I love that in order to process facts about your brain, you actually have to use your brain. The brain is EVERYTHING. We simply wouldn’t function without it. We couldn’t breathe, we couldn’t move and we couldn’t think. The human brain has developed in such a way as to distinguish us from all other life on the planet. The brain is a completely awesome feat of biological engineering and here are some facts about your brain you might not know.
There is a very common urban myth that masquerades as a fact about your brain. Just like a lot of facts about your brain you hear on the Internet or on the street, it is not true. This mythical fact is that we only use 10% of our brains. This is untrue on every single level, including if you are just sat there watching TV. The proof of this is easy to obtain, since even a tiny bit of brain damage is enough to significantly lower the IQ or mental/physical capabilities of a person. By the 10% theory’s account, we could remove 90% of the brain and still be as smart.
The idea of smarter people having a bigger brain is silly and untrue. Our brain to body ratio is no different to a dolphin, whereas dinosaurs had terrible brains to body ratios, with tiny brains inside of massive bodies. If you are looking for the best brain to body ratio, then it is found in an ant. One seventh of an ant is made up of brain. On the other hand, elephants and blue whales have brains that are far bigger than theirs, and yet they are not that smart.
The body is a mix of between 70% and 80% water, and the brain is no different. The brain is made up of 75% water, and that is the reason people become so delirious when they are deprived of water for too long.
There is no “brain” reason as to why one person appears to be dumb and another appears to be intelligent. It is one of the facts about the brain that has been tested again and again with identical twins (since they are organically created clones), and many times one of them is significantly smarter than the other, even though there is no physical or biological reason for it.
Most textbooks say 100 billion, but in 2009 someone actually did a test to find out how many were there. The way they did it was fairly gruesome, as they created a homogenous mixture out of a brain by liquefying it, and then used isotropic fractionation to find out how many neurons it contained. In other words, they smushed up a human brain and counted the neurons in it. They did find that some brains had over 100 billion neurons, which is significant since a baboon only has a total of 14 billion neurons. The difference was attributed to how brain cells die as we age, meaning that older people literally have fewer brain cells.
It is another of the interesting facts about the brain that even when you are asleep, your brain is using a quarter of your energy supply. This means that a quarter of your body fat and a quarter of every meal goes towards powering your brain.
Your body deals with radiation by absorbing it. It is one of the reasons why our cells regenerate in our body. There are very few cells in the body that do not regenerate, except for in the brain. Very little (if any) renewing of brain tissue is done (the same is true for nerve tissue). Only with stem cells are you able to replace brain or nerve matter. But, since we replace cells as a guard against all types of radiation, how does our brain cope? Put simply because it does not regenerate very much, it is not prone to cancer and is simply a little tougher than other body cells. Cancers of the brain are normally caused by cancer coming from other parts of your body and migrating into the brain. This is one of the few facts about your brain that your friends probably do not know.
Do you feel better now that your little grey cells have had a bit of a workout? Which of these facts about the brain surprised you most?
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