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20 Interesting Human Ear Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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20 Interesting Human Ear Facts

Hungry for some more facts? Allow us to take you to a world of 20 interesting human ear facts. From their functions to the mysteries of long ears – here we are today going to learn some fascinating facts about this very important body organ. Perhaps, some of you will already be familiar with these facts but a refresher course is always good – not just for knowledge but also for fun!

Interesting Human Ear Facts: 1-10

1. Let us start with something that everyone knows. Ears are organs designated for hearing. But, did you know that there is a limit till which ears will behave properly. The moment a sound exceeds the natural hearing limit, our ears will buzz! How about asking your friend to shout at his or her highest possible volume right into your ears? The result will be buzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

2. Did you know that our ear has 3 bones which are so small that they can be placed together on a penny? These three bones are called stapes, malleus and incus. Fancy names, huh? Well, the first fellow, i.e. stapes is the smallest of these three bones.

3. Wanna go merry-go-round for a few days? Simply damage your inner ear and voila, mission accomplished! On a serious note though, ‘merry-go-round’ in this context means losing your body’s equilibrium. Inner ear has direct connection with brain and anything happens to the inner ear means…you get it right?

4. Ever wondered why every time you catch cold, you go dumb? I mean, you lose your voice! That’s because middle ear is connected to the throat using a tube named Eustachian tube. This tube is responsible for striking equilibrium between the body pressure and the atmospheric pressure.

5. We just mentioned inner ear and middle ear. This simply means that human ear is divided into three parts – the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Each part has separate functions. The outer ear is the visible part of the ear and its function is to direct the sound further inside. The outer ear ends where the eardrum starts.

6. The area after the eardrum is the middle ear which ends at what is known as oval window. This middle ear consists of the three tiny bones we mentioned earlier. The sound that enters the outer ear makes the eardrum vibrate. These vibrations are picked up by these three bones which actually form a bridge. The last bone is the stapes (in order of arrangement inside the ear). The stapes transmits the vibrations to the oval window. The middle ear is the place where the sound gets amplified.

7. Finally comes the inner ear. The sound transmitted to the oval window moves into the inner ear which is actually a network of passages and tubes. This network is often referred to as ‘labyrinth’. This inner ear has a small snail shell-like organ known as cochlea where the sound is transformed into electrical impulses. These impulses are then sent to brain’s auditory center using auditory nerves and voila! We can hear!

8. In inner ear, the sound waves moves into a liquid medium. The tiny hair cells present in inner ear react to the sound waves traveling through the liquid medium. This causes the hair cells to release chemicals that are carried by auditory nerves to the brain.

Now, the whole thing is very complex and if you are interested in learning the entire thing in details, consider visiting this website.

9. Did you know why we get strange feelings in ear or even go slightly deaf when we go high up on mountains? That’s because the Eustachian tube fails to maintain pressure resulting in dizziness, discomfort, ear pain etc.

10. Human ear functions even when a person sleeps. The ears will continue to pick up sound but brain blocks them out.

Interesting Human Ear Facts: 11-20

11. Human ears are self-cleaning organs. They produce what is known as ear wax. Medically, ear wax is known as cerumen which is produced by tiny pores present in ear canal. There are tiny hairs in ear canal which are known as cilia. Cilia are responsible pushing the wax out.

12. Too much of anything is not good. So, too much wax is not good either! Too much of ear wax presses against eardrum and impairs hearing abilities.

13. Did you know that ear wax, though disgusting, is very important because it protects the ear from dust and friction. Frequently cleaning ear wax can lead to deafness by damaging tympanic membrane.

14. Did you know that American Indians and Asians usually have flaky and dry ear wax whereas Africans and Caucasians have moist brown wax? Also, ear wax has been used by anthropologists to study early migratory patter of mankind!

15. In ancient China it was believed that long earlobes signify long life while thick earlobes signify wealth. No wonder we see long ears of Buddha and in images of ancient Chinese emperors. It is believed that Liu Bei, the founder of minor Han Dynasty in AD 221 had years so long that they reached his shoulders and he was capable of seeing his own ears simply by glancing back!

16. There are two types of earlobes – free and attached. Free earlobe is a variant where the lobe hangs freely from the head while the attached variant is joined to the head. Free variant is twice as common in humans as the attached variant.

17. Ear piercing existed back in prehistoric times. Ötzi – The Ice Mummy had both his ears pierced.

18. It was widely believed among sailors that piercing one ear will improve their vision.

19. The strongest known ears belong to Manjit Singh. This man pulled a 7.5 ton passenger airline with his ears for a distance of 13 feet. He wore ear harnesses and ropes were attached to them. These ropes were in turn attached to aircraft.

20. Humans are capable of hearing sounds as low as 20 Hz. and as high as 20,000 Hz.

Well, that concludes our list of 20 interesting human ear facts. We will create a list of facts on ‘hearing’. Stay tuned for our next post.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Image Credits: 1, 2

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16 comments

Shirley Parker October 20, 2015 - 10:44 am

This sounds so better than hearing aids —and I wish to know more info on this.

Reply
Louie Reynolds October 21, 2015 - 2:33 am

would like more information please. on third set of hearing aids and still not hearing all that good.

Reply
Clara November 1, 2015 - 8:19 am

Would like to know more, thank you.

Reply
johnny willis November 10, 2015 - 9:46 pm

would like to hear more about reverse hearing loss

Reply
Lynn Young November 10, 2015 - 10:56 pm

My husband has two hearing aides and still can’t hear the TV. I would like more info thank you.

Reply
AUBREY BRYANT November 13, 2015 - 12:03 pm

I don’t have a Buzzzzzzzzz I have a constant ringing in both ears. My doctor at the VA says it was caused by exposure to the sonic booms created by jet engines. The ringing is so bad in certain frequencies that I can’t understand my wife unless she talks at the correct frequency, I’ve been told that this condition can not be corrected and that I will have to wear hearing aids the rest if my life,

Reply
MaryEllen White November 19, 2015 - 9:09 pm

Before I get a new hearing aid I would like more information on this. Where do I go for information?

ME WHITE

Reply
MaryEllen White November 19, 2015 - 9:10 pm

Please send more info to my email address. Thanks!

Reply
Sankalan Baidya November 22, 2015 - 12:06 pm

You can find more information about hearing aid here. Are you looking for any specific brand?

Reply
mary November 23, 2015 - 5:45 am

my left ear has drainage which also has a bad smell I’ve been to my doctor and a ear doctor I’ve taken antibiotics in pill form and liquid form this has been going on for more than six months now dose anyone know what I can say to my doctors to find out how to fix this or what my next step is. thank you, mary

Reply
Sankalan Baidya November 23, 2015 - 10:31 am

Did you see an ear specialist? I believe it is time for a thorough checkup before things turn ugly.

Reply
sylvia butler November 26, 2015 - 1:43 am

I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH, HEARING AIDS ARE SO EXPENSIVE ASAP

Reply
Margie McDonnell January 23, 2016 - 7:48 am

I would like more information. Even with hearing aids I cannot understand speech.
Had chemo in 2003 and 6 months ago a hearing doctor told me the chemo killed the hair in my ears that vibrate sound so hearing aids would not do me any good.

Reply
Jfd October 21, 2016 - 12:11 am

Dab

Reply
Aoibhe April 1, 2019 - 8:54 pm

HIT OR MISS

Reply
izacc April 12, 2019 - 12:25 am

i guess they never miss HUH

Reply

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