General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Is it possible to escape this room?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) January 4th, 2017

You awake wearing a wet suit, in a well lit room. Near you there is a pair of goretex gloves, and an ice axe. There is a dry floor, a ceiling, and four walls. An eerie fluorescent light is coming from skylights flush with the ceiling. One of the walls seems transparent, and you approach it to find that it seems to be made of ice. Deep in the ice there is another true wall with a door that has a green exit light flashing next to it near a button.

The room is 10 ft wide by 10 ft high by 50ft long. The room you are in has one wall that is made of ice which makes that room temporarily 10×10x10. The room is not airtight towards the ceiling, but the the only escape hatch that is possible is through the door on the other side of 40 ft of solid ice that just began to melt with an ambient temperature of 80F.

Will you die? How? Will you be able to escape? What do you do?

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26 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

The Doctor punched through a wall made of diamond in a few million years, so a wall of ice is a piece of cake.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Which surface of the ice is subjected to the 80 degree heat? I don’t understand how air is introduced into the room, but if the ice is melting, the opportunity to swim beneath it to the exit should merely be a matter of time. Come to think of it, the water from the melting ice must flood your 10×10 foot space, and as the ice shrinks in volume, you can cross over the top.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’d get through eventually.

The time I spent resting would be spent pressing my body on the ice to /melt/weaken it. Then back to hitting away.

I’m stronger than most,and confident that I can eventually hammer through. Even if I injure myself greatly in the process.

If it were hopeless, I might die
But seeing the door through the ice , or knowing the way out was achievable would give me the motivation to get it done.

I hate to quote 50cent ,but….

“If I can’t do it…...

… can’t be done.”

Ltryptophan's avatar

Before the ice melts you are in a 1k cubic ft room. If a 1×40x10 size portion melted it would become 400 cu.ft. of ice water, partially filling your area.

You have to push the button to open the door. The door forcefully slides up and open into the wall.

Berserker's avatar

Without cheating and by understanding all the rules, at the tender age of 8 I beat the Lord of Darkness in one of those RPG based choose your own adventure books. Well it took a few tries, but I did it all with some acorns and some staff I stole from an old mam.
Understand, back in my ancient days those fuckin books were for real, it wasn’t about finding your cat or being a mosquito or anything.

I’d get that shit done. You said there was an axe. That’s all I need.

Pandora's avatar

I would knock on the wall to find out where the beams are and then make a hole through the wall with the ice pick. I would make a circular pattern and kick the wall in. scape out any thing between the wall to the other side and do the same thing.
Why would I attempt to crack through a 50 feet deep wall when a regular wall between rooms is only about 5 inches?
If it’s a basement, then make small holes in the wall where I can place my hands and feet and climb to the top and see if I can punch a whole though the ceiling.
My main question is how did they make a block of ice the size of a wall? And seal it up with you inside?
But let’s say it’s alien tech. I could just wait till some of the ice melts on top and then go sit near the door. Make a hole over the door and get out that way. I mean if the door slides down that means there is hollow space between for the door to go up.
Another option is to wake up from my nightmare. LOL

Another option is that the ice will start to melt on the edges first. Wait till it is good an loose and you can wedge yourself to the door or climb over head and use the ice pick near the door making a hole big enough for you to reach the door and open it.

BTW. Heat travels up and cold down, so the top of the ice will melt faster than the bottom.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

How thick is the wetsuit, thermal rating etc? Right now it looks like a 10×10x10 room next to a wall of ice equals freezing to death long before you get through the ice if the ambient temp outside is 80. In the room it’s freezing. Possibly could use the ice axe to get through one of the dry walls. Need more details on the room construction.

Ltryptophan's avatar

As stated the only exit is through the door. The walls will not succumb to the axe. It’s a wetsuit rated for freezing water, with the shoes to match.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Meaning you can survive freezing temps indefinitely wearing this wetsuit?
If so is the room perfectly level?

Ltryptophan's avatar

I am not sure about indefinitely in the wetsuit, but for the sake of the question, it will keep your core temp above 60F indefinitely.

The room is level. Rectangular.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Then you will die of hypothermia. No escape.
Given though that you have a suit that keeps your body temp up enough to stop hypothermia lets probe a little deeper. Since the floor is dry now we can assume the ice has yet to start to melt. Is the floor on a slab or crawlspace? Are the floor and walls water tight and able to withstand the weight of water once the ice melts?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Are the electronics on the door waterproof and will remain undamaged once the ice melts?

Ltryptophan's avatar

The room will not leak (nor rupture) unless it is nearly overflowing with water.

The door will remain functional by using the button even if the room is full of water.

The floor is on a slab.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The lights in the skylight are fluorescent, not LEDs. Great! That means there is a source of power, likely, 110 – 220 Volts with at least a few amps of current, and potential power limit of 1500 Watts or so. I want some of that.
I’d chip out some blocks to make a staircase so could reach the fixture and see what is inside.
Maybe I can make an electric arc tool to cut my way out. If there is enough wire I can use it like a crude EDM device and drill a hole to the push button. Rather than go straight in I would start low so the melting water could flow out. The wet suit would keep me from being electrocuted – hopefully.

Zaku's avatar

How long will it take to melt? Eventually it’ll become a floating block that has space to get past it and push it back from the door (since it’s floating), but that might take a long time. You could also ice-axe-climb the ice wall to get to the ceiling, to be sure there’s no way to hack into a wide air vent or something. At least there is enough air and water and warmth to survive for a while.

I imagine the melt rate at 80 degrees, if it applies to the walls, floor and ceiling around the ice, will melt that fast enough to have it float and have room to get past it and push. If not, may as well start tunneling in the meantime, along one side.

Keep the ice axe to kill the fiend that built this and put you in it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You would need something to act as a current limiter if you pull power from the lights or then you would freeze to death…in the dark.
It would take quite a bit of water to get the block to float.
Next question: is the floor smooth or rough concrete?

Cruiser's avatar

Yes, it’s possible but you will be very very tired and hungry as hell. Let’s do the math. You will need to chop out a tunnel big enough to crawl through and enough room to swing the ax. I will use a 2’ x 3’ tunnel dimension. Times that by 40’ thick you have 240 cubic feet of ice between you and the door add a couple extra cubic feet to clear the area around the door to get it open.

Next lets examine what else you are up against. The floor ceiling and wall will act as insulators so we can’t rely on the top or sides of the ice wall to melt any faster and aid our escape. The 10×10x10 room is 1,000 cubic feet ample room to accommodate all the ice chips we will make. I guesstimate each swing of the axe will remove a half a cubic inch of ice and simulating the swing of the axe I average 100 swings a minute.

240 cubic feet of ice =‘s 414,720 cubic inches x’s .5 cubic inch per swing means I would have to swing that axe 829,440 times to remove the ice required to crawl out of there…divide by 100 swings a minute it will take 8,294 mins or 138 hours. Give yourself 4 hours of sleep and this will take you around 7 days. (IF you can keep up that pace)

But some curve balls will come your way. I can’t imagine the room’s temp to be much warmer than a meat locker so melting ice will be at a minimum. Where do you go to the bathroom without risking your fresh water source? How will you wake up after only 4 hours sleep?

The deal breaker though will be hypothermia. The wet suit is only good for 60 F hypothermia set in when you body temp dips below 90 F and severe hypothermia sets in at 80F by then you will probably fall asleep and ultimately drown when all the ice melts if you weren’t already dead.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Floor is just smooth concrete, but it’s got multiple layers of rebar in it.

flutherother's avatar

You wait until the ice begins to melt and becomes frictionless where it contacts the walls and floor of the room then you slide the block against the button opening the door. Assume the door is big enough to let the block slide right through with you following behind.

Ltryptophan's avatar

The button needs pressing with a finger or the like. It is a standard sized doorway with wall surrounding it (which is where the button and light is)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Start chipping some stairs, melt and chipping at the top of the ice slab is the game. Once the ice melts enough at the top crawl over to the other side and chip your way to the door, let yourself out. Probably be out in a week or so assuming the melt water is potable. another week or two the slab will be moveable if you don’t feel like chipping.
If this was real there is no way out, you freeze to death.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well if the ambient temperature in that room is actually 80 degrees f in the presence of a 4000 cubic foot block of ice, hypothermia is not the issue. In fact there MUST be some ice free surfaces in the room that are giving off blistering heat. The person trapped has no need whatsoever for the wet suit, and should get busy chopping out stairs and grips to gain access to the top of the ice. In this odd room the threat is not just from the cold, but whatever source of heat is keeping that room at a balmy 80 degrees is nothing to be standing near. As the huge cube shrinks, the trapped man might even have the option of wading around the ice, but runs the risk of the mass sliding around on the floor and crushing him against a wall. Over the top is both shorter and safer.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Come to think of it, if the ambient temperature is truly 80 degrees f, wouldn’t the air be too hot to breathe?

Ltryptophan's avatar

@stanleybmanly by ambient I mean the climate that the area is in. It’s 80F in that geographic area, and the air and walls are effected by that. The room is not specially insulated.

Pandora's avatar

@LuckyGuy . Don’t you just risk starting a fire above you? Plus it will short out before you can melt the whole block and just be stuck in darkness?
@Ltryptophan Wouldn’t leaking water simply ooze out the door from underneath?

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Pandora the room doesn’t leak. I guess evaporation is possible..

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