The external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve (ELN) is intimately associated with the superior thyroid artery (STA) in relation to the superior pole of the thyroid gland, rendering it vulnerable to injury during the ligation of this vessel during thyroidectomy. Although most texts acknowledge the fact that the nerve is in close relation to the STA, there has not been an anatomical study to relate the position of the ELN to the superior pole of the thyroid gland. The aim of this study was to determine the shortest distance, from the most superior point of the thyroid gland, to the ELN. Bilateral micro-dissection on 43 adult cadavers, excluding those with thyroid pathology and previous thyroidectomies, was undertaken. The most superior point of the superior pole of the thyroid gland was identified and the shortest distance to the ELN was measured with a digital calliper (accuracy 0.01 mm). The metric study indicated a mean distance from the ELN to the superior pole of a normal sized thyroid gland of 5.76 mm (range: 2.00-11.26) on the right, and 6.17 mm (range: 2.78-13.48) on the left. From the literature, it is clear that the ELN may even be closer to the superior pole of an enlarged thyroid gland. The recommendation to stay on the substance of the superior pole of the thyroid gland when ligating the STA remains valid, as the nerve is extremely close in relation to the superior pole of the normal thyroid gland.