MUNDANE MYSTERIES: What’s The Human Body’s Smallest Bone?

We humans are basically just a pile of bones filled with gooey bits & tied together in a skin sack. But it’s good to know what goes into making us humans the creatures that we are. So, when someone asked me this question the other day I thought, “Now that’s something everyone should know”. The question was: what is the smallest bone in the human body?

The home of the smallest bone in your body belongs to…your ear. While the first thoughts you might have of your ear involve the fleshy lobe & the cartilaginous ridges, there are, in fact, bones in your ear. Your ear actually houses the three smallest bones in your body, which are called “ossicles”, from a Latin word that means “small bone”. Their individual names also come from Latin: the malleus, or “hammer”; the incus, or “anvil”; and the stapes, or “stirrup”. They’re all connected in a chain & vaguely shaped like what their names suggest. Altogether, the ossicles come to about the size of an orange seed; and of the three, the stapes is the smallest.

Of the three sections of your ear (the outer, middle, and inner ear), your ossicles can be found in your middle ear, between the eardrum & the inner ear area, where they transmit sound vibrations from one place to another. Once vibrations have passed through the middle ear, they hit the cochlea, which turns them into neural signals that your brain receives as auditory information, or sound.

Small or large, if you’ve got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved, send me a message via Twitter (@AndyWebbRadio), or shoot me an email at [email protected].

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