The human body contains from 55% to 78% water,
depending on body size. To function properly, the body
requires between one and seven liters of water per day to
avoid dehydration. Clearly, water is an essential part of
human life. But under the right circumstances, as if you
were a dwindling camp fire, water can extinguish you in in
a variety of interesting ways.
10 Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which your core body
temperature drops below the required temperature for
normal metabolism and body functions. For humans, this
threshold is defined as 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). If you are
exposed to cold and your body’s internal mechanisms are
unable to replenish the heat that is being lost, a drop in
core temperature occurs. As body temperature decreases,
characteristic symptoms like shivering and mental
confusion begin to set in. Heat is lost more quickly in
water than on land. Water temperatures that would be
quite reasonable as outdoor air temperatures can lead to
hypothermia. For example, a water temperature of 10 °C
(50 °F) can lead to death in as little as one hour, and
water temperatures hovering at freezing can lead to death
in as little as 15 minutes. A notable example of this
occurred during the sinking of the Titanic (pictured above),
in which most people who entered the ?2 °C (28 °F) water
died within 15–30 minutes.
9 Scalding
Scalding is a form of burning caused by heated fluids that
come into contact with your skin. Most scalds are
considered first or second degree burns, but third or even
fourth degree burns can result, especially with prolonged
contact. Death by boiling (pictured above) takes advantage
of this principle. It is a method of execution in which a
person is killed by being immersed in boiling water. While
not as common as other methods of execution, boiling to
death has been used in many parts of Europe and Asia.
Executions of this type were often carried out using a
large vessel such as a cauldron or a sealed kettle.
Depending on the intended cruelty, the victim was either
immersed before the liquid was heated or plunged head
first into the already boiling water.
Death in these cases was by severe scalding caused by
the hot liquids. Immersion burns would form on the arms,
torso and legs. Prolonged scalding would result in
anything up to fourth-degree burns of the skin. The
epidermis and the dermis are destroyed, leading to the
complete breakdown of subcutaneous fat. Eventually the
heat would expose muscle, leading to breaches in major
arteries and veins. Scalding deaths also take place on
occasion when people underestimate the temperature of a
natural hot spring and decide to go swimming.
8 Avalanche
Ice is simply water frozen into a solid state. It appears
naturally in many forms, like snowflakes for example.
Snowflakes may be harmless individually but their
strength grows in numbers. An avalanche is a large and
potentially deadly mass of rapidly flowing snow down a
slope. Avalanches are typically triggered by a mechanical
failure in the snowpack where the forces on the snow
exceed its strength. After initiation, avalanches usually
accelerate rapidly and grow in mass and volume as they
entrain more snow.
85.7% of avalanche deaths are due to asphyxiation. If you
should find yourself caught in one, and you manage to
carve out a little air space around your face as the slide
grinds to a halt, heat from your breath will soon ice up
that lifesaving air cavity. This impenetrable “ice mask” may
asphyxiate you within half an hour. Fewer than half of
those who are totally buried survive, and nobody who’s
been buried deeper than seven feet has lived to tell about
it. During World War I, an estimated 40,000 to 80,000
soldiers died as a result of avalanches during the
mountain campaign in the Alps at the Austrian-Italian
7 Waterborne Disease
Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic
microorganisms transmitted in contaminated fresh water.
Throughout most of the world, the most common
contamination of raw water sources is from human
sewage. Infection commonly results during bathing,
washing, drinking, or during the preparation of food.
Various forms of waterborne diarrheal disease are the
most prominent examples. Such diseases affect mainly
children in developing countries and account for about 1.8
million deaths annually. Parameters for drinking water
quality fall under two main categories: microbiological and
chemical. Microbiological parameters include Coliform
bacteria, E. coli, and specific pathogenic species of
bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites. Chemical
parameters tend to pose more of a chronic health risk
through buildup of heavy metals. For example, sixty
million people are estimated to have been poisoned by
well water contaminated by excessive fluoride.
6 Holding Your Pee…Sort Of
Water is an essential part of human survival and drinking it
inevitably leads to urination. Hopefully, this entry will
dispel an interesting medical myth: that you can die by
“holding it in” and forcing yourself not to urinate. You can
die indirectly, by causing a urinary tract infection (which
could then lead to death), but you can’t die from a
ruptured bladder due to not going to the bathroom. Your
urethral sphincters make it physically impossible to build
up urine in your bladder to the point of rupture. The
kidneys and ureters cannot produce enough pressure to
burst the bladder. When there is an obstruction, the
kidneys fail first. In the case of trying to hold it, the body
would protect the kidneys by reacting violently, forcing
urethral sphincters to fail and causing the person to wet
Contrary to popular belief, Tycho Brahe never died of
“retaining urine at the banquet table out of politeness”. The
actual cause of death is assumed to be a kidney stone
that rendered him to be unable to pass urine. The
blockage lead first to kidney failure and then ultimately his
5 Dangerous Driving Conditions
There are a number of reasons why it is potentially deadly
to drive in the rain. Rain makes for slippery roads,
especially when it has not rained in a long time. This is
because greasy substances like lubricants and oil drip
from cars as people drive, and these substances
accumulate on the surface of the road until they are
washed away. The first rain can loosen these greasy
materials, creating an oily slick on the surface of the road
which can make driving very dangerous. A long, hard rain
can also cause deep puddles on the surface of the road
which may cause your car to hydroplane, essentially
skimming across the water. Poorly drained roads can be
covered in huge pools of water which may not seem deep
or serious until you drive on them and your car spins out
of control. Also, poor visibility caused by heavy rain is a
major threat, as you may be less aware of oncoming cars,
pedestrians, and hazards in the road. It is estimated that
over 3,000 people die per year from rain related auto
accidents just in the United States alone.
4 Electrocution
Although pure water does not conduct electricity by itself
(I bet you didn’t know that!), any impurities, like salts in
the water, enable it to be an extremely effective conductor.
When salts are dissolved in water, they separate into
positive Na ions and negative Cl ions. These opposite
charges, like the opposite poles of a battery, create the
potential for the conductive effect. Waters conductive
properties make it very dangerous as it allows an electric
current to travel through it rapidly and shock any
unsuspecting person in contact with the water.
Electric shock occurs upon contact of a human body part
with any source of electricity that causes a sufficient
current through the skin, muscles, or hair. Large currents
passing through the body may make it impossible for a
shock victim to let go of an energized object. Still larger
currents can cause fibrillation of the heart, damage to
tissues, and death. For example, in 2012 two boys were
electrocuted while swimming in a lake in Knoxville,
Tennessee. As it turns out, a boat house floating at a dock
nearby had frayed wiring that became exposed and
contacted the lake water. The five adults who jumped in
the water to help were also shocked.
3 Chinese Water Torture
Chinese water torture is a process in which water is
slowly dripped onto a person’s forehead, driving the
restrained victim insane. Hippolytus de Marsiliis, born in
Italy in 1451, is credited with the invention of this form of
water torture. Having observed how drops of water falling
one by one on a stone gradually created a hollow, he
applied the method to the human body. The term “Chinese
water torture” was invented merely to grant the method a
sense of ominous mystery. A documented account of
such torture during the Spanish Inquisition reads as
follows: “Victims were strapped down so that they could
not move, and cold or warm water was then dripped
slowly on to a small area of the body; usually the
forehead. The forehead was found to be the most suitable
point for this form of torture because of its sensitivity:
prisoners could see each drop coming, and after long
durations were gradually driven frantic as a perceived
hollow would form in the center of the forehead.”
2 Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the
displacement of a large volume of a body of water,
generally an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, landslides, glacier calvings, meteorite impacts,
and other disturbances above or below water all have the
potential to generate a tsunami. While everyday wind
waves have a wavelength (from crest to crest) of about
100 meters (330 ft.) and a height of roughly 2 meters (6.6
ft.), a tsunami in the deep ocean has a wavelength of
about 200 kilometers (120 mi)! Yes, you read that
correctly. Such a wave travels at well over 800 kilometers
per hour (500 mph).
Tsunamis cause damage by two mechanisms: the
smashing force of a wall of water traveling at high speed,
and the destructive power of a large volume of water
draining off the land and carrying a large amount of debris
with it, even with waves that do not look large. Although
the impact of tsunamis is limited to coastal areas, their
destructive power can be enormous and they can affect
entire ocean basins; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was
among the deadliest natural disasters in human history
with over 230,000 people killed in 14 countries bordering
the Indian Ocean.
1 Water Poisoning
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or
dilutional hyponatremia , is a potentially fatal disturbance
in brain functions that results when the normal balance of
electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by
over-hydration. Under normal circumstances, accidentally
consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Nearly all
deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals
have resulted either from water drinking contests in which
individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water, or
long bouts of intensive exercise during which electrolytes
are not properly replenished, yet huge amounts of fluid are
still consumed. Moreover, water cure, a method of torture
in which the victim is forced to consume excessive
amounts of water, can cause water intoxication.
Water, just like any other substance, can be considered a
poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time.
For example, in 2003, Walter Dean Jennings, a freshman
history major at SUNY Plattsburgh, died while pledging to
a campus fraternity. On his last night of hazing, the 18-
year-old was forced to drink gallons of water through a
funnel, which caused his brain to swell from water
intoxication and ultimately resulted in his death
Written by :Ross yayalayan

Temi Badmus
Temi Badmus
Temi Badmus is a Food scientist and an Art enthusiast. Her desire is to give a listening ear to people and to give an opportunity for everyone to be heard. Has any one told you that you are special? Yes, you are. You were beautifully designed, you are relevant to this generation and very special to me. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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