John Lewis Man On The Moon
The Man on the Moon in the John Lewis ad. John Lewis

On 6 November, the annual Christmas advert for a chain of shops I'd rather not mention, but had to in the headline because of SEO, was released, proving as emotionally manipulative and saccharine sweet as we've come to expect.

In the two-minute advert, a young girl spots a lonely man on the moon with her surprisingly powerful telescope, and then sends him a telescope present so he can see her back on Earth. Apart from being a demented act of torment allowing an elderly gentleman stranded alone to see the world he'll never return to, the act, like the ad on the whole, also defies all basic laws of science.

In the true spirit of Christmas, we looked into what would actually happen to the man on the moon.

According to Nasa programmer Henry Spencer, answering a question about what would happen in space without a spacesuit submitted to the space agency in 1997: "If you don't try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury... You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness."

Bad things do happen of course. He said: "You would probably pass out in around 15 seconds because your lungs are now exchanging oxygen out of the blood. The reason that a human does not burst is that our skin has some strength."

A video from Today I Found Out explains the old gentleman would have a chance of survival if rescued "within about 90-180 seconds".

Enter the Smithsonian's molecular biologist Eric Schulze, who in a video embedded above explained: "With no outside pressure, air expands. It can rupture the tissues in your lungs. Meanwhile, the water in your body turns into vapour beneath your skin, causing the mother of all bloating. You'll swell to about twice your normal size. Your body won't explode like you see in some movies but you will be in a world of hurt."

You certainly wouldn't have time to build a moon shed or a moon bench. Don't even get us started about the balloons travelling through the vacuum of space or how his single tear isn't effected by the moon's reduced gravity.

Merry Christmas.