The Ear


This amazingly intricate structure contains the smallest bone in the body, the stapes – I remember that section of the ear because I say the parts in the same rhythm we are taught to say “The NiƱa, Pinta and the Santa Maria” – try it: “The Malleus, Incus, and littlest Stapes”. Well, it worked for me at least. The Tympanic parts make sense as well, because timpanis make lots of sound (notice I don’t say they make lots of music, it’s a much different thing altogether). The various forms of “Cochlea” also ring memory bells because it is Latin for “snail shell” and came from the Greek “kokhlos” (land snail) – and were I a snail, I would want a window in my shell, so am very excited to find that the snail of the inner ear has just that – the “Round Window” (NOT to be compared to a square window, which are much more commonplace and less hobbitish, and therefore less appealing to me). I usually think it slightly pompous when people name discoveries after themselves, as is the case with the “Eustachian tube”, so I can also keep track of that guy hiding in there.

You see, I understand these things about the ear, as a unit it makes perfect sense to me, even the anatomical bits, all the way out the External Auditory Canal into the wide world of sound waves. What makes absolutely NO sense to me at all is the Auricula. I know it has the anthelix, scapha, tragus, crus, cymba, fossa, helix, lobule, incisura, concha, and sulcus, those things I had to study in college A&P. But somehow the professor skipped the intriguing part, the part where the whole class

STOPPED.

And wondered…

WHY?!?

Because ears are just plain strange lookin’!

Pretend for a moment with me that you have never seen a face before. A semi-conical symmetry of eyes, nose, mouth, cheekbones, and chin making a perfect frame for that illusive thing called the “countenance”……then, as you muse upon the well-laid plan of the face – POP! – what in the sand-hill blazes are those thing?!? Just stickin’ out, always uneven with one another on the horizontal plane of the face, bazaar curves and dents and dimples. Some people have tried to reconcile their oddity by piercing them here and there . Now, being a pragmatist to the core, I can find uses for them: they can improve or tie together an outfit, and are wonderful for tucking hair behind (they are amazing at doing this, and if you have short hair or no hair at all due to hereditary balding, I am very sorry that you have not experienced this). And, for some, it may serve as a welcome distraction from the main part of the face.

Am I just being weird? Usually. But really, ears are quirky, wacky, and just plain crazy. Spend a day looking at ears, and I think you will concur.


(I just can’t get over how they’re just stuck there, on the side of the face, pretending they belong with such confidence that we believe them!!)

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