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Was Einstein’s Brain Stolen

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The Stolen Brain Of Albert Einstein And What They Discovered When Analyzing It

Einstein’s Brain was Stolen

Albert Einstein is one of the most admired characters in history, due to his incomparable intelligence. The German physicist born in 1879 died on April 18, 1955, after several decades of living in the United States. After the death of Albert Einstein, his brain was rescued and stolen by pathologist Thomas Harvey, while the rest of the scientists body was cremated.

There were so many bows that people made to Albert Einstein, that the German physicist, creator of the theory of relativity, He asked that his body be cremated when he died. because he said: so that people dont go to worship my bones. And the ashes, as he requested before he died, were thrown into the Delaware River.

However, Albert Einsteins body was cremated, but the brain was stolen from the physicists corpse by Thomas Harvey, pathologist on duty who performed the autopsy of the German genius, stealing his brain with the justification of an act in the name of science. Finally, saving organs from some cadavers for study purposes was not uncommon.

Soon, rumors began that Albert Einsteins brain had been stolen. Upon verification, Thomas Harvey was fired by the Princeton Hospital but the pathologist took Einsteins brain and then he was hired by the University of Pennsylvania.

Why Steal Einsteins Brain

Dr. Harvey wanted to see if Einsteins brain could shed insight on the nature of genius. He sectioned over 200 pieces of the brain and sent them to neuropathologists. The remainder of the brain was placed in formalin-filled jars.

Though not a brain specialist himself, Harvey also conducted his own research on Einsteins brain. When asked about his findings, he replied he was only a year away from publishing his research. He continued to give this answer for the next forty years never publishing any findings.

Slices of Einsteins Brain

Was It Really Different From The Average Brain

in Experimental Neurology in 1985, the first study of Albert Einsteins stolen brain revealed that it did indeed appear physically different from the average brain.

The genius reportedly had an above average amount of glial cells, which keep the neurons in the brain oxygenated and, therefore, engaged.

A subsequent study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996 asserted that these neurons were also more tightly packed than usual and thus possibly allowed for faster processing of information.

Three years later, a third study of Harveys photos posited that Einsteins inferior parietal lobule was wider than average, which might have made him a more visual thinker than most.

And more recently, a 2012 study claimed that Einsteins brain featured an extra ridge in its mid-frontal lobe, an area associated with plan-making and memory.

But there are many who criticize these studies, like Pace University psychologist Terence Hines who referred to them as a kind of neuromythology.

As he emphatically asserted, You cant take just one brain of someone who is different from everyone else and we pretty much all are and say, Ah-ha! I have found the thing that makes T. Hines a stamp collector!

Mütter MuseumSections of Albert Einsteins stolen brain and Dr. Thomas Harveys signature at the Mütter Museum.

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The Man Who Stole Einsteins Brain

When Albert Einstein died on April 17, 1955, his wishes were to be cremated and his ashes scattered. Einstein was concerned about the exploitation that could occur after his death which would rob his family of their privacy. Thomas Harvey, MD, the pathologist on duty in the Princeton Hospital where Einstein died, stole the brain and days later obtained reluctant permission from Einsteins son to study his fathers brain. Harvey preserved the brain in slides, but stored them poorly in a wooden crate in his basement and it wasnt until his wife insisted that he get rid of the brain that he took steps to move Einsteins brain and begin the process of his study and distribution to other scientists. Harveys professional life became disorganized with multiple career moves and ultimately the loss of his medical license. He went to work on an assembly line in a Kansas factory and drank with his neighbor, the writer William Boroughs, and boasted about having Einsteins brain in storage. As time went on, Einsteins brain was subject to multiple studies and speculations developed about the brain of this genius. Did he have more neurons and glial cells? Were there more folds in his brain? It appears that those studies were flawed and that the samples deteriorated as they aged.

What Did They Find When Analyzing The Brain Of Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein Ka dimag kis ne chori kia???Who Stolen Albert Einstein ...

The 240 pieces in which pathologist Thomas Harvey preserved Albert Einsteins brain were portrayed in hundreds of slides, which he sent to researchers, since he did not have the knowledge to analyze this organ.

Thomas Harvey was rejected by several neurologists who offered to analyze the pieces of Albert Einsteins brain, which he kept in bottles with alcohol in the basement of his house. Virtually no one trusted the word of the pathologist about the possession of the brain of the German physicist.

Finally, neurologists did look at it, but they didnt take it seriously, and Thomas Harvey continued to seek expert help. It was not until 1978, after an interview for the New Jersey Monthly, that prestigious scientists from the UC Berkeley they were interested in the brain of Albert Einstein.

After several years of analysis in 1985 the results were published: Einsteins brain had more glial cells than a normal person. It was the first of many studies that yielded more interesting results.

Among them, it was found that Albert Einsteins brain had an abnormal proportion of neurons and gliar cells, which could explain the almost inexplicable intelligence of the German physicist.

In 2013, six years after the death of Thomas Harvey, new analyzes showed that Albert Einsteins brain had much better nerve connections than a normal organ.

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How Long Was The Brain With Dr Thomas Harvey The Crazy 4 Decades With The Brain

Harvey kept Einsteins brain for himself for 40 years. He eventually died in 2006. Furthermore, people have always shown interest in Einsteins brain. He had to shift to a lot of places because of the brain. There he took a bunch of different jobs. He was relieved of being a neurologist.

The 4 decades of running and surviving by Dr. Thomas Harvey gave us:

  • Countless articles
  • A novel

Did You Know Einsteins Brain Was Stolen Cut Into Pieces And Studied To Unlock The Mystery Behind His Intelligence

Best known for developing the general theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence, one of the most absent-minded genius physicists, Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Germany.

His scholarly feats have made the name of Einstein synonymous with Genius. When he passed away on April 18, in the year 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey, from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, his brain was stolen by the pathologist on call, Thomas Harveys.

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Scientists Tried To Understand The Secret Behind Einsteins Intelligence And Someone Wanted To Keep It For Themselves

Albert Einstein is considered to be the brightest mind this world has ever seen and for good reasons. His achievements within the scientific field had changed the world as well as the way we see life. Throughout his career, many biologists tried to understand what exactly was different at an anatomical level that made him so intelligent?

As sad as it may sound, many of those who had the interest to discover what was the secret awaited his death so they could dissect him. Einstein already knew that his brain was of great interest and he told his family that he does not want his brain studied. His last wishes were for his body to be cremated and his ashes scattered secretly so that no fanatic would take them.

Around April 1955, Einstein started to fall ill. Brian Burrel had published a book in 2005 entitled, Postcards from the Brain Museum in which he described that Einstein knew that his time was coming. On April 18th, 1955 Einstein was rushed to Princeton Hospital where he passed a couple of hours later, at the age of 76.

Einsteins Brain Was Different From Other Peoples

Who stole Einstein’s Brain? | Einstein Brain Story | Albert Einstein brain facts | Was Brain Stolen?

A new study led by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk has revealed that portions of the brain of Albert Einstein are unlike those of most people. The differences could relate to Einsteins unique discoveries about the nature of space and time. Falks team used photographs of Einsteins brain, taken shortly after his death, but not previously analyzed in detail. The photographs showed that Einsteins brain had an unusually complex pattern of convolutions in the prefrontal cortex, which is important for abstract thinking.

In other words, Einsteins brain actually looks different from yours or mine. Falk and her team their work on November 16, 2012 in the journal Brain.

Falk and her colleagues obtained 12 original photographs of Einsteins brain from the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. They analyzed the photos and compared the patterns of convoluted ridges and furrows in Einsteins prefrontal cortex with those of 85 brains described in other studies. According to an article in Nature, many of the photographs were taken from unusual angles. They apparently show brain structures that werent visible in previously analyzed photos.

Albert Einstein is considered to be one of the most intelligent people that ever lived, so researchers are naturally curious about what made his brain tick.

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What Happened To The Brain Of Einstein Afterwards

Harvey soon lost his job at the Princeton hospital and took the brain to Philadelphia. He carved the brain responsible for the equation E=mc2 into 240 pieces. The parts were preserved in celloidin- a hard and rubbery form of cellulose. He put the pieces into two jars and stored them in his basement.

Harvey travelled to different parts of the world carrying the parts of the brain with him.

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In the year 1985, Harvey and collaborators in California published the first study on Einstein’s brain. It claimed that it had an abnormal proportion of two types of cells, neurons and glia. The study was followed by five others, reporting additional differences in individual cells or in particular structures in Einstein’s brain.

However, the studies were controversial with Terence Hines, a professor of psychology at Pace University, branding them as bunk. He presented a poster at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting outlining all of the ways in which each of the six studies was flawed.

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The Day Of Einsteins Autopsy

On the day of the autopsy, two professionals, friends with each other, Dr. Harry Zimmerman and Dr. Thomas Harvey , were talking about who would do the work. In the end the task fell to Harvey. He wanted the honor of working with the most admired character of the day, and Zimmerman thought it only fair to let his former student have that honor.

Harvey came face to face with Einstein, determined that the cause of his death was an abdominal aortic aneurysm which they had already warned the Physicist in his lifetime could happen if he did not undergo an operation. But Einstein flatly refused to have surgery and decided that he did not want to extend his life.

During the autopsy, Harvey was in absolute concentration, living his moment, his moment with genius. He had been the person chosen among all humans to attend to an icon in history in his last corporeal process, before turning back to stardust. Even though there were a couple more people watching, there was no one to him except him and his inert visitor.

He felt it was his duty to solve some mysteries. The questions were already a swarm of questions in his head. What had made Einstein different from other mortals? Where did his ability to solve science riddles lie? Where was the engine of that genius? Were the answers a couple of incisions away? Was the possibility of solving this mystery about to be cremated? He couldnt allow it. I couldnt help but find out!

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The Strange Afterlife Of Einstein’s Brain

Einstein’s death 60 years ago was just the start of a strange journey for the most prized part of his anatomy, his brain. Stored in jars and on slides, it is still inspiring awe and scholarly research.

At 01:15 in the morning of 18 April 1955, Albert Einstein – theoretical physicist, peace campaigner and undisputed genius – mumbled a few words in German, took two breaths, and died. The nurse on duty at Princeton Hospital did not speak German and the meaning of Einstein’s final words was lost forever.

Einstein’s cremation took place later that day in Trenton, New Jersey, but the following day his son, Hans Albert, learned that the body in the coffin had not been intact. A front-page article in the New York Times reported that “the brain that worked out the theory of relativity and made possible the development of nuclear fission” had been removed “for scientific study”.

The pathologist who conducted the autopsy, Dr Thomas Harvey, had gone further than simply identifying the cause of death – a burst aorta. He had sawed open Einstein’s cranium and removed its celebrated contents.

“He had some big professional hopes pinned on that brain,” says Carolyn Abraham, who met Harvey while researching her book Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain. “I think he had hoped to make a name for himself in medicine in a way that he had been unable to do. And then he comes to work one morning and finds Albert Einstein on his autopsy table.”

Albert Einsteins Brain Was Stolen By Thomas Harvey


Born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, Albert Einstein left behind an untouchable legacy, from befriending Charlie Chaplin and escaping Nazi Germany to redefining the study of physics.

Respected all over the world for his genius, it was theorized by many in the scientific community that his brain might actually be physically different from the average human mind. So when he died at age 76 of a burst aorta in Princeton Hospital, his brain was immediately removed from his body by Thomas Harvey.

According to Carolyn Abraham, author of Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einsteins Brain, Harvey had some big professional hopes pinned on that brain and likely figured that the organ might further his career in medicine.

Not only did Harvey steal Albert Einsteins brain, but he also removed the physicists eyes, which he then gave to Einsteins ophthalmologist.

The rest of Einsteins body was cremated in Trenton, New Jersey, on April 20, at which time his son, Hans Albert Einstein, learned what Harvey had done. He eventually agreed that the brain could be studied, but only on the condition that those studies be published in scientific journals of high standing.

Harvey went on to meticulously document and photograph the brain. He weighed it at 1,230 grams, which was reportedly lighter than the average for men of Einsteins age. He then sliced the brain into 240 chunks which he also photographed and of which he even commissioned a painting.

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Brains Of Other Geniuses

Preserving the brains of geniuses was not a new phenomenonanother brain to be preserved and discussed in a similar manner was that of the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss almost a hundred years earlier. His brain was studied by Rudolf Wagner who found its weight to be 1,492 grams and the cerebral area equal to 219,588 square millimeters. Also found were highly developed convolutions, which was suggested as the explanation of his genius. Other brains that were removed and studied include those of Vladimir Lenin, the mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya, and the Native American Ishi. The brain of Edward H. Rulloff, a noted philologist and criminal, was removed after his death in 1871 in 1972, it was still the second largest brain on record.

Who Stole Einsteins Brain

Albert Einstein died on 18th April 1955. He took his last breath at the prestigious Princeton Hospital situated in New Jersey. At that time, the nurse taking care of Albert Einstein didnt know German. Therefore, Einsteins last words remain unknown.

Dr. Thomas Harvey was given the responsibility of finding out the cause of Einsteins death. But, he had other plans. In the end, without advice or permission from anyone, Harvey made a huge decision. This decision was responsible for the next 4 decades of his life.

But his crazy decision gave us:

  • Many kinds of knowledge about our brains have grown.
  • Many new technologies have been discovered.

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Did You Know Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen Cut Into Pieces And Studied To Unlock The Mystery Behind His Intelligence

Best known for developing the general theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence, one of the most absent-minded genius physicists, Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Germany.

His scholarly feats have made the name of Einstein synonymous with ‘Genius’. When he passed away on April 18, in the year 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey, from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, his brain was stolen by the pathologist on call, Thomas Harveys.

Why Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen

Who Stole Albert Einstein’s Brain and Chopped it | Albert Einstein Stolen Brain Story

Although Einstein did not want his brain or body to be studied or worshipped, while performing the autopsy, Princeton pathologist Thomas Harvey removed the scientist’s brain without permission and kept it aside in the hope of unlocking the secrets of his genius.

He had left behind specific instructions regarding his remains: cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters.

Postcards from the Brain Museum.

Later, after he was able to get the approval of Einstein’s son, Harvey chopped the brain into pieces and sent it to various scientists for research.

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