This video popped up in my Twitter feed the other day, and I thought it was worth sharing. Smarter Every Day visits a NASA training lab to experience (and demonstrate) the effects of hypoxia — the term for what happens to the human brain when deprived of oxygen.
Hypoxia is one of the risks of aircraft depressurization, which is why they have emergency oxygen masks on airplanes. Depending on physiology and altitude it can only take a few moments for brain function and motor skills to deteriorate. Applying your own mask first is important, as the 30 seconds it takes to help someone else might be all the time it takes for you to not have the capacity to put your own mask on afterwards.
The video is about 10 minutes long, and I highly suggest watching the entire thing. It’s fascinating to watch how quickly the brain reacts to even a few minutes without oxygen:
Interesting stuff, and a great reminder that no matter how often we fly, or how silly airlines make their safety videos, the information in the briefing itself is important.