Science says that the human brain is capable of holding vast information—more than what the world’s most sophisticated supercomputers could store. But its storage capacity is not the only thing that makes our brain amazing. It is the fact that such information can fit in an organ that is just some 3 pounds heavy. That is half the weight of our skin!
What makes up the human brain?
First off, the human brain is largely made up of water. In fact, 75% of its composition is water. Of all animals, humans have the largest body to brain ratio; our brains weigh 2% of our total body weight. Other animals such as the elephant have brains that weigh only 0.15% of their total body mass. What accounts for the huge weight difference? The answer lies in the human cerebral cortex. Our cerebrum, responsible for our thinking and movement, takes up 85% of the total brain weight, and is the largest compared to the cerebrum of other animals. The size of our cerebrum thus explains why our thought processes and cognitive faculties are more advanced than any other animal. Another fact is that the brain is about 60% fats, making it the fattest organ in the body.
What is inside the brain?
Well, the brain is made up of both gray and white matter. White matter, which takes up 60% of our brains, contains the dendrites and axons through which neurons transmit signals. Gray matter, on the other hand, takes up the remaining space of the brain and contains the neurons that gather signals from the various sensory receptors found throughout our bodies. Neurons are, of course, not the only things inside the brain. The brain also contains blood vessels which channel the nutrients it needs.
How many blood vessels are there inside the brain?
There is no exact number as to how many blood vessels the brain contains, but if you stretch out and connect all blood vessels, you will go as far as a hundred thousand miles long! Yes, 100,000 miles of blood vessels! Now that is nothing short of amazing.
How many neurons are there?
You might be surprised to know that our brain does not just contain hundreds of neurons; it contains about a hundred billion of them! And all these neurons work and communicate with each other to provide us with the information we need to make sense of our surroundings. Imagine, the number of neurons in your brain is some 15 times the total population of the planet! Without these neurons, we basically fall into a vegetative state.
Does the brain have nerves?
No. Surprised? Although the human brain is the seat of the body’s central nervous system, it itself does not have nerves. This organ is thus the only part of the body that is unable to feel pain.
Do we only use 10% of our brains?
The statement that we only use 10% of our brains is clearly a misconception. When we engage in an activity, we use 100% of our brain because each of its parts has its own respective functions.
How can we optimize our brains?
The answer to that question would be to constantly use it. Continually learning complex information and engaging in mentally stimulating activities will help exercise your cognitive faculties. A healthy diet is also a crucial factor for keeping our brains sharp. After all, our food contains the nutrients that our brain needs. Since most of the time the food that we need lacks the nutrients for our brains, it is best to take dietary supplements like L-carnitine to boost our mental health.
Watch how your brain works: