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Home » How Much Pressure To Break A Skull? [Complete Guide]

How Much Pressure To Break A Skull? [Complete Guide]

How Much Pressure To Break A Skull? [Complete Guide]

How Much Pressure To Break A Skull?

The most detailed research into this specific question was done by Kyle Hill for Slate when the Star Trek movie came out and updated this week for Nerdist. His bottom line, primarily based on a bike-helmet study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, is that a skull crush would require 520 pounds (2,300 newtons) of force. That’s thought to be roughly twice as much force as human hands can typically muster.

Two things to keep in mind here: First, the characters in “Game of Thrones” are, um, fictional. Second, there’s more than one way to crack a skull. Some reports suggest it could take as little as 16 pounds (73 newtons) of force to cause a simple fracture. A Japanese study put the figure for a full-on crushing as high as 1,200 pounds (5,400 newtons). Conclusion: Your mountain may vary.

Since bare-handed skull-crushings apparently are done only by super-strong fictional characters, we can safely assume it’s beyond the capability of mere mortals. However, one of the grisliest elements of the “Game of Thrones” scene—the eye-gouging part—is apparently doable and potentially lethal. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Yesterday, while leaving the room, my head accidentally hit the open cupboard, and I can’t even describe the pain I felt. Then my mind was filled with all these questions:

How strong is our skull? How Much Pressure To Break A Skull? Is it possible for one man’s skull to crush another’s? If so, how strong do you have to be to do this?

Then I did a lot of research on this, and what I found I am going to share in this article. I know you can’t resist knowing the answer! So let’s know:

How Much Pressure To Break A Skull?

A skull fracture occurs when a strong force causes a break in the cranial bone (skull). But exactly how strong of a force can cause such a break? To be specific, 1,100 pounds of pressure force is needed in order to break the skull. The skull is fairly strong and resistant when it comes to impacts to the head.

To break its thickest area and back, 1,100 pounds of pressure will be required, and if 520 pounds of pressure is applied to the skull, then the frontal bone of the skull will break because the human skull is very powerful. Factors like the location of the impact and bone density affect the amount of pressure needed.

A skull fracture is when bone in the skull has been broken by an injury or trauma. As the skull is very strong, it takes a lot of force to damage it. This might be from falling from a height, a car accident or a direct blow to the head.

How strong is human skull?

Normally the skull protects the brain from damage through its high resistance to deformation; the skull is one of the least deformable structures found in nature, needing the force of about 1 ton to reduce its diameter by 1 cm.

Can a .22 LR caliber bullet penetrate a human skull?

As a funeral director, I once made a scene, a supposed suicide. There was a note, a small pistol next to the body, etc. All seemed quite clear. As the investigator did his work, having me and my partner move the body for him, he found another penetration of the scalp. And then another, and another. And a bullet lodged under the scalp.

Who shoots himself in the head more than once?

The weapon was a .22 – I don’t know that it was LR. As his investigation progressed, it was determined that there were 3 entry wounds, 1 exit, 1 bullet under the scalp. The first two shots were to the left side of the head, at a somewhat oblique angle. The bullet skidded along between the scalp and the bone; one time exiting, one time stopping there.

After 2 failed attempts, he changed to his right hand, and held the weapon square to his right temple, where the bullet punched on through, killing him. He was mighty determined. So yes, a .22 LR will penetrate the skull, but it is not a sure thing.

What Is A Skull Fracture?

A skull fracture is a break in the cranial bone that makes up the head. There are different kinds of skull fractures, but there is only one main cause: a strong blow to the head. Another thing is that a brain damage can sometimes happen with this kind of fracture, but not always.

It’s important to remember that a fracture isn’t always easy to find. There are, however, some signs and symptoms that may point to this disease.

  • Facial bruising
  • Tenderness and swelling around the region of impact
  • Bleeding of the ears or nostrils

The treatment for this condition depends a lot on how bad the disease is. Painkillers may be the best way to treat mild fractures, but neurosurgery may be the way for more significant injuries.

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Types Of Skull Fractures

It’s important to remember that the type of skull fracture depends significantly on the force used, the shape of the item that hit the head, and where the head was hit. A sharp or pointed object should be much easier to get through the head than something flat and hard like the earth. You should also know that different kinds of broken bones often cause different levels of injury and trauma. Here is a list of the different kinds of breaks:

Open fracture: This fracture, also called a compound fracture, happens when the skin covering the head breaks and the bone underneath is exposed.

Closed fracture: In a closed fracture, the area of broken bone is covered by skin that doesn’t look cut or broken.

Basal fracture: Most of the time, this kind of fracture happens at the base of the head, around the ears, eyes, top of the neck, close to the spine, and near the nose.

Depressed fracture: This type of fracture refers to the type which causes the skull to extend into the cavity of the brain.

Comminuted Fracture

Linear Fracture

What Are The Symptoms Of A Fracture To The Skull?

It may be pretty simple to determine if the skull has been shattered in some circumstances, such as in a depressed or open fracture. However, such a fracture might only sometimes be apparent.

The following are a few severe fracture warning signs:

  • Bruise around the site of the trauma, behind the ears, and underneath the eyes.
  • Swelling of the trauma site
  • Pain around the trauma site
  • Warmth or redness of the trauma site

There are, however, some less severe symptoms, such as the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Stiff neck
  • Fainting
  • Drowsiness
How Much Pressure To Break A Skull? [Complete Guide]

Is it hard to penetrate the human skull?

Humans are almost indestructible in some ways, and exceedingly fragile in others. The human skull does an admiral job of protecting the brain, but is easily breached by baseball bats, maces, swords, hatchets, axes, large rocks, and even by just falling down.

The sides of the skull are especially thin and easily penetrated by the smallest of bullets, the .22; larger bullets can penetrate a skull anywhere. Even primitive man – when not using rocks – could penetrate a human skull by drilling with stone tools.

What is the strongest part of the skull?

The skull’s resistance depends on the momentum, the period of force applied and the angle of impact. The position of the head also plays a role, because the skull is not equally strong throughout: The frontal bone is the strongest part of the skull, while the weakest bones are found in the temporal region.

How Can A Skull Fracture Be Treated?

First, you must understand that a skull fracture does not spell doom for you. You must also realize that they are not treated in the same way and with the same care as other bone-related issues.

Some factors will significantly determine how this ailment is treated. Your health, age, and medical history will be considered by your doctor first and foremost. The type of fracture, its severity, and any potential brain damage will also be considered.

It is important to remember that most brain fractures are not particularly painful, and that most of the time, the skull heals on its own. However, in other instances, like the basal skull case,

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Can a .22 LR caliber bullet penetrate a human skull?

Oh it sure can. Anyone who has ‘dispatched’ farm animals use a .22lr to accomplish the task. My daughter and son-n-law had a meat goat that needed to be harvest, they grew to treat it as a pet, and when the time came, they asked me to do the task, I did it. Goats 🐐 have a reputation for thick skulls, but one shot humanely put the goat 🐐 down. Now anyone who thinks this is terrible, meat starts on the farm, it does not magically appear in a Styrofoam tray at the grocery store.

Some of the answers on here are ridiculous. If you’re willing to stand 200 yards away and allow someone to shoot at your skull with a .22lr, you’re either suicidal or stupid. It will go through your skull. At closer ranges a .22lr will go through a windscreen and THEN your skull.

It’s the smallest bullet (aside from a .17hmr but they are MUCH quicker) but just because it is the smallest does not mean it is not formidable. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that because there are bullets that are far bigger and faster that the .22lr is not dangerous.

A native lady in Alaska who was been stalked by a polar bear shot and killed it with her old .22lr rifle. It died, she lived. If .22lr was the only calibre available to us, you can guarantee that we’d be hunting EVERYTHING with it. And we’d be successful.

Is it physically possible to crush a skull with a foot?

Sure, it’s very possible. If you start from the softest point of the human skull which is the nose – basically a box made out of cartilage. You continue to strike with the heel – which exerts the most force in a downward motion of the human body – the face will literally cave in.

Once you have leverage into the face, the upper portion of the teeth give way and you have even a bigger hole. All a bit morbid but an interesting topic nonetheless.

Why is the human skull so fragile?

It isn’t. The skull is a pretty tough nut to crack. Do you know what is fragile. The brain inside. Most head traumas cause damage to the brain which causes death. Think about shaking an egg in a jar the jar doesn’t crack the egg does. It’s a poor analogy but the reason damage to the brain occurs is because the brain is largely free floating in a small amount of liquid.

A considerable force can cause the brain to smack against the inside of the skull this can lead to ‘bruising’ and vessel rupture. Problem is bruising and soft tissue damage can lead to swelling of soft tissue which your brain sort of is. This is where the real issue comes. The skull is rigid and cannot expand so the brain can crush itself against the inside.

Same thing with bleeds the increased pressure can do damage to the brain. Medieval medics had the right idea of trepanning which would mean drilling a hole in the skull allowing for the pressure to have room to expand in. Still in those days they tended to die because of infection and limited medical knowledge.

How easy is it to stab a skull with a knife?

Its easy enough if you know what your doing, and attack from the proper angles. Piercing the skull itself, can be tricky if you dont attack in the right way. But is also possible. All be it harder. Having the right blade though is crucial. If the blade has no substance, or the wrong edge profile, it can just as easily snap or bend the blade, or even bounce off instead of going threw. You have to know what your doing.

However the thing is, you really dont need to pierce the skull, as theres a lot of soft tissue and arteries that are right there connected to it, target points that are critically damaging if cut up or destroyed. And they are simple enough to hit, if you know how.

Wouldn’t recommend trying it though. Especially on a living being. They will die and you’ll go to prison for murder. Sad ending all around.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What May Cause A Skull To Break?

When a specific force that is potent enough to break human bone comes into contact with the skull, a fracture to the skull may result. In actuality, almost any kind of contact can harm the human skull. A vehicle accident injury or getting hit on the floor are examples of this form of impact.

Can A Human Skull Be Replaced?

Oh really, do you think a Skull can be replaced? No, at the moment, there isn’t a skull transplant surgery. As the technology is growing faster, I hope we will see this type of surgery soon!

Can A Bullet Crush The Skull?

Obviously, It’s a big yes! Because the bullet moves very fast and quick than the speed of sound, and is usually released with such a force that whatever object it comes in contact with is usually destroyed.


Now it’s clear that you’ll need 1,100 pounds of pressure to break a skull’s thickest and back area, and 520 pounds to crush the frontal bone of the skull.

If you have any other questions or suggestions about this this topic, comment down below. I will respond you within 24 hours!

How Much Pressure To Break A Skull?

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only, I don’t recommend to try this type of action!

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