Why Do Some People Have A Tiny Extra Hole In Their Ear?


Did you know a small proportion of the population are born with a tiny hole above their ears, which experts believe could be the evolutionary remnants of fish gills?

Only around one per cent of people living in the UK have these malformations, called a preauricular sinus.

However in Asia and parts of Africa, around four to ten per cent of people may be affected. In some areas of Africa they have created myths around the condition, including in Ethiopia, where they are said to grant wealth.

The barely visible holes were first documented by a scientist named Heusinger back in 1864.

Biologist Neil Shubin says they could be an “evolutionary remnant of fish gills.”

They tend to appear at the point the ear cartilage meets with the face and can look like ‘nodules, dents and dimples’.

Around 50 per cent of people who have them develop holes on both sides of their ears.

Anyone with the tiny holes should not worry, they don’t tend to cause serious health problems.

One of the most worrying symptoms is the hole could become infected but this can be treated with antibiotics.