Your brain is extraordinary and these seven facts really prove it. It is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses. The brain is made up of many specialized areas that work together: The cortex is the outermost layer of brain cells.
- Your brain takes up about 230-470 square inches of surface area. Just to put that in perspective, the average spinal cord is only about 19 inches long.
- 2. In ancient times, the brain was seen as a relatively unimportant organ. Much greater emphasis was placed on the stomach and the heart. The ancient Egyptians famously removed the entire brain as part of the mummification process.
- That being said, the ancient Egyptians had a keen understanding of the human brain. A document from 1700 B.C. contains Egyptian knowledge of various head injuries and treatments, as well as descriptions of the wrinkles and fluid in the brain.
- Historic human remains found in South America feature “skull holes.” Scientists discovered that these skull holes were deliberately made as part of a misguided attempt to treat headaches and brain disease. This painful process was also used to get rid of evil spirits.
- Aristotle believed that the heart was responsible for a person’s thoughts. In contrast, he believed that the brain was a relatively unimportant organ that was used to regulate the heart’s temperature.
- Alcmaeon of Croton was the first person to argue that human thought took place in the brain. This ancient Greek intellectual also stated that the eyes process light and contain optic nerves that connect to the brain.
- If you were to poke around in a brain, you would find that it has the consistency of tofu. Three-quarters of its mass is water.