50 Interesting Brain Facts with Stories

50 Unbelievable and Equally Interesting Brain Facts with Surprising Stories

Our brains allow us to process the world, understand everything around us, and learn new things. Paradoxically, we are still very unaware of how our own brains function. However, modern neuroscience and cognitive sciences have made great strides in understanding the effect our brains have on everyday function. With that comes a wealth of knowledge in brain facts that you probably didn’t know. Here are 50 interesting Brain Facts and stories about the human brain that are sure to blow your mind.

The Enigmatic Color: Magenta

interesting brain facts our brain just make up the color magenta
Magenta color and brain function. Source: Fact blaze :brain facts

Nearly all colors have a physical wavelength associated with them, but the color magenta doesn’t. Rather, your brain is simply processing the color as not green. Unlike most colors, magenta doesn’t have a specific physical wavelength. Instead, what we perceive as magenta is essentially our brain’s way of processing colors and identifying them as “not green.” It’s a unique quirk of human perception that makes magenta stand out from the traditional rainbow of colors.

The Vigilant Brain at Night

interesting brain facts brain remains awake at night in new environment
Source: FactBlaze- Brain Facts

When you find yourself sleeping in a new environment for the first time, the brain processes danger and remains half-awake in order to be more aware.  Your brain instinctively perceives potential danger and remains partially awake to enhance your awareness and readiness to respond to unfamiliar surroundings. This is a protective mechanism evolved over time to ensure your safety in unfamiliar situations.

Gut Feeling: Stomach Health and Mental Well-being

brain facts brain and gut are connected

According to researchers at UCLA, humans have been observed to have their first bout with anxiety or depression right after stomach illness. Utilizing brain scans, they found that patients who ate probiotics had their brains directly affected by the bacteria. All of their research suggests that stomach microbial health has a much greater effect on your brain than once thought.

From Stereo Blindness to 3D Vision

man saw the world in interesting brain facts 3d for the first time after watching 3d movie
source: (Brain Facts story)

A man by the name of Bruce Bridgman spent nearly his entire life, 67 years, without the ability of depth perception, called stereo blindness. However, after being forced to purchase 3D glasses to watch the movie Hugo in theaters, his brain clicked and was able to experience 3D vision for the first time.

The Curious Case of Charles Osborne, Who Hiccupped for 68 Years Straight

A man in the UK had chronic hiccups for 68 years of his life and was told that it was likely caused by heartburn. After a Japanese TV show picked up the strange phenomena and paid for medical testing, a brain tumor was discovered. Once the man had the brain tumor removed, his chronic hiccups went away for good.

Alcohol and Memory: The Blackout Effect

Blacking out from drinking is actually caused by the effect of alcohol on the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory. You’re not physically forgetting anything; rather, your brain becomes incapable of storing and recording new memories. During such episodes, people not actually erasing memories; instead, the alcohol impairs their brain’s ability to form and retain new memories, leaving gaps in your recollection of events.

Tears of Joy and Sadness

brain can't distinguish the difference between strong happiness and strong sadness

We cry when we’re very happy because the hypothalamus in our brain can’t distinguish the difference between strong happiness and strong sadness. What this means is that the part of our brain called the hypothalamus, which plays a role in regulating emotions, can’t always tell the difference between extreme happiness and profound sadness. As a result, it can trigger tears in both situations, whether we’re incredibly happy or very sad. This shows how closely linked our emotions are, and sometimes they can overlap, leading to tears of joy or sadness in response to strong feelings.

Music’s Emotional Impact: Chills and Dopamine

Music's Emotional Impact Chills and Dopamine

We get chills when we listen to music as a result of our brain releasing dopamine when a song moves you. The anticipation from a peak movement in the song triggers the release. When we listen to music and experience chills, it’s because our brains release dopamine in response to a song that deeply moves us. This release of dopamine is typically triggered by the anticipation we feel as the music builds towards a powerful moment, such as a peak in the melody or lyrics

The Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement

The Devastating Effects of Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement can actually cause extreme neurological damage to human brains, so much so that it can be seen on an EEG scan, and the brains of solitary prisoners have the same indicators as people who have had traumatic injuries. This suggests that the psychological stress and extreme social isolation endured in solitary confinement can be as damaging to the brain as physical injuries.

Brain Cleaning During Sleep

Brain Cleaning During Sleep
Source: Fact blaze (Brain Facts)

While we sleep, our spinal fluid flows through the brain on the outside of the brain’s blood vessels. This removes brain cell waste, specifically the build-up of amyloid beta proteins. This only occurs during sleep, and a buildup of these proteins that get cleaned has been linked to greater risks of Alzheimer’s.

Vision Reversed: Adapting to New Realities

A scientist by the name of Theodore Arismen created goggles that completely flip his vision. At first, he struggled with the flipped perception, but within just five days, his brain adapted to the change, and he saw everything as normal. This type of adaptation is also well demonstrated by YouTuber Smarter Every day, who forgot how to ride a bike and relearned the task with flipped steering.

Alzheimer’s: The Brain’s Resistance to Insulin

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a resistance to insulin in the brain, causing many to refer to it as type 3 diabetes. Researches proved that this disease arises due to brain insulin resistance, akin to the insulin resistance seen in type 2 diabetes in the body. This resistance impairs the brain’s ability to efficiently use glucose for energy and contributes significantly to Alzheimer’s development and progression. Consequently, some experts label Alzheimer’s as ‘type 3 diabetes’ to underscore the pivotal role of insulin-related issues in this complex neurological condition.

Brain Power vs. Supercomputers

The world’s fastest supercomputer requires 24 million watts of power to operate. Our brains only require 20 watts and operate at about 100,000 times as fast.

Exercise: Slowing Brain Aging

Exercise slows our brains’ cognitive decline, and increased physical activity over the norm can slow our brains’ aging by 10 years.

Oxygen Supply to the Brain

Human brains receive 20% of the total oxygen from our bodies, even though they only represent 2% of our body’s weight.

Directional Languages and the Compass Brain

Certain languages do not have terms for left-right, front, or back, and rather use the terms north, south, east, west. People raised in these languages have been found to always know what direction they’re oriented, resulting in a type of compass brain. Go for more amazing brain facts.

Dehydration’s Impact on Brain Function

73 percent of your brain is just water, which means that if you get dehydrated by more than two percent, you can suffer from a loss of attention, cognitive skills, and memory.

Baby Brains: A Rapid Growth Spurt

Babies’ brains grow rapidly. A two-year-old baby will have an 80% fully grown brain. This rapid development is why paying close attention to your child’s development in the early years is so impactful to their ability as an adult.

Lightning-Fast Information Transfer

Information transfer in our brains occurs at a rate equivalent to 260 miles per hour.

The Brain’s Oxygen Boost: Yawning:

Yawning is actually a reaction that sends more oxygen to your brain. Reptiles, birds, and mammals all yawn, and it’s controlled by neurotransmitters in the brain.

The Cerebellum: Master of Coordination

The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for posture, walking, and movement coordination. It is located in the back of the brain and weighs 150 grams.

The Mystery of Brain Hemispheres

The human brain is split into two sides, with each interacting with the opposite side of the body. While this interaction is known, the reason for it is still not fully understood.

Brain’s Vascular Network

Within your brain, there are 150,000 miles of blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to various parts of the organ.

Seafood and Memory Boost

You can actually improve your memory if you choose to eat seafood regularly. The fatty acids in these foods improve the memory-storing parts of your brain.

Lifelong Brain Development

The human brain continues to develop until your late 40s. It is the only organ in the body that develops for this long of a time and sees more changes than any other organ as well.

Brain’s Lightning Speed: 100,000 Reactions per Second

Every second, there are 100,000 chemical reactions happening in the human brain. Go for more fascinating brain facts.

Pruning Neurons: Baby Brain Development

Babies lose about half their neurons before they are born. This is referred to as pruning and eliminates any brain neurons that don’t receive a sufficient input from other areas of the brain.

Mother’s Words Shape Young Minds

Studies have found that when mothers speak to their babies, the children learn on average 300 more words by the age of 2.

EEGs and Brain Activity

EEGs, or an electroencephalogram, is a non-invasive imaging technique that is used to record small changes of electrical activity in the brain. Utilizing surface electrodes on the scalp, scientists can study many aspects of the brain utilizing this technique. Tiny fluctuations in the EEG signals indicate whether a person is asleep, aroused, or somewhere in between.

The Impact of Human Touch on Brain Growth

Researchers from Baylor University have discovered that children who are deprived of human touch, play, and interaction with others have 20 to 30% smaller brains than what is normal for their age. Child abuse can thus inhibit brain development in a child and negatively affect their lifetime brain development.

The Pain-Free Brain

The brain cannot experience pain. This allows neurosurgeons to probe areas within the brain while patients are awake. They can then get real-time feedback from each patient, allowing them to pinpoint particular regions like for speech or movement.

Pupillary Light Reflex: A Window to Brain Health

The reaction of our pupils constricting when they’re exposed to bright light is called the pupillary light reflex. This reflex is used by doctors to determine whether the reflex pathway to the brain has been disrupted. If one or both of your eyes fails to produce the reflex, then doctors can work to pinpoint the exact location of the disconnect.

Epilepsy: A Global Neurological Condition

0.5% of the population of the world has epilepsy; however, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 people will have a seizure within their lifetime.

The Paradox of Itching and Scratching:

Scratching an itch is actually a strange biological response from a medical perspective. It seems to hinder the healing process rather than help it. Researchers believe that we itch because scratching thus damages the skin. It causes a fresh rush of endorphins to help with the pain.

Strengthening Memories with Recollection

Every time that you remember something, you in turn strengthen that memory in your brain. Whenever the neural pathways of a memory are exercised, your brain makes new connections. The older and more times a memory has been remembered, the stronger that memory is.

Dreaming and Memory Decay

During sleep, your body produces a hormone that prevents you from getting up and acting out your dreams. Five minutes after a dream, your body has already forgotten half of it. In 10 minutes later, it’s 90% gone from your memory.

The Brain’s Computational Power

Our brains can compute 10 to the 13th and up to 10 to the 16th operations per second. This is equivalent to 1 million times the number of people on Earth. In theory, brains are capable of solving problems faster than any computer in the world, perhaps better than any computer that will ever exist.

Nourishing the Brain for Health

Good nutrition is incredibly important for brain health. Dieting can force the brain to start eating itself, and malnourished fetuses or infants can suffer from cognitive and behavioral deficits. Babies need proper nourishment because their brains use up to 50% of their total glucose supply, another reason why they may need so much sleep.

The Thought-Filled Mind

Humans experience 70,000 thoughts each day. These thoughts cover everything from breakfast choices to pondering the mysteries of the universe. It’s like a continuous thought marathon, showcasing the amazing way our brains keep us thinking and exploring. So, simply put, our minds are bustling with thousands of thoughts daily, making it one vibrant place!

The Power of Smell: A Mood Changer

Another surprising brain fact is that Our sense of smell is the only sense that is directly linked to our limbic system. This part of the brain specializes in physical, emotional, and psychological responses. This all means that good smells can change our moods drastically in a snap.

London Taxi Drivers and Brain Growth

A group of researchers studied London taxi drivers and found that they had a larger hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. This suggests that the more you are forced to memorize, the larger this part of your brain grows.

Harmonizing Brains with Music

Making music may actually have a quantifiable effect on your brain. When you hook up guitar players to electrodes, researchers discovered that brain waves of musicians synchronize when they play duets.

Brain Weight and Intelligence

The average weight of brains for men is 2.9 pounds, and for women, 2.6 pounds. However, that doesn’t correlate to higher intelligence. For example, Einstein’s brain weighed just 2.7 pounds.

Contemplating the Self: A Unique Ability

The brain is the only object in the world that can contemplate itself. Think about this: your brain is one-of-a-kind. It has an incredible superpower that nothing else in the world can do. What’s that? It can think about itself! That’s right, your brain is the only thing that can contemplate itself. It can reflect on its own thoughts, feelings, and even its existence. It’s like your brain has a mirror inside, allowing it to ponder its own mysteries. This remarkable ability makes your brain truly special. Isn’t it an interesting brain fact? If think it’s not then go ahead to blow your mind.

Stress and Brain Overload

Chronic exposure to stress actually overloads your brain with hormones that are only intended for short-term emergency functions. In turn, which means that long-term exposure can kill brain cells.

Traumatic Brain Injury: A Leading Cause of Disability

Of people ages 1 to 44, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death. Most commonly involved are falls, motor vehicle crashes, and assaults.

The Shrinking Brain Mystery

The average size of the human brain has decreased by 9 cubic inches over a period of the last 5,000 years. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

Deja Vu: A Brain Glitch

Deja vu hasn’t been fully explained. Scientists think that it’s actually a neurological glitch caused by something being registered in memory before conscious thought. Ever had that strange feeling of deja vu, like you’ve experienced something before even though it’s brand new? Well, scientists think it’s not magic but a little hiccup in our brains. Its one of the most fascination brain facts. Imagine your brain recording a memory before you realize it, like a sneak peek before the main show. That’s deja vu! It’s like your brain playing tricks with time, making things feel familiar when they shouldn’t. While it’s not completely understood, it’s a cool brain mystery that keeps scientists and curious folks wondering.

Light and Brain Jolts

What seems like random light when you hit your head is actually just jolts to brain cells responsible for vision. These visual “loosenations” are just simple responses to being jarred.

The Fluid Surrounding the Brain

Adult brains contain 126 to 150 milliliters of cerebrospinal fluid. This is three times as much as infants, and the full volume is replaced three to four times each day.

So here was our 50 interesting brain facts. In the world of brains, there’s a lot to marvel at. From our efficient 20-watt power usage to the mysteries of memory and emotion, our brains are always buzzing. We’ve explored curious connections, like why we cry when we’re happy and why music gives us chills. We’ve delved into brain quirks, from sudden 3D vision to hiccups linked to brain tumors. And through it all, we’ve uncovered the brain’s role in shaping who we are. As we keep learning, one thing’s clear: the human brain is a remarkable wonder that keeps surprising us.

More Common Brain Facts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Interesting Facts About the Brain

What is a Brain?

A brain is a complex and essential organ that serves as the command center of the nervous system, controlling various bodily functions and cognitive processes.

How Does the Brain Work?

The brain processes sensory input, triggers movements, stores and retrieves memories, and facilitates thinking, learning, and emotions. It does so through a complex network of neurons and synapses.

What is the Function of the Brain?

The brain is responsible for orchestrating a wide range of functions, including motor control, perception, memory formation, emotions, and higher-order cognitive activities like reasoning and decision-making.

How Many Brain Cells Do I Have?

On average, the human brain contains around 86 billion neurons, specialized cells that transmit electrical signals and enable communication throughout the nervous system.

Where is the Brain Located?

The brain is located inside the skull, protected by layers of bone and fluid. It sits atop the spinal cord and serves as the central processing unit of the body.

What Does the Cerebrum Control?

The cerebrum, the largest part of the brain, is responsible for conscious thought, voluntary actions, perception, and sensory processing.

Is the Brain an Organ?

Yes, the brain is a vital organ that controls all physiological and cognitive functions in the body.

What Percentage of Your Brain Do You Use?

Contrary to the popular myth, humans use nearly their entire brain. Different areas of the brain work together to accomplish various tasks and functions.

What Does the Human Brain Weigh?

The weight of the human brain averages around 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), making it a relatively small yet incredibly powerful organ.

How Many Neurons in the Human Body?

The human body contains an estimated 100 billion neurons, which form intricate connections and pathways within the brain and nervous system.

What is the Largest Part of the Brain?

The cerebrum, often referred to as the “thinking” part of the brain, is the largest and most developed region, responsible for intricate cognitive functions and conscious awareness.

What Does the Cerebrum Do?

The cerebrum controls a wide range of activities, including sensory perception, language processing, problem-solving, decision-making, and creative thinking.

How Much Does a Brain Weigh?

An average adult brain weighs around 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), which accounts for approximately 2% of the body’s total weight.

How Big is a Human Brain?

The human brain is roughly the size of two clenched fists and fits snugly within the skull’s protective confines.

How Many Neurons in a Human Brain?

A typical human brain houses approximately 86 billion neurons, each forming countless connections to facilitate communication and information processing.

Which Part of the Brain Controls Thinking?

The cerebral cortex, located in the outer layer of the cerebrum, plays a crucial role in cognitive functions such as thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving.

What Does the Back of the Brain Control?

The back of the brain, including the occipital lobes, is primarily responsible for processing visual information and allowing us to see and interpret the world around us.

What Percentage of the Brain is Water?

About 75% of the brain is composed of water, highlighting the brain’s need for hydration to maintain optimal function.

Is the Brain a Muscle?

No, the brain is not a muscle. It is a complex organ made up of neurons, glial cells, and various interconnected structures.

How Does the Human Brain Work?

The human brain operates through intricate electrical and chemical signals exchanged among neurons, allowing for information processing, memory formation, and diverse cognitive tasks.

How Much of the Brain Do We Use?

Contrary to the misconception, humans use a significant portion of their brain throughout their daily lives, engaging various areas for different tasks and functions.

These frequently asked questions offer deeper insights into the fascinating realm of the brain, covering its structure, functions, and various aspects that contribute to our understanding of this remarkable organ.