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Truly Staggering Facts about the Human Brain

The human brain is without a doubt the most complex organ in the human body. It is also probably the most complex creation on earth. It is the most amazing feature in human beings – as is evident in all the man-made wonders we see around us that are a result of the human brain.

It performs a wide range of vital roles, but the most amazing thing about this vital organ are the many facts that are not known by many people. Here is a look at some of the most staggering facts about the human brain.

  • The brain is the only organ in the human body lacking nerves despite the fact that it is the organ that commands the central nervous system. What this implies is that it does not feel pain.
  • The largest portion of the total energy generated in the body is consumed by the human brain. To be precise, it consumes 20% of that energy despite the fact that it makes up only 2% of the total body weight. The brain consumes this energy to maintain healthy brain cells and fuel nerve impulses.
  • Approximately 100 billion neurons are present in the human brain – this is about 15 times the earth’s total human population. The brain’s processing ability is increased with this high number of neurons.
  • The human brain is considered to be the fattest organ in the human body. Roughly 60% of the brain is made up of fat – this is the highest fat concentration in one organ in a healthy human being. Moreover, 75% of the total brain mass is made up of water which helps in regulating a range of functions in the brain.
  • The neocortex is the portion of the human brain responsible for consciousness and language. Approximately 76% of the brain is made up of it and this makes it the largest when compared to the neocortex in other animals.
  • The amount of energy that is consumed by the human brain, which is roughly about 25 watts, is enough to illuminate a light bulb.
  • There are 1 billion synapses and 100,000 neurons, all of which communicate with each other, in a piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand. On average, each neuron connects with 40,000 synapses.
  • It is believed that the average brain generates approximately 50,000 thoughts per day. One disturbing fact is that it is estimated that 70% of these thoughts in most people are negative.
  • Size matters with some things, but when it comes to the brain, bigger does not always means smarter or better. Albert Einstein’s brain weighed 1,230 grams (2.71 pounds) which is 10% smaller than 1,400 grams (3 pounds), the average weight for a brain. However, his brain’s neuron density was greater than average.
  • The size of the human brain is getting smaller. Over the past 10,000 to 20,000 years, the size of the average human brain has gone down to the size of a tennis ball. Humans are also not getting any smarter or more intelligent. Since the Victorian era, the average IQ of human beings have gone down every decade by about 1.6 points, making it a total of 13.35 points so far.
  • Our attention spans are getting shorter as well. In 2000, it was found that the average attention span was 12 seconds. Today it is 8 seconds. This is shorter than the average goldfish’s attention span, which is 9 seconds.
  • As a last resort to ward off starvation, brain cells cannibalize each other as a source of energy. This means that your brain can be forced to eat itself as a result of dieting.
  • The storage capacity of the human brain is considered virtually unlimited. It does not get used up like your computer’s RAM.
  • People have always been encouraged to multi-task, but it has been found that it is impossible to do. According to research, when you multitask, your error rate increases by 50% and you take twice as long to get things done. When the brain tries to do two things at once, it dedicates one-half of gray matter to handle each task at hand. Multitasking results in a decrease in attention span, short term memory, learning, and performance.

There are many interesting facts about the human brain. It continues to be an organ that fascinates many people. Studies are continuously being conducted to find out more about this amazing organ in the human body. There is no doubt that many more staggering facts about the human brain will continue to be discovered.

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