The Brain: Fun Facts. Continuing the celebration of Brain Awareness Week.
• There are about 86 billion neurons in the human brain, similar to the stars in our galaxy. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses. Now, that’s a network!
• Your brain weighs 3 pounds but your skin weighs twice as much. Although only ~ 2 % of your body weight, your brain consumes 20% of your oxygen supply. An elephant’s brain is physically larger than a human brain, it is only 0.15% of its total body weight, whereas the ant has the largest brain in proportion to body size.
• The speed at which information travels down a nerve (action potential) can vary from 100 meters per second (224 miles per hour) to less than a tenth of a meter per second (0.6 miles per hour).
• There are no pain receptors in the brain. This explains how brain surgery can be performed with the patient fully conscious. So why do you have a headache?
• The brain is pink, not grey, because of blood flowing through 100,000 miles of blood vessels. This is the equivalent of 3 full soda cans of blood flow through the brain each minute.
• Nearly 80% of your brain is water. It is also one of the fattiest tissues (hence the term, fathead).