Douwe Osinga's Blog: The ears of my grandfather

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The ears of my grandfather

My parents are visiting. After a brisk walk through the city we were talking in our apartment and my wife remarked that habits and excentries of people tend to magnify as they grow older. 'Just like their ears', I remarked. People called me on that and we talked about whether old men do have larger ears, or if it only seemed may be because of their having less hair.

I remembered reading somewhere that ears grow all your life and I could find some Internet evidence for that, but there is nothing like doing some real research. My own grandfather turned ninety last november and as present my mother had created a website for him with lots of pictures. So I fired up paint, pasted pictures from different decades in their and started measuring.

And yes, it seems true. On his 18th birthday the ears of grandfather covered 26.6% of his head. On his 90th birthday it was 40.1% and the growth was visible in every step. As supportive evidence I provide the picture series (slightly scaled down) below.