We’re going to learn about 12 shocking facts about the human brain. The brain is the most important organ in the human body, controlling all our thoughts, emotions, and movements. It is a fascinating and complex organ that continues to intrigue scientists and researchers. In this article, we will explore some interesting and amazing facts about the human brain that you may not know. Let’s begin!
1- Intellectual Peaks:
Your brain stops growing when you’re 25, but that doesn’t mean you’ve reached your intellectual peak. Cognitive change is a lifelong process, and some skills like memory and processing speed max out in your mid-20s. However, you’ll excel at facial recognition and problem-solving in your 30s and then gain emotional control and empathy in your 40s and 50s. A select few skills, like vocabulary, take even longer, peaking in your 60s and 70s. Now, your brain may have matured, but your mind has plenty of room to grow. That’s why you should never stop learning, no matter how old you get.
2- Audible Sites:
Have you ever heard that missing one of your senses amplifies the others? Going blind or losing your hearing won’t make you a superhero, but it can give you a few different neurological advantages. A 2011 study found that people who are born blind sometimes develop a new way to process the world around them. They essentially begin seeing through their ears. The human brain excels at adapting to difficult situations. This kind of reorganization is called neuroplasticity. So when someone can’t see, the brain automatically searches for an innovative solution. It will often rewire itself to process auditory information over visual information. It isn’t quite the same as normal vision, but this workaround can yield some pretty amazing results.
3- Hogging Blood:
The average person’s brain weighs about 3 pounds. Now, for someone who weighs 150 pounds total, that’s only 2% of their body weight. That’s barely anything when you think about how important the brain is to your body. But without it, you couldn’t do anything; you couldn’t speak, no, you couldn’t even move. So how does such a small organ manage so many executive functions? The real difference between the brain and the rest of the body isn’t in its size. It’s the amount of oxygen and blood that your brain needs to work like it’s supposed to. So, even though it’s only 2% of your weight, it requires about 20% of your body’s supply of oxygen. That’s more than all of your other skeletal muscles combined. So if you’ve ever wondered how blood is distributed inside your body, now you know the brain is taking a significant chunk. Yeah, it’s a blood hog!
4- Miles of Blood Vessels:
Since it needs so much blood, an intricate network of vessels is working around the clock to bring oxygen to every part of the brain. Because if one section isn’t getting enough blood, you start losing basic functions. Some people experience blindness or fatigue, others lose all feeling in one or more parts of their body, almost like you’re paralyzed. So how many blood vessels does it take to keep your brain up and running? Well, to know for sure, you’d have to untangle a web of veins, arteries, and capillaries. You’d see that the average person has hundreds of miles of blood vessels inside their head. Yeah, I know that doesn’t seem possible, does it? Your blood vessels are just so thin and tightly woven together that they fit inside a much smaller space. Now, researchers are still working on counting the number of blood vessels in your brain. We do, however, know that the entire body measures up to 100,000 miles. What? That’s like driving around the widest part of the earth four times, and those are the blood vessels of just one average-sized person. Imagine how much distance the entire human race could cover.
5- Brain Starvation:
So what happens when your brain doesn’t get any oxygen at all? How long can it last before something goes wrong? The answer is not very long. After five to six minutes without oxygen, you’re risking significant brain damage. That’s because your brain can’t actually store any oxygen on its own. It relies on the body to send a constant supply all day, every day. And if that stops happening, your brain only has a few minutes left to live.
6- Neural Speed Way:
Every action in the brain starts with an electrical signal. Some are sluggish and slow, others race across the brain, clocking in at over 230 miles per hour! Wow! The speed of a signal depends primarily on what kind of signal it is. When you touch a hot surface, for example, that sensation speeds through your body. It starts at the sensory receptors on your hand, passes through your spinal cord, and then enters your cerebral cortex. There, you perceive and process how hot the surface is, which sends a new electrical signal rushing through your brain and your body. So if you’ve ever wondered why it takes a second to realize how hot something is, you found your answer.
7- Thousands of Thoughts:
You spend the majority of the day thinking. You wonder if anyone has noticed the stain on your shirt. You think about whether or not you locked your car. So many random thoughts pop into your head all day long. But has anyone ever tried to count them? Researchers go back and forth on the exact number, but most agree the average person has about 50,000 thoughts every single day. That’s at least 2,100 thoughts per hour. The most are small and repetitive, but it just goes to show your brain never stops working.
8- Shrinking Brains:
Who do you think has a larger brain, modern humans or our early ancestors? This discovery surprised researchers around the world. It turns out our ten-thousand-year-old ancestors had larger brains than we do, about ten percent larger, to be exact. But it’s not because they were necessarily smarter than us. Several neuroscientists have explained this change in brain size. Our brains are getting smaller because our bodies are too. So, that means we have a smaller nervous system, so we can afford to carry a lighter, more efficient brain than our ancestors. There are plenty of times when smaller brains outperform larger ones. Instant computations are a great example. We may not have as much room to store information, but our processing speed is through the roof. When you think about it, our brains have gotten smaller to adapt to our modern lives. If we really needed bigger brains, well, we’d still have them.
9- The Fattiest Organ:
Your brain is actually the fattiest organ in your entire body. Right, fat head? Think about the construction of the human brain. Are you picturing the hundreds of millions of neurons, the complicated network of blood vessels, the dozens of glands secreting all kinds of hormones? But did you know that 60% of your brain is just plain old fat? Despite being one of the largest organs in the body, the brain doesn’t have any muscle. It controls muscles, and a whole lot of them, but it’s made of fatty tissue. Here’s the problem: your body makes a lot of different things, but fat isn’t one of them. So all the fat your brain uses for performance and repair has to come from the food you eat. This is why so many dietitians push people to consume large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Now, those important fats facilitate brain development, stave off disease, and preserve your mental health. So, do your brain a favor and work a little more fish into your diet.
10- Synchronized Brains:
Countless studies have shown the extraordinary ways that music interacts with the human brain. It evokes emotions, recalls memories, improves creativity, and problem-solving. But a German study discovered that music could actually synchronize brain functions. To test this out, they scanned the brains of two musicians while they played music together, and sure enough, the music slowly but surely synchronized their brainwaves. It’s very possible that the best bands sound so good together because their brains are working in tandem.
11- First Brain Surgeries:
If you had to guess, when would you say the first brain surgery was ever conducted? The surgical world made its first real bit of progress in the late 18th century. Yeah, you’d think the first brain surgery happened somewhere around then, right? After all, brain surgery is one of the most complicated and volatile kinds of surgery there is. Just one little slip-up could completely ruin your patient’s life. A tiny cut could steal away their speech or change their entire personality. Well, surprisingly, the first brain surgery happened during the Stone Age. Yeah, over 5,000 years ago, early humans were doing something called trepanation. It’s when you remove a bone from someone’s skull. Archeologists have already found dozens of examples of this ancient surgical technique. Chances are it wasn’t all that safe or effective, but these people were still performing surgery before things like math or written language ever existed.
12- Five-Year-Olds’ Brain:
The brain develops in a pretty strange way. When you’re born, it’s about 1/4 of the size of an adult brain. That’s pretty big, considering how small an infant actually is. But as we all know, there’s a lot of things a baby can’t quite get their heads around. That’s because their quarter-sized brain is primarily focused on keeping them alive. It handles automatic processes like making your heart beat and helping your lungs breathe. Now, you’d expect your brain to keep growing at a steady pace, right? That way, by the time you turn, say, 25, it would be full-grown. But that isn’t how your brain works. It actually doubles in size during the first year of life, and by 3 years old, your brain is almost 80% of an adult brain. That number jumps up to 90% by the age of 5. During those crucial years, your brain is forming millions of new synapses every single second.
The human brain is an incredibly complex and fascinating organ. It controls everything we do, from breathing and moving to thinking and feeling. And while we still have so much to learn about how the brain works, these 12 shocking facts give us a glimpse into the incredible power and potential of this vital organ.
From the fact that your brain stops growing when you’re 25 to the amazing ability of blind people to see through their ears, the human brain is capable of incredible things. It requires a lot of blood and oxygen to function correctly, and even a few minutes without oxygen can cause significant damage. But with its incredible ability to adapt and change, the brain can also rewire itself to process information in new and innovative ways.
So, whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, play an instrument, or just expand your knowledge, the brain has plenty of room to grow.