In the real world, mice have actually survived for several weeks after breathing perfluorocarbon, albeit with some damage to their lungs. PFTBA is also used in artificial blood and can even be used to fry potato chips:

The University of Toronto researchers only found 0.18 parts of PFTBA per trillion in the atmosphere, compared to 400 parts per million for carbon dioxide. But they argued its use should be carefully monitored, and warned that there are vast numbers of other potentially powerful greenhouse gases out there that have not been studied.

The way the earth’s climate is going, with air quality getting worse and sea levels getting higher, we might all need that liquid breathing technology before too long.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.