Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

There is nothing surprising in the fact that many great scientists and geniuses will bequeath their bodies to science after death. Special attention is paid to the brain, as it is trying to find features that make us smarter. The secrets of the genius of Albert Einstein wanted to reveal many. But this desire has somehow grown into a kidnapping.

Great theoretical physicist

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

Albert Einstein draws attention, as one of the greatest scientists, and as a rather strange person with many unusual habits (like dislike of socks - “5 facts about Albert Einstein, which you could not ”). He is called one of the founders of modern theoretical physics (in this field he wrote more than 300 papers).

He managed to greatly influence our perception of the world and the Universe due to the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity. Even at the level of mathematical equations, he was able to predict the existence of black holes and gravity waves. He overthrew Newton's gravity and proposed a new theory. He built the foundation for new physics at the expense of quantum theory, and also allowed on the other hand to look at space and time.

In addition, the scientist managed to make several inventions, such as the original hearing aid and a silent refrigerator. Many dreamed of revealing the secrets of the work of his brain, but he risked only one.

Death of a Genius

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

Albert Einstein died in 1955, when he was 77 years old. At autopsy, they found the cause - an aortic aneurysm. The nurse managed to hear a few words, but they were in German, and the American (it was in Princeton) could not understand anything.

It is known that in the will the scientist insisted on a quiet burial. He did not like pomp and did not want a parade in his honor, but cultivated a personality. Therefore, only close people gathered at the funeral (about a dozen people). The body was burned, and the ashes were dispelled. Here are just a very valuable part of Einstein remained on Earth.

Stolen Brain

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

The autopsy procedure was performed at Princeton Hospital. The local pathologist Thomas Harvey was responsible for this. Of course, he was in awe of the famous physicist, so he took out the brain and kept it in 10% formalin solution. He gave the body to the funeral home and decided to keep the brain in order to uncover the secrets of the scientist's genius.

To do this, Harvey held a large-scale photographing, getting footage of the brain from all angles. He then divided it into 240 blocks and sealed each piece with a colloidal film.

Subsequently, 3 large-scale research works were carried out to study the brain of Einstein. Scientists managed to find a lot of interesting things, but Harvey’s deed was greeted with hostility by both the family and the hospital staff.

Scandal and dismissal

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

The fact is that no one can say for sure whether Einstein was allowed to study his own brain. For example, a biography from Ronald Clark (1970) states that the scientist insisted on it. However, the family did not give any permission, and there was nothing like that in the will.

When they found out about Harvey’s action, he was fired with a scandal and demanded that the brain be returned. But he refused. The pathologist was genuinely surprised at the general indignation. In an interview, he said that it seemed to him for granted that it was necessary to study the brain of one of the most ingenious physicists of our time. Harvey said that he was convinced that there was permission for such research.

However, the facts still say the opposite. Harvey acted against the wishes of his relatives and had no permission from the hospital. He was fired, his wife left, and until the end of his days he had to work in a factory.

What is Einstein's genius?

Albert Einstein's brain was stolen against his will

Since the brain has already been stolen, the scientist’s family has given permission to study after the fact. Research teams performed various manipulations, providing a large amount of data. To better understand the brain, it was compared with samples of the same age of other people.

It turned out that the scientist's brain weighed less than the average. If ordinary men - 1400 g, then he - 1230 g. However, he noticed a large indicator of the density of neurons, which guaranteed heightened mental activity. There were also increased areas responsible for mathematical abilities (15% wider). The expected was the detection of a developed brain area, which is characteristic of left-handed musicians (played the violin). The thickness of the corpus callosum was greater than usual, which ensured more intensive communication and data processing between the two hemispheres. I was surprised by the state of the vessels, because they seemed too “young”, as if this was the brain not of an old man, but of a young guy.


Some experts are still critical of such studies and do not see much sense in them. Among the skeptics listed psychologist Terence Hines. He says that every brain is different. You can try to find a person with the same indicators, but this does not guarantee genius. That is, it is impossible to find talent in the physical parameters of the brain. In addition, it is still difficult to understand: giftedness depends on the structure of the brain, or the brain itself has acquired all these qualities due to the work of Einstein (perhaps he was a genius by nature).

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