General Question

ragingloli's avatar

Why do 37 degrees feel hot?

Asked by ragingloli (42226points) June 20th, 2009

As you all know, the human body temperature is ca. 37 degrees. So in order to maintain that temperature, the body has to be cooled down if it is hot outside and heatened up when it is cold. So wouldn’t one think that an external temperature that matches body temperature would be ideal?
Is it because the body is used to producing heat in colder environments and starts to panic when it gets hotter as the produced heat might overheat the body?

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18 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

37 is the core body temp, the skin temperature is bit cooler thats why doctors stick the thermometer in your mouth (hope fully)

Ivan's avatar

Thread over.

Harp's avatar

The body is constantly generating heat through metabolism. If it can’t disperse heat out into the environment, that internal heat will continue to build up and the body’s heat regulation mechanisms go haywire. The less difference there is between the temperature of the environment and the temperature of the body’s core, the more difficult the heat transfer becomes.

It’s only thanks to the evaporation of perspiration and the moisture of our lungs that 37C feels tolerable at all. Without these, our skin would eventually also rise to 37C and our core temp would begin to rise even higher. This is what happens when relative humidity reaches 100%; the body’s moisture can no longer evaporate, and core temperature has nowhere to go. That’s why 37C at low humidity is bearable, but it’s insufferable at very high humidity.

ragingloli's avatar

@Harp
That is what i was thinking.

eponymoushipster's avatar

it shows how things change. just ten years ago, 98 degrees was hot.~

DarkScribe's avatar

It doesn’t – not if you take clothing out of the equation. I have spent a lot of time in heat that is equivalent to body temperature when almost naked (just a pair of shorts or swimming trunks) and it is ideal. Once you add clothing it becomes less ideal.

I think that you will find that everyone who has ever enjoyed a day at the beach will agree with me. If it is hotter, then yes, it can become less comfortable, but if the ambient (shade) temperature is close to body temperature, then it is bliss.

ragingloli's avatar

@eponymoushipster that’s 2 degrees below the boiling point of water. ~

DarkScribe's avatar

@ragingloli that’s 2 degrees below the boiling point of water. ~

Not in Fahrenheit.

ubersiren's avatar

So, if I plunge my hands into a newly dead person’s innards, it will feel hot, right? I think I heard that when Native Americans stabbed a person in winter, they thought the steam coming from the wound was his soul. I’m sure that’s just a myth, as most of those type of things that I hear end up to be.

eponymoushipster's avatar

::sad that no one got the reference::

ragingloli's avatar

You can’t expect people to recognise a reference to an obscure boygroup that barely anyone knows.

Ivan's avatar

::pretends not to get it::

Randy's avatar

::also pretends not to get it::

DarkScribe's avatar

@eponymoushipster sad that no one got the reference

Don’t know them. Not sure whether that is because I like music, or because I like music.

I just “youtubed” them and the couple of songs I checked weren’t too bad. Not a group that I have heard before, nor any of my daughters and sons-in-law.

ubersiren's avatar

I totally got it and I’m not ashamed!

Facade's avatar

ohhh celcius..got it (i was so confused)

SeventhSense's avatar

Well 37 Degrees feels hot because 98 Degrees is old hat.
I was never a fan of boy bands though.

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