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Author Topic: Can sandstorms rip your skin off
Hammerhead
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Ive heard before that a sandstorm can scrape your skin off if you get caught in it. However does anyone know ifthis is true or not

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All that exists is atoms and empty space, everything else is just opinion -Democratus

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I know snadblasters can take ANYTHING off ANYTHING, but those might deal with velocities much higher than a sandstorm. So it is at least possible.

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surfcitydogdad
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This sounds possible, but suspicious.

Remember the episode of Star Trek in which the women showed the miners they could hang their dirty pots and pans in the wind to be sandblasted?

Hard objects like metal, glass, and stone can be etched by sharp, wind-borne particles - sand - but the human skin (and clothing) is flexible and resilient, and should withstand minor exposure to abrasive effects of wind and sand at realistic natural speeds for realistic durations. Camels survive, right?

It sounds like a question for livescience.com, but I'm too lazy to do it right now.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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I've been in an intense sandstorm while in Afghanistan. And except for the fact that the dust and dirt gets everywhere, my skin was fine. I had sand in my ears and black boogers for days afterwards.

I received worse from the rotor blast when being picked up by a Chinook helicopter. That did hurt, but my skin was not ripped off.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I've been caught with exposed skin in severe sandstorms - I would liken the feeling to a burn, it bloody hurts, and given time sand will erode anything. Saw coke bottles worn smooth in the Sahara.

A lot depends on the material being blown and it's velocity - I was burned and we're talking gusts of about 40 knots i'd estimate. A western Saharan katabatic storm can blow sand at over 100 knots - i'd imagine any human skin exposed to that would suffer more than sandburn...

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desertdweller
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Living in the middle east, I have been caught in several sandstorms. It's not a lot of fun, but, other than eye and sinus irritation, nothing to be concerned about.

My skin always remained intact.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I once read an account, which I cannot cite, of a man who was caught outside on a sandlot baseball field when a tornado hit. According to the account, the force of the sand being whipped around by the tornado removed paint from his truck and mutilated his features.

But a tornado hitting a field of sand would, I imagine, involve far more intense forces than the typical sandstorm.

Edited for grammar.

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Phaedra
Jingle Bell Hock


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I was brought up in Somalia. For several weeks of the year there was a wind called the Karif (spelling?) which caused daily sandstorms.
I used to love chasing the mini tornadoes we called dust devils. If you ran into the path of one it nearly lifted you off your feet.

The sand didn't rip off my tender young skin but it did get everywhere and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it damaged my teeth because it got into our food. Everything crunched when you ate it which was grim.

The main problem I recall was eye irritation and conjunctivitis was common problem.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Yeah... without ever having been in a sandstorm, I would wager a guess that it would HURT like a NFBSKer, but you wouldn't be flayed alive (a la the poor buggers in the first Predator movie).

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ToadMagnet
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Welcome to the ULMB, desertdweller! We're glad you're still in your skin! [Smile]

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I've been blasted by a sand blaster used for stripping rust and paint from metal which could easily eat straight through sheet metal if used carelessly. Granted, I got blasted at two meters, but that should still be more than any sandstorm can do. I still have skin.

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/Troberg

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