Our brain is the most complex object in the universe. And with over 7.146 billion models, it is also the most ubiquitous.
However, despite using it every day, we are also unsure of how complex it really is. We still don’t really understand how it works.
The three point three pound wet mass – grey on the outside and whitish pink on the inside – controls everything that we ever do.
That’s why this below video is remarkable. For most of you, this will be the first time you see a brain in flesh, as it is removed straight from autopsy.
As neuroanatomist Suzanne Strensaas says in the video, most of us tend to think that the brain is like a rubber ball. However, if you’re a trauma surgeon or a neurosurgeon, you realize that the brain is really very, very soft and much more vulnerable than the impression you get from textbooks.
As she holds the 1.4 kg (3lbs) brain in both palms, it’s crazy to realize that that was someone’s entire set of life experiences.
As Suzanne explains, the cancer patient whose autopsy this brain is from, died from cell transplant complications. It’s truly a remarkable gift to science that this patient donated their body.
This video is also important for helping us realize how fragile our brains really are.
You can see how much care needs to be taken when handling the brain. Even though the brain is suspended in the skull and surrounded by spinal fluid to act as a cushion, it really doesn’t take a significant amount of force to cause injury. One good hit on the football field, a fall down some steps or even falling off a bicycle can be enough.
Here is the whole video. It’s also probably important to warn you that it is quite graphic (but also amazing at the same time).