The gas laws are useful not only in explaining procedures in the laboratory, but in addressing the peculiarities encountered in everyday life.
Here are some examples of how the gas laws account for common occurrences:
Fish that live in low depths survive under a great amount of pressure due to the volume of water above them. When brought to the surface of the ocean, perhaps for study, the dramatically reduced pressure greatly increases the volume of the gases in their bodies. This causes the rupture of cells, bladders, and other biological structures.
While playing in the pool when you were younger, did you ever notice that when you exhaled, the bubbles seemed to grow larger and larger as they ascended? This change in size is a result of the decreasing pressure of the water, which allows the gas bubbles to expand.
A rubber raft swells up when left in the sun on a hot day, providing the raft is not completely inflated (if it completely inflated, it will rupture). Remember this if you are ever stranded in tropical waters!
The plunger in a turkey thermometer pops out when the turkey is done. The higher temperature of the turkey causes the volume of the air trapped under the plunger to increase, which forces the plunger to move.
(Avagadro's law states that doubling the quantity of a gas doubles its volume if temperature and pressure remain constant).
Lungs expand as they fill with air, while exhaling decreases the volume of the lungs.
The combined gas law applies to any circumstance in which pressure, temperature, and volume change while quantity remains constant.