5 doctors weighed in:

Why are your lungs more like sponges or balloons?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
4 doctors agree

In brief: More like balloons

Lungs maintain their expansion by a tight seal to the chest wall.
Like a balloon, if that seal is broken, the lung will collapse inwards. Sponges have a lot of cavities, but will maintain their shape whether full of water or air, or not. You can squeeze a sponge to a small shape but it will quickly expand to its usual shape.

In brief: More like balloons

Lungs maintain their expansion by a tight seal to the chest wall.
Like a balloon, if that seal is broken, the lung will collapse inwards. Sponges have a lot of cavities, but will maintain their shape whether full of water or air, or not. You can squeeze a sponge to a small shape but it will quickly expand to its usual shape.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
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