Some People Have A Tiny Extra Hole In Their Ear. What does that mean?

Some People Have A Tiny Extra Hole In Their Ear. What does that mean?

Maybe you have noticed that a few people have a hardly noticeable hole where the top of their ear cartilage meets their face. Believe it or not, it’s probably not the remnants of an old piercing they had when they were 15.

Imagine, it is actually rare appearance in the world! 4 – 10 percent of the population have it in Asia and some parts of Africa. In the US only 0.1 percent of the population have it, and in the UK 0.9 percent. In South Korea, that figure is around 5 percent, and it’s most common in people of African or Asian descent.


It’s actually a congenital disorder which name is preauricular sinus.  What does that mean?

We can frequently note Preauricular sinuses on routine physical examination as small dells adjacent to the external ear, usually at the anterior margin of the ascending limb of the helix. However, preauricular sinuses have been reported to occur along the lateral surface of the helicine crus and the superior posterior margin of the helix, the tragus, or the lobule. Anatomically, preauricular sinuses are lateral and superior to the facial nerve and the parotid gland.

Extra Hole In Their Ear


Although harmless in itself, this tiny extra hole in the ear can be susceptible to infection.

The first and second pharyngeal arches actually cause it. This is a structure found in all vertebrates that occurs during embryonic development. In mammals, they go on to form the structures of the head and neck. But in fish they also help develop into their gills.


It’s this odd connection that led Neil Shubin, an evolutionary biologist, to speculate that the holes could be an “evolutionary remnant of fish gills,” according to Business Insider. Of course, that’s currently a theory that hasn’t been scientifically tested. But nevertheless, when you think that we still have tailbones, goosebumps, and appendixes from our evolutionary forebearers, it’s certainly not impossible.


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