Batman Can Breathe In Space
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Basic Information

This Speculative Fiction Trope is when a character can breathe, and sometimes even talk, in outer space.

If it's a form of Magic and Powers, it may be related to the Stock Superpowers of Super Not Drowning Skills and Harmless Freezing. I mean, if you can breathe while stuck in a block of solid ice, then breathing in nothing is probably no biggie either.

It's also entirely likely to be the result of someone who did not do the research and/or doesn't care. In older works - especially those that pre-date modern understandings of space - it is far more excusable.

For the details of what will happen to a real person who tries to breathe, talk, or (worst of them all) hold their breath while in hard vacuum, see Space Exposure. Nasty, nasty stuff.



Game and Story Use

  • This one pretty much chews your versimilitude. I mean, even if some is so bad-ass that their cast-iron lungs don't rupture, and their blood doesn't start "boiling", and they're somehow immune to aspyxiation, they still shouldn't be able to talk in an airless vacuum. Space Does Not Work That Way!
  • Try it out on your PCs in an otherwise hard sci-fi campaign - but make sure you do it deliberately. If the players are particularly obtuse, lampshade it for them … if they still keep telling you that NPC couldn't do that, find more players. On the other hand, if the characters start arguing about it, then that is what we call roleplaying.
    • Seriously, when you're in a space-ship and someone is swimming about outside and waving to you, plot of one kind or another is happening. Especially if they're not wearing a suit.
    • Possible explanations include hallucinations, holograms and similar projected images, speculative technology that can transmit false sensory images or ghosts and other supernatural wierdness.
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