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PhiNotPi's avatar

Is it possible to learn to wiggle my ears?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12670points) June 15th, 2010

I want to know if it is possible to learn to wiggle my ears, and if so, how. I can already control my tensor tympani and tensor veli palatini muscles, located in/near my middle ear. (wikipedia has articles on these muscles) I want to have a triad of ear-rarities. Any help would be appreciated.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have always been able to wiggle one ear and raise one eyebrow only. I cannot imagine how I do it.

janbb's avatar

I suspect it’s one of those things like tongue rolling that you either can or can’t do.

gasman's avatar

I think either your nervous system is hooked up a certain way to do that, or it isn’t. Some people (notably John Belushi & Jack Black) can raise one eyebrow at a time, while the rest of us can only raise both together. I think wiggling the ears is a similar ability. No amount of practice or learning can compensate for the absence of a neural pathway between brain and muscle.

jazmina88's avatar

i think practice would build the muscles independence

PhiNotPi's avatar

I know that it is not genetic, but is a learned behavior. However, I think that it is very hard to learn once you are past early childhood.

mrentropy's avatar

When I was young I saw my uncle do this and I was determined to do it, too. So I spent time just “willing” my ears to go up and down. After a while I was able to do each ear independently.

knitfroggy's avatar

I always wanted to learn to wiggle my nose like Samantha on Bewitched…never heard of ear wiggling.

janbb's avatar

@PhiNotPi Interesting – I didn’t know that.

fil's avatar

i learned early on, so am not sure how to pick it up later in life, but try looking at a cat or another animal who flatten/pull back their ears in anger and without too much thinking mimicking their whole expression—i find the facial expression i get with ears fully pulled back is a kind of withering cold hissy glare, so maybe that’s someplace to start.

Nullo's avatar

Try working all of the muscles on your head. Eventually you should find the ones for the ears.
I taught myself after watching one of my teachers do it. I don’t think that he was trying to; they’d only ever move when he smiled.

Otto_King's avatar

That’s just a matter of muscle too, which is sometimes moving. (when you laugh, eat, drink, etc.) Even if you don’t want it to. So if you watch yourself in the mirror do different kind of things with your face to see when your ear starts moving, then you just have to keep doing that movement, which made your ear move. After a while you can wiggle only your ear, without making a funny face. That’s it.:)

jfos's avatar

I taught myself how to do this when I was about 10–12. I remember thinking of an animal perking its ears up to hear something. Keep trying to do this, and eventually you can isolate just your ears instead of your ears, eyes, forehead, etc.

tranquilsea's avatar

When I wiggle my ears I end up wiggling my whole scalp. But I can’t wiggle my ears if I am smiling. My mother had a wicked look that involved one raised eye brow. She passed that one down to me too.

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