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Did You Know? Albert Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen When He Died 

Albert Einstein is known to many as a genius and a Nobel prize-winning physicist, but many did not know what happened after his death. Did you know the brain of Albert Einstein was stolen after his death? Well, you’re about to find out.

Albert was widely acknowledged as the most influential and greatest physicist of all time, who gave the world the theory of relativity E = mc2, and the law of the photoelectric effect.

Albert Einstein

The genius had lived a private life while alive and had given specific instructions regarding his remains. His remains were to be cremated and the ashes scattered secretly to avoid being idolized.

Albert Einstein died on the 18th of April 1955, and hours after his death, his brain was stolen by the doctor who was performing an autopsy on him.

This grievous deed was done by Thomas Harvey, a pathologist at Princeton Hospital, New Jersey, where Einstein died. Harvey had performed an autopsy on him, and also used the opportunity to carry out his well-concocted plan which was to steal the brain of Einstein.

The brain of Albert Einstein in a jar

Thomas Harvey did this in a bid to unlock the secret behind Einstein’s genius. Apart form secretly removing the brain, his eyes were as removed by the doctors and given to Einsteins eye doctor, Dr Henry Adams. The rest of the body was cremated in new jersey and scattered at an unknown location just as requested.

The family of the deceased scientist were furious when they came to knowledge of the stolen brain, but they later gave Thomas Harvey their blessing. Although this came with a condition that the bone is used to conduct research for scientific purposes and must not be subject to sensationalism.

The pathologist sliced the brain into 240 pieces insisting that it was purely for scientific purposes. He also gave away various samples to researchers.

According to an examination by Dr Marian Diamond from UC Berkeley, it was discovered that it had more support cells than the average person’s brain. Further scientific research by Dr Britt Anderson of the University of Alabama also revealed that the density of neurons in the brain was greater and the cerebral cortex was thinner.

Harvey was not able to do anything remarkable with the brain despite holding on to it for a long time. He was not able to publish any discovery on anything new or unusual about the brain.

Before his death in 2007, Thomas Harvey donated the remaining part of the brain to the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Till today, some part of Albert Einsteins brain are displayed publicly at the  Museum of Philadelphia, alongside handwritten notes from Thomas Harvey.

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