Countdown to Christmas Quiz – Question 8: Sunday 8th December

In this picture of the inner ear, what’s the name of the part indicated by the big red question mark?

Ear anatomy

ANSWER: Eustachian tube!

Engineers will tell you that when you have a pocket of air in an enclosed space, if the outside pressure drops, the air in that space expands – it may even explode! The inner ear is an enclosed space but the Eustachian tube stops your head from exploding by allowing air pressure to change. Of course, if your Eustachian tube gets blocked, you can feel the pressure and it can get uncomfortable. It also impairs your hearing by damping down the action of the ear drum

The word comes from the name of an Italian anatomist, Bartolomeo Eustachi, who died in 1574, after a career as an anatomist in a time when cutting up bodies was frowned upon by the Catholic Church. And Eustachi is derived from the Greek eustakis, which means “fruitful.”


Eustachian Tube Function and Dysfunction from the UK’s website.


2 responses to “Countdown to Christmas Quiz – Question 8: Sunday 8th December

  1. Eustachian tube

    • Spot on this time! If you want to be in the running for a free Starbucks coffee, don’t forget to follow us on @speechdudes. Then, if you win, we can tweet you a coffee! On the other hand, if you’re just happy to play the game for the fun of it, don’t worry about Twitter 😉

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