The Weight of Thor’s Hammer: Myth and Mystery

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Photo by Manuel Salinas on Unsplash

Key Takeaways

– The weight of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, is a topic of debate and speculation.
– Various sources provide conflicting information about the hammer’s weight.
– Marvel’s trading card states that Mjölnir weighs 42.3 pounds, but this contradicts its estimated density.
– The question of who can lift the hammer is also unclear, with different explanations given in different texts.
– Vsauce explores the scientific aspects of Mjölnir’s weight and its implications.


Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is known for his mighty hammer, Mjölnir. This legendary weapon has captured the imagination of many, but one question that often arises is: how much does Thor’s hammer weigh? The answer to this seemingly simple question is not as straightforward as one might think. In this article, we will delve into the various theories and explanations surrounding the weight of Mjölnir, exploring both the mythological and scientific aspects of this intriguing topic.

The Mythological Weight of Mjölnir

In Norse mythology, Mjölnir is said to be an incredibly heavy weapon, capable of causing thunder and lightning when wielded by Thor. Some texts describe the hammer as being forged in the core of a dying star, while others claim it is made of Uru, a fictional metal from Asgard. These descriptions suggest that Mjölnir should be extremely dense and heavy.

The Marvel Trading Card Controversy

Marvel, the comic book publisher, has provided its own interpretation of Mjölnir’s weight. According to a trading card released by Marvel, Thor’s hammer weighs precisely 42.3 pounds. However, this weight seems surprisingly light for a weapon with such mythical properties. In fact, the estimated density of Mjölnir based on this weight suggests that it is lighter than aluminum, which raises doubts about the accuracy of Marvel’s claim.

The Enchantment of Mjölnir

Another aspect to consider when discussing the weight of Mjölnir is the enchantment placed upon it by Odin, Thor’s father. According to some versions of the myth, only those who are deemed worthy can lift the hammer. This enchantment is often attributed to the hammer’s weight, with the idea that only those who possess great strength can overcome its heaviness. However, this explanation is not consistent across all texts, leaving room for interpretation and speculation.

The Scientific Perspective

While the mythological aspects of Mjölnir’s weight may be fascinating, let us now turn to the scientific perspective. Vsauce, a popular YouTube channel that explores scientific concepts, has dedicated an episode to the weight of Thor’s hammer. In this episode, Vsauce delves into the physics and materials science behind Mjölnir, attempting to provide a more grounded explanation for its weight.

The Density Dilemma

One of the main challenges in determining the weight of Mjölnir is its estimated density. Based on Marvel’s trading card weight of 42.3 pounds, the density of the hammer would be significantly lower than that of aluminum. This raises questions about the accuracy of the weight provided by Marvel and suggests that there may be other factors at play.

The Core of a Dying Star

Another theory explored by Vsauce is the idea that Mjölnir was forged in the core of a dying star. If this were the case, the hammer would indeed be incredibly dense and heavy. However, the scientific feasibility of such a process is questionable, as the extreme conditions within a dying star would make it nearly impossible to forge a weapon.


The weight of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, remains a topic of debate and speculation. While Marvel’s trading card states that it weighs 42.3 pounds, this contradicts its estimated density and raises doubts about its accuracy. The mythological aspects of Mjölnir’s weight are also unclear, with different texts providing conflicting explanations. Vsauce’s exploration of the scientific aspects of Mjölnir’s weight offers some insights but does not provide a definitive answer. Ultimately, the weight of Thor’s hammer remains a mystery, adding to its allure and intrigue in both myth and popular culture.

Written by Martin Cole

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