The head is home to some vital human organs. The human head, which is on the top of the body, maintains its form because of the skull. The skull, in turn, houses and protects the brain.
Is it possible that the head’s diverse content contributes to its overall weight? Does the content make the head overweight? How do the many components fit into the human head? These questions plague many minds.
So, let’s find the answer to the below question first.
How much does the human head weigh?
The human head, on average, weighs about 10-11 pounds, which is roughly 8% of the body’s entire weight. The head contains the skull, the brain, and other small organs like the mouth, ear, nose, and eyes.
The brain is responsible for about 3 pounds of the total head weight. This deduction shows that a large part of the head’s weight is from the skull and the fluids in the head.
The Components Of The Human Head
The head contains a part of the digestive system, significant parts of the nervous system (the spine and the brain), and sensory organs. These organs all contribute their quota to the size of the human head.
The Lightweight Organs In The Head
The sensory organs contribute least to the weight of the human head. Here are the sensory organs in the head:
The mouth contains the teeth, tongue, and tonsil. It may be challenging to get the exact weight of the mouth because it doesn’t have a “true” weight. In addition, it would be difficult to separate its mass from the skull.
An average human adult has 32 teeth. The teeth play a role in the shape of the mouth, how we make sounds, and our facial expressions. The teeth’ primary function is to chew, grind and tear food.
The tonsil is responsible for stopping germs that try to enter the body from the mouth. They catch them before they cause any significant harm. The tonsils are present at the back of the throat. It happens to be one of the few parts of the mouth, which is removable. The removal of the tonsil must be through surgery in severe cases of Tonsillitis.
Lastly, there is the tongue. It has two primary functions. These include to help you taste and to help you speak. The three nerves found in the human tongue help you forward information on what you tasted to the brain. They are glossopharyngeal, vagus, and facial.
The human ear weighs about 14mg. Your ears help you hear and maintain balance. The ear does consist of the outer part, middle, and inner ear. They all work together to transmit sound signals to the brain.
There is a theory that you determine the size of a person’s nose by their body weight. But this theory isn’t conclusive. The olfactory nerves send a signal to the brain to help you identify different smells.
The human eye weighs about 7.5g. The light that passes through the eyes stimulates the optic nerves and sends the message to the brain.
What Are The Components Of The Brain?
The brain makes up about 2% of the human’s entire weight. At the same time, the cerebrum makes up 85% of the brain’s weight. The brain, one of the most complex organs in the human body, consists of billions of nerves. Its components are:
The cerebellum is responsible for a person’s balance and coordination. You will find it at the back of the human brain.
The cortex is where thinking and movement (voluntary) originates. It is the outer part of the brain cells.
The Basal ganglia is a structure in the brain that allows for the orderly passage of messages between different brain areas. It is at the center of the brain, clustered together.
The brain stem:
The brain stem is in between the brain and the spinal cord. It is the center for the control of the body’s essential functions, like sleeping and breathing.
The brain contains several Lobes. Each lobe found in different parts of the human brain has its specific function.
- The Parietal Lobes: These Lobes are in charge of body positioning, managing sensations, and an individual’s handwriting.
- The frontal Lobes:The frontal lobe stands as the home for motor functions. It is also responsible for a person’s problem-solving abilities and judgment.
- he occipital Lobeshouses the brain’s visual processor.
- The temporal Lobeswork with other parts of the brain for hearing and memory.
The skull forms a significant fraction of the head’s weight. Its weight is probably because of the many bones that it has. The bony structure protects the brain and supports the face.
There are two sets of bones in the skull; the cranium and the facial bones. These bones are formed from membranes and joined together by fibrous joints.
What Are The Components Of The Skull?
The skull consists of the cranium and face.
The two constituents have parts that contribute to their weight. These parts also have their roles in the body’s functionalities.
The cranium consists of two parts, the base, and roof. It protects and surrounds not just the brain but the cerebral vasculature and the meninges.
- The base: The cranial base consists of the parietal, occipital, frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid, and temporal bones. These bones form joints with the atlas, jaw, and facial bones.
- The roof: The cranial top, also known as the calvarium, consists of Two parietal bones, the frontal and occipital bones.
Popularly referred to as the facial skeleton, the face is the support system for the face’s soft tissues. Its facial structure consists of fourteen bones. These bones come together to house the sinuses, the eye socket, the nasal cavity, and the oral cavity. The bones in the face are:
- Inferior nasal conchae: There are two Inferior nasal conchae in the face. They are in the nasal cavity. They expand the surface area in the nasal cavity to allow for easy expelling and inhaling of air.
- Nasal: The nasals are two thin bones at the nose bridge.
- Vomer: This bone forms the outer part of the nasal septum.
- Lacrimal: There are two lacrimals. They form part of the wall of the orbit.
- The jaw: The jaw or the mandible is just one bone. It forms a joint with the base of the cranium. The joint is called TMJ- Temporomandibular Joint.
- Maxilla:The Maxilla is part of the hard palate and the upper jaw.
- Zygomatic: The Zygomatic bones structure the face’s cheekbones and form joints with the frontal, temporal, and sphenoid joints.
Sutures are fibrous joints that are found only in the skull. At the age of 20, the sutures in a human head would have fused completely. Though, they are immovable from the onset. Here are the primary sutures in an adults skull:
- Lambdoid suture:This suture joins two parietal bones to the occipital bone.
- Coronal suture: joins the parietal bones to the frontal bone
- Sagittal suture: The Sagittal suture is the two parietal bones joiner.
In young children, there are two fontanelles. These fontanelles come from membranous gaps that fill out the unfused sutures. The fontanelles are:
- Occipital fontanelle:This fontanelle fills out the gap between the Lambdoid and the Sagittal.
- Frontal Fontanelle: The frontal fontanelle fills out the gap between the Sagittal and the Coronal sutures.
All these parts of the head in their little or large ways contribute to the head’s weight.
Can My Head Get Bigger?
People often wonder if weight gain affects the size of the head. With everything you have read about the skull, you know its structure is the same throughout a person’s life. It is immovable, so your weight gain doesn’t affect it in any way.
Suppose your body cannot make room for fat, the fat stores at the back of your head or neck. There is no room for it in your skull.
Can You Get An Accurate Measurement Of Your Head?
There is no defined way to measure the actual weight of your head. Additionally, there is no measuring scale or method to get an accurate result. There are speculations, though, and a couple of them do not involve cutting off your head and placing it on a measuring scale.
One of those speculations involves water displacement. From speculations, you are lowering your head vertically into a full bucket and arranging for the retaining of the overspill. You measure the density of water at 0 degrees and work with that knowledge.
So, assume that the head and its components, like the rest of the body, are mostly water. You can believe that the head is nearly the same density as the rest of the body. Therefore, if you displace 5 liters of water, then your head weighs 5kg.
These speculations don’t have the backings of science. Therefore, it might be best to stick with the average weight of the human head.
The human head weighs about 10-11 pounds. The head and its different components, the skull, the brain, and the sensory organs, contribute to the head’s weight. The neck can comfortably carry one’s head that weighs 10-11 pounds. And on rare occasions, some pounds extra.
Every component of the brain contributes to the body’s functionality. So, as it is on the top of the human body, it is responsible for so much. The many functions carried out, but the component of your head far outweighs the weight of your head.