Why didn't Dr Strange die when he was thrown into space?

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In one scene of Avengers: Infinity War, Ebony Maw is torturing Dr Strange for the Time Stone when Iron Man interrupts. After a brief chat, Iron Man opens fire and blows a hole in the ship's wall. Ebony Maw is ejected out into space, and Dr. Strange is ''nearly'' ejected too, but his cape and Spider-Man catch him and drag him back onto the ship before Iron man seals the hole. Ebony Maw dies in space, of course.

My question is this: Before Dr. Strange was grabbed, he was briefly in space. Since he was a human being, the exposure should have killed him. Why didn't he die? Does he possess any superpowers that would have allowed him to survive?

Best Answer

Being blown into space isn't instantly lethal nor do people suddenly freeze over when exposed to space. This is a tv/movie trope which ignores basic physics.

This article from Scientific American has some interesting points

In reality, however, animal experiments and human accidents have shown that people can likely survive exposure to vacuum conditions for at least a couple of minutes. Not that you would remain conscious long enough to rescue yourself, but if your predicament was accidental, there could be time for fellow crew members to rescue and repressurize you with few ill effects.

and this from a different source

After losing consciousness, you’ll probably last a couple of minutes maximum before you die. Of course, there’s all that nasty UV from the Sun which is going to give you horrific sunburn. UV and other high energy photons (X-rays and gamma radiation) would also damage the heck out of your DNA, leading to mutations that would likely cause cancer (if you survived). It’s also typically extremely cold, but you wouldn’t instantly freeze as the vacuum would cause heat to transfer away from the body very slowly.

In sum- you’d swell up, burn, mutate, pass out and your lungs might explode. Lovely. But don’t worry, if you’re ever in this sticky situation, you’ve probably got a solid minute or two to be rescued before you die, so chin up.

Of course these are the scientific answers, in the MCU the characters have plot armor and other explanations can always apply.

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Sources: Stack Exchange - This article follows the attribution requirements of Stack Exchange and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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