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Otters Oddities

Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

What? WHAT? hang on...I gots something in me ear.....

Good morning, and welcome to another edition of Made Up Mondays ™.

The rules are the same as they always are: Decide for yourself if what I'm telling you is true, or if it's false. Post what you think in the comments, and if you fell like it, maybe supply some justification as to why you believe or disbelieve it.


As always, I can't stop you from using Google or any other search engine, or outside resource from helping you. But, that's not fun. Fun is trying to figure it out on your own.

So, are you ready?

Actually, I don't care if you're ready or not. I'm starting.

Ears. We all have them, and we all suffer from that substance known as Cerumen. Cerumen is the medical term for ear wax. And we all get it. In a normal ear, it works much like the mucus of the respiratory system; that is, as a shield for the skin.


But, just like with mucus, sometimes you get too much of it. While your ears don't run like your nose, they will fill up with excess was, and if you don't keep up with it, your ears will plug because the wax hardens.

In fact, without regular cleaning, your ears will plug because the wax will continue to build up. A lot of people use cotton swabs to keep their ears clean. But, that's not always the best method. If done incorrectly, you can end up pushing the existing wax further down the ear canal, causing more problems.


Some people use ear candles. I'm sorry to say that, if you're one of them, you're a fool. They don't work. It's been proven that they don't. That build up the practitioner tells you is the extracted wax also forms when a candle is burned outside the ear. And, if extreme care isn't taken, molten wax can drip down the hollow center of the candle burning the ear canal, or even bursting the drum.

If a doctor needs to clean your ears, they will use a Curette. It's a special tool designed for working in the ear.


But, unless you suffer from an excess build up of wax, doctors don't actually recommend cleaning your ears at all. Your body will take care of it on it's own. The wax works using a conveyor like motion, powered by your jaw. As your jaw opens and closes, you slowly work the old wax out, taking any dirt and debris with it. It naturally falls out your ear on it's own. (Q-tips can still be used to soak up the water from your ear, just don't shove it in there and dig.)

One of the main reasons you shouldn't clean your ears is, (besides the risk of shoving the wax deeper), your ear needs that wax to keep its self clean.


So far, all I've done is give you background on the ear. Everything above is 100% true. Now we come to the fun part. It's time to put your thinking cap on because now you have to start working.

The ear continuously produces wax. And, it continuously gets rid of it. In the average persons lifetime, your ears will produce 1 pound of ear wax. Just think of how big a ball of ick that would make sitting on your desk.


So, there's your oddity. 1 pound of wax. True, or big fat fibbity-fib? Find out tomorrow.

*Bonus Ear Facts*

The following facts are absolutely true, and are just some examples of the crap you discover when writing a post like this one:

  • The body produces more ear wax when you're scared.
  • In medieval times, ear wax and urine were both used as ink by scribes when coloring the fancy decorations in the bibles they were producing.
  • A common home remedy for for a small puncture wound was to cover it with ear wax.
  • In ancient Egypt, ear wax was used as lip balm.
  • Seamstresses working out of their homes to make ends meet in the 18th century would use their own ear wax on the ends of threads to keep them from fraying.

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