What happens to your body in sub-zero temperatures?

What happens to your body in sub-zero temperatures?

The Alaskans in Life Below Zero are experts at living in cold climates. They know exactly how to hunt animals for their fur, the best way to keep warm and how to make a shelter out of almost nothing. But for most of us, our bodies wouldn’t be able to handle the sub-zero temperatures that they deal with everyday.

Here are some of the horrible things that can happen to you if you’re in temperatures below minus 20C:

Frozen eye corneas

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. In conditions of extreme cold your eye can literally freeze. You’ll have a hard time seeing from them.

Frostbite and amputation

Body extremities such as fingers, toes and feet can freeze from frostbite. Your skin will get very cold, then numb, finally turning hard and pale. In extreme cases, you can even lose bits and pieces of your body. In severe windchill, frostbite can happen in as little as five minutes.

Shivering and Hypothermia

When your core body temperature drops by a degree, this can be one of the first signs of hypothermia. At a body temperature of 35 degrees, your motor coordination will begin to fail. Anything under than that and you’ll need an ambulance because your condition is considered life-threatening 

Extreme mental confusion and undressing

Extreme cold can lead to “paradoxical undressing”. The cold can severely impair your judgement and you can become convinced that you are hot and “burning up”. In response you would take off your clothes to cool down, and increase the severity of your hypothermia.