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Is it possible to weigh the “soul”?  Science explains

Is it possible to weigh the “soul”? Science explains

The concept of soul exists in many religions, and it is not new that religion Science does not go hand in hand. According to science, the soul does not exist, at least its existence has never been proven. However, this does not mean that researchers from experiments To find out more about it, one of the questions they tried to figure out was: How much does a soul weigh?

It is common for a soul to weigh 21 grams, and this idea became so well known that it became the name for Movie Dee 2003. The story is set at the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth centuries in Boston, USA. Duncan MacDougall was a respected physician at the time, when he asked: If spirits exist, they must occupy space, and if they occupy space, they must weigh something.


To see if he was right, MacDougall did a really crazy experiment. He noted that if the soul was attached to the body until death, when that happened he could detect the difference in the person’s mass.

“Since … the matter which we consider in our hypothesis is organically bound to the body until death occurs, it seems to me more reasonable to think that it must be some form of gravitational matter, and thus detectable at death by the weight of a human being in the act of dying”

Duncan MacDougall in his 1907 article

To prove his idea, he partnered with Dorchester’s Consumptives’ Home, a hospital for advanced tuberculosis, a disease that had no cure at the time. McDougal built equipment capable of weighing a dying patient to death. He wrote in his paper that the choice of disease for the trial was because people died of “exhaustion” and without any movement in the way of weighing.

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The result of the experiment

The first death occurred on April 10, 1901, and a doctor noticed a sudden decrease of 0.75 ounces (21 grams). And with such a difference in the mass of one person dying, the myth arose that the soul weighs 21 grams, although the results of other patients were completely different or wrong.

  • Patient 1: sudden drop of 21g
  • The second patient: a drop of 14 grams 15 minutes after death
  • The third patient: a sudden drop of 14 grams and a minute after 28 grams
  • Patient 4: The scale is not well calibrated
  • The fifth patient: a drop of 10.6 grams, but the scale suffers from problems later on
  • Patient 6: Died while MacDougall was setting up equipment.

After that, the doctor continued to run tests on 15 dogs, but no reduction in mass was detected. He wrote that this meant that not all dogs went to heaven. MacDougall’s experience raises many doubts about whether he actually proved anything. In addition to having a very small sample, the tests he did were completely bizarre.

Other experiments on the soul

Other crazy experiments have also been performed and proposed to weigh the soul and prove its existence. Some of these experiences are reported in Mary Roach’s book Stealth – Science Tackles the Afterlife. One occurred in 2000 when a farmer weighed the souls of 12 ewes and found that the animals had gained between 30 and 200 grams at the time of their death, but returned to their original weights after a few seconds.

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Another weird experience. This experiment was proposed by Jerry Nahum, a chemical engineer, and used Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc² as a basis. According to Nahun, soul or consciousness was associated with information, which is equivalent to a certain amount of energy. This energy can be weighed with highly sensitive electromagnetic instruments. However, Nahum was unable to obtain funding to continue his research.

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