In Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow,’ a group of young people has to do whatever it takes to survive while stranded in the Andes. When their plane crashes in the snow-capped mountains, and there is no hope for rescue, they are left to their own devices and have to ensure their survival by any means possible. While they try to keep up their spirits, their bodies start to break down under the extreme weather of their surroundings. At one point, their pee turns dark, which is quite alarming and leads them to make a decision none of them liked. But why did their urine turn dark, and what did it mean for them?
The Dark Color of Their Urine was a Sign of Dehydration and Starvation
When Flight 571 crashed into the Andes, the passengers quickly discovered that there was little to no food to sustain them for long. They gathered everything they had, which wasn’t much to begin with, and distributed it equally amongst themselves. But they soon ran out of food, and the lack of proper drinking water kicked in dehydration. Some of them complained about their pee turning dark, which showed that they were in desperate need of nutrition.
The dark color of urine is usually a sign of dehydration. It could also point towards the possibility of an underlying disorder, either in the liver or the kidney. In the case of the Flight 571 passengers, it was most probably a sign of rhabdomyolysis. It is defined as “a condition that causes the breakdown of muscles,” which eventually leads to muscle death. The breakdown of muscle fibers releases toxic components that make their way to the kidney, among other things, and can lead to kidney damage.
The passengers knew that being in the cold and harsh environment of the Andes meant that their bodies would require more energy to keep them warm and alive. Usually, the body gets heat from the food that we consume regularly, but the crash left the passengers stranded in a place where there was nothing available, not even a blade of grass. Within days, the body ran out of fat and started breaking down muscle, which is what led to rhabdomyolysis in them.
It didn’t take much for them, especially the med-students, to recognize that they were heading towards certain death if this situation continued. They needed to eat; they needed to replenish nutrients in their body and give it something to work on to produce heat rather than eat itself. With nothing else in sight, there was only one thing the passengers could do. The only thing that would give them sustenance was the dead bodies of their fellow passengers.
All the passengers had come to this conclusion on their own, having noticed the changes in their bodies and acknowledging the need to eat, especially considering that no one was looking for them anymore. Once they started eating, the problem was settled, and as their bodies received the nourishment it required to keep them alive, the color of their urine lightened, alleviating their fears of dying of starvation in the middle of nowhere.