what if oxygen disappeared for five seconds?
We wouldn’t suffocate but the world would be in chaos
“Around 21 per cent of Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen”
If you’ve ever tried holding your breath, you’ll know we can go a lot longer than five seconds without oxygen. But if oxygen disappeared the world would turn to chaos. Around 21 per cent of Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen, and without it atmospheric pressure would drop. Our ears would pop and we’d get decompression sickness as the other gases inside our bodies expanded. Every fire would go out, combustion engines would stall, and cars, planes and trains would coast or crash. Plastic polymers would fall to pieces, rocks would crumble, and oxides would disappear, cold welding all metal surfaces together in an instant.