Today, we embark on a journey that challenges the very essence of our existence – the human soul weight. Let’s unravel the unique and controversial experiment conducted by American scientist Dr. Duncan “Om” MacDougall, an endeavor that had profound implications for both the scientific and spiritual communities. In the early 20th century, Dr. Duncan MacDougall embarked on a remarkable quest to determine the weight of the human soul. This ambitious undertaking ignited both fascination and controversy, leaving an indelible mark on the scientific landscape.

A Controversial Experiment that Shook the World

Dr. MacDougall’s experiment revolved around the idea of measuring a person’s weight at the precise moment of death and then observing whether any weight change occurred post-mortem. The results of his experiment were astonishing – he discovered that the weight of individuals decreased by approximately 21 grams after their passing. This finding led Dr. MacDougall to propose that the human soul possessed a weight of roughly 21 grams.

Criticism and Controversy

Dr. MacDougall’s work generated substantial debate and criticism within the scientific community. Many argued that the methodology and sample size were insufficient to draw definitive conclusions about the existence and weight of the soul. Despite these doubts and skepticism, Dr. MacDougall’s research was a commendable step toward unraveling the profound mystery of the soul and its connection to the human body.

A Pioneering Exploration

Although his findings were met with skepticism, Dr. MacDougall’s experiment marked a pivotal moment in the quest to understand the intangible aspects of human existence. The idea that the soul might possess weight sparked widespread fascination and furthered the dialogue between science and spirituality.

The Ongoing Quest for Understanding

Dr. MacDougall’s audacious experiment, despite its controversies, continues to serve as a beacon, urging us to explore the frontiers of human consciousness and the enduring mysteries of the human soul. The weight of the soul, as proposed by Dr. MacDougall, remains a tantalizing concept, provoking questions that resonate with the very core of our existence.

Next: Super Human: A Crazy Science Experiment 


  • Alfred, Jay. “What is the weight of the human soul?.” [Article]
  • Sugg, Richard. “Prescientific death rites, vampires, and the human soul.” The Lancet 377, no. 9767 (2011): 712-713. [Paper]

By The Research Mind

We, researchers from the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, are dedicated to sharing the latest updates, breakthroughs, and even the occasional blunders in Science & Technology. Stay tuned for some truly mind-blowing science experiments!

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