We’ve seen our fair share of theories.
There was a theory doing the rounds about how every woman had a freckle on her left boob. Let’s not forget the famous gold or blue dress phenomenon that plagued 2015, either.
This one, though, pertains to our ears.
A tweet from a science columnist suggests that “a part of the human population can voluntarily control the tensor tympani, a muscle within the ear”.
In simpler terms, it means that some people can create a rumbling sound in their ears and others can’t.
A part of the human population can voluntarily control the tensor tympani, a muscle within the ear. Contracting this muscle produces vibration and sound. The sound is usually described as a rumbling sound https://t.co/FjD36qFACU pic.twitter.com/ianKb60EK8
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) February 17, 2020
If you’ve just spent a couple of minutes trying to make your ears rumble to no avail, the chances are you don’t possess the ability to do it.
For the rest of us, the rumbling sound will be an all too familiar sensation.
If you’re feeling a bit left out and wondering what this rumbling sounds like, one Twitter user likened it to the “rumble of thunder” which, as far as comparisons go, is pretty spot on.
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Others were left a little surprised that this isn’t a skill that the entire population possess.
“Wait, not everyone has this? it happens when i contract my face and smush it real hard, my eyes close and my nose scrunches up and i hear this rumbling sound.”
“I thought everyone could do this.” Another user simply added.
wait, not everyone has this? it happens when i contract my face and smush it real hard, my eyes close and my nose scrunches up and i hear this rumbling sound
— Caori (@CaoriAzarath) February 18, 2020
To me it sounds like when there’s a big thunderstorm and the thunder is just lowly rolling around in the sky forever with only tiny flashes of lightning that don’t leave the clouds
— 💜baapi mishiike💚 (@turtlelaughing) February 18, 2020
I thought everyone could do this
— gecko chamber (@chthonicbacchae) February 18, 2020
Although there are a few studies about this, there are no official figures to indicate what percentage of the population can do the rumble.
Regardless, rumblers have united on Twitter to explain how and when their rumbling ears help them in everyday life.
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“It helps me deal with the uncomfortable sensation of plugged ears while flying.” One Twitter user offered up a useful tip.
Others suggested using their skill to block water from getting in their ears when they’re underwater.
It helps me deal with the unconfortable sensation of plugged ears when flying
— 𝔉𝔢𝔯𝔪𝔦𝔫 𝔅𝔢𝔯𝔫𝔞𝔲𝔰 🇪🇺🌏🐝 (@fbernaus) February 17, 2020
I rather like the ability to summon and control the distant roar of rocket engines any time I like.
Also (slightly) attenuates loud high frequency noises.
— James Garry (@jrcgarry) February 17, 2020
Been able to do that forever and wiggle my ears independently. Regrettably It doesn’t attract women and I can’t make money from it. Sad face.
— Simon (@Simstersnose) February 17, 2020
Another also commented on how it helps him to attenuate high-frequency noises.
The non-rumblers amongst us might be feeling a bit left out at this revelation, but it’s not all smooth sailing.
Many people says it does nothing to help control sinusitis with others describing it as a “bit annoying”.
“Been able to do that forever and wiggle my ears independently. Regrettably It doesn’t attract women and I can’t make money from it. Sad face.” One man astutely concluded.