How Long Can A Human Survive Without A Brain?

The human brain. It's the command center of the body. It tells your meat bits where to go, when to breathe, and whether or not to pump blood all around its insides. But do we really need it? Like, need need? It's nice to have, sure, but what if you could scoop the old gray matter out and be done with it?

There would be benefits, sure. For one thing, you'd be down three pounds of fat instantaneously. You'd never get Smash Mouth stuck in your head again. You could stop worrying about whether the electoral college is good or bad for democracy. But surely there would also be some down sides, like how you'd die and be dead. Still, death is the long term side effect of just about any action. How long could you put it off if your gray matter got sucked out of your nose with a wet vac?

Not long, unsurprisingly.

Make it brain on them toes

There are lots of ways for your brain to come out of your head: mad science, or trying to knock loose your swimmer's ear, or being a cartoon character who sees something so scary that your hair and your scalp fly off of your head. In any event, it'll lead to pretty immediate death.

Technically, in the United States, a person is considered legally dead once they've lost all brain function, which is a pretty difficult symptom to avoid if you don't have a brain in your skull. Physiologically, the only part of you that would keep on ticking would be your heart, but even that would only last for a few seconds at best.

Essentially, every part of you that makes you you would leave along with your little gray cells. Your body would basically be one big amputated limb, completely cut off from your consciousness.

The good news is, scientists are now keeping pig brains alive in jars for up to 36 hours after their removal. So you could always go that route, if you like the total absence of sensation followed by an infinite nothingness.