Human Brain Facts by the Numbers
The most complex manifestation of intelligence that we know of resides between our ears.
Here are some incredible numerical facts about the human brain.
1. The typical brain comprises about 2% of the body’s total weight, but uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake.
2. Your brain is 73% water. It takes only 2% dehydration to affect your attention, memory and other cognitive skills.
3. Ninety minutes of sweating can temporarily shrink the brain more than one year of aging does. (6)
4. Your brain weighs about three pounds. Sixty percent of the dry weight is fat, making the brain the fattiest organ in the body.
5. Twenty-five percent of the body’s cholesterol resides within the brain. Cholesterol is an integral part of every brain cell. Without adequate cholesterol, brain cells die.
6. No one knows for sure, but the latest estimate is that our brains contain roughly 86 billion brain cells.
7. Each neuron can transmit 1,000 nerve impulses per second and make as many as tens of thousands of synaptic contacts with other neurons.
8. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all communicating with each other.
9. All brain cells are not alike. There are as many as 10,000 specific types of neurons in the brain.
10. Your brain needs a constant supply of oxygen. As little as five minutes without oxygen can cause some brain cells to die, leading to severe brain damage.
11. Babies have big heads to hold rapidly growing brains. A 2-year-old’s brain is 80% of adult size.
12. As any parent can attest, teenage brains are not fully formed. It isn’t until about the age of 25 that the human brain reaches full maturity.
13. Brain information travels up to an impressive 268 miles per hour. This is faster than Formula 1 race cars which top out at 240 mph.
14. Your brain generates about 12-25 watts of electricity. This is enough to power a low-wattage LED light.
15. There’s a reason the brain has been called a “random thought generator.” The average brain is believed to generate up to 50,000 thoughts per day.
16. Every minute, 750-1,000 milliliters of blood flows through the brain. This is enough to fill a bottle of wine or liter bottle of soda.
17. Your brain can process an image that your eyes have seen for as little as 13 milliseconds — less time than it takes for you to blink.