It seems to be a staple on the menu of almost every escape room game where you’re stuck somewhere and the air is slowly running out. You’ve only got 60 minutes to get out of there! This can include getting out of a submarine or being locked in a house’s safe room. Or as a member of the crew of a space station that is slowly losing oxygen.
We believe that this idea is so common that almost everyone who plays escape rooms knows what to do. Still, the premise is interesting on its own. Even more so, what if we want to take it to its scary end? How long could you really live in a room with no windows? So, let’s look at some science and numbers today. Before that, for the escape room experts, try out Fox In A Box Escape Rooms Chicago to get yourself the challenge you’re looking for. Now, let’s get started.
What is the ideal number of people to be trapped in the room?
Most of the time, when people play an escape room game, they do so as a group. So you won’t be alone often. But the more people there are using up oxygen, the less time you’ll all have to live. Now, we could start by saying that you’ll be in the escape room with just one other person. Obviously, a small child and your ageing grandma will take in oxygen at very different rates. But at the same time, it’s probably best to have as many people there as possible to increase your chances of getting away. After all, having more brains to solve the puzzles will help you escape faster. So, for this example, let’s say you’ve asked nine friends to come play. This means that there are 10 of you in the room slowly suffocating.
What is the Size of the Escape Room?
Obviously, the size of the room and the number of cubic metres of air that can fit in it are important parts of our equation. Let’s say that in order for all ten players to be comfortable, the room needs to be 3m by 4m and 2.5m high. This means that the total volume of the room is 30 cubic metres. To be more accurate, we should assume that the average person takes up 0.1 cubic metres of space. Since there are 10 of us, we should subtract 1 m3. So there will be 29 cubic metres of air in the room when everyone is there.
How Much Oxygen Is In The Room?
Where you are in the world and how high you are will have a big impact on how much oxygen and air you can breathe in a room. So that our calculations are easier, we will assume that the average amount of oxygen is 21%. Now, we can see that of the 29,000 cubic metres of air in our room, 6,090 will be oxygen. If we can figure out how much a relaxed person drinks in a day, we can say that they use 550 litres of oxygen.
Carbon dioxide’s hidden problem!
Sadly, just looking at how much oxygen is in the air is not enough. When players breathe out, it’s clear that they need oxygen to stay alive. At the same time, however, they are making more carbon dioxide. You should remember that the high levels of carbon dioxide will kill the team members long before the low levels of oxygen will.
When we look at this in more detail, we can see that every time we breathe in, we take in 0.04 percent of carbon dioxide and let out 4 percent when we breathe out. Carbon dioxide is poisonous, which you probably already know. As soon as the room’s air reaches 4 percent carbon dioxide, our players will be in a lot of trouble. So, despite the fact that they claim to have enough oxygen for 21 hours, the 4% carbon dioxide level will be reached in only 2 and a half hours.That’s a pretty serious change.
Don’t panic, no matter what you do!
Since assumptions are the root of all problems, it’s clear that our calculations are still going to be way off. We’re making this assumption because we think these 10 people are calm and standing almost perfectly still. But you know from your own experience that after playing an escape room game, no one stays still for even a second. If you were all locked in a room with no way out and the clock was ticking down, everyone would be running around like crazy.
If you think about the fact that the carbon dioxide levels are rising and you only have 2.5 hours to get out, you can see why many players would be in some kind of panic mode. This would use up oxygen much more quickly and raise carbon dioxide levels to levels that would kill people. In the blind panic scenario, the players would start to feel headaches after only a few minutes. After an hour, they will feel weak in the knees, sweaty, and sick to their stomachs. At about 2 hours, the players will start to feel tired. In just half an hour, everyone will be out cold. However, just a reminder, if you’re choosing escape room for team building in Seattle, sealed escape room challenge is not suitable for that.
The end result is not good.
10 people could probably last about 2.5 hours in a small escape room, which is probably the most realistic answer to such a bad situation. Keep in mind that the players will die from too much carbon dioxide before they run out of oxygen.
So, the next time you’re stuck in a sunken submarine or on a space station that’s slowly losing oxygen, you should try to get out as quickly as possible. But remember that if there are fewer players, you can live longer. Then you should start looking for a heavy object that can be used as a weapon or a knife.