Ear shapes and sizes
"Show me your ears, please!"
Eyes are considered to be the mirror of the soul. The same can be said of the ears. It is reason enough for us to take a closer look at the outer shape of the ears. Why do ears look the way they look at all? What are the advantages of their form? And what theories are there about ear shapes?
- No 2 ears are alike
- The ability to locate
No two ears are alike
Not only the size, but above all the shape of the ears differs from person to person. Multi-faceted folds of the ears make each ear a real “one-off” – similar to a person’s fingerprint. This outer part of the ears fulfills a kind of “funnel function” that collects sound waves, bundles them and transmits them to the middle and inner ear, where they are converted into electrical impulses.
But why aren’t the ears as smooth as a funnel? The unusual shape has several advantages: On the one hand, the structure of the ears ensures that disturbing noises caused by the wind on the ear can be filtered out as far as possible. The relief of the ears fulfills another, extremely important function.
Survival benefit of the auricle
The evolutionary success of this shape of the ears becomes clear when we look at the ears of humans and animals. The similarities are amazing! Mammals with such shell-shaped ears had a clear advantage over other variants. This enabled them to hear possible predators better, even in windy conditions, and to flee in good time – and to locate potential prey more quickly. With this survival advantage, the forms spread among the individual genera.
Helps with locating objects
In order to be able to scientifically prove this, people’s ears were artificially “smoothed” with the help of plaster of paris and silicone. The result: the test subjects had difficulty locating the origin of a sound. The special shape of the ears also allows us to better locate noises in the room.