I know it’s a sad thing to admit to, but lately, it seems that much of what I am learning comes from watching game shows.
For example, thanks to watching Jeopardy over the past couple weeks, I’ve learned that TLC is the band that sang the song “Waterfalls” in 1995 and that Calvin Broadus is Snoop Dogg’s real name.
But that’s nothing compared to the frightening fact I learned today while watching America Says.
The question was part of the bonus round, and it was the first survey question posed.
It went something like this: “What man’s body part keeps growing as he gets older?”
Before I saw the first letter, I quickly called out “Belly”. But it soon became obvious that was wrong when it was revealed that the first letter was “E”. So my next guess was “ego”. But that was wrong as well, and then then the contestant answered “ears” – and that was correct!
I had never heard of this fact before, and just because it was the correct answer didn’t mean I had to believe it.
I later asked my wife the question, and she immediately answered “ears”, even without the clue that the first letter was “E”. Has she been noticing this over the years, and was kind enough to never bring it up?
So when I had some time, I later went to Google to see if I could verify all of this, and apparently it’s true.
In July 1993, James Heathcote and a group of his colleagues set out to test whether or not men’s ears grow as they age. They measured the ears of a randomly selected group of 206 of their patients over the age of 30, and calculated that ears increased by an average of 0.22mm per year – a centimeter (or just under half an inch) over 50 years.
Heathcote’s findings were backed up by Japanese data published in 1996 and by an Italian study in 1999. The latter concluded that men’s ears were significantly larger than women’s, that ears did tend to get bigger as people got older, and that the growth occurred in both men and women.
And it’s not just your ears; your nose gets bigger as well.