Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Fun: Five Gross and Goofy Body Facts

1. Your brain is the size of a large grapefruit, and it’s shaped sort of like a head of cauliflower. Its surface is wrinkled like a walnut, and it feels soft and squishy, like a lump of warm butter.

2. Your brain is connected to 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) of nerves that snake through your body like strings of licorice. They carry millions of messages to and from your brain every second—even when you’re asleep.

3. No computer on Earth is as powerful as your brain. It sends out about 6,000,000,000,000 messages every minute. And it can store up to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits of information. Not bad for a 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) lump that’s 78 percent water and 10 percent fat!

4. The world-famous physicist Albert Einstein died in New Jersey in 1955. A doctor removed his brain so people could study it. But the brain got lost. Someone finally found it in a cooler in Kansas in 1978.

5. Which uses up more energy—running a race or taking a test? Seem like a no-brainer? Don’t answer too fast. Your brain uses up to 25 percent of the nutrients you get from food.

Looking for more Gross and Goofy Body facts? Check out my book You’ve Got Nerve: The Secrets of the Brain and Nerves. It’s full of weird, wacky, strange, and surprising information about your body and the bodies of other animals.

Have a great vacation week. I'll be back on February 27.


  1. My favorite was the fact about Einstein! Can you imagine being the person to discover the brain in the cooler?!

  2. No way. That person must have been horrified-shocked-amazed-thrilled.

  3. Found your blog from Kirsten Larson. The brain is only the size of a grapefruit? Really?

    I can't wait to share your blog and books with my kids.

  4. Of course the size of the brain varies somewhat by body size, but on average, it's about the size of a grapefruit. And yet it is so much more powerful than any computer we've ever built. Amazing.

    Thanks for stopping by, Julie.