The 3-pound human brain is so delicate it’s softer than most of the meat you’ll find at the market. So despite your childhood shenanigans when you banged your head against the wall to test your invincibility, the brain is very vulnerable, and not surprisingly, destructible. While the cerebrospinal fluid acts as a protective cushion around the brain, nothing can stop it from being bashed into the inner walls of the skull, especially high impact penetrating injuries.

The brain can be perforated by almost every conceivable object. This type of traumatic injury is serious and life-threatening. There are high incidences of stabbing on the left side of the skull most likely due to right-handedness of the assailant, unless the victim is hit from the back, according to an article published in the journal of Surgical Neurology. The most common injury site is the frontoparietal region with temporal stab wounds more likely to pose major neurological deficits.

In the U.S., there are an estimated 1.5 million head injuries that occur each year in emergency rooms.

Click “View Gallery” below to see some of the most traumatic, life-threatening brain injuries that patients failed to handle with care.