People hear sounds when sound waves travel through the air to the ears. The visible outer ear is only a small part of the organ and hearing, and parts of the inner ear transmit the sound waves to the brain.
The external part of the ear is made up of the auricle and the external auditory canal. The auricle has a slightly cupped shape to allow it to collect sound waves and direct them into the auditory canal. The auditory canal then passes sound waves to the middle ear.
The middle ear is separated from the auditory canal by the eardrum, or tympanic membrane. The tympanic cavity contains three tiny, movable bones: the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. Sound waves pass through the eardrum, across the three bones and into the inner ear.
The inner ear consists of a bony labyrinth and a membranous labyrinth. A fluid known as perilymph separates the two. Sound waves travel through the perilymph to fibers in the basilar membrane in the cochlea. These fibers set up a vibration in the specialized hair cells that make up the organ of Corti, which is the organ of hearing. The vibrations of the hair cells stimulate the nerves attached to them. These nerves in turn send messages through the auditory nerve to the temporal lobe, which is the brain's center of hearing.Learn More
A turtle's ears are flat against the head, but a turtle can hear as well as a cat. Turtles have the same inner ear mechanisms that other animals do, and they also have an auditory nerve and the brain center required for hearing.Full Answer >
According to the BBC, the main receptors for the sense of balance are located in the ears. Receptors in the muscles and visual input from the eyes also assist in the perception of the body’s position.Full Answer >
To pop your ears, hold your nose, and try to breathe through your nose until your ears pop. People who travel often by plane may notice that their ears feel funny while they ascend or descend in an airplane. This feeling is due to the rapid change in altitude of the plane, and it can cause people to suffer from clogged ears that need to be popped.Full Answer >
To pop your ears, suck on a hard candy or chew bubble gum. Alternatively, yawn widely or pinch your nostrils closed, inhale air into your mouth and force the air into your nose. Gargling salt water every hour also helps pop the ears.Full Answer >