Big Old Ears

March 29th, 2012 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

When I saw the images of Pope Benedict and Fidel Castro glad-handing, I noticed the ears. The 84 and 85-year-old guys exhibit big, old ears, a.k.a. hypertrophy. The image here is cropped and pushed together so you can see what I did.

So, I clicked around that net place to get some figures on how our head projections grow, how quickly, how big on average and such. In high school, private reading and in college, I had heard from various biology and medicine folk that cartilage continues to grow slowly, even as we get shorter with age.

I was surprised to read that folk wisdom at least questions that. Numerous pages claim with no evidence that just isn’t so.

There are few scientific studies that do the real thing. They compare by age and gender, left and right, and so forth. Actual numbers from experiments, like here and here, confirm that I’d long heard. Old folks’ ears and noses look bigger, because they are.

I don’t find this unpleasant. In fact, there’s an elegance and almost sculptural glory in a large ear — so long as it does not spew hair out of the canal. I think immediately of a dear family friend we called Justice, which was has last name as well as an apt epithet, had fine ears and a nobly wrinkled face. Likewise in my childhoo, the old guys sitting on the nail kegs near the pot-bellied stove in the Farm Bureau in Romney, West Virginia, tended both to sun-and-wind weathered skin and impressive noses and ears.

I read also today that some rich oldsters have plastic surgery to lift sagging nose, shorten elongating earlobes, and remove cartilage from their ears. That’s vanity that affronts natural beauty from normal development.


2 Responses

  1. Uncle says:

    What a shame that neither one of them can grow ears big enough to help them hear.

  2. Harrumpher says:

    Well, as the Rockman said in “The Point,” “the thing is . . . you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear – dig?”

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