV Tropes even has a short explanation on it.
Simply saying while massive decompression is a concern for anyone exposed to hard vacuum (instantaneous or gradually), it's not what will likely kill you. Hypoxia and rapid oxygen loss will kill you in 90 seconds first. Your blood vessels won't explode, your blood won't boil (although the same can't be said of your saliva), and you won't turn into a balloon and explode yourself. Death from a deadly build-up of gases won't kill you when oxygen loss can do it faster.
Creating a hard vacuum at normal atmospheric levels where humans have been accustomed to exist would require a master or very powerful airbender because counteracting the forces and normal atmospheric physics necessary for such conditions to be generated would not be instantaneous I suspect no matter how powerful you are a bender. So any exposure to said area of massive negative pressure would kill people gradually (90 seconds to be exact). Loss of consciousness occurring within 15 seconds would ensure an exposed persons fate before they actually died. Still you have to ensure your target wouldn't be able to escape the killzone somehow which adds more complexity to an already tricky (if dramatic) way to kill someone.