A Hungarian man was shot in the frontal lobe during World War 1, making it impossible for him to fall asleep. He continued to live a full, sleepless life.
American speech is punctuated with “uh” & “um”, English speech with “er” & “erm”, Japanese with “ā”, “anō”, & “ēto”, German with “äh”, French with “euh”– basically, every language uses different sounds to interrupt themselves while their brain is working on forming thoughts into words.
A man lost about 50%-75% of his brain to hydrocephalus (water on the brian) but still led a normal life. They believe the fluid filled so slowly over his life that the brain remapped itself to function despite the loss of mass.
It is literally impossible for our brains to multi-task; when we think we’re multi-tasking, we’re actually context-switching, which is quickly switching back-and-forth between different tasks, rather than doing them at the same time.
Ferdinando Pavoni, an Italian physicist stopped falling asleep in 1890, and never slept over the next 60 years. He had no ill effects on his health or energy levels and went on to live till the age of 80.
In 1989, an Army veteran told of seeing a friend decapitated in a car crash. According to the story, the severed head showed emotions of shock, followed by terror and grief, its eyes glancing back at its separated body. Recent animal studies lend some credence to this chilling story. If true in humans, the head remain briefly conscious after decapitation, providing enough time for a strange and terrifying experience.
The falling sensation sometimes experienced right before falling asleep known as a “Hypnic Jerk” is an evolutionary trait found in most primates. The brain misinterprets muscle relaxation and onset of sleep as a signal that you’re falling out of a tree, waking you suddenly.
An estimated one third of the population will often sneeze when looking at the sun or a bright source of light; this is due to a genetic quirk known as the photic sneeze reflex; a condition described by neurologists as having to do with crossed wires in the brain.
There are three things that your brain cannot naturally ignore: food, attractive people, and danger.
During WWI, a Hungarian soldier named Paul Kern was shot in the frontal lobe, making him unable to fall asleep. He lived for years afterwards, and no one knows how.