Just wondering if it would be theoretically possible to consume oxygen via O2 pills, in the effort of being able to hold one's breath without limit.

Totally just curious.

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    $\begingroup$ Ask yourself two questions: where do pills go when swallowed and where does gas exchange occur? $\endgroup$ – canadianer May 18 '17 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ No, then add more 'no's. The change from solid to gas would explode whatever structure it was in. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse May 19 '17 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ You mean solid oxygen exists?! Even if it does, you won't be able to hold it in your hands, leave 'eating' it for future. Also, you need to note that the urge to breath comes from increased CO2 concentration in blood, its got nothing to do with oxygen. $\endgroup$ – another 'Homo sapien' May 19 '17 at 17:45

The problem is volume and surface area for gas exchange. The volume in a pill is puny compared to the amounts you pull in and out breathing.

But could you use something other than the lung for gas exchange? The colon has a lot of surface area and the small intestine even more. Maybe if you flooded your gut with an oxygenated fluid like that liquid fluorocarbon the mice breathe, or even oxygen saturated water you could get some of that out via your intestinal villi. Dragonfly larvae do something like that, performing gas exchange with their rectums. You would need to exchange the liquid at least as fast as you breathe, getting all the depleted liquid out and new oxygenated liquid in.

Some of those high colonic machines work like that, as I understand: fast in and fast out. People might not notice you were holding your breath because they were distracted by the churning machine with the hose up your trouser leg. Maybe you could pass out cards or wear a T-shirt explaining what was going on because you would still have to breathe to talk and that would ruin it. If you do this would you please post video and link it up here? Thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ The volume of gaseous O2 compressed into a solid the size of a pill would be awesome indeed. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse May 19 '17 at 16:21

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