Astronaut Lingo: What Is "Puffy Head Bird Legs?"

Posted on Mon, October 23, 2017
  • by: Beth Wilson, Educator and Host of STEM in 30
favorite

Have you ever hung upside down for a little while? Remember how it felt to have all the blood rush to your head? When astronauts get to space, they experience a very similar sensation.

Astronauts have coined the term "puffy head bird legs" to describe this sensation. The cause of this phenomena is the movement of fluid within our bodies. Due to the lack of gravity in space, the extra gallon and a half of liquid that we carry on Earth to counteract gravity moves from our legs upward, like when you flip upside down. This creates a puffier head and thinner legs.    

Watch as NASA astronaut Randy "Komrade" Bresnik recounts his experience with "puffy head bird legs" on his first mission. Then, check out an experiment brought to you by the STEM in 30 team that you can try at home!

Subject: Physical Science, Life Science | Grade Level: 3-8 | Time: 40-50 Minutes

PDF iconLesson Plan: Puffy Head Bird Legs