Have You Ever Noticed A Tiny Hole Above Someone’s Ear? This Is The Strange Reason It’s There.

If you ever noticed that someone has a tiny hole near their ear you may have thought it was an odd dimple, a scar from some crazy accident, or perhaps the latest trend in body piercing. But in fact it’s just a naturally occurring mutation, commonly known as an “ear pit.” It’s technically considered a birth defect, although it normally causes no problems. Although on occasion, the little hole can become infected or develop a cyst and require medical treatment.

The medical name for one of these little holes is a preauricular sinus. If a person has one, it’s located very close to the point where the top of the ear meets the head. It’s possible to have one for each ear, but more often there’s only one, usually by the right ear. Because ear pits are caused by a genetic mutation, they’re passed down from one generation to the next and are more common in some ethnic groups or geographical areas than others. For instance, ear pits are relatively rare in Europe and North America, being found in less than 1% of the population. In various parts of Africa and Asia, it can be more like 4% to 10%. In Ethiopia, incidentally, ear pits are held in high regard: traditionally they’re believed to be a harbinger of wealth and good fortune.

Why preauricular sinuses exist is largely a mystery. The evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin thinks they could be an “evolutionary remnant of fish gills.” It’s an odd notion, but as they say, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Of course, it’s entirely possible there’s some other explanation.

We’ve posted a video from Business Insider about these mysterious little ear pits. You may never have noticed them before, but now you’ll have a lot more information about them.

Have you got ear pits or do you know someone who does? Were you aware they even existed? Let us know in the comments at Facebook and don’t forget to like and share!