We rarely appreciate just how much our ears and our sense of hearing do for us. Everything that life has to offer is enhanced both in experience and quality due to our ability to hear.
The anatomy and functioning of our ears are nothing short of a marvel. There are several interesting facts about ears and hearing that are sure to blow your mind and perhaps help in understanding and appreciating our ability to hear.
Let’s learn some fun facts about ears and hearing. How many of these did you know about?
- The sense of balance – Our ears are responsible for maintaining equilibrium. The vestibular system that is located in our inner ear helps us maintain our balance.
- The smallest and the hardest bone – The stirrup bone is the smallest bone in the human body, and the temporal bone is the hardest bone in the human body. Both of them are located in our ears.
- No rest – Our ears don’t get any rest. They are always working. We are constantly hearing the surrounding sounds, even when we’re asleep. Our brain just ignores these sounds. That’s also the reason that we are able to wake up when we hear a loud or unexpected sound. This causes our defense mechanism to kick in, which wakes us up.
- The most unpleasant sound for our ears – There are plenty of sounds that we do not like, but there is one in particular that has been scientifically proven to be one of the worst. The sound of a knife scratching a bottle is one of the worst sounds, according to a study conducted at the University of Newcastle.
- Music and speech – Dr. Yvonne Sininger, visiting professor of head and neck surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, worked with researchers at the University of Arizona. Their study identified that our right ear is more adept at responding to speech, and our left ear is more proficient at responding to music.
- Self-cleaning – We do not technically need to clean our ears. The ear is a self-cleaning organ. However, excessive wax buildup over time can harm your ears.
- It grows forever – Your outer ear grows as long as you are alive. It never stops growing. Just imagine how big your ears would get if you lived for a few hundred ears.
- You have hair inside your ears – There are more than 20,000 tiny hairs inside your ear. These hairs are crucial to your ability to hear. Without them, you would not be able to process sound.
- Hearing can affect your sense of taste – Yes, you read that correctly. The nerve “chorda tympani” is responsible for the connection between your taste buds and your brain. This nerve passes through your ear and can have an effect on your sense of taste if you get a procedure done for your ear.
- Ear wax is good – Ear wax protects your ear from dirt and dust. Without it, the ear might not be able to function for very long.
It’s remarkable to take a moment and appreciate everything that our ears do. They are an intricate and delicate system, yet beautifully sophisticated. Next time you’re listening to the sounds of the world around you, take a moment to appreciate how truly remarkable your ears are!
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