Lend an Ear to Listening



There are a lot of facts to learn about the human ears. And yes, they do get bigger as we age, with the circumference of the ear growing by about half a millimetre each year. Some credit this growth with the need to keep our hearing ability as high as possible as we age (a survival mechanism). There are lots of fascinating facts about ears. 

“Ear circumference in mm = 88.1 + (0.51 x subject’s age). Conversely, a person’s age can therefore be calculated by the size of a person’s ear, using the equation: Subject’s age = 1.96 x (Ear circumference in mm – 88.1)” 
Taken from Ears, Facts, Function and Disease by Alina Bradford 


Our outer ear flaps are physiologically designed to act as a funnel for hearing. Human ears are remarkably similar in design to ape cousins (Bonobo Chimpanzee, Orangutan and Gorilla) but not to forbear primates like lemurs.

None of our cousin apes have pendulous unattached earlobes like humans (something that I actually don’t think has been studied). However, our earshapes (and inner ear workings) have evolved along similar lines to other apes. The evolving ear capability emerged as we developed vocalisation. Other primates do not have our range of ability to ‘talk,’ with some limitations on vocal cords, sinus cavities and larynx development. The human jaw shape, tongue and skull shape allows us humans to  have a greater range of vocal sounds. Primates do make noises that we humans also equally recognise, such as a screeching alarm call or hoot of disaproval. A scream, or the sound of nails scraping against a chalkboard will still elicit in us, a flight response, releasing adrenaline and increase heart rate. 

The rounded, funnel shape of our ear follows the golden ratio in Fibonacci principles. It is an exquisite mathematical design that amplifies a sound so we can hear sound gathered up from greater distances. We have, like other great apes, no ability to move our ears independently. We do not need that ‘radar’ ability to hunt (dogs, wolves, big cats) nor do we need it to listen to run away from predators (rabbits, antelopes, etc., – animals that do not have neck flexibility). We have evolved a more flexible neck, that allows us to search, up, down and left to right (scanning around us to search for food in tree cover). It implies that we are not designed to be prey or hunters but rather search the forest up and down for food. It is more likely that our ears (along with vocalisation) evolved to be useful in group social living, and used in collaborative efforts to relay information about ripening fruits, nuts, and seeds when the group is scattered, searching an area for food. Our ears would hear a predator approching under hidden cover. We could vocalise this exact information to our social group and make our escape together, much as a troupe of chimpanzees will do. 

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” 
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Our ears (and reactions) are sensitive to the sound of popping of seed pods, the fall of raindrops, the crackling of forest fire, the sudden warning calls of animals. Unfortunately, we bombard our ears with constant mechanical noise, loud music and other non-essential noises of industrialisation, making us increasingly deaf to such subtle cues in life. 


Earlobes that hang free (pendulous) are due to a dominant gene type. 

Attached earlobes (no drop down from attachment point) are the result of a recessive gene type. There are various myths about these and whether attached types are linked to undesirable qualities such as meanness or criminal behaviour. I don’t know about that, but generally we observe unemotional, less empathetic people as  linked to the ‘attached earlobe types,’ and emotional, kind, empathetic people are more likely to have large pendulous ‘detached earlobes,’ (Buddha type earlobe). In truth, a lot of us have mixed types and can’t be easily defined one way or the other. 


Ears also form part of our symmetry. A small, flat ear (against the head) that has symmetry on both sides, is said to be the most attractive, usually combined with a small nose and a symmetrical face. But this is only indicative of beauty. Some asymmetrical features (including ears) can be found more in people who become leaders. 

“.. our research shows that people with subtle asymmetries—for example, imbalances in ear or finger length—are often better “transformational” leaders, able to inspire followers to put self-interest aside for the good of the group. Furthermore, teams they lead outperform teams whose leaders have more-symmetrical bodies.”

But what dictates the patterned shape of our ears? Some sources say that they are as uniquely patterned as your fingerprint. 

The pattern is so individual, that recent studies say that biometric ear recognition is more accurate than facial recognition on cctv cameras. 


So, maybe, when posting photos of one’s self on social media, it would be wise to leave out anything depicting your ears… It is so easy for unscrupulous Web bots to find them and add them to a databank used by Governments, police, and other identification sources for nefarious purposes. 

Your ears can medically reveal things about the state of your health too. Kidney and liver problems, mineral deficiencies and heart disease can show up in the ears. If you have a crease across the Earlobe, it is indicative of the collapse of tiny capillaries in that area, mostly associated with heart disease and plaque build up in the arteries. The colour of your ear explains a lot of what is happening with blood flow. Even brain disorders can show up. 

Auricular Reflexology is used to treat corresponding areas of pain in the body  just like the foot, and hand, the ear is like a mini version of the rest of your body from a physiological energy aspect. 


Is it true that ear shape can also dictate personality? 

Hmmm, maybe. Sources of studies are really sketchy on this, but here are some thoughts on shape and meaning. 




For a little more information on personality and ear type… 




We take our ears for granted, but don’t use them as well as we might. We need to give them a chance to convey information to us about our environment. We do need to be careful about how much useless or excessively loud noise we subject them too. To be deaf, is to lose connection with our world and our ability to decode subtleties of nature itself. 

37 thoughts on “Lend an Ear to Listening

  1. Visible genetic traits do present in personality. The hair whorl in horses, for instance. Have you ever read the Russian Fox experiment? They bread solely on mild temperament and within ten years had a totally different looking domestic dog. I’m sure ears tell a lot about us. The ear pics you posted are true to form in my family members. Funny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read the Russian Fox experiment. It sounds intriguing. Could you please elucidate on it a bit more for my readers, Jim? Why did they end up with a totally different looking dog? Is the way we look, directly related to our temperament.
      I myself, would love to know why most humans have a detached Earlobe? I can’t yet find a reason for it. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        1. So that would make people with a droopy Earlobe softer, kinder and more cooperative? Sort of fits with the personality profiling. Most of us are a mix, but the dropped Earlobe is the dominant trait. Does that makes the domesticated slave, while those without the dropped Earlobe are the task masters? Hmmm it could fit. 🤔

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  2. An interesting post, Colette, but like your handwriting series, I’m too lazy to look deeper into it these days. 30 or 40 years ago, I would have jumped at this information. These days, and I freely admit it, ho hum. I’m tired.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No probs rg. I am too really, but making an effort. It might be short-lived. 😉
      Have you any theories on why we have ‘earlobes’ and what purpose they might (or might not) serve. My hubby (doesn’t have hanging lobes like me), thinks they might have developed for holding earrings, which he abhors! 😂


      1. LoL. As a baby and small child I am told I used to pull my ears down all the time, thus my massive earlobes. Built-in toys for poor kids?
        I’ve never been tempted to put in earrings, so forget that theory.
        How about a lifetime sucker for a partner to nibble on?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mine are like yours in shape, but since they have never worked right, and these days almost not at all. I’m thinking I might just as well do a Van Gogh and lob them off … one less thing to wash in the shower!

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  4. Goodness, such a lot of info about ears, I was fiddling with mine while reading 😉 and I guess I come into the Buddha category though hopefully not as large LOL.. 🙂 Interesting as my Son and my Grandaughter both with Auburn hair colourings have the other ear type…
    Learnt something new too about ears growing larger as we age.. They also grow hairier lol as I am always trimming hubbies ears when I cut his hair 🙂 haha….
    So enjoying all these fact Colette… and love that you are back to blogging again on a regular basis ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised by a few things too, when research reading. I shall try to do a few more posts on our physical senses as time goes on. We do not think too much about them, yet we get all of our information about the world through them. Without our senses, we would not experience anything at all. They are the most important aspects to our being and contribute hugely to our own sense of self within life. Generally, attached ears, look more attractive as they seem to be smaller too. I am not sure of the general trend in society, but I think most people show a sort of combination. More people have lobes than people who have almost no lobes. I wish I knew the purpose of the lobe. It would be a fascinating subject for anyone studying anthropology. 🤗❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps, as Jim suggested in comments above, earlobes are a ‘droop’ that indicates a domestication (cooperation aspect) of our species.


  5. Interesting article but my lobes are very attached. I had to get them pierced to ever be able to wear earrings. I consider myself a very gentle and kind spirited person but I also contribute my priorities towards as by product of loving Christ and him loving me. But thanks for sharing the information, always interested in new stuff I never knew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad this peaked your interest. I wouldn’t think it is wise to box one’s self into an ear type, any more than there are only 12 star signs, or 12 Chinese Astrology signs. In truth, we are complicated with many nuances, but there maybe a grain of truth in these ancient signs just to help us figure out each other. 😊


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