Ear Riddle

Decent Essays
The riddle stars off simple: Does a tree, if it falls, make a sound if no one is around? The answer to this riddle is no, but this is incorrect. Before going into why this is incorrect, one needs to understand what would take place if someone did hear a tree fall. The auditory process is a complex system of fluid, bones, and receptors that transform sound waves into discernible auditory messages to our brain. Taken from the Stanford's Children’s Health (2017), the parts of the ear are as follows. From the outside in, the exterior ear is the pinna and the external auditory canal 1. The eardrum separates the outer ear from the middle ear, where the ossicles are 1. The ossicles are three small bones that are called the malleus, incus, and stapes 1. Moving further in, the inner ear includes cochlea which contains the nerves for hearing, the vestibule and the semicircular canals which has receptors for balance (“Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear”, 2017) 1. How does this process actually all work? To summarize this process: sound waves enter the external auditory canal and travels down to the middle ear, where the vibrations strike the…show more content…
Sound waves with low amplitude can only be heard so far away. With that said, the riddle’s answer if false. Just because we can not hear sound waves does not mean that a falling tree is mute of sound. Through the use of physics, one can understand that energy process of a falling tree. The conservation of energy tells us that energy cannot be destroyed nor created; therefore, energy transfers into friction, heat, velocity of the tree, and sound. To conclude, our auditory process is amazing. Transforming sound vibrations into auditory input is absolutely mind boggling. To be technical, no, a tree falling does not create audible sound when we are out of range, but to say that it doesn’t create any sound is a false
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