How long can a Human go without food and water?

In the Bible it says that Jesus survived in the desert for 40 days and nights without food and water, is it even possible to survive that long without food and water?

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  • You can't live without water for over 3 days, 5 days at the very most. It also depends on the environment (climate etc.), on your age and on how much physical activity you perform but 3 days is generally a very accurate number. The reason it takes such a short time to die of dehydration is because the lack of water attacks numerous organs at the same time. Contrary to food, water can't be stored in your body. So if you're in a desert or on an island without any fresh water, you will feel very thirst very soon. The less water you've got in your body, the more difficult it becomes for the blood to flow. This means that less oxygen is carried to the organs, including your brain. At the same time, people who dehydrate usually lose essential electrolytes, which help the brain to function properly. However, the most dangerous part about dehydrating is that your kidneys don't work properly anymore. Already after 1 days of not drinking anything, your urine turns dark yellow. The reason for this is that your kidneys try hard to get liquid out of your body but there's just not much liquid left. Once you stop peeing altogether, your kidneys can't discharge of the various poisons anymore that you have in your body. Eventually, you die either because your kidneys stop working (kidney failure) or because your brain or heart shut down. This all happens very fast. Already 5% less water in your body can be dangerous for you. Dehydration takes very short time but it's usually an extremely painful way of dying. First you just feel cranky and agitated. It becomes harder and harder to make rational, calm decisions. If there's still no water around, you get a very painful headache. Your blood pressure rises a lot, which in turn causes dizziness. You feel nauseous and you might even vomit (thereby losing even more liquid). The potassium in your blood increases to dangerous amounts. You become very restless and you might have panic attacks. Your muscles feel as though they're on fire because they're desperately trying to suck water of your body. If by that point, you still don't have any water, you get a very nasty fever and your vision becomes blurry. It becomes difficult to articulate yourself and you feel extremely weak. Finally, you start to hallucinate and think/talk all kinds of crazy/weird things and slowly fall into a coma. After that, it takes a few hours and you're dead. A total body fluid loss of 15-20% is considered lethal.

    As for food, you can live without it for

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    • roughly 1-2 months but this only works if you've got enough water to drink. There have been cases recorded where people were found alive after almost 3 months without food but they're very rare and usually this happened in places like coal mines, where the air is very damp and humid. Like with dehydration, starvation also depends on exterior factors such as your age, the climate and of course how much body fat you have. As a rule of thumb, 1 month without food is pretty dangerous. You might not be dead yet at this point but you'll be very weak and in a lot of pain.

      It is highly unlikely that Jesus (or any other person for that matter) survived 40 days in the desert. If he really existed, it is more likely that he went to the desert "for a long time" (maybe 3 days or so) and when he came back, people started to tell all kinds of crazy, over-exaggerated stories about him. By the time somebody wrote this down (which was long after Jesus' death), 3 days or so might have become 40 days.

What Girls Said 6

  • I think that food can be like a week or so, but for water, it's a matter of days.

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  • The average human can survive without food for a few weeks (usually 2 before the body ceases to function), and 3 days at most without water. However, in the desert, there are ways of containing water by means of rainfall and cactus roots, and plants/animals that you can eat to sustain yourself.

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  • I believe it's 3 days without water and a week without food. It's the bible though, it's full of exaggerations. Has a lot of good lessons but some of the stories need to be taken with a grain of salt

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  • 3 days without water

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  • It's Jesus.

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  • Without water, about a week, maybe less. Without food much longer, I'm not really sure.

    So basically no. But you could interpret it as a miracle. Or see the 40 days and nights as metaphorical somehow (like how evolution and God creating the world in six days could reconcile if you think of the days not as literal 24 hour periods but 'days' as God experiences them)

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What Guys Said 13

  • Generally, the thing I've heard is...
    3 minutes without air.
    3 days without water.
    30 days without food.

    Naturally, this is all affected by factors like how hot the climate is and whatnot. As for the Bible, I can't say I'm super religious, but there have been hunger strikers that have gone for 28 - 40 days long. So I would say it is at the very least possible.

    Likewise, the Bible never claims it is possible to live 40 days without eating anything. In fact, (from growing up in religious settings) it actually uses the word "ate" rather than "drank" or anything of the sort.

    www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm

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  • No, and humans can go up to a week or two. Maximum of a month. I have been into the bible since I was 11yrs old. So... Jesus is a Holy Spirit in the flesh whom is blessed by the Heavenly Father. I also says.
    " with man it is impossible, with God all things are possible."

    Though he was speaking about the part when someone wanted to know how to get into the kingdom of heaven and sit at his left hand ( or right, not sure.)

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  • No idea. Water is the crucial thing though. I bet you could surprise a good few weeks without food. Especially given how bloated and over weight most people are. Indeed, if most people fasted regularly, they'd see a radical transformation in their health, I speculate!

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  • I've searched this in Google before regarding how long someone can be without food and water:

    In any extreme situation you cannot survive for more than:

    3 Minutes WITHOUT Air
    3 Hours WITHOUT Shelter
    3 Days WITHOUT Water
    3 Weeks WITHOUT Food

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  • Without water most people would die in 3~4 days, but 2 days without liquids can potentially get you to the point where only medical help can save you. (since oral rehydration isn't enough anymore to make up for the fluid loss)

    Without food you can go for weeks, months even.
    It depends entirely on your body mass, activity levels, metabolism and energy reserves.
    An average person would easily survive two weeks with no food and of course just like with water, you eventually get into the point where you don't die "yet" but don't recover either without medical help.

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  • no that isn't possible. it can take up to 10 days to die of thrust much less in a desert environment. a person could last 40 days without food but that depends on their fat content and how hydrated they are

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  • About 3 days for wayer and 3 or 4 weeks without food. Body starts metabolising using fat then muscle then organs after that then its death

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  • In the dessert you could hardly survive two or three days without water

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  • In the bible it does not say Jesus fasted without water do not add words to the scriptures that aren't even there. He fasted on water alone.

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    • Theirs no water in deserts.

  • I might actually give that a shot to give you an answer haha

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  • in the desert you can die within 1 day without water

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  • No one can survive 40 days without water. Don't read the bible literally...

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  • 3 months

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