Ear and Hearing Facts

Unusual Facts About Hearing and the Human Ear

Humans are a gifted species, as they have ears located on both sides of the face that are specifically designed to allow a person to hear and interpret sounds. Your ears do a lot for you, they help you hear, communicate, and experience all that life has to offer. Truly an extraordinary organ, your ears is a vital part of your body. To help you better realize just how amazing the human ear is we bring you some fun and interesting ear and hearing facts.

1. Ears are self-cleaning, and are cleaner than you think! You can thank the pores in the ear canal for this as it produces ear wax which then gets pushed out of the ear by the cilia, the tiny hairs in the ear canal.
2. The internal ear has more than 20,000 hairs on it and is the size of a pencil eraser in circumference!
3. Your ability to hear is dependent upon the cilia, the tiny hairs in the ear canal. If all of these hairs were lost, you would lose your ability to hear.
4. We are able to hear sounds as low as 20 Hz and as high as 20,000 Hz.
5. During your lifetime, the outer ear will never stop growing.
6. While disgusting, ear wax actually helps protect your sensitive ears from dirt and dust.
7. Your ears play a role in the transmission of taste signals to the brain. Through the chorda tympani signals send from your tongue to your brain.
8. The skin in your ear canal increases approximately 1.3 inches a year, removing the old skin. This means you get a “new” ear canal yearly!
9. Ears are not just meant for hearing; they also help provide you with a sense of equilibrium. This is why when you have congested ears you often feel dizzy.
10. Even while you are sleeping your ears are still at work. In fact, they never shut down, not even during sleep. However, while your ears are able to hear sounds your brain does not register what your ears are hearing.
11. Being exposed to 120 decibels can begin to damage your hearing in only 7.5 minutes.
12. Being exposed to sounds that are 85 decibels and higher is the number one cause of hearing loss.
13. In your middle ear, there are 3 bones and these three are so small that they can all fit on a penny together and are the smallest bones in the human body.
14. The stirrup (stapes) is the smallest bone found in the human body.
15. The temporal bone is the hardest bone found in the human body.
16. The human ear is divided into three parts, the outer, middle and inner ear and each part has its own function.
17. The third most common health problem in the United States is hearing loss.
18. Anthropologists have used earwax to study the early migratory patterns of mankind!