The human ear is a wonder of natural creation. Somehow it creates recognition of sounds through the waves they produce, transmits that data to the brain through electrical impulses, and this allows you to sing in the shower, avoid accidents, or create something amazing. Here are some of the more unique facts about the ear that you may have never known before.
- It’s not just about your hearing.
The inner ear does more than process sound waves for your brain to interpret. It also provides the foundation for the body’s equilibrium. If the inner ear becomes injured or damaged for any reason, this interrupts the communication it has with the brain and can cause headaches, dizziness, and even a loss of balance. That’s why hearing protection is so important.
- Hearing happens 24/7.
Have you ever had your alarm go off, but it doesn’t quite wake you up fully? In your dream, the song on the radio or the sounds in your environment becomes an active part of what you experience. This is because the ear is always functioning – even when you are sleeping. The brain blocks out much of the ambient noise so you can rest, yet still remains active enough to wake you up during an emergency situation. You know – like if someone yells “TORNADO!” because there’s a storm outside.
- The ear takes its own baths.
Earwax can be downright annoying sometimes. When there’s too much wax, it can cause pain and discomfort. It may even change how you hear things if it hardens. Yet this earwax also has a very important job. It’s like a bubble bath for your ear canal. The pores inside the ear create the wax and small hairs within the canal help to push it out of the ear. In doing so, bacteria, viruses, dirt, and other unwanted things get pushed out of the body.
- How ears played a role in modern spirituality.
Ancient civilizations once believed that people who had long ears would have a longer than average lifespan. If you had thick ears, then you were on a life path toward wealth. If your ears were long and thick, then you were considered supremely awesome! This belief has played many different roles in what people believe or how they act toward their bodies over the years, from elongating their lobes through piercings to decorating them with jewellery.
- Humans only have two basic types of ear lobes.
It seems that the more we are different, the more we are actually the same. Humans only have free ear lobes or attached ear lobes. The attached version is joined to the head, while the free version hangs freely. People are 2x more likely to have free ear lobes than attached ear lobes.
- Why do we pierce our ears?
Sometimes there was a specific purpose to ear piercings, though the benefits gained from the practice are questionable at best. Sailors once pierced just one ear because they believed it would improve their vision. Ancient humans pierced their ears to bring about good growing seasons, luck while hunting, and numerous other local beliefs. Just imagine – instead of your mother telling you to eat your carrots, she might have told you to go get your ear pierced again.
- Ears can be incredibly strong.
Did you know that you can lift things with your ears? A man once even pulled a passenger airplane for 13 feet using just his ears. The weight of the plane was over 14,000 pounds. He had harnesses attached to his ears and ropes attached to the harnesses so he could accomplish this feet. Maybe you don’t need to pull an airplane, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra set of hands around the house every once in awhile? Maybe your ears can pull some double duty!
- There is an amazing range of frequencies detected.
Although human hearing can’t pick up every sound, just as a dog whistle, it can pick up a pretty amazing range of frequencies. We can hear sounds as low as 20 Hz or sounds as high as 20,000 Hz. That’s why music is so incredible to our hearing as we can process multiple frequencies at once and the processing required by the brain to make this happen, along with some dopamine, creates excitement.
The human ear is one of the most interesting and complex components of our bodies. By learning more about it, we can learn how to protect it better. Don’t let your hearing be sacrificed by loud noises or other risk factors. Use the right form of hearing protection today so these facts can be associated with your ears for the rest of your life.