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How Long can you Survive without Food and Water

On February 7th this year, Evan Muncie, a 28 years old Haitian man was reportedly pulled out of the rubble, 27 days after the earthquake that devastated the country in January. He was pulled out 2 weeks after Haitian authorities declared an end to search operations, and a full eleven days after the last survivor was rescued.

He lost 14kg during the time. Nobody knows how he could have survived that long without water although he claimed that a man in white had given him water while trapped, but that would have been nearly impossible.

Experts have put 2 weeks as the longest time an average person can survive without water, and four to eight weeks to survive without food; without food and water, survival beyond 10 days is bleak. Muncie, the miracle of Haiti, now has the longest human record of survival without an obvious water source.

Although there were other miraculous survivors from the Haitian earthquake, no one spent as long as Muncie did under the rubbles. According to TimesOnline, a 15-day-old baby, Elisabeth Joassaint, was found trapped but alive, under concrete slabs one week after the earthquake, still lying on the bed where her mother had placed her before the earthquake.

Wismond Jean-Pierre Exantus, 24, was found 11 days after the earthquake, severely dehydrated but with no discernible injuries. Darlene Etienne, 17, cried with joy when she was dragged from the ruins of her home after 15 days. She had survived by drinking water from a bathtub.

Elsewhere, people have also survived prolonged hunger and thirst. In October 2005, Naqsha Bibi was rescued from the ruins of her home 63 days after a massive earthquake in Pakistan.

She stayed alive, though hunched over, by eating rotting food and drinking water seeping through the house from a stream close by. In July 1995, Park Seung Hyun, 19, was rescued from the rubbles of a supermarket in South Korea after 16 days of being trapped.

Twenty two newborn babies were alive under the rubbles of a Mexican hospital, seven days after an earthquake. An American magician, David Blaine, once spent 44 days without food but with 4.5 liters of water/day, between September and October 2003.

In 1998, an Alaskan fireman Robert Bogucki survived for 12 days without water and 36 days with nearly no food in the Great Sandy Desert, Australia. A terminally ill patient, ­Terry Schiavo, stayed alive for nearly two weeks in 2005 after her life support feeding tubes had been removed.

Experts say the longest a human can go without water is 12 days if the temperature is not extremely hot or extremely cold. They say “without water you will last about 2 1/2 days at 48°C, if you spend the whole time resting in the shade, though you could last as long as 12 days if the temperature stays below 21°C”.

Second to oxygen, water is the most important compound needed for human survival. jQuery(document).ready(function(){ jQuery(‘#jsArticleStep1 span.image a:first’).attr(‘href’,’http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/5040218/203603_Full.jpg’); });

The amount of daily water required for optimum health is 1.9 liters. However, this amount changes based on physical activity and temperature. In hot or dry weather, more water is needed to replenish that lost through sweating. About 3.8 liters is needed in hot weather.

Several factors increase how long anyone can survive without food and or water and they include: the will or determination (examples – religious fasts, political prisoners on hunger strikes and people lost in the wilds); Being strong and in good physical shape; Having extra body fat (an obese person who is in good health can last anywhere from three to 25 weeks without food); and Mild temperatures (both extreme cold or hot weather are not good: Heat means faster dehydration while cold requires that more energy will be burned to keep the body’s temperature at 37°C).