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Thread: Elevation Change

  1. #1 Elevation Change 
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    When changing elevation the atmospheric pressure goes down as you go up. With less pressure on the body would the person become taller over time ?


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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt it. You're also getting less oxygen. If this were the case....Tibetians would be some of the tallest people on the planet...they aren't.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshiyori View Post
    When changing elevation the atmospheric pressure goes down as you go up. With less pressure on the body would the person become taller over time ?
    Nepalese (Sherpa) are amongst the shortest people on the planet, so the answer is .....
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The primary constraint on height is gravity. Astronauts grow significantly when in orbit, but lose the gain shortly (lovely pun) after returning to Earth.
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    Think about this: a whale grows to a large size because of the ocean buoyancy and the seal level atmospheric pressure. The buoyancy reduces the effect of the atmospheric pressure allowing the whale to be large. By the same synopsis, a person at a higher altitude then sea level would also realize the same effect and grow larger, why not ?
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    Don't confuse a single life with generations of adapting to different climates.
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshiyori View Post
    The buoyancy reduces the effect of the atmospheric pressure allowing the whale to be large.
    No. The buoyancy neutralises the effect of gravity, allowing the whale to be large.
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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    This^ The whale is under considerable more pressure under water than we humans are on land. Sperm whales dive deep as hell (scientific measurement) to hunt squid...and are under pressure that would turn us to jelly...but they still remain huge.
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    Damn if it would make me grow, I'd move up to Mauna Kea SUMMIT!!
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  11. #10  
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    "No. The buoyancy neutralises the effect of gravity, allowing the whale to be large." Your comment regarding Gravity being neutralized by buoyancy does not meet the laws of physics. The mass of the whale & the mass of the earth remains constant therefore, the effects of gravity remains constant. My view is the atmospheric pressure in PSIA is neutralized by the buoyancy reducing the pressure on the whale. After millions of years the creatures size become so large that if placed on land it would be crushed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshiyori View Post
    "No. The buoyancy neutralises the effect of gravity, allowing the whale to be large." Your comment regarding Gravity being neutralized by buoyancy does not meet the laws of physics.
    Please take a basic physics course.
    In a situation of fluid statics, the net upward buoyancy force is equal to the magnitude of the weight of fluid displaced by the body.

    The mass of the whale & the mass of the earth remains constant therefore, the effects of gravity remains constant.
    Except the whale doesn't sink to the bottom of the ocean: ergo, gravity is "neutralised".

    My view is the atmospheric pressure in PSIA is neutralized by the buoyancy reducing the pressure on the whale.
    Your view is wrong.
    As has been pointed out - water pressure is greater than atmospheric.
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  13. #12  
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    This still does not answer my question: over time, will a person change at a higher elevation ?
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  14. #13  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshiyori View Post
    When changing elevation the atmospheric pressure goes down as you go up. With less pressure on the body would the person become taller over time ?
    Toshiyori, let me try to give you a more detailed answer to this.

    The thing with pressure is that, because the human body is not a rigid impermeable vessel, and is in fact permeated by fluids in contact with the external atmospheric pressure, the pressure inside and outside are equalised. If for any reason there is temporary drop in internal pressure (e.g. due to the diaphragm moving down during inspiration), air will flow until the pressure is once more equalised. This means that there is no net force due to pressure, acting on any part of the body. In this, pressure is unlike gravity, which does exert a net force (weight) on each part of the body, which has to be resisted by the skeleton to avoid us collapsing in a heap. Hence astronauts in free fall for months grow, as their bones do not have to take the normal compressive load of their weight. Whereas pressure has no such effect.
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  15. #14  
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    Thanks to all of you, my question has been answered.
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