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Oxygen Absorption through nose?

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New Member
May 14, 2004
Does anyone know whether the body can absorb oxygen from water through the nose?

Don't laugh. Turtles can absorb oxygen from water through their trachea and anus. That is why they can breath both air and water.
I'm sure you can absorb O2 through your sinuses, just not very much. Running seawater through your nose might allow absorption of a tiny amount O2, but it probably wouldn't be noticeable.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
So you reckon that oxygen absorption from water would be higher than from the nose? (Just want to be clear here).

I think though the absorption might be low that it would be possible to increase it either through training, or diet.

Also I think that if o2 absorption occurs that this could make the difference between shallow water blackout.

Anyway I have no instinctive or physical averse reaction to inspirating water through my nose, even pool water though the chlorine is a bit icky.

Also I presume there would be just about no 02 in pool water. Or am I mistaken?

Anyway do you or does anyone else have some hard scientific data? I tried looking this up on the internet to no avail! (And I'm a professional academic researcher...) I haven't tried for sinuses and 02 absorption though... hmm...
Originally posted by hypoxiajunkie
Don't laugh. Turtles can absorb oxygen from water through their trachea and anus. That is why they can breath both air and water.
rofl rofl

I asked my Marine Biology lecturers about this. Got a few chuckles. The "arse-breathing" theory seems to come from the amount of time a turtle can hold its breath. But no one can ever cite an actual scientific verification of this "fact". Remember a turtle has an extremely slow metabolism, so its breath-hold is correspondingly longer than a humans.;)

If you think about it, in order to absorb oxygen, the walls of the lower digestive tract would have to be extremely thin, like the lung membranes. That wouldnt be a good thing when it comes to expelling faeces...
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