Curious to Know if You Can Learn to Wiggle Your Ears? Find Out

Curious to Know if You Can Learn to Wiggle Your Ears? Find Out
There are a lot of unusual things that people can do. Some can sing when they are two, while others crack complex equations. It is all to do with the amazing and incredible organ we have - our brain. If you set your mind to something, the chances that you won't achieve it are really negligible. You can actually even learn to wiggle your ears! Yeah, totally do-able.
With singing, you can get famous and release albums and make money. By solving complex equations, you can attend the best schools and get a top-notch job, and again, make money. Basically, these are skills that have their uses. What will you gain by learning to wiggle your ears? Umm.. nothing, I guess! Except learning an absolutely unnecessary skill, and having a few laughs with an amazed and amused audience. Well, since you are reading this article, I assume you are either bored or have no work at the moment, and you want something to do to pass time, so why not try your ears at it?!
Wiggling Your Ears - The Gene Factor
There is a gene allotted to the function of wiggling your ears. There have been studies conducted on ear wiggling, and research done to discover the mechanics of this fascinating, albeit pretty much useless, talent. The muscles responsible for the movement of ears have their own accessory nucleus in the brain stem, unlike other facial muscles, says Ter Meulen, who is a researcher at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands. This guy also explained how one particular muscle that is responsible for eye movement, also directly controls ear movement. So don't wrinkle your nose at me, because I'm dedicating a mere article to it!

Studies show that if you have at least one dominant ear wiggling gene, then you have a natural talent for it. Congratulations, you are gifted! How would you know whether you have any dominant ear wiggling genes though? It's pretty simple. Try wiggling your ears right away. Now, as you are reading this. Maybe you won't get it straight away, but if you get it after trying 3 - 4 times, then there is your answer - YES, you do have a dominant ear wiggling gene. People without a dominant ear wiggling gene will not get it for a long time, even after practicing frequently. And, that also means that you are amongst the elite 10% to 20% of the human population, who have the unusual and brilliant ability to make their ears dance to their tunes.
Wiggling Your Ears - An Acquired Skill?
So after reading the above paragraph, if you are wondering whether people who are not blessed with a dominant ear wiggling gene can learn to wiggle their ears, the answer is YES, they can. Like I said before, our brain is such a wonderful, brilliant, and powerful organ, that if you tell your brain you want to do something, it will do everything possible to help you do it! There are people who have the gene but have never tried doing this quirky thing, so although they have the ability, they are not aware of it, and neither is their brain. When they try it though, their brain realizes that it can do it effortlessly. But there are others who have actually practiced this skill (don't ask me why), till they perfected it!

The mechanism behind moving your ears is pretty complex. It's a little like moving one leg in circles while moving the other leg up and down (go on, try it), or lifting the ring finger without lifting the other fingers at all. The muscles of the ring finger are attached to the others around it, so that isolating and moving only those muscles responsible for the ring finger becomes almost impossible. Same is the case with the muscles which are responsible for the movement or wiggling of ears. These muscles are called auricularis superior and auricularis posterior, which are responsible for moving your ears upwards and backwards respectively. They are so connected to the other muscles, like the eyebrow and forehead muscles that it is extremely difficult to isolate these muscles and make them move. But with practice this can be achieved to some extent. If you are especially persevering, then you may be able to do it effortlessly too, over time. But usually this happens in coordination with your smile and eyebrow wiggling. If you haven't noticed this yet, try smiling. Did you feel your ears move? Smile in front of the mirror. Did you see your ears move? If yes, you have a head start over those people whose ears do not move, no matter what! You can try wiggling your ears as long as it does not get painful and as long as there is no buzzing in your ears. Stop when your ears or other facial muscles start aching. It's really not that important to learn how to do it! All those who are up for it, here you go...
The 6 Steps to Successfully Wiggle Your Ears
So after reading the above paragraph, if you are wondering whether people who are not blessed with a dominant ear wiggling gene can learn to wiggle their ears, the answer is YES, they can. Like I said before, our brain is such a wonderful, brilliant, and powerful organ, that if you tell your brain you want to do something, it will do everything possible to help you do it! There are people who have the gene but have never tried doing this quirky thing, so although they have the ability, they are not aware of it, and neither is their brain. When they try it though, their brain realizes that it can do it effortlessly. But there are others who have actually practiced this skill (don't ask me why), till they perfected it!

Step 1
Since you are going to try moving your muscles without any external aids, it makes sense to know where exactly these muscles are located. When you smile, touch your ears. There are two areas where the two muscles are located. One is at the front, right where the ear lobe starts to curve near your hair. The other is right behind your ear, at the center region. These are the muscles you have to concentrate on.

Step 2
Focus on these muscles the next time you smile or raise your eyebrows. While this movement goes unnoticed most of the time, when you are actually focusing on it, you will realize exactly how these muscles tighten/ tense and relax when you start and stop smiling. Focus on these muscles and try to move them voluntarily.

Step 3
If you practice a little, you will be able to move the muscles you are concentrating on along with a few other muscles, like your eyebrow and scalp, and the muscles around your lips. This step is about trying to figure out your ear muscles amongst the big bunch of muscles in our face. Stand in front of the mirror and concentrate on moving only your ears. If you happen to smile, keep trying till you can do it without smiling.

Step 4
Help your brain identify these muscles by placing a finger on them, in case you are finding it difficult to identify them without external aids. It's one of the things like breathing. Our brain does it so involuntarily, that it is difficult to isolate such actions. You have to really concentrate on them exclusively to make it voluntary. Like meditation. That is also breathing, but it is voluntary deep breathing, unlike the involuntary breathing that we do otherwise. A little bit of practice will help in achieving this.

Step 5
Once you can voluntarily move your muscles, even though they are being moved with other muscles, you are progressing really well. Now, the next step is to do it without moving any other muscles. Try to solely move only the ear muscles without lifting or moving your eyebrows or smiling. Every time you want to wiggle your ears it will look pretty idiotic if you have to look surprised with your eyebrows shot up, or you having to grin widely! As if wiggling your ears alone is not weird enough!

Step 6
This is basically practicing your skill, in order to find out whether practice really does make man perfect, and the like. When you get it, the movements will be really subtle and they may become prominent as you keep on practicing. With time and more practice, you may even master the skill of wiggling your ears individually!
After reading these steps, most of you'll must have thought, "What?! What the hell is she talking about?", right? Well, teaching someone who cannot wiggle their ears to wiggle their ears, is as difficult as trying to teach a dog to walk upright! What can I say? If you get it, you get it. If you don't, never mind, there are better things to do!
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