How Your Ears Work

KidsHealth presents
“How the Body Works,” with Chloe and the Nurb. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] (SINGING) A-skiddly bob, a-booma
lotta chakka boom boom, yeah! Woo. Tell me where it hurts. I’m singing, not hurting. (SINGING) A-doo diddly dee! Um, I do love the drums. I am drumming in honor of
today’s quest– (SINGING) To the ear to see how we hear. So you’re playing the
drum because we’re going to learn how the drum
in your ear helps you hear. That was the plan, but having
managed to climb up this tree– You found that the getting
down part is not so easy? Precisely. No worries, as the ear
is coming here to hear. Delightful! Before we enter, did
you know that there are three parts to the ear? Three parts? Sing it, Nurb. (SINGING) The outer ear, the
middle ear, and the inner ear. Woo hoo hoo. I’m guessing that this,
being on the outside, would be the outer ear? What a clever Chloe you are. The outer ear, also known
as the pinna or auricle– (SINGING) Fancy word! The pinna, or outer
ear, acts like a funnel, collecting sounds to channel
them into the ear canal, which is also part of the outer ear. What are we waiting for? Let’s head inside the outer ear. Ew, what’s this
gunk on the floor? You mean this glorious earwax
produced by the ear canal? Nasty earwax is more like it. Hardly. Earwax contains
chemicals to fight off infections that could
hurt the skin here in the ear canal and traps
dirt to help keep it clean. OK, fighting infection and
keeping the ear canal clean is important stuff. Uh, yeah. Also, earwax will help us
slide down the ear canal! Woo hoo hoo! To the middle ear! Where we find the eardrum! [LOUD DRUMMING] Quietly, my dear Chloe. The eardrum is a very
sensitive instrument. [SOFT DRUMMING] Ah, much better. Like my bongo drum, the
eardrum is a thin piece of tightly-stretched skin. Do they work the same? Very much the same. And also different. Such a Nurb thing to say. Explain. A musical drum makes
sound when we hit it, but no one’s hitting
the drum in your ear. The sound waves that
your outer ear collected cause it to vibrate. Sound waves vibrate the eardrum? Got it. What happens next? When the eardrum
vibrates, it moves a set of three tiny bones on
the other side called ossicles. Ossicles? That sounds like a drum beat. (CHANTING) Ossicles,
ossicles, ossicles. The three ossicle bones are
called the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. Huh. Those bones sort of
look like those things. But the sound’s journey to the
brain isn’t over yet, is it? Not even close. For that, we need to pop past
the ear drum to the inner ear. There are the ossicles. And there’s the cochlea. (SINGING) The ossicle bones
connected to the cochlea. The cochlea is a small, circled
tube filled with liquid. The vibration of the
ossicles create waves in the liquid in the cochlea. Are those little hairs I see? I’m so happy you asked. The cochlea is lined
with tiny hairs. When the fluid in the cochlea
moves, it moves the hairs and creates nerve signals
that get sent to the brain. The brain understands these
nerve signals as sound, and so you hear. What? I said, you hear! Sorry, I can’t hear you. That’s because you have
earplugs in your ears! A precaution in case you
started singing again. Oh ho! What a fine idea. (SINGING) Three
parts to the ear you will need if you want to hear–
outer, middle, and inner ear! Scoop doop doo boo. Sound gets funneled in the
pinna through an ear canal to the middle ear, where
the sound makes the eardrum vibrate, moving the– (CHANTING) Ossicles,
ossicles, ossicles, ossicles. (SINGING) Ossicles
move the liquid in the cochlea in
the inner ear, which moves the tiny hairs
inside the cochlea, sending nerve signals to
your brain so you can hear! Skiddly doop, doop doop,
doop doop, I hear you. [MUSIC PLAYING]


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