Dead Weight

Why do bodies feel heavier after death?

They do?

Sorry, but your question begs my question.

Yes they do.

A dead body when carried seems to weigh much more than a live body. In fact the term “dead weight” is often used to describe this. However, the body doesnt actually weigh more. I did a search in the archives and this question has been posted once before but the replies didnt really satisfy me. Centers of mass and rigidity of the body vs a blob came up, but a dead body doesnt become a “blob” or a “mattress” because there is still a skeleton.

Dead bodies feel heavier because of the way most people go about lifting them.

If you were to pick up a sack of potatoes, you would pull it as close to your body as you could when lifting it, because by doing so you draw the center of gravity of the sack close to your own center of gravity, making the chore easier.

When most people try to pick up a corpse, people don’t like to get close to it, so they don’t pull it in close enough toward their body. This creates a overturning moment, so you must do extra work to keep yourself from toppling over.

So the reason a dead person feels heavier than a live person is because the carrier has heebie jeebies and holds the body away form their own center of gravity?


How did you off him?

I’m not quite dead…

But the same seems to be true of sleeping people as well. When my son is asleep, he seems heavier than when he is awake, and I don’t carry him any differently.

awake people carry their own weight some, if someone is carrying you you don’t flop over if you can help it… you hold your head up at the very least, most people hold on if you carry them. dead people just go with gravity. and its just harder to hold.

So, by that rationale (a live person holds up their head), if my neck muscles cease to work, my bathroom scale would show the difference. Nope! It has only to do with weight distribution. A live person would probably hold on to you and distribute some of his or her weight to your torso and off of your arms and back. I think Surreal pretty much answered the question.

A dead person just sags all over the place and his or her weight is distributed much further away from your body. If you put the dead person and live person in a “body bag” or some other conveyance, they would be equal in handling ‘ease’ or ‘difficulty.’

BTW owlofcreamcheese I hope you don’t think I was disagreeing with all of your post, but just the part about awake people holding up their head. I just realized how my post came across. :slight_smile:

Back in the sit-in demonstrations in the 1960’s, the sitters were instructed to go limp when the police hauled them off. A limp person is more awkward to handle, and it usually took one or two more cops per protester.

By the way, I never was arrested for protesting. I marched a few times. I burned my draft card (I was 4F, anyway,) but I never got arrested.