Science and Tech


We Might Stop Growing As We Age, But Our Ears Don't

Our ears really do grow as we age, but it's mostly because of gravity.
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 26, 2016

Ever notice older people tend to have big ears? Like, Yoda big?

It's not your imagination. Our ears really do get bigger with age.

Studies show that our ears get around a fifth of a millimeter longer every year on average. That isn't much, but it does start to add up after a while. And those who start with bigger ears may see the most growth. Sorry, Will. Sorry, Michael. Sorry, Mr. President.

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There have been a lot of theories on why our ears grow, but currently the thinking is that our ears just lose elasticity and parts of them, especially the earlobe, start to droop. The same thing can happen to the tips of our noses.

And although people seem more likely to notice the ears of older men, women experience the same thing. Hairstyles, plus the fact that women's ears are usually smaller than men's, could be why it's usually less noticeable for ladies than the guys.

This video includes clips from Walt Disney Studios / "Return of the Jedi," ScreenSlamNBC and The White House and images from / Bobby NickJordan Fischer / CC BY 2.0rottonara / CC0psyberartist / CC BY 2.0Julim6 / CC0 and geralt / CC0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.