Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Why can’t we close our ears like we can close our eyes? © Getty Images

Why can’t we close our ears like we can close our eyes?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Asked by: Emre Yorgancıgil, Istanbul, Turkey

We have evolved eyelids to protect our eyes from drying out or getting scratched. When you are sleeping, it is dark anyway, so there’s not much point in your eyes being open. But your ears have evolved as an important early warning mechanism, allowing you to wake up if, say, there’s a tiger growling in the undergrowth.

Advertisement

Some animals, including seals, otters and hippos, can close their ears, but this is to keep water out while swimming.

Read more:


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content