Have you ever wondered why you can feel the wind blow against your face? How can something as empty as air cause ferocious hurricanes or tornadoes that rip apart whole cities?

Blasts of wind are possible because air has weight, just like your shoes or chair or car. Air actually weighs a lot because there is so much of it. Think about it—air covers the entire earth, way above the mountains. All that air is constantly exerting weight on every one of us.

How much does air weigh? That is actually a very complicated question. Air, being a gas, moves around. Its concentration varies from day to day, with changing weather and different altitudes (it weighs more on the beach than on top of a mountain). But if we assume it’s a pretty day and we’re standing on the beach, an average adult male is constantly subjected to a force of nearly 22 tons—just from the weight of the air!

—Excerpt from Experiment: Air Mass, Answers magazine, Vol. 7, No. 1

Have you ever thought about how much air weighs? Continue reading this article, Experiment: Air Mass, to conduct an interesting experiment and learn about the weight of air. Remember to ask an adult for help. If you enjoy this experiment, you can conduct more air pressure experiments.