Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Why Does Ear Wax Taste So Gross

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But Doesnt Earwax Taste Horrible

Black Ear Wax Removal | Auburn Medical Group

Cats only have 500 taste buds. Compare that to the 10,000 the average human possesses. Cats have to compensate for their lack of taste buds while we humans have to compensate for our lacking sense of smell.

Earwax likely does not taste as bad to cats as it does to us humans since they lack our number of taste buds. In plain terms, cats just are not as sensitive to the taste of earwax as we are.

Why Does Ear Wax Taste Sour

Why does ear wax taste sour?

I am interested in both the physiochemical mechanisms and the evolutionary reasons behind the sour taste of earwax.

  • $\begingroup$I know because… for science.$\endgroup$

Earwax, also called cerumen, is slightly acidic , with a pH of about 6, and acidic foods or substances tastesour. The composition of earwax, upon which its taste depends, is related to its functions. Earwax aids in cleaning and lubrication of the ear canal and has an antimicrobial effect. The antimicrobial effect is in part attributed to its acidity, which might give an evolutionary reason for the sour taste.

From Wikipedia:

Cerumen is produced in the outer third of the cartilaginous portion of the ear canal. It is a mixture of viscous secretions from sebaceous glands and less-viscous ones from modified apocrine sweat glands. The primary components of earwax are shed layers of skin, with 60% of the earwax consisting of keratin, 1220% saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, alcohols, squalene and 69% cholesterol.

While studies conducted up until the 1960s found little evidence supporting antibacterial activity for cerumen, more recent studies have found that cerumen has a bactericidal effect on some strains of bacteria. These antimicrobial properties are due principally to the presence of saturated fatty acids, lysozyme and, especially, to the slight acidity of cerumen.

Cats Crave Animal Proteins For Nutrition

According to PetWebMD, Consider what is in your cats food: a lot of animal proteins. These proteins tend to come as byproducts as well as purely from sources like beef, chicken, and fish.

Since you probably feed your cat these proteins and nutrients that they need every day, theyre quite used to the scent.

Whether they consciously or subconsciously know it, cats are driven to satisfy their nutritional needs, just like us human beings.

Cats likely do not know what type of animal proteins are in earwax, but they sure seem well-equipped at picking up these proteins scents. At least, that is what the theory holds.

To sum it all up, your cat likely thinks you are feeding them when you offer them some earwax on the tip of your finger.

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Do Cats Like Each Others Earwax Too

Ever wonder why cats like inside each others ears? Theoretically, it could be that they are trying to lap up some of each others earwax. Their earwax also contains animal proteins.

Getting to that precious earwax sure does lead to some interesting behaviors. But dont forget, cats lick each other to show community as well.

They just seem to go above and beyond when it comes to gathering up nutrients.

There you have it the theory behind why cats like earwax. Sure, it sounds quite bizarre at first and definitely gross. But, for cats, there are likely some natural urges that drive their taste for earwax.

Yeah, sure, it seems weird at first, but the science behind the theory strongly suggests that cats somehow know that earwax is good for them.

It is perfectly healthy and normal for your cat to want to nibble on a little blob of earwax. The next time your cat starts licking your ear, do not hesitate to give them a tiny taste of your ears best defense mechanism.

So What Is It About These Animal Proteins That Are So Darn Yummy

Why Does Ear Wax Taste So Gross? by Mitchell Symons

According to Owlcation, We humans tend to think of earwax as a gross bodily substance that is annoying to have to pick out with a Q-tip. As it happens, earwax is actually something that keeps our ears safe and healthy.

Earwax is essentially a coating inside of the ear canal that grabs the pesky debris that makes its way into our ears. It can even kill harmful microorganisms!

The work that our earwax does is essential for protecting our inner ears and ear canals from damage.

Of course, our human bodies do not always work as they are supposed to. Our bodies might make too much earwax, which leads to it secreting out of the ear.

When you jam your finger into your ear canals opening and pull out a clump of earwax, youre pulling out excess earwax that has seeped out.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, In that little lump of earwax, there are animal proteins. These are actually antimicrobial peptides, ten of which are already identified by scientists as being present in earwax.

These peptides actually help prevent fungal and bacterial diseases from developing in our ears.

While these proteins are helpful to us for preventing illnesses, theyre actually helpful to cats, too.

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Does This Theory Hold Up

If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, cats really are naturally attracted to earwax! Just check out how quickly this cat responds to his owner placing a finger full of earwax in front of him.

In fact, you can search YouTube and find an abundance of videos just like this one.

Yuck, right?

But it seems to support the hypothesis that cats are naturally attracted to earwax. Heres where we need to get into the nitty-gritty details of why cats love earwax.

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The Sensory World That Cats Live In Blows Ours Out Of The Water

First of all, we have to address the fact that cats have an amazing sense of smell, far superior to our own.

According to CatsInternational, While we humans have 5 million odor-sensitive cells lingering in our noses, cats have 200 million. Obviously, this means that cats live in a state of heightened senses.

Smells play a huge role in cat-human relationships. Just think about how your cat treats their litter box.

If you put scented cat litter in their box, your cat might avoid going in it because they dislike the overwhelming perfume scent. Some cats dont mind if, of course, but others cant stand it.

Cats also respond to their owners unique scents. For example, if your cat slips out the door, leaving out a coat or blanket that smells like you or that your cat normally sleeps on might attract them back to the home.

With that in mind, think of what your earwax might smell like to your cat. Not only does your earwax contain some of your own scents, but it also contains animal proteins to which cats are highly sensitive.

Your Cat Might Also Be Grooming You

Why do we Have Earwax?

Another aspect of the theory as to why cats like to lick your earwax is that they think they are grooming you.

According to TheJakartaPost, Cats spend about one quarter of their lives preening themselves. They also like to groom each other and, yes, even their humans.

Grooming is something that cats learn from kitten-hood. Mother cats spend countless hours grooming their babies until the kittens are self-sufficient enough to clean themselves.

Essentially, grooming themselves and each other is a learned behavior present from birth.

Why do cats do this? Well, it is all based on creating their own community. Cats are communal creatures despite the human misconception that cats are solitary creatures.

When cats groom one another or their humans, they are leaving saliva behind as a mark of their territory.

Not only does your earwax meet some of their nutritional drives, but they are marking you as theirs. They might also be giving you some physical affection.

It certainly seems awkward and even rather repulsive, but this is common feline behavior.

Cats groom themselves in order to get rid of excess debris from their fur and skin. It is how they try to combat fleas, ticks, dirt, and their own dander.

Perhaps, on some strange cognitive level, cats believe that you need them to get rid of this rather tasty, nicely scented human debris.

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Why Does Earwax Taste So Nasty

What does earwax taste like?Never tried it myself.Bertie Botts Every-Flavour Beans have an earwax flavour bean…Professor Dumbledore says so…What do people think about blood? I quite like it myself.You know — when you accidentally bite your tongue or brush your teeth too hard and your teeth bleed…yum.

What does earwax taste like?Never tried it myself.Bertie Botts Every-Flavour Beans have an earwax flavour bean…Professor Dumbledore says so…What do people think about blood? I quite like it myself.You know — when you accidentally bite your tongue or brush your teeth too hard and your teeth bleed…yum.

six pints said:you know how your own blood tastes like pennys? well other peoples doesnt

lol!! anyway back on topic i thought earwax was to catch dust and other dirt in ur ears, so maybe thats why is tastes so nasty- ie its the dirt that tastes minging!

I guess it tastes like pennies because it is metallic – it’s got a mettally taste.BTW, how do you know what other people’s blood tastes like?I thought Angel got upto that kind of thing, not Willow

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Stinky ear wax has been hanging around in the ear canal for nearly a month before it is ‘pickable’!

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What Is Wax

Waxes are common across nature, as organic compounds that can form malleable solids at normal temperatures. Beeswax and lanolin from sheep are probably the best-known non-human waxes. Beef fat was formerly used to manufacture candles, although these are nowadays mainly derived from petroleum. Ironically, one popular folk remedy for impacted ear wax is to light one end of a candle and insert the unlighted end into the ear possibly because of a belief that like cures like. The practice is ineffective and dangerous. .

Ear wax is a composite material. Skin cells and the keratin sheets they produce make up more than half of it: perhaps our relationship with ear wax might alter if we called it recycled skin instead. The liquid constituents of wax largely come from two different secretions originating in glands within the ear canal: sebum from sebaceous glands, and modified sweat from the so-called ceruminous glands cerumen being a pretentious Latinised word for ear wax, first coined in the eighteenth century. These two secretions pass through microscopic ducts into hair follicles and emerge into the ear canal to combine with the solid debris. The characteristic smell of ear wax which people may find either repulsive or enticing appears to result from oxidation of the resulting mixture and modification by bacteria.

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