Space sickness is said to effect 45% of all astronauts in zero gravity. Symptoms can last 3 days and included with the nausea, vomiting can result. Indeed the zero gravity simulation of making a plane fly in parabolas, mimicking weightlessness is called the Vomit Comet.
Which got me to wondering. Is skydiving, before you open your chute, free fall? I believe it is and a zero gravity environment should be much the same. So shouldn’t some skydivers vomit before their chute is deployed, due to space sickness?
I was ready to pronounce this to be so, so I checked the Internet and found this question and its answer at the link. Apparently because the speed of the airplane is 90 mph in a forwards direction, terminal velocity is only 30 mph faster. Apparently you don’t get sick because of this.
A helicopter hovering above the ground is supposed to be a whole new kettle of fish, according to this article. Before reaching terminal velocity it should be like a roller coaster or free falling. There is thus a greater chance for vomit.
So why do I care about this so much? Well I’ve daydreamed about falling off a large building or bridge before and thought your last few seconds might be cool. If you forget about your bad predicament you can maybe set a pen spinning (like Howard did in The Big Bang Theory season opener) and floating next to you for a few seconds. You’re dead but the world might give you this last hurrah.
But now I find out that you might be nauseated and vomit and thus pollute your final living environment on Earth. I guess in all the years of scraping bodies off of sidewalks, no one noticed that vomit was mixed in with the rest of the mess. Things like urine and feces would probably be released along with all the blood and flattening body parts.
So now, when I think about romantic or interesting ways to die, I’ll think more of drinking antifreeze (it’s supposed to taste good) and lethal injections (hey it’s a drug and might rock your world for a bit). Bye bye falling from a great height.
Finally the skydiver who plans to break the speed of sound early next week, might triumphantly plummet to the ground in a controlled way. However if he vomits in his helmet, it might seem more like a test of character than a triumph.