Fun Facts About Your Brain: Things We Don't Know


There is so much we don't know about our own brains, yet it is the single most important organ. An organ which makes up our identity. We can have a heart transplant, we can have our appendix removed, we can even have our colon removed, but the brain is irreplaceable. The brain is responsible for our attitudes, our emotions, our motor functions, our senses, our pain tolerance, our health, our ability to love, our ability to speak, and our ability to do such tasks as make out a resume for a job. There are so many more functions that we would not be able to do without the functioning of our brain. Each year, scientists are making more and more breakthroughs on the discoveries of our brain processes, mental capabilities, and how the brain works? Although, like any good science discovery leads, we often find that we end up with more questions about the brains than answers discovered.

Bran Scans


The First Findings About The Brain

As far back as 400 BC, the Greeks and Egyptians understood that the brain was the control center for the entire body. Hippocrates was aware that the brain involved our intelligence and where sensations were felt. There is even evidence through Plato's teaching in 387 BC that he taught others that our brain was where our thoughts came from.

Aristotle, on the other hand, argued against Plato. Aristotle believed that the heart is where our thoughts come from. His belief was so well accepted in his time that we are even affected by these beliefs to this day. For instance, we often will say that we memorize things by heart, and who knows, maybe that's why we often will say our heart feels one way, and our brain knows another. Aristotle's beliefs were soon disregarded in the years after Christ, and the brain was more thoroughly studied as the powerhouse for the whole body in thought, sensations, and so much more. This led to the discovery of neurological disorders, which led to discoveries on how to surgically remedy them.

There was a period during the Renaissance that hindered these discoveries due to the church banning human dissection. Once this law was lifted, discoveries have amplified over the years.

It was in the nineteenth century, when significant discoveries were discovered about the brain. In 1811, Charles Bell discovered that each of the five senses has a specific spot within the brain that is used for each of the senses. Since then there have been significant studies regarding which portion of our bodies is affected by what ability.

10 week old fetus
10 week old fetus | Source

The Prenatal Mind

One of the first parts of a human embryo to begin to develop is the brain. It is also one of the fastest growing parts of the embryo and fetus to grow. Every minute roughly a quarter of a million new neurons are being produced in an unborn baby. By the time the baby is born, they will then have over 100 billion neurons in the brain.

This is a significant reason why lifestyle choices of the mother are extremely detrimental to the well being of an unborn child. Not only is the brain responsible for motor functions, but intelligence, overall health, emotional well being, and so much more. It is believed that the mother is tired not because their bodies are supporting two beings, but because the rate of the baby's growth, especially its brain, is extremely consuming to the mother's body due to all the synapses developing.

Some causes that may happen if a pregnant woman chooses to live a rough lifestyle, is the brain can actually end up forming clumps of brain matter outside of the brain. This actually can result in dyslexia among other problems a child faces.One great example of this is fetal alcohol syndrome.

The brain is not only developing in order for the child to use it once it's born, but the child is already storing data and memories and much much more before the mother even begins labor. That's why a baby often will be soothed when they hear their mother's voice, because they remember it from the womb. The brain is such an important part of the human body, which is why the baby's brain is proportionately much larger in comparison to its body than that of an adult's brain.


The Brain's Power

The brain has significant power even for a young embryo. Although, your brain is only about 2% of your weight at three pounds, it actually uses about 20 percent of your body's energy. It is because of this that if you do not have enough sleep or have proper nutrition, your mood, your attitude, your energy and even your motor responses are affected. It uses so much energy that the same amount could light a 25 watt light bulb. Although more impressively, the brain has more electrical impulses in one day than all the telephone poles in the whole world do!

Did you know that your brain can go from four to six minutes without oxygen, before brain cells will actually begin dying? Not to say that the brain is not severely affected by the lack of oxygen. On any given minute, the brain absorbs 1/5 of a cup of oxygen in which it supplies to itself. Almost 95% of that oxygen goes to its gray matter, the rest to its white matter. The brain absorbs that oxygen from the nearly 1000 ml of blood that is pumped through it every minute. This is equal to about 3 soda cans full of blood. Once this is realized, it does not seem surprising that 10 percent of the cranial make-up consists of blood. If the brain has a lack of blood, a person will become unconscious in about 10 seconds.


The Case of the Shrinking Brain

The human brain is not the largest of all brains in the animal kingdom, in fact the elephant's brain is significantly larger than that of a humans. Proportionately the human brain is significantly larger in proportion to its body. Also, our brains are 2 percent of our body weight, whereas an elephant's brain is only 0.15 percent of its body.

Your brain continues to grow until you are roughly 18, then around age 30 your brain will actually begin to shrink over time. Although you can still add connections in the brain, since every time you recall a memory or fact, you actually are causing a new connection in your brain. Even learning new things can cause your brain to physically change. It has been found that your brain will change within seven days of learning and continued practicing of a new task. This is one good reason to try to take up new activities such as juggling, playing piano, or a second language. It has also been found that people who are bilingual before the age of five actually have denser brain tissues.

Although many might assume that the smarter you are, the bigger your brain. Einstein's brain was actually smaller than the average brain. Interestingly enough, the portion that deals with math and spatial reasoning was about 15 percent wider than the average persons.

More Interesting Facts about the Brain

  • The brain does not have any pain receptors and therefore cannot feel pain.
  • It is so soft that one could cut it with a butter knife.
  • The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and vice versa.
  • Your brain is most active during dreaming while you are asleep, not while you are awake.
  • You use more than 10 percent of your brain. Every part of the human brain does have a known function, and most of us do use the whole matter.
  • Many scientists do not believe dreaming serves any real purpose, while others feel that we are reorganizing our cluttered minds during our dreams.

© 2010 Angela Michelle

More by this Author

Comments 24 comments

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

JImagain, that is too funny! I will have to check into the fact about the eyes. Interesting?

jimagain profile image

jimagain 4 years ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

What?!! Only a 25 watt bulb? But Uncle Fester powered a hundred watt bulb in his right ear. Bet you didn't find that tid-bit in yor research!

I enjoy reading about the mind and how it works. Another interesting thing I heard on the Brain Science podcast was that they eyes actually develop in the embryo as a part of the brain. If that's true, it would make an interesting fact to add.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Congratulations on retiring! Maybe you could teach me a thing or two. I'm just beginning to teach English to people from Burundi. I'm trying to make it interesting, while learning stuff. It's going to be a challenge. So far things are going really well.

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Um-hum, That's what I meant. I'm talking about those "busy work" ones. For instance, if we are studying adjectives,I'd rather have my students pick one or two magazine pictures I've placed in a bucket and write sentences about the picture using and underlining two or three adjectives than a worksheet. I loved to give my kids index cards and have the kid with the adj. furry find the kid with the noun cat,etc. Or if it IS a worksheet, something like a word search /puzzle to find the adjectives.Anything to keep them engaged instead of bored . I did review the day before a test using multiple choice format and buddy talks.I just retired in August.It feels good to read your work! Nice "talking" to you Angela!!

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Very true bayoulady, but i do feel that worksheets can build dendrites if used appropriately and effectively. I know I often find most worksheets not challenging enough. If you are just repeating words verbatim it's boring. If you are just summarizing what you read, boring. If you, well you get my point. But if you have to critically think to come up with an answer, then the worksheet is effective and building dendrites.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you Garnetbird, I always appreciate your comments. :)

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Goes to show that we teachers who are using multisensory /brain compatible learning in the classroom are right on track. Busy work worksheets don't build dendrites!

Garnetbird 6 years ago

Lovely Hub, well-researched!

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

cwarden. LOL, Good luck with that! Just know you may not be able to prevent it from shrinking, but you can make it denser by learning new knowledge!

cwarden profile image

cwarden 6 years ago from USA

This is really a very interesting hub. The human brain is a very fascinating topic and you did a great job putting together this information. As my brain shrinks, I am hopeful that I can stop it when it reaches Einstein's size!

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Now, I don't believe you can remember things from the womb, but I do believe that writing helps your brain to grow and develop and remember.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I think one reason I keep writing is to keep my brain from deteriorating too fast. The writer Ray Bradbury claims that the more you write the more you remember.He even claimed that he could remember things from the womb.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Same here Fred! Although I think my thought flooding dwindles down late in the evening, because I seriously think I become very slow at night. I'm such a morning person.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Brother Dave, that is such a good point. And definitely worth marveling at. It's also amazing that once someone becomes brain dead, it is at that point they feel you should pull the plug and no sooner.

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you so much David for that high compliment. Coming from you, that means a lot!

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

bigpinelodgebooks... ohhh... I'm intrigued! I'll have to check this out!

fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Fascinating. I know that everyday when I wake up, I experience a flood surge of thought. It's like when a computer boots up. The other thing that happens is, God puts a song in my head, that calms the surge.

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

angela_michelle: The one fact that amazes me is that our life-signs can completely stop, meaning Our heart can stop beating and our breathing cease, and we are considered clinically dead for all intent, but as long as there is brain activity, we are not dead. Now that's the truth and that's amazing.

Brother Dave.

David Stone profile image

David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

Excellent write up, angela_michelle. You provided great information without resorting to a lot of the misleading cliches that are always available. You tackled an extremely difficult subject and managed it gracefully. Thanks.

bigpinelodgebooks profile image

bigpinelodgebooks 6 years ago

Very interesting article. I'm sending you some additional comments (privately) that your brain will marvel at . . .

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

DRBJ, you do have a point! I actually didn't know that he said that. Interesting! I guess Aristotle wasn't smart in all aspects of science. Or before his time, dependent on how you look at it. LOL

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

DiamondRN I 100 hundred percent agree!!!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Thanks for the fascinating brain facts, angela. Aristotle also said, "The brain is an organ of minor importance." He might have been correct if he were describing present day politicians! :)

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

The human brain and its mostly untapped abilities is another wonderful gift from our creator.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.



    Click to Rate This Article