Created By: DudeBob on September 10, 2017 Last Edited By: TheWanderer on November 7, 2017

Frigid Water Is Harmless

Spend as much time skinny-dipping in the Arctic Ocean as you want; it won't hurt you.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
trope
Often in video games (and occasionally other works of fiction as well), there is no difference between swimming off the coast of Florida and swimming off the coast of Antarctica. Water is water, and the only hazard it ever presents is drowning (if even that). So you can spend all day swimming right outside Santa's workshop on the North Pole and be no worse for wear.

In real life, this is of course a good way to get hypothermia. Water that is just above freezing will sap the heat from your body much faster than air of the same temperature.

Some children's cartoons and games will acknowledge the dangers of frigid waters by having a character who falls into them be be encased in a rectangular block of ice, but this doesn't seem to actually hurt them. These examples are for when a character takes a dip in freezing waters and doesn't suffer any effects whatsoever.


Examples

Video Games
  • In Ocarina of Time, Link can spend all day swimming in the waters of Zora's Fountain after it gets frozen over.
  • Skyrim: The Dragonborn suffers no harm from swimming in the icy northern oceans. While this may be justified in the case of Nords, who have a 50% racial resistance to cold damage, the other Player Character races have no such excuse.
  • Averted in Super Mario 64. The only frigid bodies of water deep enough for you to become immersed in are in the level Snowman's Land. There are two such bodies of water here: one slowly drains your health while you swim in it, and the other is so intensely cold that it acts as reskinned lava.

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • September 11, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Compare the polar (heh) opposite: Convection Schmonvection.
  • September 11, 2017
    Arivne
    • Capitalized (north pole).
    • Corrected spelling (suffer any affects -> effects).
    • Examples section
  • September 11, 2017
    Koveras
    Hmmm, isn't 34 degrees just 2.6 degrees below body temperature? I'd say 34 degree air is pretty damn hot weather, too...
  • September 11, 2017
    Generality
    While played straight in most The Legend Of Zelda games, notably averted inBreath of the Wild: Ordinary water is only a minor hazard, at most removing one unit of Link's health if his stamina runs out while swimming, and it even breaks a fall harmlessly, but water in cold environments steadily saps his health to the point of death, even with protective clothing.
  • September 11, 2017
    NotOnAnyFlatbread
    ^^The temperature in the description needs to have the scale specified. Koveras, you are correct that 34 degrees Celcius is just 3 degrees (Celcius) below human body temperature and thus quite warm. The sponsor presumably meant 34 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just 2 degrees (Fahrenheit) above the freezing temperature of water, and thus quite cold. (34 degrees Rankine or 34 Kelvin would be just above absolute zero, thus being extremely cold and making both swimming in water and human survival completely out of the question.)

    There is currently one Aversion listed in the examples, plus the one Generality proposes above. Aversions are not examples of the trope (because they are by definition a lack of the trope) and are generally ineligible for listing as examples except for Omnipresent Tropes. Averting this trope would simply be realism, therefore aversions are not notable and shouldn't be on the page.
  • September 11, 2017
    Snowy66
    • Averted in Dragon Fable where the player goes into the frozen waters surrounding Dragesvard which saps the player's HP over time.
  • September 12, 2017
    Koveras
    ^^ Ah, I should have guessed that the OP uses some outdated local units of measure. :^) Anyhow:

    • The final sequence of Abzu takes place in the Arctic ocean, complete with drifting ice, penguins and polar bears. The protagonist is not deterred by the temperatures in the slightest, though this is justified as she is actually a humanoid robot with superhuman resilience.
  • September 12, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    The Other Wiki has these: ice swimming and polar bear plunge. And, according to a documentary that I watched (or skimmed) on Discovery Channel years ago, some guy in Finland can swim in frigid water without shivering due to his body temperature.
  • September 12, 2017
    Skylite
    Compare Freeze Sneeze and Catch Your Death Of Cold wherein being exposed to the cold does have consequences.
  • September 12, 2017
    randomtroper89
    Averted in Ratchet And Clank were falling into cold water lethally flash freezes Ratchet into a block of ice.
  • September 14, 2017
    AHI-3000
    .
  • September 12, 2017
    zarpaulus
    • Played with in Zootopia, during the training montage at the beginning Judy falls into a pool of icy water and comes out visibly shivering (when realistically she'd probably die), and the mobster Mr. Big apparently throws mammals into a pit of near-freezing water as a method of execution.
  • September 13, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Oh, and can someone fix this?
    34 degree water will sap the heat from your body much faster than 34 degree air.
    A majority (read: those who use Celsius) would think that 34 degrees is warm enough for frigid water.
  • September 13, 2017
    TheWanderer
    • In Season 7 of Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow is knocked into the frigid waters of a frozen lake. Despite being submerged for quite some time, he survives just fine, even when he has to wear his thoroughly drenched clothes on a long ride back to the Wall afterwards.
    • Well and thoroughly averted in Titanic 1997, which realistically showed the passengers of the doomed ocean liner quickly succumbing to the cold when they plunge into the icy waters. (In fact, the movie actually adds onto the water's lethality, since it claims more people died of hypothermia in the water than actually did in real life.) Earlier in the film when Rose was contemplating suicide, when Jack talks her out of it one of the things he talks about is how painful water that cold will be.
      Jack: I fell through some thin ice; and I'm telling you, water that cold, like right down there... [He gestures down toward the Atlantic Ocean] it hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can't breathe. You can't think. At least, not about anything but the pain.
  • September 14, 2017
    Chabal2
    Subverted in Alien Vs Predator, where a brief scene at the beginning establishes that falling into the Antarctic waters means certain death. At the climax, the Queen ends up falling in the water.
  • September 14, 2017
    TheWanderer
  • September 14, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Do we have a super-trope about cold temperatures having no effect on people?
  • September 14, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Video Games
    • Somewhat averted in Banjo Kazooie. In Freezeezy Peak, the cold water takes away Banjo and Kazooie's health if they fall in it, and the water itself warns them that it's too cold to jump into the first time they fall in it. The Walrus transformation from Mumbo in the same level helps protect Banjo and Kazooie from the frozen water. In a later stage, Click Clock Wood, the cold water in the winter season doesn't take away your health, but is still very hazardous. It acts the same as the oily water in Rusty Bucket Bay; it drains Banjo and Kazooie's air meter twice as fast as regular water when swimming underwater, and even causes them to drown while swimming on the surface.
  • September 14, 2017
    TheWanderer
    Made a small edit to the main description in order to avoid the problem of which temperature scale is being used. Does the reworded section work for everyone?
  • September 15, 2017
    Arutema
    ^ looks good
  • September 15, 2017
    MetaFour
    • In any given Sonic The Hedgehog game, either all water is instant death, or all water is safe for underwater platforming, regardless of temperature.
      • Downplayed in Sonic The Hedgehog 3. Water in Ice Cap Zone doesn't hurt you, but it's only found at the lowest points of the level, over Bottomless Pits. So you're unlikely to spend more than a few seconds in that water.
      • Used straight in Sonic Advance and Sonic Advance 3, where Ice Mountain Zone and Twinkle Snow, respectively, are both half-underwater.
    • Wario Land Super Mario Land 3: The frozen Sherbet Land has a few underwater levels, where the water behaves exactly the same as in every other world.
  • November 7, 2017
    LavonPapillon1
        Fanfic 
    • In Ill Met By Moonlight, Greg takes Steven and Amethyst to the beach to swim despite it being October. Whether or not their resilience to the cold is due to their youth or to the fact that Steven is a Dhampyr and Amethyst a werewolf is uncertain.

        Films - Animated 

        Video Games 
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=blyxyo5wwylm2dyy3c2g5lp6