Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wet or dry? Pick your ear

Mis Hooz sent this from the FRT New York Bureau weeks ago, but I ended up losing it in the draft pile. A little bit of spring cleaning turned it up, and I think it's still pretty timely. But maybe you should wait until after lunch before trying this out.

Stick your finger in your ear, pull it out, and then see what you've got. Maybe it would be better (and more sanitary) to use a cotton swab.

How's your earwax look? Are you wet or dry?

(I wanted to post a photo with this, but the stuff I found on Google is just too gross. Give it a try yourself, if you're so inclined. You can thank me later.)

Apparently, it depends on your ethnicity. According to this New York Times article, a team of Japanese researchers determined that wet earwax is dominant among Africans and Europeans, while the dry stuff is prevalent among East Asians. (Southern and Central Asians are split down the middle.)

How much you sweat also plays a factor. Those who sweat less tend to have the dry stuff, while the schvitzers among us go wet.

Because you want to know, I'm a wet guy, despite my Asian heritage. But I think my mother fits comfortably in the Southern Asia contingent. My father's European descent probably had an effect on my earstuff, and I know I inherited his propensity for heavy sweating. (Note to self: don't post this on the MySpace profile.)

And if you're wondering why we have earwax in the first place, think of it as nature's flypaper. Keeps the bugs out.

Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I'm hungry. Off to lunch. Feel free to share your earwax tales with the rest of us.