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Welcome to Science Fiction,
the show where we take your questions about science...
..and separate the fact from the fiction. Magic, boy.
Today's question, please, BUD E.
Hold on there, lads, I'm only after booting up.
Today's question comes from Kevin in Glasnevin.
When your ears pop, is it the sound of an earwig exploding?
Well, Kevin, some of the most common reasons for popping ears are
earwigs making popcorn, centipedes playing with bubble wrap,
tiny ants letting off fireworks...
Professor, you know that's not true.
Sorry, you're right, I was making it all up.
Popping ears result from changes in air pressure - usually
when going from a low altitude to high altitude
or vice versa.
Like when you're in an aeroplane. Wheee!
The human ear is a complex system of canals or tubes
channelling sound from the outside world to your brain.
Here we go, here we go, here we go.
When the pressure outside is different to the pressure inside,
this can cause your ears to pop.
Just like a cork coming out of a bottle of pop.
Do you get it? Pop, cork?
So, Kevin, now you know,
it's changes in air pressure that cause your ears to pop.
Not bugs exploding in your ears.
Sure, that's just a load of old science fiction.
So, is that what they mean when they say pop music, is it?
It makes your ears go pop.
The music, is it? Hello?