Is it possible to weigh a human head without first detaching it from the body?

Laugh out loud and then think about it carefully, because I don't think it is possible.


Laugh out loud and then think about it carefully, because I don't think it is possible. After 14 answers I think 12 of you have missed the point - so let's rephrase the question to weigh a leg rather that a head!

Update 2:

sorry - "rather THAN a head"

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Actually, I did answer this question before, and it can be done reasonably accurately by means of a 2-step water balance. Let me go get the Y!A link.

    Addendum: The problem with just measuring the volume of water displaced by the head is that the density of the head may vary. Doing a 2-step water balance gets around this limitation, and gives you a more accurate weighing in spite of variability in head densities.

    Addendum: Yes, you can even weigh a leg by this method as well. Anything that can be left unsubmerged while the rest of the body is can be weighed by this 2-step water balance.

  • There was this guy who figured it in in about the third century BC, I think his name was Archimedes. While it determining the weight of a head would be a bit more complicated than determining the density of a gold crown, an adaption of the basic idea could work. You didn't say what accuracy is needed, if the density of the head varies significantly from the average of the whole body there will be an error, but I'd think the results could be pretty close.

  • 1 decade ago


    After carefully thinking about it, I've decided that the accuracy involved in weighing a human head may possibly be the missing bit of intelligence that has held me back from accomplishing so many things in life.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    answerer no 1 for the 10 points excellent answer. archimedian principle. eureka! but as a footnote one would have to measure the bloodflow to the head to deduct it from the full value. there is another way to measure the weight of a persons head without detaching it. a 10 foot drop and a rope. snapping the neck should make the neck muscles detach from the skull making it easy to weigh the head. ive just made science get nasty!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Can't you just rest the head on a scale like a pillow =)? Displacing the head with water as someone else suggested will not work because you cannot assume that the density of the head is the same as that of the water.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sure it is. For a rough estimate, lay down and put your head on a scale (have someone else read the number). To be more precise, find out the weight of a unit of bone, brain fluid, brain, eyes, and all else that is in the head. Multiply each number by its volume and you'll have the total weight of the brain.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sure have you subject fall asleep on the floor face up, then take a scale and put it under their head. The neck muscles should be relax, so they wont take any weight of the head.

    In case your subject declines the invitation to sleep on the floor, do what i do Know em OUT!!! w/a 2 by 4 lol

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the WATER DISPLACEMENT method will not work - that would give you the average density but not weight ( it would work if it was a solid and you could measure volume also but the head is not - air pockets you know )

    I'm sure you could do it with a scale ( with careful placement ) but it would be slightly off due to the tension in the ligaments

    so no you can't

  • 4 years ago

    We would definatly look strange without our noses, like think about it! Little kid draw faces without noses all the time, picture an actual person without a nose, just a big blank spot on thier face!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hi Nutt, That is totally gross. Hang yourself upside down and yell UNCLE and your head will fall off and then one of your friends can get a true weight of your head. LOL LOL..

    A Friend.


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