Some amazing facts about your unbelievable brain


Your brain may be bigger than Einstein’s. (At 2.71 pounds, his weighed 10% less than average.) Your memory may be better than his too. (Seems he couldn’t remember his own phone number.) And yet in the field of theoretical physics, Einstein most likely had you beat.

Why was Einstein’s brain so good at some things and not others? Why is yours?

These are just some of the countless questions about the human brain that, so far, no one has answered. Indeed, in general, “we just don’t know that much about the brain yet,” says Ed Boyden, an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab and McGovern Institute. “Maybe that is the most surprising fact — how little we know about the brain.”

Here are some of the basic facts — along with some of the mind-boggling.

Google Effect

You’re less likely to remember information if you know you can easily access it again.

You’re more likely to remember something if you say it out loud.


Gigabytes of storage space in your brain. The top-of-the-line iPhone 7 has 256.

An iPhone 7 with wireless AirPods. (Apple / TNS)
(Apple / TNS)

86 billion

Interconnected neurons in your brain that send information to one another at speeds of up to 268 mph.


The amount of energy supply your brain gobbles up. If your brain cells ever get too hungry, they may actually start eating one another.

You only feel pain if your brain tells you that you do.

And it only tells you that you do when it receives a message from a pain receptor somewhere in your body.

Woman in pain. (Staras / Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Staras / Getty Images/iStockphoto)


The percentage of the dry part of your brain that is made up of fat. In fact, your brain is the fattiest organ you have. It contains about 25% of all the cholesterol in your body.

Your brain synthesizes most of its own cholesterol.


Your brain needs water. In fact, it’s almost 75% water, and if you get too dehydrated, it can’t perform at the top of its game. That means you get a little dumber temporarily.

Illustration for Health 6/12/00
(Handout /)

Your brain is very wrinkly

The wrinkles let it cram more surface area into a smaller space.

(David Fleetham / PBS)


The number of seconds it takes for a new case of Alzheimer’s disease to develop somewhere in the U.S. By 2050, the rate is predicted to double.


The approximate proportion of Americans with Alzheimer’s who are women.

It’s widely believed that males are better at math than females. But research shows that notion just doesn’t add up.

LOS ANGELES, CA-JULY 28, 2016: Jenny Mendez, 17, left, works on a pre-calculus equation, with help from teacher's assistant Samantha Sharkoff, 20, during the South Central Scholars Summer Academy-college prep program at USC on July 28, 2016. The program is designed to get high achieving students from low-income neighborhoods up to par on science, technology, engineering, and math before attending elite colleges. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)


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