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These are the extremely strange things that happen to your body when you go to space

Niamh Shackleton

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These are the extremely strange things that happen to your body when you go to space

Featured Image Credit: NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images / NASA/Newsmakers

While the idea of going to space is pretty awesome, learning of the effects it can have on your body may change your mind.

If you were roaming around space without a space suit, you'd be in a lot of trouble and, well, probably die quite quickly.

But even from inside the safety of a spaceship there's some risk factors.

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From losing your fingernails to needing to pee a lot, here are some of the things you may experience if you went to space...

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You get 'baby feet'

Due to the lack of gravity up in space, your feet will basically just become for decoration.

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As a result, they'll get a well-deserved rest and start to soften up and your callouses will eventually fall off.

Good or gross? I'll let you decide.

Astronaut Scott Kelly previously shared on Reddit: "The calluses on your feet in space will eventually fall off. So, the bottoms of your feet become very soft like newborn baby feet.

"But the top of my feet develop rough alligator skin because I use the top of my feet to get around here on space station when using foot rails."

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You get 'Astronaut's Eye'

Also known as cosmic ray visual phenomena, a lot of astronauts have reported they experienced the unusual condition while up in space.

'Astronaut's Eye' is where a person experiences mysterious bright flashes of light in their eyes, which could be the result of actual photons of visible light being sensed by the retina.

A study from 2006 found that 47 of 59 astronauts experienced light flashes while on spaceflights.

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Some astronauts experience cosmic ray visual phenomena. Credit: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Some astronauts experience cosmic ray visual phenomena. Credit: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Your fingernails might fall off

This is a particularly odd one as I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling very weirded out at the prospect of having fingernail-less hands.

We've established that spacesuits are vital to surviving space outside of the aircraft, but sometimes the suit itself can cause issues.

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One of those issues might be onycholysis, which causes your fingernails to detach from the nail bed.

"Injuries to the hands are common among astronauts who train for extravehicular activity (EVA)," a 2015 NASA paper explained.

"When the gloves are pressurized, they restrict movement and create pressure points during tasks, sometimes resulting in pain, muscle fatigue, abrasions, and occasionally more severe injuries such as onycholysis."

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Muscle mass is reduced and your bones can 'reabsorb back into your body'

As a result of long periods of weightlessness, a person's muscle mass will decrease while in space.

According to the Government of Canada, studies have shown that an astronaut experiences up to a 20 percent loss of muscle mass on spaceflights lasting five to 11 days.

The best way to prevent this is intensive exercise.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who flew to the Russian space station, Mir, in 1995, said: "Without constant load on your body, you can get incredibly lazy. Your muscles will start dissolving. Your bones will start getting reabsorbed back into your body."

Being in space has its downsides. Credit: Susumu Yoshioka/Getty Images
Being in space has its downsides. Credit: Susumu Yoshioka/Getty Images

You have to pee more than usual

Being up in space causes your bodily fluids to move around to different parts of the body and, with this in mind, apparently many astronauts have expressed that they're not very thirsty.

This is because the body 'takes care' of the fluid shift 'by eliminating what it thinks are extra fluids as it would normally' - AKA peeing.

NASA adds: "Once this 'extra fluid' is flushed from the body, astronauts adjust to space and usually feel fine."

Your face gets puffy

As well as needing to pee more as a result of your bodily fluids being where they shouldn't be, some astronauts have experienced fluids moving to the face.

As you'd expect, this then makes their face puffy.

"While on Earth, gravity causes most of the body’s fluids to be distributed below the heart. In contrast, living in space with less gravity allows fluids in the body to spread equally throughout the body," NASA explained.

This only lasts a few days, however - but you can understand why they don't put this side effect on astronaut job advertizements...

Topics: Technology, Space, Weird

Niamh Shackleton
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