Lots Of People Can Make The Same Weird Rumbling Sound With Their Ear
We've got a weird treat from the internet for you today - turns out the human ear can create a rumbling sound, but only a select number of people can do it.
The phenomenon was pointed out this week by science columnist Massimo, who took to Twitter to write: "A part of the human population can voluntarily control the tensor tympani, a muscle within the ear.
A part of the human population can voluntarily control the tensor tympani, a muscle within the ear. Contracting this muscle produces vibration and sound. The sound is usually described as a rumbling sound https://t.co/FjD36qFACU pic.twitter.com/ianKb60EK8- Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) February 17, 2020
"Contracting this muscle produces vibration and sound. The sound is usually described as a rumbling sound."
Massimo posted the tweet alongside a link to the Wikipedia page on the tensor tympani, which further explains that the muscle's role is thought to damp out loud sounds such as those made by chewing, shouting or thunder.
The article notes: "Because its reaction time is not fast enough, the muscle cannot protect against hearing damage caused by sudden loud sounds, like explosions or gunshots."
Does this sound familiar? If so, you're one of the lucky chosen ones - congrats! If you have no idea what this sound could be, it's most likely that you can't make it.
Massimo's tweet has since gone viral, leading to many comments from some of those special ear-rumblers.
One wrote: "To me it sounds like when there's a big thunderstorm and the thunder is just lowly rolling around in the sky forever with only tiny flashes of lightning that don't leave the clouds."
Another said: "Wait, not everyone has this? it happens when I contract my face and smush it real hard, my eyes close and my nose scrunches up and I hear this rumbling sound."
A third added: "I can. I always assumed everyone could do this. I used to do as a child when teacher was telling me off, then I couldn't hear a thing! Apart from that it doesn't seem to be of any use."
Some people who have it claim it helps them to overcome tinnitus (a consistent ringing in the ears).
There are no official studies on whether it can help with such conditions or how many people can make the sound at will, but hopefully this Twitter conversation will get the ball rolling - you heard it here first (pun fully intended).
In the meantime, we'll have to make do with the Ear Rumblers Assemble Reddit page.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay