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How Hearing Works


Inside your ear, sounds set off a complex chain of events which involves some of the smallest bones in your body. These bones transmit the sound waves to tiny hair-like sensors that dance in tune to the world outside.


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How your ear works by the BBC



Transcript

00:01

Inside your ear, sounds set off a complex chain of events.

00:07

They enter as pressure waves which push and pull your eardrum, making it vibrate.

00:20

On the other side of the eardrum, these vibrations set a series of bones jiggling.

00:31

They end with the smallest bone in your entire body, called the stirrup. It's smaller than a grain of rice.

00:41

These bones allow you to hear.

00:45

If a sound is too loud,

00:50

a muscle pulls the stirrup away from the most sensitive parts.

00:55

Temporarily at least, you go a bit deaf but the rest of your ear is protected.

01:06

Beyond the stirrup is a fluid-filled cavity,

01:09

your Cochlea.

01:14

The incoming sound waves tickle clumps of tiny hairlike sensors on the floor.

01:22

These begin to dance to the sounds of the world outside.

01:29

You have 30,000 sensors. Each picks out a different part of the sound and sends it straight to your brain.

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