Wow, thanks for the cool question. I had to give it some thought and go off and research! I love that!
I’ll go ahead and preface that biology is my weakest subject, but I think I understand the fundamentals of antifreeze proteins enough to tackle this.
The short and long of it is: no antifreeze proteins do not affect the thermodynamics. The thermodynamics will still function as usual.
Here’s my very very basic understanding of antifreeze proteins. They bond to ice particles to inhibit growth, keeping the object from actually freezing. The object is still at the temperature that would normally cause it to freeze but the antifreeze proteins block the reaction.
If her body was at normal temperatures, she would still feel the temperature change. This temperature change would still hurt in extreme cases. She just wouldn’t become frozen at whatever temperatures humans freeze at (it would effectively protect her from frostbite, which is frozen tissues).
But let’s say - in the original post I mentioned - that Elsa would have to lack a lot of heat to withstand the temperatures she’s constantly dealing with. The antifreeze proteins would indeed keep Elsa safe from freezing under the icy conditions. Since her body is always in this state of cold, she would be acclimated to it. It wouldn’t bother her.
She would still be unable to bear drastic temperature changes (in the form of heat or even more extreme cold). And she would still steal heat from individuals and objects around her. Which we discovered is not what’s happening. Elsa seems to handle all temperature just fine. I can just imagine her strolling through a desert with no issues.
I personally like to attribute her lack of freezing to death back to her being a magical being. She just doesn’t need heat to survive, she doesn’t even know what heat is. Her body doesn’t freeze because she’s the master of ice, of all things frozen. Ice doesn’t control her, she controls it.
Maybe that’s sad, because she wouldn’t be able to feel the warmth of the sun on her skin. Or the warmth of another’s touch. But I don’t care. Clinical science is way cooler.
I can imagine her being sad about it, though. People tell her about hot and cold and she has no idea what the concept is.
Buut…she doesn’t get that horribly uncomfortable feeling of it being so hot the sweat is dripping down your back or so cold your teeth are chattering and you can’t stop shivering. She wins. Win win win.
Oh I see hmm. That makes Olaf’s Summer song sadder in retrospect because she really can’t feel the warmth in a hug D:
But but but at least she doesn’t feel cold either! And other people aren’t hurt by her when they touch her ‘cause of the chill.
Why can’t we just be happy that Elsa can stroll right through deserts and be a-ok yaknow?
Is there any way to make Elsa not depressing? I’m up for some suggestions, ha.
Her temperature might be alright, but now I’m wondering if she gets sunburn considering how pale she is.
I don’t think enough time passed to see if she suffered from “snow burn” (snow reflecting sun back at us = burning skin) or snow blindness and most of her body is covered up by dresses.
Though, considering her powers are substantial enough to make her ‘freeze proof’, they’re probably enough to keep burns from happening.
Wow, she’s freeze AND burn proof.
As for not making it depressing: Magic of love? Powerful enough to save unfreeze Anna completely (even lost the white hair) so perhaps it’s able to counteract that issue. I think Elsa has some grasp of what warmth is as seen when she was a child. She loves Anna and her parents so they would be “magical” exceptions.
This would change it that Elsa only feels warmth from the people she truly loves.
Any better? XD
Actually, haha. (More research. I love you.)
Sunburn is a radiation burn, not a thermal burn. So she’s very susceptible, I’ll bet an ice cube on it. Assuming there isn’t some crazy biological or magical reason she wouldn’t be? Like I said, not so good at biology.
She’d feel the pain from it, since it’s damaged tissue that causes the sting not some heat thing.
You did read my mind though. I thought about this, kind of. If she is immune to thermal injury from frost, is she immune to fire, too? I was thinking that exact thing while typing things out before. How nightmarish would it be to keep a young child that can’t feel heat away from fire? You know, since she’d never learn from the pain of the abrupt temperature change.
Initially I thought, of course the pain would just be from the eventual burns. The body would react when tissue starts to get damaged. But thermal burns are caused by heat, which Elsa never takes in. So, would Elsa even burn from fire? If she never increases temperature she would never reach “burn” temperature.
So I thought, ok. You can’t set an ice cube on fire. Though it will melt as it increases temperature. But Elsa doesn’t increase in temperature so she wouldn’t melt or get to burn temperatures.
Are there other things involved in a fire that could hurt Elsa? Aside from inhaling the smoke, you know.
Yes I tried to set an ice cube on fire -
I kinda knew it wouldn’t work, but I tried.
There’s a lot of holes still, ehn.
Kudos to confirming that you can’t set an ice cube on fire.
For sunburn, I was thinking more that the sun is being reflected from the snow at greater intensity the higher you go in elevation (http://ehstoday.com/safety/management/DontShelvetheSunblock), and Elsa is literally on top of a large mountain that’s completely covered in snow. But she shows no pain or redness of skin though granted she probably wasn’t out long and most of her skin is covered.
(Speaking of on top of the mountain, everyone in Frozen universe must have super oxygen capacity since no one is suffering from oxygen deprivation on a mountain and only Elsa has a somewhat weak explanation of her magic got her covered.)
Thermal burns: Wow, that’s a good point. ._.
This is making Elsa sound more and more like a person with CIPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_insensitivity_to_pain), or at least a more temperature variant one except in this case she doesn’t have much of the bad side effects of the condition.