Ears under pressure. Was Re: Aquatic ape theory

Bill Burnett (bbur@wpo.nerc.ac.uk)
Mon, 16 Oct 1995 11:10:04

In article <450678$979@nntp.ucs.ubc.ca> VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA (pete) writes:

>Bill Burnett (bbur@wpo.nerc.ac.uk) sez:
> And if you consider the problems some
>`people have in equalising the pressure in their ears while diving I think we
>`can safely say that TODAY'S human ear is NOT adapted for diving... (I make
>`no claims for a supposed AA ear.)

>But that's not a problem for free diving to depths less than 25 feet
>is it? And I doubt anyone would propose a hythetical aquatic ancestor
>was doing deeper than that.

That's exactly the depth range over which it makes the most difference.
Pressure doubles in the first 10m (approx. 30 feet), as you get deeper the
change in pressure per m descended becomes progressively less. Most people
who have ear problems diving have them near the surface.